I get peeved off with this, but given that I haven't got a medical degree, there's not much I can do apart from using my best judgement and hoping for the best.
So: ear infections and antibiotics.
When The Girlie came down with an ear infection several weeks ago (alongside conjuctivitis, high fever and wheezing in her lungs) she was prescribed antibiotics for the ear infection, and we went for it. When it still hadn't cleared four days later when we were at the 24-hour clinic and then paediatric emergency department at the hospital, we were told that, well, probably it's been viral, rather than bacterial, and so we need to hang on and ride it out. (Antibiotics clear bacterial infections, but don't do much for viruses.)
Now The Girlie is ill again. I booked an appointment to see our doctor yesterday evening, but upon arriving found that whoever had booked us in had mistakenly placed us with a doctor I've never seen before...
(And when I insisted I see OUR doctor, I was offered to wait an hour until the next available appointment - whilst I had with me a baby with a 39.2 fever and an ill preschooler. Yeah, uhm... thanks, guys.)
...and that doctor promptly offered us the same antibiotic The Girlie had already been on three weeks earlier, and which hadn't done much.
I get peeved off with this. It's probably very similar to many other mothers who get peeved off when their children get ill, but it's one thing to discuss antibiotics in general and another thing to be doing it with a doctor who doesn't know us and who I don't know either.
Things such as,
* so if the infection was viral before, what makes them think it's bacterial now?
* and if it's viral, what do we do then?
* is the recurrent use of antibiotics justified, given that with viral infections we'd be just sitting there waiting it out?
* and finally, when I sat there thinking how the hell do I make the best decision, asking, if it was THEIR daughter, would they give her antibiotics again? Honestly?
It's hard enough talking about it with OUR doctor whom I trust and who we were told we were booked with; I didn't need the added joy of looking into an unfamiliar doctor's eyes and trying to figure out, are they genuinely thinking this is right, or are they just being conservative?
I belong to the camp of people who think that doctors, just as everybody else, makes mistakes, and rather than going overkill with punishment there just needs to be an honest feedback going on so that when mistakes happen, doctors learn, and so that doctors don't try to err on the side of prescribing antibiotics for what are essentially strong colds (when what they are really needed for are the likes of pneumonia). But not having a medical degree and experience myself, I need to listen to a doctor and then make a judgement call, which at the moment is another round of the exact same antibiotic that was used three weeks ago, and... I get peeved off with that.
On another note: two days ago I was up at 4 am. Yesterday I was up at 3 am. Today I was up at 2 am. If we continue in the same pattern then by next week I'll be able to get up at 10 pm, take care of my daughter, and then stick her back in bed so I can get a decent sleep afterwards myself. Trying to fall back asleep at 4 am whilst one is coughing and the other one is crying out for a drink, is not easy.
And heck I'm tired.