Sick days are hard.I’m on a tough couple of rotations coming up – I have 2 weeks of 24 hour shifts of my own, a week of nights, and another 2 weeks of 24 hour shifts I picked up for another resident’s maternity leave, not to mention some 12 hour shifts in between all that. Future Kicks is going to be happy – less 24 hour shifts for next year – but presently I’m looking at the upcoming calendar and thinking….blegh. We’ve been pretty lucky when it comes to Baby’s health though. We’ve walked through the day care door for the past 4 months despite the warning signs of RSV, pneumonia, and strep and come out with multiple runny noses but nothing else. Yesterday he was a bit crabby but hadn’t slept much and was. not. having. the peas we were trying to introduce. I thought he had a booger in his eye, but didn’t think much of it as he pretty much has boogers everywhere all the time. However, this morning one of his eyes was matted shut and it took multiple wipes to get the goo off. Was it pink? I thought so, but the lighting in our house isn’t great so I couldn’t be sure. I just kept staring at him for a few minutes trying to decide. It definitely wasn’t clear cut pinkeye but I wasn’t sure. I took a minute to evaluate the week’s schedule. It was about 6:15. I had a meeting at 7:30 with my PD, I was the walk in clinic resident this AM, and I had block ed this afternoon. Nothing that couldn’t be rescheduled or easy to fill. Tomorrow and the next day were 12 hour shifts at the hospital that could be much harder to fill and impossible to leave mid-shift. I knew I had two options and I had to make the choice quick. 1) Take him to daycare and roll the dice that it wouldn’t get more pink. 2) Call in sick today even though it was a soft call on pink eye with the hope of nipping it in the bud today and having a doctor’s note to return to daycare tomorrow I opted for #2 because it’s much more difficult to leave mid-clinic shift than to not go in at all. Took him in right away this AM. Of course under the bright lights of the office, those eyes looked clean and white. The FP there recommended I stay home with him today and gave me a note saying safe to go back to daycare tomorrow. Now I’m home. I feel really guilty about calling into work, but trying not to. The meeting will be easy to reschedule, it’s generally easy to fill walk in clinic, and the only one who loses if I miss out on block education is me. I still think I made the right choice and I am going to finish out the day at home (doctor’s orders as above :)) I’m reflecting today on how utterly hopeless it is to try and schedule a sick day. I also feel somewhat stupid for bringing him in to clinic. After all, I am a family doctor who diagnoses pink eye in kids all the time. As soon as I brought him in, I knew that his eyes would be clean. I remember looking at him on the table early this morning thinking “I am a mother-effing doctor. How am I not able to tell if it’s pink eye or not?”. I’ve read about the fallacies of trying to diagnose your own kid and the scary stories of doctor parents never bringing their kids in, so I’m probably overcompensating the other way. How do you guys feel about bringing your kiddos into the doctor? Do you think you do it too much or not enough? In the end – I’m going to enjoy our day off together, put the guilt aside, and rejoice that it’s not pinkeye (yet).
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