So let me just say I thought twice about sharing so much but I figured I started this blog to share my learnings in life and to learn from what others choose to share as well. So here it is this is how I’ve been dealing with my little one’s first big illness.
For the past 5 days I’ve been nurturing a not so well baby. My little one has been really healthy in his 13 months of life so far. As first time parents my hubby and I have tried to think all of our decisions through. We chose to live vegetarian lives knowing that we will have to be very conscious about meal plans for our children. Well about a month ago I was told that our little one had low iron stores and was advised to get an iron supplement (fer in sol [sp ch]). When I went to the pharmacy the pharmacist said that supplement is way too strong for babies and was very surprised that he was prescribed that. I already second guess meds so I headed to Whole Foods and got some beet juice powder and blackstrap molasses AND have included more green leafiness in my little one’s diet. Every meal must include some source of iron.
Now I receive a call from daycare requesting to come get little one from school early because he may have pink eye. AAAHHHH! Something else, my goodness. Back to the doc we go. This time we had to see a second doc in the office, not our usual doc, who prescribes an antibiotic for pink eye. Although his eye was never pink or even a little red he had a discharge coming from the eye. So of course we gave the antibiotic drops as suggested by the doc. We were supposed to give 1 drop in each eye twice a day (giving an infant eye drops is a huge challenge, I must add) for 7 days. After the second dose of drops we stopped. Our little one, who is usually full of energy and eats everything in sight, was now extremely lethargic, throwing up and sleeping ALL DAY. He was even refusing to nurse which has been very soothing for him when he was a little down or upset about ANYTHING. After 2 days of this I called the doc’s on call line and she mentioned ER. We didn’t think it was that serious and didn’t want to risk getting an IV and no time to think about other options so we decided to wait til Monday (the next day) to see the doc first thing in the morning.
At the doc’s office we see the 3rd doc in the practice who prescribes a second antibiotic and explains that the other doctor gave the first antibiotic for a reason and we should continue to give them to him. HUH?!? Now I asked why she thinks he was reacting like this if these weren’t normal behaviors for pink eye. Again I need to continue the drops and no explanation. After listening to my little one’s breathing and a bit of silence the doc looks up and says he may have a touch of pneumonia so let’s try another antibiotic and if that doesn’t do anything then we’ll have to do a chest X-ray. WHAT?!?!
In my head at this point: SO FIRST YOU GIVE ME ONE DRUG THAT TURNS MY LITTLE ONE INTO A ZOMBIE, NOW YOU WANT ME TO GIVE HIM A SECOND DRUG EVEN THOUGH YOUR NOT SURE WHAT THE PROBLEM IS, THEN WE MAY NEED TO ADD RAYS OF WHO KNOWS WHAT ON A LITTLE BARELY 1YEAR OLD SYSTEM!!😁😢😡 This sounds scary and potentially like a lot of damage…all due to “pink eye”.
But I just took a deep breath received what the doc had to give and made a follow up appointment. At this point I’m just confused. I believe in holistic health and natural remedies although I can’t really afford the care all the time. I believe in the power of food and the body’s natural ability to work things out but I also have a doctor who is a professional but still human which means mistakes can be made. All I could do now is pray for guidance and an answer.
So now I’m expressing my frustrations and my aunT (thank God for families) who makes an appointment with holistic health practitioner Dr. Flowers of Flowers Healing Arts for a consultation. We sit and talk FIRST about what has been happening recently AND a bit of history. Age of first teeth, first solids, type of milk, MY lifestyle… I shared the meds including vitamins. THEN we proceeded to get my little one checked out. He checked breathing, eyes, ears and SKIN. He noticed light spots on his skin and asked a few questions. He talked to my little one as he went through the process.
Now I take a deep breath and prepare to hear a new verdict. Dr. Flowers believes that we are dealing with an issue in the gastrointestinal tract. According to Dr. Flowers the Chinese believe a lot of congestion anywhere (nose, chest, ears, eyes) may be cause by this tract and a problem with digestion. This made a bit if sense to me. And this was the first explanation that I received that didn’t include a med thrown at us to just take. So now what!?!? We do a stool sample and try to strictly breast feed, NO SOLIDS, for the next couple of days, and give some homeopathic eyedrops. I feel much better already.
Now I just have to think about the next steps. I’m going through this with the help of my aunt. This is the type of healthcare I believe works, addressing one problem without causing another problem. And looking at ALL aspects of one’s life to make a diagnosis then prescribing something natural to take care of whatever the problem may be. Our ancestors did it that way and they seemed to have fewer problems than we do now. My dilemma is this. How can I afford this and who do I turn to when something else comes up? It’s frustrating that life has to come down to us wondering if someone is doing something to help us or to help their pockets.
On top of all this I get an email from work asking about my time off since I don’t have any more sick days. Are you kidding me? I’ll just have to take unpaid days if I’m not allowed to take my vacation days. My little one’s health is a priority. I’ll have to deal with any financial constraints later.
As a parent we have to think about so much. And to add questioning the people who are supposed to be caring for us just adds another level of stress. I’m a pretty positive person and since returning from the Peace Corps I have a better understanding of the importance of making informed decisions. And our doctors should be comfortable explaining why we are given something. And we should be able to choose which type of care we prefer and be covered by our insurance for whichever decision. Ok now I can tell that I’m about to start rambling so I’ll stop here.
I will say that the positive thing about this experience is that I have been able to spend some quality time with my little one. Since he started daycare he’s had to deal with a lot, including separation everyday (which hurts me too). These last couple of days have been filled with loads of cuddling, skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding. He’s starting to get his energy back so we will see what happens. I’m loving this tease of being a stay-at-home-mommy and wish it didn’t have to change. Oh the joys AND challenges of being a mommy😊.
What do you think about holistic health?
Thanks so much for stopping by and reading such a long post. I hope this has been helpful or comforting for someone.
All he wanted was to be held and listen to reggae music on the iPod.
Starting to get his energy back. You can kinda see the light spots on his face here.