Parents can find it hard to cope when their child falls ill or begins displaying unusual symptoms. There’s nothing worse than waking up to a child who feels poorly and doesn’t want to get out of their bed. For most of us, that means a trip to the doctor’s immediately.
But, what happens when the doctor doesn’t help or have the answers you need? If your child continues to display symptoms they’re sick and your doctor isn’t taking you seriously because their tests show nothing is wrong, it can leave parents feeling frustrated and worried.
This is why it’s so important to learn how to advocate for your child when they’re ill. Learn how to be more confident, gather evidence of your child’s symptoms, and fight to get them the diagnosis and treatment that they so desperately need.
Believe Your Child
Every parent wants their child to grow healthy and strong. It’s the nature of being a parent. Our instinct is to nurture them and seek help when they’ve become sick. However, if your child’s symptoms don’t fit on a normal checklist, then that can present a challenge.
The hardest part about trying to advocate for a child who’s feeling ill is getting medical professionals to believe their symptoms. If you bring your child into the doctor and all their vitals are fine, and their symptoms aren’t serious enough to warrant extra testing, then you can be left feeling like it was a waste of time visiting the doctor.
The most important thing when advocating for your child is believing in them. If your child says their tummy hurts, but all the doctor’s tests come back fine and they claim that there’s nothing more they can do, then you need to reassure your child that you believe them and you’ll get to the bottom of the problem.
Find a different doctor if your regular pediatrician isn’t taking you seriously. Be confident about the need for more testing and don’t shy away from standing up for your child when their symptoms are called into question. As their parent, you are their most powerful advocate.
Record Their Symptoms
Unfortunately, there are a ton of invisible illnesses that can affect children. Some of these symptoms can be hard to notice in a single doctor’s visit, which is why you need to need to record their symptoms.
This means starting a journal where you detail every symptom as it appears or reappears. Note the date, time, what your child was just doing, what they’ve had to eat so far that day, and any other relevant information that might help get to the bottom of their situation.
You’ll be better able to advocate for your child if you have a comprehensive list of their symptoms and a record of when they’ve occurred. Keep a record of each of their doctor’s appointments as well. Note which doctor you’ve spoken to, the date and time, what tests were run, and what conclusions the doctor has come to.
Medical records that professionals keep are important, but your personal records are even more important. It will help create a fuller picture of what your child is experiencing, the tests that have been run, and treatments that have been tried.
This can prevent repeated testing later down the road that would be a waste of time, or having to attempt treatments that you’ve already been through in the past. Don’t be afraid to pull out your notebook in the middle of an appointment to take notes and educate the doctor on what’s been happening with your child.
Get Legal Advice
No one wants to be that parent. You don’t want to have to threaten to call your lawyer just to get your child the help they need, but sometimes it’s necessary and there are plenty of lawyers out there who are willing to help advocate for your child.
If you feel that your child has experienced physical or mental trauma due to unnecessary medical testing or procedures, then it might be in your best interest to contact a medical malpractice lawyer. They’ll have a deep understanding of the medical and legal systems, and can better understand how to get your child the help they need, as well as fighting to get you compensation for what you’ve already been through.
Getting a lawyer on your side may not please the medical professionals that you’re working with, but it will help them take your child’s symptoms more seriously and work toward getting them the help that they need.
Dealing with a child who’s ill is not a pleasant experience. Between trying to keep track of their symptoms and running from one doctor’s appointment to another, parents have a lot to deal with. You are your child’s most powerful advocate, and it’s important to remember that is your role at every single doctor’s appointment and medical consultation. Don’t stop fighting to get your child the help that they need.