A Bug in the House

Wednesday morning, it started. Raina awoke, sat up in bed, and promptly puked all over me. Robin woke up moments later, coughing and crying. Lynden made his way downstairs for breakfast, but threw up halfway down.

It’s that lovely time of year again – cold & flu season.

Lucky for us, the puking passed quickly. The kids are now battling sore throats, coughing, epic snot, and mild fevers.

And, for Raina, really horrible jaw pain that doesn’t seem to be linked to ear infection, toothache or swollen lymph nodes. It’s concerning enough (and painful enough) that I called Telehealth and was advised to bring Raina in to a doctor.

It has been a very long time since my children have seen a doctor. By and large, I find them unnecessary – especially for a healthy, thriving child who is developing well. As a new mother, I dutifully brought Lynden in for his “well-baby” visits, and quickly learned what a joke those visits are. I don’t need an “expert” to tell me that my child is growing well – I can see that with my own eyes. I don’t need an “expert” to give me feeding advice (particularly when that advice is flat-out wrong and outdated, and doesn’t pertain to an exclusively breastfed baby). I don’t need to be given a biased, misleading sales pitch on vaccinations at every turn.

After several well-baby visits, I decided to stop going. Some families really do need this service and can benefit from it, but why does a healthy child of a well-informed mother need to see a doctor on a regular basis? It doesn’t make sense.

So, Jae and I decided we’d limit trips to the doctor, going in only when illness or injury made it necessary. When 2-yr-old Lynden became quite ill with vomiting and diarrhea for days on end, we returned to our doctor. She barely looked at my son, told me there was a virus going around, and said he’d be fine within days. To make a long story short, Lynden wasn’t fine within days, and over the next six weeks continued to deteriorate. We made FOUR trips to our doctor, who kept telling me Lynden had a virus, until he went to hospital for dehydration and I decided enough was enough.

We never went back to our family doctor, and my children have not seen a doctor since. Instead, we went to a Naturopathic Doctor, who sat down with me and my child for nearly an HOUR, going over our history in very thorough detail. What was Lynden’s diet like? What did mama eat in pregnancy? What was Lynden’s birth like (a beautiful midwife-attended homebirth)? What was the colour and consistency of the diarrhea? Etc. No stone was left unturned. By the end of that appointment, our Naturopathic Doctor was fairly certain that Lynden was dairy intolerant. Within days of eliminating pasteurised goat’s milk, the vomiting stopped. Within two weeks, the diarrhea went away. Colour came back to Lynden’s cheeks.

Doctors are useful, sometimes, when they are needed to diagnose or fix a very real problem. Unfortunately, the Western world has set doctors on an untouchable pedestal, where they are looked at as an absolute authority on health. It’s sad, because doctors typically only address symptoms with prescription medications instead of determining underlying cause and promoting genuine health, balance and well-being. They know only what they were taught, and rely on (often flawed) textbook knowledge to treat problems that can usually be permanently solved with diet and lifestyle changes. They create dependence on pharmaceutical drugs (which carry their own problems and side effects) instead of promoting genuine healing. And in a society that reveres doctors nearly as gods, we do not question their solutions to our problems.

I’m not interested in pharmaceuticals as a fix for non-life threatening problems, and over the last three years we’ve been very successful in healing ourselves naturally. We’ve used food and dietary changes to combat gut problems, rest and herbs to battle the flu, and a vibrant & healthy lifestyle to stay mostly in good health, avoiding the majority of the bugs that have swept through my music students and our homeschool friends. When one takes care of oneself, eats well, gets enough sleep and treats the body as a precious temple, one finds that health is the norm and doctors are very rarely needed.

That being said, I do feel that mystery jaw pain with a fever warrants a little bit of investigation. So, for the first time since infancy, Raina will make a trip to the doctor today. Once we know what the problem is, I’ll be able to form a plan of action to solve it. Wish us well!

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6 thoughts on “A Bug in the House

  1. Best of health to you little cousin! I’ve got an extra jar of manuka honey if you’d like it, worked great for us this past week :). XO

  2. I’m in the same boat about doctors… every visit seems to be a completely useless trip with them either doing nothing at all or prescribing medications that I’ve already told them that I’m allergic to. Meanwhile, my ND has helped us discover the sources of so many tummy troubles and mystery pains with our entire family. And I feel much more secure in the knowledge that she ASKED for all of the symptoms whether I thought they were related or not and not just which particular pain I wanted a bandaid slapped on.

  3. I generally do not like going to the doctor either, and agree most things just need rest and a bit of time. However, there are some things that only a doctor can fix, and time isn’t on our side.

    Sunday night my daughter complained of tummy ache.

    Monday morning she still had some tummy ache and started vomiting. She wasn’t in that much pain, (her tummy hurts and she vomits in the car too), and so I thought she had a “stomach flu”.

    Tuesday morning I was taking her to emergency and they had to operate on her immediately because her appendix had ruptured, and she had grade IV peritonitis.
    She spent almost 2 weeks in the hospital, (other kids were out 4 days after an appendicitis operation), and she had 6 weeks of recovering and complications when she got home.
    If I had waited it could have been a lot worse.

    I don’t want to scare you, but because my daughter wasn’t showing much pain I didn’t think it was her appendix.

    Looking back, I can see there were signs I should have seen, but because I generally don’t think doctors are necessary I wanted to believe it was just a bug. Well it was a bug, a big nasty e-coli bug that needed extra strong antibiotic because it was impossible to “wash” all the pus out of her, and the normal antibiotics didn’t work. We were lucky the strong antibiotics worked.

    At least you have a Naturopathic Doctor, who hopefully knows when things are serous. I just don’t want you to make the same mistake I did…If I had taken her to a doctor Monday, she may not have had such a difficult 2 months.

    Hope your kids feel well soon, it is so hard to have our babies sick.

    • Yes, sometimes doctors are necessary and modern medicine can save lives. I’m sorry to hear about everything your daughter had to go through. I hope all is well with her now.

  4. Yikes, scary story! I just missed my appendix bursting at the age of 11. I’d been increasingly sick for 3 days but had only stayed home from school on the 3rd day, mom was on the way out the door but hesitated for some reason and took me to hospital instead. Good thing too, it had swollen to the size of a banana! Thank goodness for mother’s intuition!
    My own little man broke an arm and has had various accidents requiring medical attention at the hospital. I am happy doctors are there when they’re needed and thankful that seeing one is free in this country but most of all I’m grateful to have a choice and the knowledge to know when mama-care is more than enough.

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