A Mother's Intuition by The Down Syndrome Express

A mother’s intuition is pretty valuable. With my first four children, I learned more about listening to myself as I experienced all kinds of different situations with the kids. When my little guy was born, I had to learn anew the importance of listening to intuition, but this time, with the added complications that Down syndrome brought to the table.

When he was diagnosed with an ear infection at six months, I did what I had done for my older children, who had almost no ear infections. I treated his infection homeopathically. However, even though I had heard that children with DS have small Eustachian tubes, I didn’t really see how that might impact my choice. Well, when I went back for the re-check, the infection was not gone, and the doctor geared up to order a stronger antibiotic. I told her I had not given the antibiotic she first prescribed. She asked me why I had come to her in the first place if I wasn’t going to do what she recommended. I told her honestly that I just wanted to know if he had an ear infection. But, since my homeopathic treatment had not worked, I was completely willing to give him the antibiotic. The infection cleared up, but we did eventually go the “tubes” route as he was having trouble with fluid in his ears, and I was easily convinced that his speech and language development might be significantly impacted if he could not hear clearly. The tubes were an excellent choice, looking back and seeing how his ears have been since that time.

More recently, one of my older children got a bad cold, and although my little one fought it off for quite awhile, it wasn’t too long before he woke me up with that croupy cough. We have an arrangement whereby anytime croup crops up, we administer oral steroids and take him to the doctor the next day to make sure his breathing is ok. I chose not to take him this time, after faithfully driving him the 17 miles to the office the other 4 times he has had croup, only to be told that his breathing was fine. So now it was the weekend and he didn’t seem to be getting over it as normal. By Sunday night, I knew he needed to be seen by the doc, so I took him in on Monday morning. Turns out he had pneumonia. Even while I was second-guessing myself for not bringing him to the doctor on Friday, my gracious doctor said, “You should always trust your gut. If you had brought him in on Friday, this probably wouldn’t have even shown up.”

I don’t always make the right decisions. There have been some things I’ve missed with my kids at different times, but I’m sure there is something to be said for that certainty that comes sometimes when I am trying to decide how best to address a situation.

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