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It's been a while since I last truly felt mother's guilt - this evening has certainly made up for it.

Last Tuesday Satine came home from school regaling me with a story of how her foot got jammed in a door at school during the end of day stampede.  I asked if she was okay and she replied: "It's a bt sore, but I think it will be okay".  So off we went to her dance classes - first jazz, then tap and finally hip hop.

I didn't think about it again until Thursday after school when Satine mentioned that her foot was still hurting form Tuesday.  We had a look, it was slightly bruised but no major swelling and she was able to walk on it okay.  So we decided it was just bruised and that she will be okay in a few days' time.

Then on Friday after school she was once again complaining that it was hurting and reluctant to go dancing.  We agreed that she should go along, but that we would let her teacher know that she had hurt her foot earlier in the week and that she would stop as soon as she felt pain. 

Satine has always had a high pain threshhold - to the point of not even complaining about inflamed tonsils or a broken finger.  So when she was once again complaining of being in pain after her lyrical class, I suggested that if she was still hurting in the morning, then her father could take her to the medical centre to get it checked out.

Bad idea.

VERY bad idea.

I should have taken her myself.  But it was my weekend off parental duties and I figured, how difficult a task could it possibly be?

Oh how wrong I was!!

Satine was texting me from the medical centre with regular updates - long waiting periods to see a nurse, then a doctor, then off to x-rays, then waiting once more to see the doctor again.  The final diagnosis?  There's nothing wrong.  Just some minor bruising.  They put a pressure bandage on her and sent her on her merry way.

But when she returned home on Sunday she said her foot was hurting.  So I told her that it's understandable given that she jammed it in a door and that it will take a little time for it to heal. 

Then next day she returned home from school incredibly upset - complaining of her foot hurting - and it didn't take long for the tears to start flowing.  I asked her to tell me once again what the doctor had told her.  Both she and her father said that the doctor saw nothing on the x-ray and they hadn't discussed how long it would take for her foot to feel better, what pain killers she could take in the meantime, how long to wear the bandage for, and whether or not she should be using her foot as normal.  Feeling incredibly frustrated with the lack of information and with an inconsolable child, I phoned the medical centre and asked to speak to one of the nurses.  She wasn't able to gleam any more from the notes than what Satine and her father had told me and recommended that I bring her back in.waiting to see the doctor

So off we the went to the medical centre.

Just to explain, we are enrolled in a fairly large medical centre where there are a number of GPs in practice.  Because I have medical conditions that require regular monitoring, I see the same GP each time.  But you can never book a same-day appointment with him - so he's really not available for 'emergiencies'.  The great thing about our medical cenre is that whilst they have GPs consulting 'booked' appointments, they also have a 'walk-in clinic' whereby anyone can just rock on up to reception, take a number in the queue, and be seen by a doctor.  (Well, first a nurse, but then eventually a doctor.)

This is how Satine first came to be seen on Saturday - by one of the doctors on the walk-in clinic - and given the lateness of the day, we once again joined the emergency queue. 

The nurse reassured me that I did the right thing to bring her back - going as far as to say that it happens all the time when mothers can't get the full story when the father has brought the child in to see the doctor.

So we finally get in to see the doctor - some random man I'd never seen before - and certainly not the same doctor Satine had seen two days earlier.  He completely ignores Satine and starts asking me about what happened to her foot.  I turned to Satine and told her to explain.  The doctor then talks over the top of her and says to me: "I don't have time to listen to the child - we have a waiting room full of patients."

EXCUSE ME?!?!?  Since when is a child NOT a patient??

He apologised, but still failed to exhibit any real respect or patience towards Satine.

He took a look at the x-rays and said they were clear.  But then added that they appear to have x-rayed the wrong part of her foot!waiting for the second set of x-rays

WTF?!?

So back for more x-rays... then back to the waiting room... before seeing the grumpy old fart of a doctor again...

The diagnosis?  No visible fractures so most likely a sprain.  He prescribed ibuprofen for the pain and suggested Satine try 2-3 weeks of physio.  He came across as seriously dubious as to the benefits of physio adding: "Don't keep going if it doesn't appear to be helping.  If she isn't better within 3 weeks come back and we'll send her for an MRI as hairline fractures don't always show up on x-rays."

So here I sit, feeling guilty for not having taken my child to the doctor in the first place - which resulted in mixed communication and possibly an incorrect diagnosis - but also relieved that we've been given further assurance that there's no fractures and now have a treatment plan to work through.

 

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