Before we went away, I blogged about Zac’s skin infections. He had a nasty one on his thigh, one in his ear and then one in his finger nail bed. All required anti-biotics. The ear one burst without ‘assistance’ but the leg and finger nail required some ‘home surgery’ by my husband under the advice of the nurse and with the help of the sterile needles she supplied! Nasty.
There is still quite a livid mark on his thigh nearly six weeks later. The finger nail eventually fell off and a new one is growing. But while these were busy healing Zac was bitten on the back of his other leg. This was during the final week of term at school. Very quickly the bite ‘changed’ and went out of control. I can now recognise the signs and went marching back to the doctors for more anti-biotics and that is where it all went a bit wrong.
We needed an emergency appointment. With emergencies you have to see whoever is available and my heart sank when they told me that the doctor who could fit us in was the doctor who missed his first infection last year – the one that turned into a huge abscess. I suspect he was available because he is so useless no-one books him again after seeing him once. Anyway, I will have to tread carefully here now, as I am going to be very critical and don’t want to accidentally get in to trouble, so I won’t mention names.
So I accepted the appointment, knowing that I would not be fobbed off this time and as Zac had been in the week before for a second bottle of anti-biotics for the finger infection, the doctor could not possibly deny him more. This time he agreed that it was indeed infected and did need anti-biotics. I asked him if he thought it was in anyway connected to all the other infections he has had lately. I mentioned his suspected histamine intolerance and without looking at me, he said ‘I doubt it, it is just bad luck, there is a lot of it about these days’. I left open mouthed! Stock response, from a clearly patient weary doctor who couldn’t even be bothered to read Zac’s notes. But I got what I had come for. More medicine.
Zac took his first dose that evening and went to bed a happy boy. He had some the next morning too and then I had to send him off to pre-school. He had to have another dose at lunchtime and then one at the end of the day. Zac was in Care Club that evening, so was given the dose towards the end of the day. About half an hour before I finished work and was due to pick them up I got a phone call. As soon as I saw the number, I knew something must be wrong.
The pre-school carer was calling to tell me that Zac was screaming in pain with a stomach ache. It came on about half an hour after the latest dose of medicine. In a short space of time he had gone from being happy Zac to crying and crying and was bent double. The pre-school and Care Club staff know Zac well and are very careful to manage his condition. They are very fond of him and often tell me how much they admire him for being so brave and so mature about it all. I could sense the distress in the carers voice. I went to collect him straight away. He was inconsolable and all of the staff looked very worried and slightly emotional.
I carried him to the car and asked if he need to be sick. I produced a bag and he filled it! I think he had been hanging on, because as soon as I produced it, he let go. He is quite a shy boy and I think he would have been so embarrassed to be sick in school. So I called the doctors surgery and said I was bringing him in. I was concerned that the series of infection after infection had ‘poisoned’ him. I was also worried that three weeks of anti-biotics could be behind it. We drove straight to the surgery and I wasn’t going to leave until I saw someone. I was so anxious I might have to go to hospital but as our local hospital no longer accepts A&E children because they shut the ward we would have had to travel a lot further – nice one NHS/government!!!!!!!!
This time we were lucky to see a very lovely lady doctor who we had never met before. She looked concerned – he was green! Could hardly walk from the pain in his stomach and the huge bite on the back of his leg. She looked at his notes and said she suspected the anti-biotics caused it as he was given a double dose this time. I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach at that point. How could that other GP just double the dose and not tell me. Everyone knows anti-biotics are notoriously tough on the gut, and this is a little boy who has gut issues anyway. Why would you do that when he had already had several courses of a medicine that the second GP admitted was one of the worst for upsetting tummies! I felt sick at that point. I made the poor little boy take the medicine and he had been suffering as a result.
I didn’t complain to this GP. I just noted it all down and asked her very careful questions. Doctors always stick together and it would not have got me anywhere. So I tried to focus on what next. Do we give his gut a rest and risk the leg infection getting worse and making him ill or try a different medicine. She gave me her advice but the ultimate choice. We both agreed that some anti-biotic cream for the wound site and a night off the medicine would be best. She told me to come back in 24 hours and booked our appointment on the spot. I felt so relieved. It was at this point she started talking to Zac about her little boy etc. He was the same age. I bet she was imagining being in our shoes. That’s all we need some days. Some empathy. Not something that can be taught I guess. In my opinion GP’s need more than just medical training.
I am happy to report that the leg got no worse overnight. Zac was definitely feeling better. So we were feeling a lot happier when we saw her the following evening. She said she thought we should stay off the anti-biotics and give his body a rest and a chance to fight by itself. She also gave us another prescription for the anti-biotic. I mentioned we were going to Spain and I was anxious about more bites and infections, so she gave us ‘cream to go’ and advised us to see a pharmacist out there if anything flared up, as they have lots of anti-biotic stuff available over the counter out there. Reassuring.
Whilst in Spain the leg infection did try and make a comeback. I guess it was because we had not completed the course that he really needed. If the stupid first GP had just given him the normal dose, it would have been fine. He could have completed the course and got rid of the infection completely. Thankfully, I spotted the ‘change’ as soon as it happened and got the cream on it straight away. I am also an old fashioned girl and believe that the splashing around in the salty waters of the Med probably helped a bit too! It soon calmed down and didn’t bother him again. Phew.
So what next – as soon as I finish unpacking I am putting together a letter with my series of complaints against the first GP and woe betide him if he crosses my path anytime soon. I am still rather cross – understatement!!!!!!!!!!!