Monday, August 24, 2009

Dear Substitute Pediatrician

Thank you for filling in for our regular pediatrician. I'm sure it was a busy day. Your nurse mentioned K's environmental and dairy allergies right away, so I know they are clearly marked in her file.

And yet.

It wasn't till we got home and I was looking for the instructions for the inhaler you gave* K. for her cough that I saw this on the box:

"The ASMANEX TWISTHALER 220 mcg product is a cap-activated inhalation-driven multi-dose dry powder inhaler containing mometasone furoate and anhydrous lactose (which contains milk proteins)."

Needless to say, I'll be talking to our regular pediatrician today.

I have no words, except to quote Governor Menelaus "Pass the biscuits, Pappy" O'Daniel, "Weeping Jesus on the cross!"

*Attention Health Care Providers: Patients really, really hate it when you question the decision of another doctor in your own practice, ie., "Huh. I wonder why he prescribed that inhaler. This one will work MUCH better." Etc. Perhaps he prescribed it because it WON'T KILL THE PATIENT, eh?


  1. EXACT same thing happened to us!!!!! I was so frustrated, mad, etc. etc.

    When you call - they will tell you it is safe. And I know several people whose kids are anaphylatic to milk and take it with no problem. My Dr. went into all the chemistry and ways it is not absorbed into the body, etc.

    It goes against every natural instinct to give it to them so I didn't. They wanted her to take it everyday for months and I did not think she needed meds everyday for it. And luckily, her cough cleared up that day! And we have not needed it.

    Good luck. Please post what YOUR allergist says. I'll be interested.

  2. I am horrified. Just horrified......

  3. I get goosebumps reading your blog way too often!!! ahh!

    I've been following you for about a year and I just have to say that I am so so so happy for K's sake that you are such a devoted, attentive mother. We've all witnessed at least a dozen times how YOUR motherly insticts have saved your daughter, b/c those around her have not taken her allergy seriously.

    You're like a super hero lioness mama, really!

  4. This is just so scary. Allergies noted in the file, obviously, AND the nurse mentioned it as well and still you go home with something so SO wrong. I can't wait to hear what the doctor says when you call.

  5. It's unfortunate how so many doctors don't take allergies seriously.

  6. I am horrified as well. My almost 1-year old was prescribed zyrtec, and I remembered a post on food allergy assistant's blog regarding milk in their meds. After checking, my daughter is on the syrup and it is okay, but I thought I would mention it to our regular ped (not the allergist). She had no idea milk product (lactose monohydrate) was in the Zyrtec tablets. I understand they can't remember everything, but you are talking about possible life and death information. That's why you have to be your own (and your kids) medical advocate, and you do a great job!
    BTW, my verification word is cough!

  7. this is crazy.

    thank goodness you're so vigilant. it has to be exhausting though.

  8. I need that inhaler myself now: I seem to be having trouble breathing.

    Also, commenting on the part about how people hate it when substitute doctors question the regular doctor, an OB doing rounds after William was born said in a panicky voice while looking at my file, "Why did he do the c-section at THIRTY-EIGHT WEEKS???" It's been more than 8 years, and I still HATE HIM for making me feel like a TERRIBLE ERROR HAD BEEN MADE (and it HADN'T: the doctor just didn't know all the details. Huh. How odd, since he WASN'T MY USUAL DOCTOR. And even if an error HAD been made, what was he going to do? Put the baby back in?).

  9. *slaps self in head*
    "Are you REALLY allergic to latex?" asked a ticked-off doctor recently, grumbling about having to find a non-latex medical thingy SO I WOULD NOT DIE. No, I'm just PRETENDING.

  10. Yikes and an inhaler no less! I am so sorry to hear this, I am thankful you are very aware of these allergies and read labels! We are very conscious of ordering our vaccines without mercury so we buy them single dosage. We were told time and time again by nurses that there is no mercury in any of the vaccines at their office so I asked to read the labels and there it was written in fine print and both Dr. and Nurse had some excuse well there is not THAT much in it! What?? Hello! It is a shame this stuff goes on all the time and many people do not question it because we figure the Dr. knows and how dare we question things..

  11. We have a peanut allergic child who has mild asthma and there is an emergency inhaler out there w/ peanut product in it - I find it terrible that EITHER product would be in an inhaler, especially as food allergies and asthma seem to coincide so often.

    Glad everyone is okay!

  12. ACK! So glad that you caught that. Don't know why LACTOSE needs to be in medicine anyway :(

  13. Wow! So glad you're so on-the-ball. I've had doctors try to get me to give Kayla things with dairy too. Gets you to stop seeing them pretty quick doesn't it?