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NP wont give daughter referral to pulmonologist

Sorry this is long!

My dd is 3 1/2 and has been having problems since she was a baby. When she was about 6 months old, she kept getting colds and was diagnosed with reactive airway disease. When she was 1, as soon as the weather started getting cold she would start having coughing fits at night. She would cough and cough all night until she threw up clear mucous. Sometimes it would get better after she vomitted and sometimes it wouldn't. At this point I brought her to the Doctor and she said it was just allergies and put her on Singulair which didn't help. When the weather warmed up she stopped coughing so I didn't think much of it.

The next season, sure enough when it started to get cold her cough started up again and she would end up vomitting. I took her to the doctor numerous times and they would tell me it might be a virus and to wait it out. I was at my witts end so I ended up taking her to the ER and they listened to her lungs and said they sounded clear but they diagnosed her with asthma and prescribed her albuterol. Everytime I gave her the albuterol, her coughing would get worse and she would projectile vomit mucous. I brought her back to her regular Dr. and they said there was nothing else I could do besides give her the albuterol when she started coughing.

Well Halloween came around, and she had been coughing alot that day. We went out trick or treating and she started coughing nonstop to the point of vomitting but this time it was actual vomit not just mucous. I brought her back to the house and the coughing would just not stop, she coughed and vomitted for about an hour non stop so I brought her to the ER. The nurse we saw listened to her lungs and said they sounded clear and that she had no fever. When we saw the Dr. he heard her coughing and ordered an xray of her chest and she ended up having pneumonia. He prescribed her antibiotics and Tylenol with codeine for the cough which is the only thing that has ever helped her cough but I know she can't be on something that strong long term. A couple more weeks went by and she started coughing and vomiting again. I brought her to the ER and the doctor said her lungs sounded fine and that her oxygen was perfect. I asked if they could do an xray of her lungs to make sure it wasn't pneumonia again because the last time she had it she had the same symptoms and no fever and no crackling in her lungs. I even asked someone higher up but everyone refused to do it because they didn't want to expose her to the radiation.

I eventually ended up switching her to another Doctor that year, well actually its a Nurse practioner but she used to work at a Pulmonologists office and shes the Respiratory Specialist of the facility. She checked her lungs and oxygen and listened to her cough. She said her lungs and oxygen sounded fine but that her cough was a little wheezy so she confirmed that she does have asthma and prescribed her Flovent (2 puffs 2x a day) and said to give her Claritan once a day in case she had allergies that were triggering the asthma. I also had a sweat test done to rule out CF which was negative. She slowly stopped coughing over the next couple of weeks but the weather was also starting to warm up outside and I had this fear deep down that the coughing only stopped because the weather warmed up and that this year she would start coughing again.

That brings me to where we are now. She was fine all spring and summer, I kept her on the flovent and claritan and she had no coughing. The weather just started to cool down though, and last week I noticed that she sounded a little congested and had a light cough. I brought her in and she was seen by a different Dr. and he said it was probably post nasal drip or a virus but to keep an eye on it. Well on Tuesday, she started coughing at night a little bit. Wednesday night, she was coughing harder and I heard her gag and almost throw up a couple times. Last night she was coughing literally all night and it kept waking her up. She coughed so hard that she vomited (not mucous) and she coughed up some clear mucous as well. When she finally fell back asleep she was snoring and I could hear the mucous rattling in her chest. She kept coughing until her face was red and I kept hearing her gagging on the mucous.Yesterday, I brought her to the Nurse Practitioner. She listened to her lungs (they sounded great, no suprise there) took her temp, and looked at her throat and ears. She said that she has post nasal drip and croup because her cough is more of a barky cough this time. She prescribed her prednisolone. When I left the office I kept thinking about everything thats happened over the years and I kept worrying that this winter would be the same as all the others so I called the office and spoke to a receptionist and asked if I could get a referral to a Pediatric Pulmonologist. A couple hours later, the NP had a nurse call me back. The nurse said that the NP thinks dd is a little young for pulminary function tests and wants to know why I want the referral. I said I want it because the same thing happens every winter and now it happens again and I want to make sure there aren't any underlying causes and make sure that I'm doing everything I can for dd. The nurse called me back again and said that asthma is the NPs specialty and that these things happen and she'd be glad to make an asthma education appointment with me. I asked "So she won't give the referral?" and the nurse said "Well she doesn't think she needs it. Do you want to maybe think about it and call me back?" and I said "No I just want the referral." So I'm still waiting for a call back.

Am I over reacting. This made me so mad. Even if she doesn't need the referral, what harm is there in seeing a Pulmonologist? To me it almost seems like shes mad that I won't take her word on it and doesn't want to give me the referral because of that. Does this sound like asthma to you or could it be something else? It just seems weird to me that whenever she gets sick whether it be pneumonia or croup her lungs are always clear and her oxygen is perfect she never gets a fever to go along with it and she never acts sick besides the coughing. I've considered reflux but wouldn't that be year round and not just in the winter?
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replied April 9th, 2013
Hi, I cant believe no one has replied yet Sad I have no clue what is going on with your baby BUT I do know you are not over reacting. I have been in and out of doctors offices also and all they do for me is the same thing: give me tons of medicines for something that inst' even diagnosed yet... try to cover up every symptom instead of figure out WHAT it is and fix THAT. I am sick and tired and DONE with MD's and am seeing a Naturopathic doctor next week for the first time, he is also a chiropractor as well so has a good idea variety of education as well as natural therapies and takes a "whole body" approach. I suggest you do the same for your daughter and do lots of research on which naturopath is best, make phone calls, find reviews about them, see how long they have been in practice, their schooling, ect. I think it's very important to see one b/c these types of doctors are going to look at the body as a whole organism. For example there may be a possibility your daughter has a food sensitivity. Gluten and dairy are two big ones now a days b/c of the over processing, preservatives, hormones, additives and crap they use in our American diet foods, but most MD's will argue with you so don't bother trying to explain this to the brain washed MD's, they will say you are wrong and that only 1% of population has Celiac disease but I am talking about a sensitivity that doctors ignore, a sensitivity wont' necessarily kill you suddenly like a peanut reaction will kill some people but sensitives WILL make the person suffer life long, possibly a slow death leading up to an auto immune disease, lupus just for an example, and so eventually will shorten someones life and cause unnecessary suffering and endless doctors appts. all b/c of inflammation in the body caused by an unknown food or chemical sensitivity which could have been avoided if some MD took the time. A sensitivity can be different than an allergy or intolerance so is sometimes difficult to find BUT can be found through more intensive tests usually done through naturopaths or even a strict elimination diet. Sensitivities can still wreak havoc on her whole body and might be causing the lung issues. I am gradually getting into a gluten free/dairy free diet as well as cutting out all sugars except those in fruits, its sooo hard but I am afraid I am dying so have chosen this path for now b/c no one is or will do anything for us, we are the ones in limbo, not actually "dying" but yet also not really functioning like normal healthy adults. A lifestyle like this IS expensive b/c the gluten free, pure foods are not as in demand, farmers that are growing these things are not being controlled by lobbyist and are taking a risk and also suffering for now. It's a plus to help them out as well as myself. For our health's sake the extra money spent on pure food is going to be worth it.. I mean I still owe so much money to MD"s and like I said, the outcome is that I'm still at square one and it's been 5 yeas.. actually I am worse off now b/c time hasn't healed me either but just prolonged my suffering. I am going to see if I feel better with this diet and with time b/c I'm that sick and tired and desperate and really though, it makes sense that healthy food will make someone feel better along with the therapies and supplements the Naturopath will prescribe I hope to get better. Also, it will take longer than taking a pill, slow and steady wins the race, a pill can be instant but covers the real problem so dont' worry if it takes a bit of time. I am broke and in debt b/c of doctors bills, it's funny b/c I owe so much money to them for services they never really provided me with the care I need Sad Just like your story, you are going in and out of doctors, ER's, requesting referrals and being denied and I think you need to take a new approach. I am not saying ditch all MD's, they save our lives but for the people like your daughter and I who struggle to function day to day lives, we are sick but since we are STILL living and breathing, walking and talking we aren't being taken seriously, we aren't helped by MD's like we should be, just sent home to suffer until God forbid something major eventually happens. This eventually effects our mental state b/c of the physical stress and energy put on our bodies and now they are telling me to take all of these different types of anti depressants! I AM NOT even depressed! They deny me to see an endocrinologist but want me to see a psychiatrist, I have no depression, I am so confused, I dont' know what they are taught in med school honestly... they are educated dont' get me wrong but yet there is some sort of hidden agenda that brain washes them by the pharma.companies, by the government, by the hospitals, ect.???. So my point is, try something new, talk to people in your area, health conscious people that have any good referrals for naturopaths. They will most likely want to test her for allergies, heavy metals and other toxins, they might try something called "muscle testing", they might want to try acupuncture which needs to be done on a regular basis for first few months, massage, herbs to take effect. Herbs are potent just like drugs but yet safer b/c less risk of certain side effects. THey are even PRESCRIBED by some doctors in Europe and UK! Imagine that... doctors prescribing healthy medicine grown by mother nature, studied and proven to help slowly but surely HEAL us! There is corruption in the US when it comes to health care and pharmaceuticals. It's a blessing but yet a curse, they save us in certain times but yet make us sicker in other times. I hope your daughter can find the help she needs, I feel her pain and will keep you in my prayers.
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