Our Visit to the Children's Hospital

As a mother and a parent, our job and our priority is always to keep our kids safe, healthy and pain free as best as we can, or this should be our main priority anyways. That is part of the unwritten job description. That is our responsibility as a parent. We signed up for this.

We spent another night in the hospital this week.

Another night away from home.

Another night being told by doctors that nothing is wrong and to just go home and treat the episodes and the pain with meds.

Why is it that when I tell the doctor that I find this diagnosis unacceptable, they look at me like I have 2 heads.

Why is it that I am supposed to just accept the fact that he suffers with great amounts of pain on a regular basis because what… You don’t have the answers? What if someone else has the answers? What if another test can shed some light on why this is happening. Does it really take all that much time and effort to write a referral to another doctor that may be more willing to offer help or have more insight as to what is plaguing his little body?

A child of 6 who has suffered from intense, debilitating migraines sporadically, yet consistently since he was 2. Textbook symptoms for migraines, except we are yet to find a doctor that has said they have seen them like this in kids under the age of 9, or to this magnitude.

And then there is the sudden spike in fever every single time he gets a migraine.

Huh. That’s odd, isn’t it? Perplexing.

An anomaly.

I’ve never seen that before…

‘… but the blood work says he is normal and healthy, so he must be completely fine. Give him some Advil and let him sleep it off.

I’m sorry, what?

Am I supposed to accept that as a suitable diagnosis for my 6-year-old son whose symptoms confuse and perplex each of the doctors and specialists we have been to see?

I’m not sure where or when along the timeline of life, it became ok to just cover it up and hope that it goes away. What ever happened to trying to address the issue and / or fix the problem. Your body reacts to stress in specific ways because it is doing it’s job at maintaining balance and equilibrium. When that balance is off, your body will fight to bring it back to normal balance, hence fever and infection. I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV, but I do know that much about the human body. The human body is an impeccable piece of machinery. Its job is to keep us alive. Generally speaking, it does a damn good job at what it does.

Bandaids don’t fix bullet holes.

The doctor told me that I should be happy that his test results came back normal.

Listen doc, I am over-joyed that his tests are all clear and that he is generally a healthy boy. I want nothing more than to confidently believe this to be true. To me, these test results mean that my search will continue and that I am not done here. Getting a clear blood test does not mean that he is all clear. Clearly there is something wrong and out of balance within his little ecosystem. Clearly there is something inside his little body that is off. Otherwise, why would it be reacting the way it is?

Or a better question to ask….

Why would all the doctors we’ve seen be so confused about his symptoms?

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Incentives for digging.

A couple years ago, I was a zombie. I was a walking grey cloud. My memory had gone to shit. I wasn’t sleeping. I was completely exhausted all the time. I had gained weight. I couldn’t lose weight for the life of me. I was depressed. My body ached and hurt in almost every way possible. I felt like an 80-year-old woman. It felt like my body was quite literally shutting down. I did all the blood work, the tests, the specialist, the everything. I was terrified. I was so scared that THIS was going to be how it was for the rest of my life. Each and every one of the tests I went for came back normal and clear.

Well, the blood work says you’re healthy, so it must be so.

But I wasn’t. I knew I wasn’t. Normal people don’t feel like shit all the time. Especially not at 32 years old woman. I ate healthy, I practised yoga, my job was fairly low key. I had some life stressors just as every one does, but nothing too catastrophic. Life was decent.

I knew something was wrong, so I kept digging. I refused to give up.

I was eventually introduced to a Naturopath who took one look at me and declared, Hashimoto’s Disease, Hypothyroidism with a side of adrenal fatigue. The Hashimoto’s made it difficult to diagnose because my levels would fluctuate from one extreme to the other and everywhere in between, so I would have had to be tested multiple times to get accurate readings. Thyroid issues run prominently on both sides of my family, so I was kind of a shoe-in. Why my doc wouldn’t have noticed that considering my Mom and I share the same doctor… Because I didn’t know enough to ask.

You don’t know what you don’t know, but ignorance isn’t an excuse.

Do your research.

My Naturopath made some suggestions and tweaks to my lifestyle and diet and within a week, A WEEK ,my life started to change and my body started to feel like MY body again. The fog started to lift. I started actually sleeping. I wasn’t retaining fat and / or water anymore so my body started to feel normal again. The bloating stopped, the achy joints, all that fun stuff, it all started to go away and my health started to balance out.

All because I refused to give up.

How many people just accept the diagnosis from their doctor as though it was the word of god? How many people just settle on one opinion just because they said so?

What would happen if people were more proactive with their health and well being? What if people started asking more questions?

Like “hey, you know what, this doesn’t feel right. I think I want a second opinion.”

How hard is that, right?

It’s hard!

Standing up for yourself is friggin hard. Questioning the opinion of others is hard, especially the opinion of a doctor.

Who are you to question their opinion, they are a DOCTOR after all. They went to school for this. They just KNOW these things, right?

But they don’t. They don’t know everything, and they shouldn’t be expected to. They are human just as we are. They are not the Gods and all-knowing super humans that most people make them out to be.

Doc, listen, I respect you and the work that you do. I think you are incredible and amazing and you do wonderful things for the people you treat, BUT for you to question my motives around trying to figure out what is wrong with my son…that’s just not acceptable to me. I’m a mother. Can you really expect anything less of me?

I had a conversation with my daughter on the way to the hospital. She asked why we had to take so many trips to the hospital for the same reasons. I said because we are hoping to get lucky enough to land a doctor we haven’t seen before who has some experience in what we are dealing with.

We are hoping that somewhere along someone’s journey, they ran into a case like ours and that it will trigger an inquiry within them and they will start asking the right questions along with us.

Grey’s Anatomy is one of our favourite shows. Medical anomalies and inquiries are not a new concept to any of us.

Just keep digging.

I always encourage my kids to dig deeper if they are not satisfied with an answer they have been given. I’ve taught my kids to ask questions if they are presented with a theory that doesn’t sit well with them.

If it doesn’t feel right, questions it. You quite literally have the whole world at your fingertips.

You have the ability to do your own research. Do it. Search until you find what you are looking for and you are satisfied with the results.

Feel it out.

Don’t take someone’s word or opinion simply because you trust them, they’re an authoritative figure, or they are family. You must make that decision for yourself and it has to feel good in YOUR bones. If it doesn’t, then it’s not for you and you need to keep digging.

Stay inquisitive.

xo