Do you have an appointment​?

Today I was scrolling through various news websites, catching up on what’s going on in the world when I came across an article titled “Worst case of Chickenpox”. As a parent, I find myself clicking on articles like this frequently. I feel I need to know about how bad these infections can be so that if it ever (touch wood) happened to Lily, then I would have some basic concept of what to do and how to help.

The child, age 2, was covered head to toe in chickenpox to the point where I thought it looked like meningitis. Reading on, it described how he had needed emergency treatment for the infection and was spending time in the hospital, something I never thought really happened for this. Reading on, though, I found one piece of the story that really annoyed me. It turns out that the mother had taken her child to the doctors a couple of days previously but was told that her reason did not warrant a visit to the GP…by the RECEPTIONIST!

I found my blood boiling and my mouth ranting at a computer screen. How is a receptionist qualified enough to state what is worth the doctor seeing or not? What medical training do they have? I the also started considering the opposite. As a parent, do I sometimes need to hear that?

I successfully managed to treat Lily’s conjunctivitis at home by just keeping it clean.


I’m sure there are countless times as a parent that I have rushed my child to the doctor for something that seems so life threatening at the time, but turns out to be absolutely nothing. When it comes to Lily’s health, I’ve always worked off the phrase “better safe than sorry”, but with our NHS stretched to breaking point, is this really a sensible, sustainable approach. Should I be trying to help Lily more at home with bed rest,liquids and so on when she is ill or seek the doctor’s advice? The only time I haven’t run to the doctor is when Lily contracted conjunctivitis. I remembered reading that there wasn’t really anything a doctor could do and that you should just keep the eyes clean which showed to work brilliantly.

It’s a subject which I have always debated with myself and other mums and we all seem to think that we should try and do more for our children before we rush to the doctor, but it is the panic and shock of seeing our children ill which shakes us. I’m sure for me, it’s this shock that sends me straight to the doctor, looking for definitive answers of what ahs caused the problem but most of all, how to cure it.



2 thoughts on “Do you have an appointment​?

  1. I think that parents should trust their instincts when it comes to taking their child to the doctors. I don’t think that they should think of the bigger picture of the NHS. I used to only take my children to the doctors when they were very ill but when my daughter seemed like she had a cold and it turned out to be pneumonia, it made me think otherwise. She had very few symptoms, with a Nurse Practicioner and a Junior Doctor at the hospital missing how serious the situation was.

    When my children have been ill, I have found that after getting through the receptionist (as you mention above), then the Nurse Practicioner, then finally pushing to see a doctor, (often after trying more than once over a series of months), we have been sent to the hospital to be told that the problem should have been dealt with immediately! Don’t get me wrong, I think the NHS is a wonderful thing and I think the majority of doctors we have met have been amazing, but the whole process is so difficult. You have to push and push to be heard. The Senior doctor at the hospital said that, (after looking at my daughter’s x-rays when she had pneumonia) it was an extremely serious case of pneumonia and if we’d have taken her home as was originally suggested, then we’d have been back in an ambulance with her within a few hours and the situation would have been dire.

    After our experiences, I would say that if you feel like your child needs a doctor, don’t worry about taking up the doctors’ time or NHS resources. I don’t think it is our problem to worry about, as it is a political one, with politicians wanting to privatise the NHS and other such issues. The needs of the child come first and if they need a doctor, the child should see a medical professional. Their health is most important, not any other bigger issues or feeling like you should do more at home. A five minute appointment if your instincts tell you something is wrong, could save hours of NHS time later.


    1. Very true. You do have to really push them for help and I struggle to get past the receptionist sometimes. I find it really hard to judge when I should and shouldn’t and have had plenty of occasions where I’ve felt silly for making a fuss.


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