Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Horrible experience as a mom

So, my baby girl, Zara Sofea just turned one month old last week. We were very excited on that day, taking her pictures and video. My husband took half-day off because Zara needed her second vaccine. Everything was fine that day and Zara was just being herself drinking and 'melekat' with her mommy. After we got her vaccinated, we went home and everything started to change. She started to become very fussy, cried when I put her down and my biggest worry of all, she vomited after each feeding. I mean, she always spit up milk but not really vomiting. She vomited the same amount of milk that she drank and this worried me because she might not retain any fluid. We thought oh it must be how her body reacted to the vaccine or to the mee goreng I had that morning according to Kak Mah (our helper). -.-'

After 3 days, her condition was still the same. She vomited everytime I breastfed her but she pooped and wet her diapers regularly. So as a mother and a doctor I had a list of differential diagnosis at the back of my mind. From where I graduated (Ireland), a baby at this age presented with this kinda symptom, I would think pyloric stenosis even though she did not have projectile vomiting. I told my husband about it but you know daddy always think there is nothing wrong with her precious daughter (my husband is soooo into being a daddy now and he loves Zara more than me, it hurts. He calls her sayang which he used to call me   that, you know).  After one crying session (i was the one who cried not zara), he decided to bring Zara to see our GP. Then the nightmare started. Our GP worried that Zara has pyloric stenosis too. Hurmm how to say this ah? I mean yes, PS is one of my differential diagnosis for my Zara too but I did not expect our GP would think she has it since PS is more common in boys, first born son and Caucasian. Based on the epidemiology, it doesn't fit with Zara but yeah anything can happen, right? So our GP wrote a referral letter and ask us to bring Zara to A&E. We went to a government hospital which cannot be named here and it was a huge mistake. We waited for hours just to see a MO but I could not complain much since I knew the system here. Then the MO asked us to get an abdominal xray done for Zara. Oh by the way when he saw 'pyloric stenosis' on the referral letter, he kinda excited. I think because it is rare in Malaysia. I asked him why should we get an Xray because it is not a diagnostic to diagnose or rule out PS. He said he wants to rule out other things. Fair enough. Then we got the abd xray and it was a totally textbook-normal -baby abdominal xray, I swear to God but he thought the stomach was a bit dilated on the film. I did not want to argue since he is the medical officer and I am just a hospital officer yang baru nak start kerja. He also said Zara had projectile vomiting. I mean.. yeah she did vomit a lot but they were not projectile. I had seen projectile vomiting before  but again, he has more experience. He said he would call paed team to review my baby Zara. While waiting, he inserted IV line into Zara's tiny vein on her hand and that was the moment I breakdown. I cried like hell when I saw two doctors tried to pin Zara down on the bed and inserted the IV line. She cried like she never did before and I swear to God I will not let her cry like that again. Her face turned red as if she was in agony. And you know what the two MOs did while inserting the line? They talked about how awesome this case would be for their presentation next week. I dont know...but I found it soooo rude. As a person in medical line, I think it was so unethical because you should not treat a patient as a case but as a human. Yes, i do understand sometimes we get excited if we see rare cases in the hospital but no matter how rare the diagnosis is, it is still a bad news for the patient.  
Anyway, he sent us to this one room where there were 2 dengue patients, 2 gastroenteritis toddlers, and guess what, there was one measles patient. Yes, they put my one old month baby in the same room with a measles patient! I could not hold myself and ran to get the MO and bag him to not put my Zara who has not got her MMR vaccines yet with the measles patient (oh mak budak tu antivax!!!). All he said was, 'Eh mana boleh. Kena jugak duduk dalam bilik tu for rehydration.' I took my own initiative to hold the rehydration which I think it was unnecessary since Zara did not show any dehydration signs pun but yeah i did not have the power to say that. We went to wait into another room and finally we met the paed team. They said it could be anything and again I asked for ultrasound to be done since I really wanted to rule out PS (because ultrasound, food test and barium enema are more diagnostic for PS) but they said they dont have the speciality here. I need to see paed surgeon in othet gov hosp. They said they will review the xray again and update us later. When they said later, they meant 4 hours after that. Zara cried for one hour because she was so hungry and I was not allowed to breastfeed her. She then slept in my arm sebab penat menangis. It really broke my heart. After 4 hours they said they wanted to admit Zara for monitoring. That time me and my husband already lost our patience.  We had enough. Actually i lost mine earlier (with the measles patient situation). We decided to take our own risk and discharged Zara from that hospital. After making a call to Zara's paed in Columbia Hospital, I was informed that that there is one paed surgeon at SJMC. I called SJMC and they said they can get us to see the surgeon straight away if we want. So we 'ran off' from the hospital. I dont know what had got us that day when we decided to go to that hospital which cannot be named here. I mean we have our own paed that we love, we should have gone to see her. It was a huge mistake. Huge! Maybe it was my mistake too to put high expectation on that hospital.
Anyway, after meeting 3 specialist including a radiologist, Zara has been diagnosed with reflux. I mean, almost all babies have reflux and it will disappear as they grow up. Alhamdulillah she is totally normal.  I totally get now why mothers would go extra miles for their babies. Watching your baby cries in pain is the worst thing ever and like my mom told me, 'haaa tu la baru tahu perasaan mak-mak ni.'   -.-'