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But I don’t ask for antibiotics…

September 18th, 2003 · No Comments

Saw this article today Moms: Stop asking for antibiotics , an educational ad campaign to convince parents to not demand drug presciptions for their children’s illnesses, and thought I’d blog a little about it – then saw my friend Enoch’s medmusings regarding this same piece of news.

Actually I don’t ask for antibiotics. I was blessed (?) perhaps during our time in San Jose, when our first child was born, with a pediatrician who refused to prescribe antibiotics unless the child had been sick for 21 days. I think he didn’t even want to see the child until three weeks had passed – or at least the staff would offer as many suggestions over the phone as possible to help put off a visit. He trained me well. So I got used to managing illness in my baby, even with mild to medium range fevers, for 3 weeks, without requesting antibiotics. Abigail would seem to get sick, thick yucky runny nose, misery, fever and all, for 21 days, and then it would go away on day 22. It was frustrating for me, especially as a first time mom – and also when my other friends were getting prescriptions – and a bit scary and tiring, but I did agree with my doctor. My education and training in microbiology led me to follow his opinion. I don’t want to give my child antibiotics unless I absolutely have to do so. To me, with medicine, less is more.

And so far, we have 3 children, who have been alive a sum total of 9 years: I think we have only used antibiotics maybe 3 times – all of them for Michaela, our middle child, who is prone to ear infections. She seems to get one about once a year. Abigail, the oldest, at 5 has yet to have an ear infection or use antibiotics at all- although she is susceptible to warts and nosebleeds. Elisabeth the baby has not really been sick – although I am prepared, since the first winter after weaning is always the worst one for illness, I’ve found in my experience so far.

Coming from my perspective, as a mom who will wait up to three weeks before going to the doctor, a mom who doesn’t ask for antibiotics, I was interested to read a physician’s perspective, to understand the pressures they face. Enoch mentions that requesting antibiotics is also an issue with adults: I can imagine.

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