Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Baby's 1st prescription medication

And it's for (drum roll.... ) conjunctivitis. Yes, Tristan still has it :( It was a bit of a tough call since we don't know for sure that it is a bacterial infection and his condition is not getting worst. It's either the same or very slowly getting better. Either way, I have to do something to speed things up. It's just ridiculous how many days he has missed daycare because of it.

I hear that daycares are really scared about anything to do with sickness from the eyes. Our doctor tells me that viral conjunctivitis is no more contagious than say the common cold with sneezing and coughing. Bacterial conjunctivitis is even less contagious since you would need to be in direct contact to spread it. Last Friday, one of the staff members at our daycare said that if Tristan was on antibiotics, then he could still come to daycare. I told our doctor this and she says that antibiotics will not make him any less contagious. Hopefully, they do get better on the antibiotics but they will still be contagious.

I can understand that you should keep sick kids at home but I have learned that it is just not always practical to do so if you need to work. As a result, many kids still go to daycare with a runny nose and cough. If a child has a cold for 2 weeks, keeping them at home for the first few days is a must but then as they recover, they still go to daycare. I know they do and that is how other kids get sick too. The problem is that there is not enough support and help for working parents with small children. If say your child gets sick once a month and then you need to keep them home two days, that equates to 24 days in a year. Most people who do not have the benefits cannot take that much unpaid leave from work to care for their child. The solution? Hire an on-call nanny if you can find one? Don't work full-time? In an ideal world, we would all leave our children at home until they were all better and then the sick rate at daycare would probably go down. Wouldn't that be nice!

After giving Tristan a chance to heal himself at home 3-4 days per eye without any treatment, I took him back to the doctor's for a consultation yesterday. The doctor seemed really knowledgeable about conjunctivitis. She says that since Tristan's eye does not appear pink, the infection is not on the eyeball itself. His infection is on the lining of the eyelid. When she looked underneath the eyelid, they were indeed red. At this point, it could be viral, bacterial, or likely both kinds of conjunctivitis. The only way of really knowing is to test it. We took a swab and sent it to the lab yesterday. Unfortunately, the lab results won't be ready until next week. The information will only feed our curious minds because I need Tristan to heal before then. I hate medicine and will only take it if absolutely necessary. The doctor said that we can give Tristan antibiotics to start and if the lab results are negative, discontinue giving it. Or we could just hold off and see if things will improve without anything. It's not uncommon for it to take this long to heal. Anyway, I held off for 24 hours and finally took the plunge today and filled the prescription she gave me. Damn it. If it's not bacterial at all, then the antibiotics will have no effect. It's just unfortunate we have to put antibiotics in his system to diagnose it.

It looks like Tristan will be home with me all week. That would mean he will have missed 6 days of daycare just for an eye infection. Does anyone else think this is silly? It's also crazy how this all panned out. If you go see a doctor about conjunctivitis or pink eye, they will all tell you to wait 3-4 days and if it doesn't get better by then, come back. But the way it works is that you will discover it in one eye first, then it will spread to the other eye (2 days after for us), then you need to wait 3-4 days for the last eye, then you see the doctor and if you get antibiotics, then it will take at least another day for you to see improvement. To be safe, you should then keep your child home for 48 hours after giving the antibiotics. And there you have it, you need to stay home from work for a week! For an eye infection! If you want to wait for the lab results before giving the antibiotics, then that could be a week and a half or more. For an eye infection!

No, I'm not that annoyed that I am missing a lot of work this week. I am kind of annoyed that I have had to keep him home so many days from daycare due to illness since he started in January though. I think the count is at 9 or 10 days so far. 2 or 3 colds, plus an eye infection. By the way, besides the eye infection, he is perfectly fine. No other symptoms of anything. He is as big of a little monkey as always. Just look at him!

The past couple of months has made me realize what a health hazard daycare really is to Tristan. I need to be here for him more than ever so I am going to give up looking for any new job. Once the sick rate goes down in the summer, I may start up my job search again. Sadly, that's just the reality of it for me (and for us) :(


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