Thursday, July 31, 2008


Are you the type who compares your doctor’s prescriptions against what the pharmacy assistants give to you? I’m not. I recently realized the importance of doing this when my daughter was prescribed medicine in infant drops form instead of the type more appropriate for her age. No big deal really. The mistake was quickly corrected when I called the doctor for clarification.

But this incident got me contemplating on the word kumpyansa…I’m not really sure how this word translates to English, but if I were to define it based on my own understanding of the word, I’d say that it’s complacency born out of placing too much trust on something or someone. In a broader spectrum, it could mean betting too much on chance, trusting that the universe wouldn’t somehow conspire to throw some bad lot our way, thus we toss caution into the wind.

A few nights ago, I thought I heard Abby wheezing during her coughing fits. I had my husband, Nonoy, as well as my in laws, Dominador and Marlene Uy, listen in and they all confirmed my fears. Abby could be having an asthma attack! Nonoy had asthma before. My in laws have two asthmatic children. They should know!

Being the praning that I am, I wasted no time dragging Abby, with Nonoy not far behind, to one of our local hospitals for a consult. Waiting until the following day to see her pediatrician was out of the question. She had to be seen by a doctor right there and then.

The resident who examined her told us that she could hear no wheezing and sent us home with a prescription for antihistamine and Salbutamul. I wanted to question her findings. How could four people be wrong about it? But hey! She’s the doctor! I bowed down to her superior knowledge.

But just we always do, we took Abby to her pediatrician the following day. And surely enough, Tita Doc found her wheezing and crackling and proceeded to treat her condition accordingly.

So what’s the moral of this story? Very simple really. We should still take our children to their own doctor, even after a night consult, at the first opportune moment. Except for the additional cost and the time we have to spend waiting for our turn, we don't lose in any way.

Can you imagine what would have happened had we not taken Abby to her pediatrician? Her asthma would have gone untreated and it could have progressed to pneumonia!

Another lesson learned from this experience is checking that we are getting our medicine from the pharmacy exactly as they were prescribed. Fortunately this time, the clerk spotted the erroneous prescription herself. But mistakes could still be very easily made by fatigued, stressed out, and even harassed pharmacy assistants.

So let’s start checking, shall we? Let’s do away with too much of kumpyansa. After all, nothing is too hard when it comes to our children’s best interests.

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