(I don’t usually publish asks, but felt this one could help others too)
In this case, I don’t think anyone treated me as though I was overreacting. Although the ER doc was surprised by the way I described my son’s change in breathing, I felt as if we were taken seriously through our whole encounter. We were in, had been seen, treated, and sent home within an hour. I knew, from having been told before I left work that same evening, that emergency was chock-full of kids waiting to be seen, and our hospital has only one pediatrician and a few residents to cover emergency and the inpatient ward, so I felt as if we were attended to very quickly and appropriately.
In my personal life, I tend to be pretty nonchalant about most things. If Ronan bumps his head, I’ll brush it off unless I were to see symptoms that worry me (vomiting, lethargy, confusion, etc.). People who know me know this, and also know my background in peds, so they tend to trust my judgement when I say it’s time to go to the hospital right away.
In general, though, I think folks tend to be dismissive of moms’ assessments of their children’s health because (some) moms have such a tendency to freak out over nothing. I can’t tell you how many kids roll through emergency who are completely healthy. I can also tell you I have seen a great many children admitted to hospital not because of their own health, but due to a lack of coping on the parent’s behalf. Sometimes emergency visits are a call for help in a non-medical sense, and although those cases should certainly not be ignored, they do taint a person’s views about how much they can trust a parent’s judgement.
In my opinion, a really, really good medical professional is beginning to assess your child before they interview you very much about what you’ve seen or what your concerns are. That way their physical assessment is unclouded by the story, by their judgements about the parent’s capacity or intelligence, or any other outside factors. After they have taken a history, they may choose to go back and do a more focused assessment.