Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Prince and the Prescription

I must have looked at him wrong.

That's the only explanation I can conjure for why the ER doctor last week gave Zoodle a prescription for what might possibly be the worst pediatric antibiotic ever. It almost makes me jealous of my ancestors who lived in the pre-antibiotic years. We could have just bled him with some leeches and called it good.

The doctor warned me that the medicine might cause Zoodle to have diarrhea. Zoodle, anxious to meet the expectations of adults, has dutifully complied.

But the doc didn't give me the full story. It started when I went through the drive through at CVS Pharmacy to pick up the meds. The pharmacist looked down at the prescription, and then his eyes rose to meet mine. "Looks like you have a deductible," he said. "So it's $124."

He paused. I think when I sighed and said, "Okay," he was relieved. He was probably never more thankful for the glass in between him and the customer. I handed over my Southwest Airlines Visa and was rewarded with a little bottle of medicine (and .00625 of a free airline ticket!)

Knowing how expensive this tummy-destroying medicine is, I'd hope at least it would taste good. (Insert canned laughter.) Zoodle is usually good at taking meds, and at first he did fine.

But the kid is old enough and smart enough to quickly learn what he doesn't like. After a couple of doses, and lips that were tightening more and more upon my approach with the oral syringe, I realized I'd have to use some covert tactics.

One dose went down in a smoothie. Oh, good, I've figured it out, I thought.

Not so fast.

Remember that story of The Princess and the Pea? You know, many girls are claiming to be a princess, but the only real princess is sensitive enough to toss and turn all night thanks to a pea that has been placed under her stack of mattresses. Then when she wakes in the morning, she falls to her death from the top of the huge stack of mattresses. (I might have made up that last part.)

Well, apparently Zoodle is a true prince, because in the story of The Prince and the Prescription, he quickly gained an uncanny ability to detect the taste of medicine in pureed fruit, smoothie, even JELL-O strawberry cheesecake. (Hey, I was desperate.) He'd take a bite or two, then forcefully shake his head, refusing to eat more.

A couple of doses were squirted in the back of his cheek by his mean mommy, while his equally cruel daddy held his head and his hands still. A small amount might have made it down his throat; the rest he angrily spit out. We went one whole day without even trying to get him to take the medicine, at our wits' end.

Finally yesterday I managed to get him to take his meds, by putting just a drop in each bite of food. It's not the easiest way to feed him--squirt a tiny bit onto his hot cereal, scoop up a bite, feed him, repeat (over and over and over.) But between breakfast and morning snack I got 80% of his dose into his little tummy. As I write this Monday afternoon, I'm hoping the same tactic works tonight. I won't be surprised, though, if our little prince once again proves his royal blood, and, with a sealed mouth and a shaking head, sends us back to the drawing board. (Edited: Even a milkshake couldn't get Zoodle to take the medicine in the evening.)

(And Doc? If we ever head to your ER again, I'll be sure to bring you some cookies and a dazzling smile. You just bring me a better prescription, okay?)


Kara said...

Yikes! Which antibiotic was it? Lizzy had to take plain old amoxycillin, and I dreaded every single dose - we had to do the Mommy holds your head and squirts it in while Daddy pins you down thing, 2x a day, for 10 days. Poor baby. And it gave her diarrhea, to boot!

Call Me Cate said...

People tell me dogs are good training for kids but really, I think my cats do just as well. I figure if I can give Tonya antibiotics, I'm in good practice for baby-dosing.

$124 for something that makes the kid have diaper issues and he spits 90% of it all over the place. I wonder if that doctor also has a bridge in Brooklyn he tries to sell to patients.

Guttermouth said...

Wow, not fun... my experience with my son was quite the opposite. He would take nothing as a baby into his early toddler years. As he got older he accepted the medicine would make him feel better and just took it.

It's a lot easier to be the mean forceful parent with a small one who isn't fighting back! I'm thankful I don't have to do that with him now!

Unknown said...

I feel your pain! We're on day 6 of a 10 day supply and I have been holding him down to squirt it in. I think he's been spitting out about 1/2 of it, so I hope he is getting enough for it to be effective!

Anna said...

Poor baby, what the heck did they put him on? I think we've gone through every "kid approved" med around and never had a reaction like that! though Zithromax did give them all the runs.
The Tylenol with codeine on the other hand was rough, even after the added flavor and sweeteners.

Becky said...

Antibiotics are no fun!

My kids both had near-constant ear infections for the first year and a half of their lives, and one of them (can't remember which one anymore, isn't that terrible?) had to move up from amoxicillin because it wasn't effective anymore. Augmentin was the next level up, and that one was awful. Diarrhea so bad, that it caused a bloody diaper rash. I still shudder to think about it. We even tried probiotics and it didn't help in the least. I was so relieved when we finally finished that prescription.

Hopefully you don't have too many more doses left!

2cats said...

Its always bad when a child, especially yours id sick, but to have to give him medicine that tastes bad? That is just so unfair.
I hope he starts to feel better so that mommy get get her rest.

C. Beth said...

Kara--It is Augmentin. It's amoxycillin plus something else (maybe anthrax? Or Tabasco? Not sure.) :-/

Cate--I'd really like you to bring your mad med-giving skillz over here and help me out!

Guttermouth--I hope when he's a bit older and can understand more I'll be able to explain why he's taking it!

Kirsten--Aww, I hope it starts going better for you too!!

Anna--It's Augmentin. AWFUL!

Becky--Ah, you've had this terrible med!!! So you understand!!!

2cats--Thank you! I hope so too!

Unknown said...

Oh have I been there...I have a super sensitive child who would not take her medicine orally...sooo
I used to have suppositories made( you would be surprised at how many meds can be made this way). Oddly that route was easier, maybe because she couldn't see what was coming?

I am glad she grew out of that because she is 10 now and I couldn't imagine doing that still!

She still has a hard time swallowing pilss, though...

Peace -Rene

Anonymous said...

$124.00. Wow. Meijer and Wal-Mart offer a $4.00 co pay, even if you have coverage for children.

Just thought you would like to know. Why didn't they flavor it at the pharmacy?


Anonymous said...

$124.00. Wow. Meijer and Wal-Mart offer a $4.00 co pay, even if you have coverage for children.

Just thought you would like to know. Why didn't they flavor it at the pharmacy?


C. Beth said...

Rene--Suppositories are actually a great idea!

Sherry--Unfortunately the $4 is only for certain (generic) meds. You bet I'll be asking for a generic next time. The children's version comes flavored; apparently it's just such a bad-tasting med that the flavor doesn't cover the med taste enough. I'll definitely know not to get this particular medication for my kids again, for multiple reasons!

Anonymous said...

Beth -- How awful is it that the people who developed such a nasty medicine for children put it in liquid form and, worse yet, one that has to be administered more than once a day! SURELY they could have found a way to make it easier for parents to use, maybe as a time-release caplet?

One of those times that parents must feel like saying to the drug-makers, "Work with us here, people!"