I have a dear friend who I have known for 10 years. I attended and supported her through her two natural childbirths including one at home (just as the friend, not the midwife!- she had one of those). I have answered her called in the the middle of the night when she was a new mom and baby was crying or she was having trouble nursing. I was not a nurse then-- I am just now a new RN. We differ on a lot of things including the fact that I have put my trust in conventional medicine, esp after one of my children was born with a complex medical issue and needed lots of medical intervention that homeopathy would not have touched and may have even caused more harm.
So last year she called me saying her child was having some breathing trouble, fast respirations, retractions. I told her to immediately take her to the ER. She didn't listen. Finally a couple of days later she took her to the naturalpathic doctor, who called an ambulance from the office and the girl was admitted for several days with asthma. She was given instructions to give the child medicine and breathing tx, but has not done either. And yet she calls me all the time asking what she should do, and I always tell her to take the child in and she doesn't.
Last week she called again in the middle of the night. Her child had a high (103) fever for a few days which did not respond to Tylenol. She called only when the child was complaining of a stiff neck and was not lucid, seemed to be having hallucinations and was sleeping a lot in between these fitful waking periods. Once again I told her take the child to ER but she didn't. Instead she gave the child phosphorus which was something she had read about in a book. She also started to wake the child more often to offer fluids. The next AM she called to say the fever was gone and the child was better and she was glad she didn't bring the child in, they would have just done the spinal tap and put the child through needless suffering. I say she had a very close call with this child! It could have been serious. And to add insult, she changed to the subject of asthma since I have a cough right now, and suggested that the chiropractor could cure my asthma with a few adjustments! I have been suffering my whole life and know how to manage it with meds and doctor visits.
She's planning to go to a third world country with the children in a few months. I educated her once again about vaccines and encouraged at least the Dtap and polio. She did finally relent on those after me telling her horror stories of children I had seen in this same country when I traveled there several years ago. Polio is alive and well.
I don't know why this friend keeps calling me. I don't know if I'm obligated, now that I'm an RN, to report her lack of action with a child who's ill, esp. the last time when it could have been very serious. I love her and I know she loves her children but it's just hard to watch. I know I have to report abuse but does this count as abuse?
Thanks for listening.