I've been a mother for more than 3 years and I STILL don't know when to take my kids to the doctor.....
When my daughter was about 5 weeks old she got a cold (but I didn't know what it was). All I knew was the she had a slight fever (100), couldn't breath very well through her nose, and she was pretty sleepy all day. I ended up taking her into the doctor. Guess what he said? "She is just fine, mom is worrying a bit too much." Let me tell you.... I felt SO DUMB.
Since that time I haven't taken her to the doctor when she is sick except for on rare occasions. When my baby son was born a year ago both of them got a bout of something pretty nasty (but their fevers were not high). I ended up taking both of them in and my doctor said it was probably RSV, but that it wasn't too severe and that I was doing all the right things. Again.... another trip wasted.
My only REAL successful visit to the doctor was the time when at 6 months my daughter pulled her elbow out of socket and the doctor fixed it in a trice. But that was necessary, since I had no idea what was wrong with her.
Well a few weeks ago my son got a mysteriously high fever. It was 102! Which may not seem high to some, but the highest my ear thermometer has ever been is 101... and even THAT was rare. My kids just don't get high fevers. But 102 alarmed me a bit. At one point it was even verging on 103. But he had NO other symptoms. He was sleepy and grouchy, but he had no vomiting, no runny nose or cold symptoms, and nothing else to give me a clue as to what was wrong. I again asked myself.... when do I take my children to the doctor?
I didn't take him that day because Tylenol brought his fever down very quickly and as long as I kept on top of the Tylenol his fever hovered around 99-100 which in my mind is not hardly even a fever. After the first day we never saw his temperature rise about 101. And in a few days it was gone, plus no one else in the family got sick at all. I never took him to the doctor and I still wonder what was wrong with him - but he is just fine.
We also don't have very good insurance. So taking the kids to see the doctor is an expensive affair. Perhaps my unwillingness to take my kids in has something to do with the money. Not that I wouldn't spend HUNDREDS of dollars to see my kids well (come on, thousands even). But I hate to waste $100 when the doctor is just going to say, "oh, it looks like a cold." Or "oh, it is a flu, but there is nothing we can do for you."
In the past we have talked about how to get kids well or how to keep them from getting sick. But we've never addressed this topic that really worries me. WHEN DO YOU TAKE YOUR KIDS INTO THE DOCTOR?
I don't want to be negligent, but I also don't want to be rushing into the doctor's office at every sign of a sniffle and wasting time and money. I'd really like some help on this one.
I apologize for the length of this post, but I would appreciate any advice you have.