I am often very misunderstood when it comes to my stance on medicine, particularly with my children.
Today I ran into our old pediatrician. I shared about it on facebook. The post read:
“Ran into our old pediatrician today. I always really liked her. She always supported our decision to not vaccinate. She was always super nice, took time with us at each well baby visit, always to tell me “your babies are very healthy”. After awhile, the visits became a waste of my time. If not to vaccinate or get a prescription filled, what was a “well baby” visit to offer? The co-pay and time spent was not worth getting a height and weight. So we stopped going. I hadn’t seen her since The Tot was born 3 years ago (when I was mandated by the state to go get a PKU test, since I refused it at the hospital). Other than that day, we haven’t been to a “well baby” visit in 5 years.
Running into this pediatrician today, she was genuinely happy to see me and the kids. She said everyone looked great and then said: “I never see you anymore.” I explained very politely that I although I really liked her, I didn’t have a reason to see her anymore. I said “Since we don’t vaccinate, and my kids are never sick, I had no reason to continue coming.” She said “I know.”
Running into this pediatrician made me sad. Why? Because pediatricians livelihoods depend on sick kids. Not healthy kids. And our society has done a fantastic job making kids sick. The business of sickcare is what we run. Not healthcare.
And I really like this pediatrician. I just hate what she has to do to make a living”
Of course this post received a quite a few private messages. One which asked “How do you not go to doctors anymore? Do you really think you are your kids doctor?”
I’m actually a very bad “doctor”. I’m queasy and panic easily. My husband is a much better “doctor”, but even he is very thankful for the times that we have needed and used doctors and medicine for our children.
See not going to “well baby” visits, does not mean that you are done with doctors. It just means you no longer attend scheduled doctors visits at 2, 4, 6, 12, 18 months, etc… for vaccines. It also means not going to a scheduled “well baby” visit, when your kids are….well. Doctors visits are for sick kids, not well kids. The irony of the name “well baby” visit.
I am very thankful for medicine and doctors over the years.
Here are a few examples of when mainstream doctors visits and mainstream medicine has worked for us.
*ER visit with Big Sister. She cracked her head open while watching her aunt play in a college volleyball match at Tulane. Was put on a stretcher and taken by ambulance to Children’s Hospital in New Orleans. Got a head full of stitches. I was very thankful for the expertise of an ER doctor that day. And the efficiency of the emergency room.
*ER visit with Next Sister. She & her siblings were racing in the driveway and she tripped and fell and broke her collarbone. I was very thankful for the expertise of an ER doctor that day. I was also thankful for the subsequent follow up visits with an orthopedic surgeon who specialized in fractured bones.
*Our entire family needed physicals for our adoption case. We went to a local family practice doctor who performed very thorough physicals. I was very thankful for the role of that doctor that day. Her expertise helped us get the proper paperwork we needed to move foreword in our adoption. *I also highly recommend specialized yearly physicals for children. This is much different than a “well-baby” visit.
*At the end of the summer (a week before school started), two of the five kids came down with strep throat. We were able to treat one child naturally. I was not able to treat the second child naturally. We went back to the walk-in clinic where the same family practice doctor that conducted our physicals, was able to prescribe Next Sister with the lowest dose of penicillin (since at the age of 6, she was on antibiotics for the first time). 3 doses of the penicillin did the job and her strep throat was gone. Very thankful for medicine that day, as Next Sister was able to attend her first day of 1st grade. I write about that experience in detail (HERE).
I can honestly say these are the 4 times we have used mainstream medicine in the last 5 years. But I will never minimized how thankful I am for the role of doctors and medicine during these times.
Here are a few examples of when naturopath doctors and alternative medicine has worked for us.
*When Big Sister was in ER for her busted head, we shared with the doctor how it wasn’t likely we would be coming back to this particular ER (since our child was ambulanced over an hour away from our home) to get her stitches removed and that we really didn’t want to have to make an appointment with a doctor for this procedure. So we were sent home with the sterilized medical equipment and instructions on how to remove the stitches at home. I was very thankful on the day of stitch removal for my husbands steady hand.
*Big Sister burnt her arm badly. We knew enough to know that what the ER would have used to treat her burn, would not have been as safe or effective as what we knew to work. So we choose to treat this naturally. It worked and we shared about it (HERE). It’s not to say that our choice of treatment did not have some family members scared and feeling like we needed to bring her to the ER instead. We knew better. I was very thankful that day for my husbands calm spirit and ability to treat her burn at home.
*Solomon came home from Uganda with many issues. We used a local naturopath for him. During this time we learned that he had suffered from vaccine reactions in Uganda. We were able to do a 12 week detox pulling metals and toxins and viruses from his body. We also treated two busted ear drums, a viral infection of the scalp, thyroid issues, glucose levels, and toothaches, all using a naturopath and natural medicine. Homeopathy, herbs, etc… I am very thankful that we were able to treat and heal our son with natural medicine, instead of adding further insult to his injury.
I honestly wish I had more stories to tell when it comes to times we have needed or used doctors or medicine. But for the most part, we treat everything from home.
I have learned over the years that are two main types of responses from parents when it comes to their children getting sick. #1: Those who seek diagnosis and #2: Those who do not seek diagnosis. And I’m referring ONLY to healthy children with common sickness or illness.
It is common for children to have fever. It is common for children to have coughs. It is common for children to get colds. It is common for children to have stomach bugs and tummy aches. It is common for children to have sore throats. It is common for children to throw up or have diarrhea. It is common for children to have ear aches. It is common for children to break out into rashes.
None of these things are common when they happen often, but when they do happen, it is ok. So going to a doctor for a diagnosis in our family is a waste of time because we know that common sickness and illness can be successfully treated naturally and from home.
A cold in one of our children does not need an official diagnosis. Same with a fever or an ear ache or a cough or a sore throat. Our bottom line is healing. It doesn’t matter what the sickness is officially diagnosed as. So we treat from home. Our arsenal of healing remedies is abundant. I’ve written about fevers in detail (HERE)
But most important is prevention. Prevention is key to overall health and healing. Breastfed babies, homemade baby food, healthy food choices, keeping children off of antibiotics for unnecessary reasons, staying away from unnecessary medical procedures, avoiding unnecessary doctors visits (like bringing a healthy child to a sick place for a “well baby visit”). Prevention is letting an immune system build and grow naturally. Prescribing antibiotics to a 4 month old for an ear infection that is most likely viral destroys the immune system in that baby. The mainstream treatment plan suddenly becomes worse than the ear infection. I’m sure my kids have had ear infections, but we have treated every single ear ache from home naturally and have never gone to the doctor to receive an official “ear infection” diagnosis. Ever. Not a single prescription filled ever. For anything. And one child has been on antibiotics at age 6 for the first and only time.
Prevention: Not tricking the immune system through a needle is a great place to start.
Because we don’t seek diagnosis, we avoid many trips to the doctor and unless it’s an emergency visit (ER) or a specialty visit (like an orthopedic surgeon), we have had no use for a pediatrician in 5 years.
And yes, like my original Facebook post said, it makes me sad.
But it does not mean we don’t use doctors. It just means that the role of a pediatrician is sadly, un-used.
So yes, in a sense…we have become our children’s own doctors in that we decide when and how to use doctors and medicine. And for our family, the overall health of our children has confirmed that we are on the right path.
My prayer for every family is that the health decisions they make for their children would always be met with peace and confidence and clarity.