Monday, March 3, 2008

Is This SICK...or Just Sad???

Unless your head has been in the sand, you are well aware that the United States is suffering from HUGE illness this flu season. Everywhere I turn, someone is sick.....in fact whole families are sick. Entire families are suffering with horrible viruses, and many are ending up on antibiotics due to progression into Pneumonia. The blogosphere is full of bloggers explaining their absence due to this knock out, drag on and on....and on.....illness epidemic. It appears that this year's flu shot has gravely missed it's mark.

One of the things that I find most interesting while reading all the posts and articles about sickness, is the wide range of advice out there coming from our paid professionals. At every turn, I see differing methods of treatment given to our parents of young children. It can be rather confusing to me....and in fact, it scares me. Most of us, chose a health care provider using methods much like throwing the dice at a craps table. Often we don't even have much of a choice. Then we trust this person with the most valuable earthly possession....our bodies.

Recently, I read in Parents Magazine that upwards of 17% of all Pediatricians are NOT certified by the American Board of Pediatrics. Apparently this certification is NOT mandatory, however it is imperative as it requires Physicians to pass an exam every seven years, and keep up to date on medical advances. If that wasn't scary enough.....a current study showed that 12% of doctors who call themselves Pediatricians NEVER completed three-year residency training in pediatrics. EEEEEKKKKK!!!

Now I know that even Pediatricians that ARE certified and have received proper training may not be ideal choices, but it certainly is a step in the right direction. To check and see if your child's Pediatrician is certified CLICK HERE. Follow the link on the left had side of the web page, that features a magnifying glass icon. My advice is to keep your search somewhat broad. Initially, I didn't find Sugar's Pediatrician until I left the City and Zip code open. She was listed under a small community name instead of our city.

In addition, I'd like to encourage you to be a strong advocate for your child when you are visiting with the Pediatrician. Don't be afraid to ask questions. If something doesn't make sense to you....question it. My favorite question is, "Can you tell me why you DON'T think it is anything other than (fill in the blank)?" I find I get more information this way. The physician then will describe other illnesses and WHY your child doesn't have them. I last did this when Sugar had an unexplained rash. Having her doctor explain why it WASN'T all the other types of childhood rashes really helped me understand what we were looking for, and what we were seeing. I try to NEVER worry about taking up too much of her time. My child is worth being sure.

It is my hope that this wave of illness subsides for everyone soon. Hang in there. We are hibernating here at our house in hope of avoiding it.....well, as long as hibernating means Sugar attending Pre-school/daycare, and my working in the education field....SIGH!

26 Live It or Love It:

Lis Garrett said...

Woo-hoo! I knew my pediatrician would be on the list. We've seen her for the last 6 years, and she's fantastic.

We've been lucky to avoid everything but the occasional sniffle - no flu, no stomach viruses - just little colds. But there are tons of people around here who have been sick . . .

AnnD said...

Whew! Our pediatrician (who we saw twice this week) was on there. I should have known...she really is awesome. She may be late getting to you but once she's there, she's worth the wait and spends as much time as possible going through things with you and taking time with Emma...blowing bubbles to entertain her, drawing a butterfly on a tongue depressor for her....I do love her. I love your posts!!! I learn so much from them!

tommie said...

This flu went through our entire family....one person at a time. So for about six weeks it was miserable around here!

I'll have to go check my ped.

tommie said...

yeah, she is! My father-in-law is as well if any of you are in Central OH!

Joeprah said...

It is ridiculous how many of us have been ill. On the list and proud! Great info, thanks for the link.

Driving With the Brakes On said...

Yeah! Our pediatrician is on there, and I love her - she is always very thorough in her explanation of what the problem is or isn't.

Along the vein of your post, I wish more people would really take the time to understand their insurance carriers and what is or is not covered. I worked at a Kaiser designated hospital for a little while, and was amazed at the number of people who would continually bad-mouth their coverage . . . we have Kaiser and I love it! They cover practically everything you could possibly want!

And I saw on the news the other day where the manufactureres of the flu vaccine are redesigning next year's formula from scratch to prevent a repeat of this year.

Great post!

Kat said...

OMG I knew that the US health care system wasn't the greates but that was creepy to read.

Great post really.

Groovy Mom said...

My family is one of the sick ones. I'm doing everything I know to do to avoid a trip to the doctor. Fun stuff! Good advice too!

david mcmahon said...

You're so right, Corey, when you say it's ``like throwing the dice at a craps table.''

THAT's the real worry.

holly said...

corey, your definition of hibernating differs from mine, but acceptably so.

and in this country? a *team* of people, each more cranky than the last, checks up on your child. i'll never forget the morning i was still in pajamas, about to feed the thrower, and the midwife showed up at the door to check my stitches. followed closely by the child-checker-upper (can't remember what exactly her title was and i'm too lazy to look it up.)

"c'mon in, ladies! i was just about to whip the twins out, but they can wait!"

and that was just the pre-game show!

we are reilly said...

our Pediatrician is on there -- but it took me a while to find him. We've had the upper respiratory infection, the stomach virus and I think my husband has either the influenza or strep.....but, he won't go to the doctor to save his life!

Nap Warden said...

Good luck to you. I hope you can dodge the flu bullet. We just got over it here, let me tell you...it was miserable!

Nola said...

My pede is on the list and THANK GOD 'cause I LOVE her!! Thanks for the link!

Mama Zen said...

Not being afraid to ask questions is key. I know I drive doctors crazy, but I will keep asking questions until I am sure that I get it!

Great post, Corey!

Meghan said...

Great post, Corey. I, too, drive my ped crazy with questions... but she is really cool and takes the time to answer them. My doc in California was not so helpful...

I'm just glad I've grown a serious backbone when it comes to questioning the my doc since I first had Xan.

Stay well!

Carolyn said...

Great post. Again. I'm currently on the hunt for a new doctor because I'm never satisfied with her explanations as to why me or my family have various symptoms. It's frustrating. Is it too much to have a doctor who actually shows some pro-active and knowledgeable enthusiasm towards health care? Grrr. Thanks for the reminder to ask questions and to be the champion of our own health care. Great stuff Corey!

Julie B said...

such a great post, and I agree that being your child's advocate is so, so important. My youngest has multiple food allergies and it took us 16 months of hell to figure it all out...mainly because the team of doctors we were working with would not listen to us. They were insistent that it was a calorie issue (she completely stopped growing) and it was only because of our persistence was it discovered that she had an absorption problem. The whole experience changed me forever-I will never just blindly accept what a doctor tells me without asking a lot of questions first.
Anyway-hope your able to avoid all of this! We have been lucky so far, my husband got sick for a few days but the girls and have remained healthy (of course I am knocking on wood as I write this!)

Deb - Mom of 3 Girls said...

We love our pediatrician, and she's on the list - I was pretty sure she was certified, but it's good to know for sure.

I get a lot of great information from PediaCast too - it's a podcast done by a pediatrician, and he takes the time to really explain things so that we parents can understand. He answers a lot of questions that pediatricians don't have time to go into when you see them in the office. It's not a substitute for talking to your child's own pediatrician, but a great extra source of information and education. :)

Colleen said...

HA Corey you sound just like me. Today at Jordan's appointment the dr had to make list of everything I was asking and my concerns of Jordan so we could remember them and be able to cover them. I love our Ped he always explains to me why he feels certain meds are better to use for a certain illness then others. He even explained why he felt the flu vax was best to get even though it is said to not cover the strand going around. He had me convinced and Jordan did receive it. Even before doing it he took a flu test to check and see if Jordan's illness was the flu or if he was sure in saying it was allergies and indeed its allergies THANK GOD. .

Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

Great post, Corey!

Our pedi is a DO and maybe that makes her more prone to holding off on anything drastic. I love her. I also love the family practice doctor I see and have even thought about taking the girls to him instead - for the simple reason his office is WAY less busy and less packed with germies that our pedi practice is.

Great thoughts! Obviously lots of parents have much to say about this.

Lori said...

Ours is on there. And ours spends forever talking to us. Honestly, sometimes I'm trying to rush HIS questions. But, I do love him, although he's not too fond of delaying vax, but he's gotten over it.

CMB said...

Another GREAT topic. I just changed pediatricians this past Nov. Ava came down with a rash that was due to an allergic reaction to her anitbiotic. The original Dr. told me her infection was gone and to discontinue the meds. A few days later she came down with an ear infection and they put her on another antibiotic, but from the same family as the one she was allergic to! I questioned the Dr. and he told me she'd be fine. When I went to have the med filled, the pharmacist refused to fill it due to her allergy. Thank God for the pharmacist. I will be checking on my new group - but already I am much happier with them.
By the way, I tagged you on my blog!

MamaGeek said...

We have dodged the flu here as well. Having said that, we'll probably get it tomorrow. Hope Sugar's rash is GONE soon!

Childlife said...

This was a really important and well done post, Corey. It's just scary how vigilant you have to be to see that your child gets the level of medical care that they need and deserve. Thank you for so eloquently addressing such an important issue!

Jo Beaufoix said...

It's the same over here Corey. Everyone is ill and they keep getting ill over and over.
Just thought I'd say hi before I go to bed. I've actually done a little visiting tonight as I felt a little bit better. Hugs. I'll be back soon. xx

ellenheartbeats said...

hope everythings turns okay now ..have a great day sis

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