We parents need to be actively involved in our kid’s lives, especially when it comes to their health.

William got sick over the weekend, and if it weren’t for my mom instincts he would have been diagnosed incorrectly and things could have been worse.

He woke up Sunday morning with a fat lip. We thought he might have knocked it on his crib railing. As the day continued, he seemed more upset than normal, but we thought he just needed some quiet time. He fell asleep with no problems and napped for three hours, which isn’t unusual for him.

Something within me told myself that I needed to check on my son. Normally, I listen to his breathing from the door and let him snooze as needed. But this day, I knew he needed me. I went into his room, turned on the light and saw that the entire left side of his face was swollen.

His swollen lip had now become a swollen face. Obviously, something wasn’t right. I rushed him down the stairs and told Brendan we needed to take Will to the doctor. Our doctor’s office wasn’t open, so I was prepared to go to the Walk-in Clinic. Brendan wanted to come too, so the four of us piled into the car and began to drive to the nearest clinic.

Again, mom instincts kicked into gear, and I felt like we needed to go to the hospital. Will was looking lethargic, pale, and cold. Something was terrifyingly wrong. We changed our route and instead landed in front of the emergency room. I ran Will inside, and the intake nurse told me he had a fever of 39. He had started shaking at this point, and I had flashbacks from last February when we were there for Will’s seizures. A trying moment for my sanity!

Fast forward five hours, and we finally saw that the doctor was coming to see us. I have to say, it wasn’t because of exhaustion from the wait and the stress, but I wasn’t impressed with the doctor. First, he thought the patient next to us was William and proceeded to jot down symptoms from this random man on Will’s chart! Second, he had no patience with us as we tried to answer his questions about Will’s symptom timeline. Third, he did a quick check over and determined Will had strep throat and prescribed him with antibiotics. Not penicillin.

The next day, Will’s symptoms were the same. Swollen face. Unhappy boy. So I took him to my family doctor. She looked him over carefully and diagnosed him with ear infections in both ears. She got out a chart to explain why his face swelled and how the tubes in his ears connect to the sinus tubes on his face.

Will’s swelling began to clear that night with the proper medication (antibiotics were correct, but he also needed an antihistamine).

I’m so thankful for my intuition after this experience. I trust doctors, but sometimes they are so rushed, especially in a crowded emergency room, that you have to trust your instincts, too.

caroline-headshots_04Caroline is mom to two beautiful boys, wife to a wonderfully-supportive husband, and the owner of a successful social media management and content writing business called Flourish Marketing.