Should we get a second opinion?

Carole - posted on 09/01/2011 ( 23 moms have responded )

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My step-daughter has an arm issue that has been going on for weeks. It is swollen, very painful and at one point had a lump in it. The doctors have ruled out the really "scary" stuff, but the new verdict is "We don't really know what's wrong with it, so maybe she should just go to therapy." I'm not a mother. Maybe if I had spent the kids' early years in a doctor's office then I would know this response is acceptable. But to me, it sounds like we're treating something when we don't even know what we're treating. What would you do? She cannot participate in any of her school activities because of the pain and I feel like we should be taking her to get another opinion. Her father would probably agree, and I don't think her mother would object but both think I worry about the kids too much.

This is not a bone of contention among the 3 of us. I'm trying to determine if I need to push for another doctor's visit. I'm almost always the one who pushes until this type of thing happens and I don't want to get out of line. However, I hate that she's hurting and I don't feel like we have any real answers at all. Do I just "not understand bc I'm not their mom?"

Thanks!

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~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/01/2011

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My rule of thumb is, if you have to ask yourself that question, the answer is already yes. Good luck!

Mary - posted on 09/02/2011

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You don't have to have children by birth to be a mother, if this child is around you, and looks at you like a mother you are a mother. Now if the first doctor told you that nothings wrong and the child is still in pain she needs to go see a specialist because the first doctor is not equiped to give you the answers you are looking for. Don't show your worry, there is always something going on with children.

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Push for another Dr. I learned the hard way sometimes u have to yell and get irate with Dr's to get anything done Trust me I have been there and done that after the 1st time it gets easier to yell and get things done.

Yurena - posted on 09/06/2011

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You are not her mum but you care, talk to her mum and dad, and herself, if it hurts it needs sorting, a real diagnosis. Good luck, poor thing. x

Bonnie - posted on 09/05/2011

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Like Katherine said, I would definitley get a second opinion and even a third opinion especially if the second opinion is the same as the first. Since they have ruled out all the 'scary' stuff, does that mean they have done xrays and ultrasounds? I don't think you are worrying or looking too much into this at all.

Katherine - posted on 09/05/2011

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You need a second opinion and maybe even a third. That sounds really painful :|
You are not out of line AT ALL, if it was my daughter and this was happening you better believe I'd want some answers. They need to send you to a specialist.

Melanie - posted on 09/05/2011

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i hate to tell you this but the fact that you do worry and want another opinion makes you a mom. you dont have to give birth to a kid to be one. with that said ill tell you that my youngest daughter fought me when i tried to brush her teeth and there fore has small cavities on the gumline. i took her to the dentist as soon as i saw them and he wanted to sedate her and put crowns on her teeth. shes 21 mo. that seem very excessive to me. so i told him we would not make the appt. we weret getting a second opinion. the girl behind the counter looked at me like i was crazy. but when we saw another pediadontist, she said it seemed too aggressive a treatment especially since sedation in the office is dangerous. they decided when she gets a bit older one of their founding memebers might do fillings but for now she thought good brushing habits and flouride paste treatment was enough. i almost put my baby thru hell for no reason. if you really feel like she needs to see someone else i dont see the harm in asking the others their opinion. they maybe thinking the same thing and wondering if theyre over reacting. personally i agree she should seek another opinion. good luck

Elizabeth - posted on 09/04/2011

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If it was one of my children I would be seeing a another doctor. It sounds like the doctor has given up. My sister had the same problem with my niece. If she hadn't of went to another doctor when her current doctor gave up my niece would have died. She had a hole inside her heart. She took the same test 3 times that was supposed to show that. When they did a test with a camera is when they found the hole. Because my sister didn't give up like the doctor did my niece has had the operation she needed to fix the problem and is doing so much better. So PUSH for another doctor. If she wasn't your step-daughter would you take her to another doctor? If the answer is yes then what are you waiting for?

Donna - posted on 09/03/2011

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There is nothing wrong with getting a second or third opinion especially when a child is in pain. Have you tried putting ice on it? It might help ease the pain.

Terri - posted on 09/03/2011

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I would give some Tylenol for the pain. Watch it closely and see if gets worse. If it does get better than I would wait it out. If it gets worse or does not improve in a few days bring her back.

Margie - posted on 09/02/2011

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Just another thought......as a child I developed rheumatic fever from an untreated strep throat.It manifested itself in extreme joint pains....a simple blood test can tell- I did become extremely ill before it was diagnosed and bed ridden for many months--but I recovered by being treated with penicillin.

Shawna - posted on 09/02/2011

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I have a cutey pie toddler and he had a lump in his arm and we went everywhere looking for answers, sometimes it would get warm or harder. My doc put a hold on immunizations until after sick kids tests and MRI. They said it was a hemangeanoma (birthmark) under the skin so we went ahead with immunizations. Same thing happened in the other arm. Allergist specialist told us Marcus is so healthy he is rejecting the medicine and his body is rejecting the medicine. we are waiting till he is five to research what one in paticular he is allergic to. The doc said it might disapear in the meantime, and it did. Maybe your child is reacting to the shots?

Cristen - posted on 09/02/2011

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Please go get a second oppinion. My daughter had a similar story only with the arm and a shoulder blade. We went to the doctors office twice and the emergency room 3 times. No one could tell us what was wrong and they just kept sending us home. After about three weeks they told us they thought it could even be psychological. They had done e-xrays and cat scans and were going to send us home again, but I believed that she might die that night. I had to throw a fit and threaten to tear up as much equipment as I could before they could get the police their because they refused to do a MRI, Finally an attending doctor heard the screaming and came to inquire. As of this point she had never seen anyone other that the residents which are still student. The attending told the resident to do a spinal tap to shut me up, and get me the hell out of their. Upon doing the spinal tap they realized something was terribly wrong. They rush her to the MRI and a few hours later we got the news no parents want to hear. Were sorry but your daughter has cancer. They assembled a specialized team and did emergency surgery. She had spinal cord cancer and this just did not show up on a cat scan. They told us she wouldn't live but maybe two weeks, but she lived ninteen months inspite of them. There was so much negligence and out right stupidity during that ninteen months it has really made me step back and take a look at how we give unchallenged authority to people we belive are smarter than us. If you truly feel that you are not getting the answers you need, push forward and keep going untill you find someone that can answer those question. Remember you are that childs first line of defense and you must fight for them because they cant fight for themselves. God be with you, and I will say a prayer for you guys.

Elizabeth - posted on 09/02/2011

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You absolutely need a second opinion! I had the same thing when I was young and that was several dr.s response!!!! I ended up going to a childrens hospital in Denver and they didnt know what was wrong either! i finally went to Mayo clinic in MN before i finally found I had a RARE congenital dislocation and immediately had surgery on it to remove some of the radial head and relocate the nerve. If we would have gone sooner it could have been done and out of pain so much sooner. I couldnt do anything with my arm. It was horrible. And I was fine after that until just recently (I am 22) and am doing pain management until maybe we can do something again or get back to Mayo clinc. Please consider looking up congenital dislocation of the elbow and get a second opinion!!! Good luck!

Kim - posted on 09/02/2011

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You may not be her "mom", but you definitely have the "mom" voice in your head. :) I wouldn't ever take the answer of "we don't know what's wrong, but we'll treat her anyway" because what if the treatment makes it worse & she ends up with a permanent problem in her arm? Definitely push for a second opinion. There shouldn't be any treatment until the problem is diagnosed & the treatment is specific to her problem. Good luck!

Jodi - posted on 09/01/2011

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I'd definitely go for a second opinion. Has she had an ultrasound done of the area? I am assuming she has had x-rays, but sometimes a follow up x-ray is also a good idea, because any very fine fracture can be missed in an x-ray and is often only picked up later when they can see extreme white of new bone forming (I had this happen to me when I was a teenager). What sort of therapy are they suggesting? And does your stepdaughter know what caused it?

Susan - posted on 09/01/2011

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I think you should get a second opinion. How old is she? Does it seem to be around a "joint."

Lisa - posted on 09/01/2011

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I have raised two boys and I believe you need to push for that second opinion. Swelling is a symptom of a problem and physical therapy will not resolve it. Keep pushing until you get a difinitive answer.

Jennifer - posted on 09/01/2011

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I definately think you need a second opinion. If it is swollen, there is damage somewhere caused by something. If they don't know what is wrong, how can they treat it? I would demand tests be run again. I know doctors are human, and don't have all the answers. That is why a second opinion helps, because what the first doc doesn't know, maybe the second one will.

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