Finding A Balance in Medicine: Mainstream vs. Alternative

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?”

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Um….no.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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24 thoughts on “Finding A Balance in Medicine: Mainstream vs. Alternative

  1. Right on! Thank you for writing this…and so much more! I’m so glad I subscribed to your blog. Sometimes it seems you put in words what my sleep deprived momma brain isn’t doing these days!
    Thank you! Keep it coming!
    Emy Porter
    emysladek@yahoo.com

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  2. Jessica, WELL SAID! I do not have children, however I know that when a child is sick that your stress levels shoot up! You want to fix what’s wrong in a sick child right away because if they aren’t playing and happy something is wrong. Instincts say, ‘happy child healthy child’!

    But, just as you said Perfectly!
    Doctors & mainstream medicine IS BEING ABUSED! Doctors & mainstream meds. are also being entrusted blindly when a parent should put their foot down – JUST SAY NO my child isn’t sick!

    “WELL DOCTOR” visits are another way the “corporate business” of insurance company/medical practice’s use a tool for making money!
    Antibiotics, vaccines and exposure to an office of sick kids – weaken and/or destroy the child’s immune system to bring the child back for more visits!!!
    Cha-ching!!! CHA-CHING!!!

    In the past 2 years—I’ve only had 1 urgent care visit to test for mono – text negative and doc offered shot, but said it would more effective to ride out what I had because I was taking care of it with what I was doing. Tho he made a face at me saying “raw honey and Vit C” were my main instruments in controlling mucus. He diagnosed me with a major cold & virus. PURPOSE OF VISIT: weak & almost passed out in shower. MY PREVENTION from weaken state – eat chicken soup with brown rice pasta. Cheaper then insurance or doctors visits.

    GOD HAS GIVEN US THE TOOLS TO OUR HEALTH. BE WISE. ASK HIM WHICH TOOL AND HOW DO I USE IT. That’s what I did! The Lord led me to Natural Healing and I’m still learning everyday about it and feeling EMPOWERED and SECURE THIS THE RIGHT DECISION I MADE!

    MY WHOLE FAMILY HAS BEEN INFLUENCED AND ARE NOW A GREAT SUPPORT IN PRIMARY CARE OF NATURAL HEALING TOO!

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  3. I completely understand everything you said and I agree with you :-). I don’t often leave comments but I wanted to tell you I enjoy your blog and all the information you provide. Not going with the masses always makes life more “interesting” but it’s worth it ! Keep it coming! 🙂

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  4. Great post! My kids are in there teens and I only see our pediatrician now for school sports physicals. Basically a well child visit that is covered by insurance. We only see him once a year too since we went gluten/dairy and sugar free. We used to go all the time! We were constantly getting a prescription for a chronic cough for both of them. I also decided to not vaccine at their 12 year appointment. Five years ago met with a different M.D. turned Naturopath to help my daughter with her digestive issues and she didn’t vaccinate her kids. She go me thinking and I wish I knew 15 years ago what I know now. Oh well! Keep up the good work!!

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  5. Amen. Our family is the same as you. I highly respect doctors, and they are a blessing in that they can save our lives in times when we cannot. But parents totally underestimate themselves when it comes to treating common ailments in their children. Perhaps they are not confident or they don’t know where to look for information on treating their children. We have 6 children, and we’ve been to our family doctor for xrays, stitches, and to diagnose illness when I just couldn’t put my finger on it (then I ditched the antibiotic prescription and proceeded to effectively and quickly treat ALL of them naturally). Perhaps a total of 10 times or less through the last 15 years. With 6 kids. Seriously. That’s not to say that there haven’t been long nights of praying over a very sick child, doing everything I could to treat an illness and knowing that if they didn’t respond by x amount of time that we would be making a trip to the doctor. And we never had to, except for once. In that case, we had been trying to help our 6 year old daughter with stomach pain, with no success. We took her to the doctor, and he diagnosed pneumonia after running some tests and xrays. We took her home on antibiotics and things did not improve. We took her back and had more xrays and tests, found fluid in her lungs (pleural effusion), took her to the pediatric surgeon the next day (not considered enough of an emergency by the dr. or the surgeon to see her that same day), and had a diagnosis of lymphoma by the end of the day.

    One value for taking charge of my children’s health through these years that I would never have expected — the doctors (oncologists, family, etc.) that we have seen TRUST my husband and me. They know that when we bring an area of concern, that it is not just the worries of a mom who does not try to understand her child’s health. They know that I’ve done my homework and have can provide them with extensive details about the problem. During my daughter’s first year out of treatment when she had to have basic bloodwork every month, we removed her from the cancer clinic and had our family dr. do this. Why pay $500 per visit (cancer clinic) when we could pay $125 (family doctor) for the same tests, same physical exam? The clinic didn’t like it, but they couldn’t argue with us. We had proven ourselves attentive parents through the previous 2 years. Then our family doctor quickly realized that I had become quite skilled in doing the physical exam (palpate belly, massage lymph nodes) that he spared us that part of the visit and only stuck his head in to ask if I had any questions or concerns that month. Then he charged us only $25 for the bloodwork. What a blessing. He did this because we had proven ourselves attentive parents. We trust his work as our family physician, and in return he trusts us as knowledgeable and loving parents. And I think that is the relationship that a doctor should have with a family. Sadly, it seems as if it’s the parents that abdicate their role in that relationship as the only thing they know to do when their child has a fever or an ear ache or a cough is to go to the doctor so that he/she can tell them what they should have already determined.

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  6. Could you email me about how you pulled metals, toxins and viruses out of Solomon body? I would be really interesed to know. I think it is really great and I might need to do that for my family!

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      1. Could you expand on that? We have foster babies that are affected by drugs, sickness and vaccine. They have a lot in their system for such a small body. I would love to know specifically! Homeopathy is very broad.

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  7. Well written post. For now, we go to “well baby” visits because I’d like to develop a relationship with an office practice around here that also accepts our choices. At our last weight/height check (which is how I refer to them) we also received a prescription to treat what the NP thought might be a yeast rash. We chose not to fill it and there’s no more rash in the diaper area.

    Recently I was talking with Hun about how much I really want to get good herbs and essential oils in our household, when we can, so that we can more effectively/efficiently treat those common things that happen.

    At the same time, as you said, PREVENTION is the key! That’s the rule in our family. Prevent illness the best we can and move forward from there. To date, no real need for today’s medical medicine – un-health care. 🙂

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  8. I resonate with you on this matter. Admittedly, there were several occassions in my life that i truly felt that the western meds were a blessing. Besides the ER episodes invoving each and everyone of my boys when they broke/fracture a bone ( i have 5 sons ), my dad’s post triple A operations were all manageable ,due to strong painkillers. I was literally thanking God for making doctors when it took the extreme pain from my 70 year-old dad who was writhing helplessly. Otherwise we would not use doctors per se.

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  9. I hate to be the nitpicky one, but I thought I’d let you know that periods and commas go inside ” ” instead of outside. 🙂 I have seen you thank other(s) for grammar correction before…you have SO much to offer in terms of knowledge on vaccines and general health, and I know for some, the fewer the mistakes and typos, the more likely they are to read.

    Thanks SO much for all you do!

    P.S. You mentioned that the state mandated that you get a PKU test. Can they do that?

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  10. My boy is 8 1/2 yrs old, not vaccinated at all, and has never had to see a doctor due to illness (except once at age 3 for pink eye to which they recommended getting antibiotic eye drops – other than that, he has never had any kind of antibiotics nor prescription). We simply just never have to go to the doctor because any sickness he has ever had has been so incredibly mild. We live in Canada, so we still have to pay our monthly mandated medical ‘insurance’ fee – I always make myself feel better by looking at the payment as what I pay for him to continue to be healthy, because we sure aren’t getting anything else out of it! LOL. We focus on prevention and I truly believe that not vaccinating our child has allowed his immune system to work properly, as it should. Thank you for continuing to post about this topic – it is so nice to read about someone with the same views. It can get pretty lonely.

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  11. I’ve just discovered your blog through one of the non-vax pages I follow on Facebook. I am a first time Mom (baby girl is 5 weeks old) and I am so inspired by you and your family. I’ve been reading your blog for a couple hours now in between nursing and naps. It seems that you live in New Orleans or Southern LA? I am in Slidell and have been looking for a naturopath, would you have a recommendation? Thank you in advance. And thank you for sharing your life and family with all of us, I look forward to following your journey as we create our own.

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  12. I’m curious as to whether you home school your kids–here in CA, you can’t send your kids to school unless they have had the full complement of Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Polio, Tetanus, Whooping Cough vaccines. My kids are all grown, but looking into the future when they have kids 🙂 I just recently discovered that hospitals routinely give Hep B shots to newborns–that seems beyond crazy. What newborn is at risk of Hep B–that’s criminal.

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