MRSA-less (Where I Rant about Modern Medicine)

I finally got the call back from my pediatrician’s office on Friday. W~ does not have MRSA. Now, here is the part I don’t get. After revealing this tidbit of information, they informed me that they would be calling in a prescription for an oral antibiotic. We find out that he doesn’t have the feared “superbug” and NOW he needs more medication? I really don’t get it. And honestly, I considered calling them back to question this decision. W~ has only taken an antibiotic one other time in his life, and it made him sicker than whatever it was that they had prescribed it for (the kid has a really sensitive tummy). But, I decided to be the model, mindless consumer of modern medicine, and asked Sean to pick up the prescription when he and the kids went to the local megastore that evening.

I was at my mother’s house working on blankies when they got home, and I didn’t come home until after the kids were in bed. I asked Sean if he remembered the medicine. He said that he had picked it up and given W~ his first dose. “But it’s really weird to give it to him, the medicine is a powder.” Um, what?

So, I go grab the bottle. As any of you with small children have probably already figured out, the pharmacy forgot to MIX the medicine. Public service announcement: Oral antibiotics are, generally, a liquid. They don’t mix it until you pick it up since they are then supposed to be refrigerated. Somehow, my husband missed this lesson in Parenting 101. I don’t really get this, since he is the one who goes straight to the medicine chest for every sniffle, and I have been either pregnant or breastfeeding–or both!– for 45 of the past 46 months of my life (yep, wrap your brain around THAT) and, therefore, haven’t had the freedom to take medication with abandon for almost four years now. So, my three-year-old got almost a full teaspoon of straight granules instead of the equal amount of mixed medicine (which, I’m assuming, means he took about twice as much as he should).

Naturally, I called poison control. Thankfully, antibiotics are considered pretty safe. I was told to try and get him to sleep on his side in case he puked in the middle of the night. He ended up being fine (although I did the whole check-to-see-if-he-is-still-breathing several times that evening).

So, today I went back to the local megastore and headed straight to the pharmacy, unmixed bottle in hand. I asked to speak to the pharmacist in charge. I explained to her what happened (calmly, but making sure she understood that I took this VERY seriously). Her response? “Yeah, we mark the bags, but sometimes they miss it and forget to mix the medication. I’ll get you a new one.” No shock. No indication that SHE took this very seriously. Just “yep, it happens.” Holy crap. What if it hadn’t been something that is relatively safe that my son was given too much of? How many other people are there out there who, like my husband, wouldn’t realize that medication doesn’t generally come in powder form? I hate putting the health of my family in someone else’s hands, especially if they will openly admit to incompetence.

Incidentally, my mistrust of modern medicine has been several years in the building. It started about five years ago, when I was in a car accident. It took three different doctors six weeks to figure out that I had a fractured neck (partially because the first two didn’t even DO x-rays, partially because the third one waited almost a month before he bothered to READ them). When I asked the third doctor if I should see a chiropractor for my ongoing back pain he told me “no.” He said that a chiropractor would just pop my back, and they were going to “fix me.” After a couple of months of physical therapy, and another doctor thrown into the mix, they declared me unfixable (this was about a year after the accident). Things got so bad when I was pregnant with W~ that I finally broke down and followed my midwife’s advice to ignore Dr. We’re Going to Fix You and go see a chiropractor. Three weeks. That’s how long it took her to make the pain go away (turns out, I has three ribs out of place). After years of pain, it only took her three stinking weeks to “fix me.” Over three years later, and the pain has never come back.

So, this is why I forego a lot of the “optional” prenatal tests. This is why I haven’t seen my family doctor in years. This is why I go to an OB who practices with two midwives (I do still like the security of having modern medicine as a backup–I don’t think it is totally evil, just way too pompous and over-used). This is why I have such internal conflict over vaccinating my kids. And, I suppose, this is why I still haven’t given W~ his first dose of now-mixed medicine. I just think that, sometimes, we do too much. We defy Darwin. We make ourselves weaker by not allowing our bodies to do what they were designed to do.

That, and we put our lives in the hands of incompetent nitwits.

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Filed under Kids, Pain, pregnancy, Soap Box, vaccinations

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