there’s a nurse chewing on my ear

and it’s NOT fun.

Okay lets’ see if we can all agree on something.  When a doctor says “give this medication every 4 to 6 hours AS NEEDED for wheezing”  that means what?

Well to me it means listen to my child.  IF she is wheezing and it has been at least four hours since the last treatment…I can give her another treatment.

But I know that different people say things in different ways so I asked for clarification.

“so you are saying we are NOT supposed to just give it her unless she needs it, right?”

The answer:  Yes.  That’s correct.  Only when she is actually wheezing.

Alrighty.  Got it.

So that’s what we’ve been doing.  All weekend.  Listen to the baby breathe.  Pray not to hear any more wheezing, but when it does come, we check the clock and give her more of the medication.  We are good parents, we are following doctor’s orders.

um…….turns out NOT.

I called today to get more of the albuterol, the medication for the wheezing and I mentioned that she had not used up all of what we were given but that she probably would by tomorrow.  The Nurse on the phone said, wait, why hasn’t she used it ALL?

um….because we were only doing it as needed.

This is where the nurse chewing on my ear things starts….

WHAT !!!!  You are supposed to do it every four to six hours like clockwork.  YOU can’t HEAR the wheezing with the “naked ear” you have to have a stethescope to hear it, so you have to give it to her all the time what on earth kind of parent are you? (ok she didn’t actually say that last part, but dang that’s how I FELT!)

So after about 15 minutes of her telling me over and over that I’d been administering this medication improperly all weekend (despite the fact that I had been on the phone both Friday night and Saturday night with the on-call nurses staff and doctor who NEVER ONCE had a problem with my “as needed” instructions) I now feel about a foot tall and worthless.

This is the first time Ginny has ever been sick and she is doing well.  She’s a real trooper.  Takes her meds just fine, hardly cries at all.  Martin and I are holding up well.  I got a very encouraging call from a friend in Houston whose first born son also went through this at about the same age and he survived.   The family has come together to pitch in and help and even Ginny’s godparents have pitched in by offering to pick up the prescription re-fill today while Martin and I  are at work.

But despite all this, I feel HORRIBLE.

Maybe it’s the teeth marks from that nurse chewing on my ear.

8 thoughts on “there’s a nurse chewing on my ear

  1. As a medical professional I can tell you that AS NEEDED means just that. However, what they probably meant to say on the prescription (if the nurse knows what she is talking about) is that you should use it every 4-6 hours. 4 hours if symptoms are worse (ie. wheezing) and 6 hours if she is doing OK. I would have taken it the same way you did (however, I do have an stethoscope at home and can listen 😉 You didn’t do anything wrong. You just followed instructions. Sometimes it’s that medical professionals need to be more clear and sometimes it that the nurse/MA, etc need to get off their high horse IMHO. Ginny is in our prayers.


  2. You didn’t do anything wrong. It is just a little bump in the road and Ginny will be none-the-worse for it. You are doing an excellent job taking care of her! She is lucky to have you as her mommy 🙂 I will keep praying that she recovers quickly!!


  3. Ah yes, this is one we have tossed and turned over too! Glad to know I’m not the only one! Finn is a big fan of the albuterol, well not exactly, but he has had 6 bouts of severe asthma over the last six months and it is a constant part of our lives. They just discoved the allergy/asthma reaction and had been diagnosing him each time with pnuemonia, the last time he spent 3 days in the hospital. Mike and i have totally struggled with these intructions and they have infact always said exactly what yours said, “every 4-6 hours as needed”. We finally had a doctor clear this up for us. When we use it the first time we then have to do it every 4-6 hours for 24 hours, after that we go to a”s needed”. However if we have to use it again we have to go round the clock for 24 hours. If we have to go 48 hours or have to do treatments more than every four hours it’s back to the ER we go! Let’s just say the nebulizer is a cconstant copanion and I’ll be glad when it isn’t!

    I too flet like a complete idiot, like I didn’t get what they were saying. I was glad for the computer print out of the “asthma plan”!

    I sure hope Ginny feels better soon. I know it’s hard on a momma to see her baby not feeling up to par! I’ll keep miss ginny in my prayers!


  4. Stop feeling guilty. I think that you actually did everything RIGHT.

    You listened to what the doctors and nurses said.

    You ASKED for clarification. Then you repeated what they said to make sure you heard them right.

    You CONTINUED to ask for direction when things did not progress like you thought they should.

    You put your concern for your daughter right where it was supposed to be, and you kept going back to the people who are trained in medicine for help.

    I know that the emotions of a parent with a child in any kind of distress are not rational (imagine that), but don’t let a snippy nurse make you feel inadequate because the communication skills of her coworkers apparently need a bit of work. After all, they are the experts in this. While you are responsible for doing your best to understand what they tell you, they have a much deeper responsibility to communicate their specialized knowledge effectively. They’ve spent years learning about this medication, while this is your first go round.

    Glad Ginny is improving. You guys take care.


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