On Sinus Infections and Asking the Right Questions

Written by dad - 4 Comments

This past weekend our five year old was feeling under the weather. He’d actually had a cold for awhile, and was starting to run a fever. Thus, we were worried that he might have yet another ear infection. So we asked the obvious… “Do your ears hurt?” Nope, they were fine. Later in the day he was still pretty out of sorts, so we asked again. Same answer. Then I decided to rephrase the question…

“Which ear hurts the most?” I asked, hoping to catch him off guard and get an honest answer.

“Well, this one feels fine,” he said, while pointing to his left ear. “But this one hurts a little bit,” he went on, while pointing to his right ear. Lesson learned. It’s all about asking the right questions.

We know the symptoms all too well. A lengthy cold followed by ear pain means a trip to the pediatrician. Again. But as it turns out, we were wrong (this time). He didn’t have an ear infection. He had a sinus infection. So it was off to the pharmacy for some antibiotics. Again. This time we got a big bottle of amoxicillin. While it took a day or two for him to start feeling better, he’s now back to his old self. Now we just have to hope that he didn’t pick up something else while visiting the pediatrician. After all, every kid in the doctor’s office late on a Saturday afternoon is sicker than a dog.

Published on February 22nd, 2006 - 4 Comments
Filed under: Health
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Comments (scroll down to add your own):

  1. Lessons like these will be useful to me, as I have my first child due in about 5.5 months.

    I always had trouble figuring out whether I wanted to be sick or not. If I was sick, I didn’t have to go to school, but if it was a long-term illness (two days or more), I had to go to the doctor, which meant two boring hours of sitting around watching people who’d gotten there AFTER me go in to see the doctor BEFORE me. I usually brought a book — and finished it in less than half an hour. We were always early, too, to see if we could beat the system. Never happened.

    I once spent 90 minutes at the pediatrician’s office, plus 40 minutes round-trip travel, just to get my ear rechecked after overcoming an ear infection. I saw a nurse for three minutes and a doctor for five. I actually timed it. Then I wrote a letter to the doctor and the entire group (there were about 15 doctors working out of five offices) saying how ridiculous it all was.

    They teased me about it. I was not taken seriously. And this was in the days before insurance really started jerking us around (I think it was 1990, just on the cusp of that era). If anything made me dislike going to the doctor, it wasn’t shots or uncomfortable questions or pressure to lose weight. It was that.

    Comment by Josh Cohen — Mar 1st 2006 @ 9:08 am

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