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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Mother's Intuition--Listening To That Little Voice In Your Head

I would describe myself as an intuitive person, and I think others who know me would agree. The husband says that my senses and impressions are right on. That’s why I find it important to trust my parenting instinct when it comes to the boy. Yet, even knowing that, I sometimes second guess myself. There have been a couple of times, when I am glad I trusted that little voice inside my head that said “This isn’t right.” “This needs further attention.”

A recent time I followed that little voice was just this last week-end. Sometime in the last few days the boy had acquired a bug bite on his leg. We responded with the usual anti-itch ointment. After a few days, the bite became red and swollen. Anti-itch ointment was traded for antibiotic ointment. Over the week-end the bite was looking scary. So, Monday, I phoned our pediatrician and got a appointment. The Dr. cultured the bite and prescribed oral antibiotics. While I’m sorry the boy had a scary looking bite on his leg, the pediatrician’s actions reaffirmed that I had done the right thing by calling. On Tuesday, the culture came back that it was a staph infection. By Wednesday morning the results had changed to a strep infection in the bug bite on the back of his calf. The oral antibiotics he was on would do the trick combined with the topical antibiotic ointment. Whew! We are on the mend!

Another time I followed my gut was about a year and a half ago. The boy had experienced intermittent late night vomiting. We had dismissed it as the occasional stomach bug or something brought on by coughing. You see, it was every now and then. But as I look back, it has been every now and then, every 2-3 months for a while. Then, one week-end at the end of February, he did it two nights in a row. No fever, no coughing, just late night vomiting. OK, I called the Dr. and asked for an appointment. No emergency, just a need to tell him what was going on. We got an appointment for later in the week and told our pediatrician what was happening.

The next few days were a whirlwind. There were a couple of ideas but it meant a cat scan, an ultra sound, blood work, etc. The results indicated that he had acid reflux AND an enlarged kidney. It was off to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for more tests. One test involved watching his bladder empty and another was a renal scan in the nuclear medicine department. Results—the enlarged left kidney was due to a blocked ureter from his kidney to his bladder. Plan—surgery to remove the block and reattach the ureter.

So, one year ago on Sept. 1, the boy was prepped and ready for surgery. We came home the next day with a 3 inch incision and a stint in his bladder. The Dr. said it would feel like a toothpick rubbing against the inside of your cheek. A week off of school was on the list of things to do along with no bikes, running, swimming, or climbing for the next 6 weeks. It was a LONG 6 weeks for all of us! We went back the middle of October to have him go under for another surgery to remove the stint. That sure felt better! We returned in December for another renal scan to see if everything was operating okay, and it was. We’re clear until this coming December when another renal scan is scheduled.

I am learning that trusting my intuition as a mother is important. That little voice is there for a reason—a protective reason. That voice is my friend, a near and dear friend.

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