Life is hard. We are mothers, we are PAs, we are always on the clock, we are tired. We need a space where we can feel safe to connect with our peers, share stories, and seek advice.
I found it! It is the “PA Moms” Facebook group. It is different than any group I have ever been a part of. We support each other personally and professionally. We help each other with medical and nonmedical questions. I recently experienced firsthand, just how much of an impact this group can have.
As a PA, I pride myself on being confident in what I know, but also knowing when I need to ask for help and/or seek additional guidance. This is especially true when it comes to my own children, and the “mommy blinders” that I often wear.
I posted in the “PA Moms” Facebook group a few months ago, with questions regarding my son’s circumcision care. At that time, he was approximately 20 months old and was having a circumcision under anesthesia. I practice in an Orthopedic Spine setting, and have no knowledge when it comes to circumcision care. I posted a picture of my son to share with the group. I received multiple recommendations for post-operative care. I also got advice I did not ask for, multiple comments on my son’s picture. They were asking about my son’s strabismus, and whether or not he would require surgical correction.
To be honest, at first these comments caught me off guard. My son did not have a diagnosis of strabismus. I noticed that at times his left eye would turn in, but to be honest did not think much of it. After I read these comments, I looked back at my son’s pictures. In most of them, his eye appeared to drift inward. How did I miss this!?
I scheduled an appointment with a Pediatric Ophthalmologist in our area. He informed us that my son had bilateral accommodative esotropia. He noted that the sooner this is caught, the better chance that it will correct with glasses. We ordered him glasses the next day, and had him wearing them within the week.
My son is turning two in October. I never thought he would keep the glasses on. But he loves them! He calls them “my eyes” and does not want to go anywhere without them.
It is still early in his treatment, and time will tell if the esotropia will correct with the glasses, or if he will need more aggressive treatment. But I cannot begin to tell you how grateful I am for my other PA Moms. They thoughtfully brought this finding to my attention, without being mean or judgmental. It came from a place of concern, of kindness. They wanted to ensure my son was getting the appropriate treatment. Without this feedback, there is no telling how long my son would have gone undiagnosed and untreated. Their observations and recommendation for further evaluation led to much earlier intervention for my son, and hopefully a better outcome.
I am so proud to be a Mom, a PA, and a member of this group. I cannot begin to describe the gratitude I have for these amazing women. My colleagues, my fellow mothers, my friends – I thank you.
Jessica Temple MS, PA-C