After making the dash to the hospital closest to us, we were told that ZS's condition was too severe(chronic croup) and they do not have the right equipment to monitor his condition. We were told that after giving him the emergency aid to make his breathing back to normal a.k.a a course of 3 nebulisers, we will be referred to another bigger hospital (Sunway Medical Centre).
As I called to inform DH who had just returned home to be with the two older kids who were still sleeping at wee hours...the nurse suddenly told me that she found a doctor who would accept our case. After knowing which doctor it is and that it doesn't sound to be the Pediatric Specialist of that hospital, I did what most moms will do, I checked on reviews on this doctor and found many not-too-positive reviews and experience with him. But at that time, we have no choice but to get admitted first as we wanted to be closer to home to make it easier to take car of the older kids. But I confirmed with the staff in charge that if our Ped is back in Mom we can change back to her.
Plus, I also thought that since this doctor willing to take us in means he is confident on taking up the case and I should at least trust him and give him the benefit of doubts despite whatever negative stuff I have read about him briefly on the net. Note: I learnt from my Skynet experience previously to not be overly attached to what was written on social media and to give others the benefit of doubt hoping things might have improved and not as bad as it was described and also remind myself to learn to trust the doctor at least not before I meet him.
So, after being admitted around 6am(after his breathing was stabilized and he was locked in the room with the nurses and doctor who wrapped him with blanket to "poke" him and get him ready for drip without letting the mommy be with him the entire "crying" ordeal(not certain if this is the SOP of this or all hospital cos the previous two times of admission where I was also denied entry and kept locked outside the room while hearing my son screaming for me).
However, after 1 1/2hr around 7.30am, ZS complained that his fingers(with the drip needle was very painful). When I checked, one of the finger turned white while the rest were swollen. I called the nurses and they found ZS hand was swelling as well after removing the bandage. So they stopped the drip for a moment(to my relief), and waited for the doctor to come.
The resident doctor came by around 8.30am and immediately informed me the series of treatment, antibiotics and med that he's going to arrange for ZS and by showing me his blood test report. Next, he quickly again said he's going to redo the drip needle on ZS's left arm(the non-swollen hand). At that time ZS just managed to calm down slightly though was still in pain and crying badly after all the ordeal, as a mom I really pity my child and asked if can give him a bit of time to settle down first. The dr then said I don't have time as I need to rush back to my clinic. So no choice, ZS is again locked up in the room with the doctor and nurses for second round of being tied with blanket and poke to get him ready for drips. I requested to be in the room and promise that I won't disturb or speak. But again I was shoo-ed out of the room by the doctor even though the nurses initially allowed me to stay; the Dr said my presence will give him(the doctor) pressure.
So again, out of no choice I stood outside the room hearing my son crying badly for me and complaining it was painful. So sad, this is the thing I hated to admit him besides all the other force-fed med and nebulisers he have to go thru. Trust me, I will do anything, everything to avoid it at all cost!!!
Next, he began series of nebulisers(two types; one every 4 hours and another one every 6hours) and as it was so closed, ZS had to endure these round of nebulisers one after another ..11.30, he had one, 12.00, he had lunch and then again 12.30 they came with another one, which I pleaded to wait awhile as he just had his lunch and might vomit his food out anytime. So they do it for him at 1pm yet again it is another episodes of crying and pleading from ZS. He was practically konked after the ordeal that he slept after that ..too tired of screaming and crying. When I wanted to put the blanket over him as the room was quite cold(centralized air-Cond in an isolation ward as there wasn't any other single ward available then, ZS immediately push the blanket away terrified and obviously having phobia of being tied down by the blanket earlier. It was such a traumatizing experience for him. Twice...as the first one was done properly or the needle kinda moved and thus the drip solution didn't go right in but went to the outer later and made his hand swollen and ballooned.
So much things happened in a single day from 4am onwards, it felt like days in the hospital in day 1. So much med, drips, antibiotic etc that it felt like days. As I noticed ZS is back to his chirpy mood in the afternoon and no longer having loud seal barking sound when he breathe, I daringly asked the doctor when he came by near 10pm(obviously after his clinic closed), whether can reduce or when we can stop the nebulisers as he is really struggling with it. He then said it has to continue until he is discharged and this will take 5days as he found another bacteria -mycoplasma pneumoniea in ZS and this treatment will take at least 5 days though the whole antibiotic course will take 10 days. And the antibiotic he prescribed for him, what ZS term it as yucky med, it doesn't go well for ZS as well. Two nurses and me hold him down and try to feed him, it all came out and he vomited it all, I then asked the doc is there any other antibiotic we can try for him like those can put through drip, he said no though there's another one called Zithromax which is less effective he said and asked us to try it again. Again, we tried but ZS threw it all up on himself, me and on the nurses.
At that time i really give up, I checked with the nurses what is the procedure to change back to our former Ped who have seen ZS during the former two admission due to similar respiratory condition. But seems the nurses did not really came back to me with what and how I should proceed besides stating I have to check with the resident doctor. Not very sure with hospital and insurance procedure, I then asked again, does it means if the resident is not agree of changing doctor, I can't do it? Again, out of 4 Malay nurses I asked no one give me an exact answer and one even told me if only my own Ped agree to take us in.
The next morning, one of the Chinese lab staff came in take ZS blood sample. What she asked me then makes me even more uncomfortable and wanted to change doctor. She asked when we were admitted and hadn't ZS blood been tested once we have admitted. I said we had and the blood report was out. Then, she went on to asked me why then another round of blood test needs to be done? Which I have no clue myself, I then asked the staff what blood test is she doing this round? Which then I thought maybe he just wanna test if ZS potassium level had gone up as earlier he found his potassium level was a bit low. However, earlier when the dr asked the nurse whether ZS had any fever(which he added if he had, he needs to take a chest x-ray), as ZS doesn't have fever then, I said no need then, which the dr then said should still go for it else if the next day if he was having fever the report can be only known the following day. Sounds logical and correct, yet I don't wish to put ZS through any unnecessary exposure of X-ray unless absolutely required, I thus firmly added that since there is no fever I don't think it's necessary to do it now, if really needed we can do it later, which then the dr looking not-too-pleased and said ok up to you but it's better to do it.
I somehow couldn't help to feel whatever the reviews said about this dr that he would prescribed lots of unnecessary medication or even refer you to get admitted for very small issues..seems to have some truth in it. That makes me truly uncomfortable of letting ZS under his care more so after he seems to want to retain us for at least 5days even after I asked if we could continue the antibiotic course at home as how we did previously with our Ped.
Seems like not able to reach any agreement with the doctor, I again told the lab staff of my intention to change doctor and asked her if she knows the procedure to go about it after telling her what I feel uneasy about the dr and how I have checked with other nurses and doesn't seem to have any answers. She promised me to check and come back to me. She really did come back to me about 30 minutes later and told me exactly how to go about with it(very thankful to her as I felt the other nurses seems to take my plead and change doctor lightly and not taking much action on it). Then, around 8.15am the resident doctor came in looking not-very-pleased and gave me a long lecture. I have no chance to give my reason to change doctor and he kinda threatened me that other doctors in my area will no longer takes me including his colleagues in the hospital,
with what I did to him, etc and I am creating a trouble for myself and then continue to add he doesn't wanna argue with me when I tried to let him I know I wanna change to old Ped cos she is more familiar with my son's condition..I felt like I was the student being reprimanded by the discipline teacher. Am I wrong? Don't I have the right to change to the Ped we are comfortable with? Furthermore I have asked the nurse in emergency ward before we even get admired under this resident doctor that yes I can change to my Ped on Monday once she is back to work.
And he just zoomed out of our room furiously without even asking how my son was doing with the previous day treatment etc. He even added I don't earn much from this..you shouldn't change last minute after I am willing to take in your case and you are not being fair to me etc.
Honestly, I questioned myself am I really doing the wrong thing? But i seriously not comfortable with him and neither is ZS. The moment he stepped into ZS's room, he would clung tightly to me crying and trembling. The dr would not mellow down and be any gentler but just want on his business-as-usual attitude, truly lacking the touch of being a Ped, who should have been more caring towards young children. He was just being very as-the-matter-of-fact-like, I think parents out there would understand what I meant by this. The qualities of a children-friendly doctor, dentist or even cafe. It had that special human touch in it.
So after being threatened and made all guilty of changing doctor, plus worrying if really what he said came true that no other doctor will take me in..I texted my sis who has seen this resident doctor before. Trusting my mother's instinct and wanting no harm to my son, I told myself, what could be the worse came out of this- well at most we will discharged and ZS doesn't have difficulty breathing now even at night so I have nothing to worry about, not even to mentioned, touch wood, I don't even want to admit to this H ever again after these episodes, though I have no bad feelings towards our Ped and the caring nurses..but being turned away to refer to Sunway Medical Center does tell something about this Hospital which might not be well-equipped enough for some serious cases..and all the hassle to go through with the insurance and also transferring is enough to put me off. Plus this sort of resident doctor which they are still engaging despite so many bad reviews from other patients' mom..I do not know if they have lodge their formal complaint against this doctor in their feedback form but I would normally give mine whenever I go anywhere(training, hotel and yes even hospital..coming from a training and customer service background, I felt that feedback is very important for continuous improvement) whether good or bad.
To cut the story short, finally our Ped came by around 10.51am reassuringly going through the details of the blood report and medication given, saying that she will readjust the medication given as son is recovering well and doesn't need to take so much medication and many of those are given only to very severe cases. My gosh....imagine if we were to continue the next 5days with the former doctor..how much harm will it caused to ZS!!!
Very thankful that I was not successfully intimidated by what the resident doctor said nor did our Ped. She still came by to us like a sunshine and even addresses herself as "Aunty" when she tries to check ZS's throat for any redness and ZS pulled away... so down-to-earth and friendly doctor which is why I chose to stick to her and ZS wasn't intimidated by her and willingly cooperate.
Will share more later as ZS recuperate..time to get some rest myself...
Thanks for reading and sharing our experience together.