I thought I would write about we went through just one month after Maria was born.
Somewhere around end of July I got severe cough that my doctor failed to diagnose; it eventually got so bad that I lost my voice for a week and some coughing spasms were so severe they wouldn't let me breathe and made me vomit a couple times. Then my wife got it and then two weeks later Maria got sick with it too. End of July was quite a bit ago, and I still cough sometimes, and Maria coughs quite a bit...
Turns out what we had is called
pertussis, which is a fairly dangerous infection. A few decades ago mortality rate from pertussis was around 40% for babies under 6 months, and Maria was just 4 weeks old when she started to cough. Main danger are these coughing onsets which make it very hard to breathe, and small babies can simply suffocate. It is not nearly as lethal nowadays, but we still had to keep watch on her 24/7 all this time. She became completely blue from suffocation on several occasions and nearly died on our hands before the doctors realized this wasn't just some cold virus. Even in the hospital where they used oxygen mask and suctioned out the mucus she became blue twice.
We spent almost two weeks at the hospital in the isolation unit, although they had Maria on the oxygen for only 4 days. Maria is still coughing but the cough is no longer suffocating her to the point of danger; besides the doctors gave us the heart/breath rate monitor to keep at home so that we don't have to look at her 24/7 and wonder if she is gonna stop breathing next second. So we can get some sleep now.
But what the story really is about, doctors suck. Don't ever be too trusting to your doctors. All our pediatricians (we are in a practice of 5 doctors) completely failed to diagnose us. They also kept shuffling us from one doctor to another inside of this practice, and kept losing track of what we have been telling them. They didn't believe us that our baby was horridly sick, and kept sending us home even after Maria went blue right while the nurse was holding her. We had to fight to get admitted to the hospital, and thanks God we did, because the next night was so horrible that the entire nursing stuff got scared - Maria couldn't get through her coughing spasm without lots of help and oxygen. After that I think our doctor panicked that we might sue her for malpractice - they gave us to another doctor to treat, and our original doctor is now hiding; in fact we haven't seen her ever since. Luckily next one was better, he recognized pertussis for what it is and tried to help us (finally). But we were too far into the disease at that point, so it was beyond help and we all had to go through all the stages of this infection.
Turns out there is an outbreak of pertussis in Kane County, IL - that's where we live. Quite a few people were sick here at Fermilab as well. The hospital reported us to the County Department of Health and when they called to get the info, they told us about the epidemic. We also now know that pertussis becomes more and more common in the recent years. Even if you were immunized, your imminuty is usually completely gone 5-10 years after the last shot of the vaccine. So you can get it too... if you have strong persistent cough and little or no fever, that might be it.
Anyway, enough ranting... You might have noticed the title says insurance companies suck, too. I guess I'll write about this later.