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bloody doctors

  • malakai had two docs appointments today...enough to last me a lifetime.

    the first was to get a conscientious objector form from my GP. the law says they have to explain to us why we should, blah, blah, blah. lucky my doc is very aware of my alternative parenting views and she said, so is there any point me saying anything as whilst i don't agree with you, i don't think i would change your mind. then she proceeded to ask me why, etc and it just shocks me at the lack of knowledge the docs get about vacs as they get educated about them by the bloody manufacturing pharmaceutical companies. and my fav quote from her was, "don't believe everything that's on the web as there is a lot of shonky infor out there". which makes me laugh as the government website she recommended i read is no doubt full of propoganda too. and she seemed genuinely shocked when i said i'd barely looked at anything on the net re: vax/imunisation as i had done most of my research via books and journals. anyway, she wasn't so bad and atleast she signed it for me.

    then we had an appointment with a gastroenterologist for malakai's belly. basically he's been waking up to a dozen times a night, crying, screaming sometimes, kicking his legs, rolling back and forth and obviously in distress. and when i massage his belly i can feel the gas moving through his bowel and then he'll do a big explosive fart, then he'll either roll over and go back to sleep or have a fedd and go back to sleep. we've found that what i eat and what we feed him definitely makes a difference to how gaseous he is, and through a very strict elimination diet we've worked out what we can tolerate and in what amounts, but he still appears to be very gaseous, even during the day but as he's moving about and squating down, etc, he lets them rip easily. anyway, my naturopath suggested that we see a gastro doc just to eliminate any possible anatomical/physiological problems, like a blocked bile duct, constricted bowel, etc. anyway, i start explaining what's been going on and he basically told me that what i eat is not going to affect my breast milk and not going to affect malakai. and he reckoned that at malakai's age (17mths) he doesn't need breastmilk, and if he is having it it's only useful as a bit of a supplement, that he wouldn't be getting much from it nutritionally :evil his diagnosis was that malakai just swallows too much air, coz that's the mechanism for breastfeeding that they all swallow heaps of air as they breath and suck, so if i want him to stop farting i should take him off the breast and just give him solids. he then proceeded to tell me the reason he was waking so much was because he was just rousing as he came through his sleep cycles and that because he was waking me i was rubbing his belly and rousing him even more and then giving him a feed so why wouldn't he keep waking up all the time. it maked me so angry for him to think that i don't know when my son is in pain/distressed. even after i told him that i wait to see if he's just travelling through a sleep cycle or really waking up in pain or hungry before i comfort him in case he is just rousing and will settle alone. anyway, he just confirmed for me why i hate the medical profession. i went there looking for some answers to help my son and feel like i got bugger all. his cure all theory was to get him out of my bed, get him eating more solids, including meat, dairy, eggs (we're vego and i'm allergic to dairy and malakai reacts badly if he has dairy or eggs) and to add lots more fats to his diet, and that seeing as i reckoned he was more gaseous when we added vegetable oils to his diet, we should give him animal fats. the only useful thing he suggested was that we could try olive oil as it was not linked with macular degeneration and was easier to digest than the seed and grain oils.

    sorry about the big rant i just needed to let off some steam and say to all the ladies out there who feed there toddlers and older children, "do they swallow so much air that they are waking up all night long in pain and farting explosive farts?? coz all the ladies i know who are still breastfeeding toddlers don't appear to have the same problem. and malakai has always been very gaseous and is only getting worse with age. any suggestions ladies??!! or anybody else had similar problems with docs?
  • Oh, Georgia. I can't offer any worthy advice. Just sympathy and faith in your judgement. I hope you find the cause.
  • Nope, my kids (when they were bf at night) didn't do that.

    Another uneducated dickhead. Can I add mine?

    On Saturday, I had to see a doc cos I had a sinus infection and couldn't take the pain any longer. She said to me, your baby might get a tummy ache from the antibiotics. If that happens, you can express and feed your baby a bottle. AS IF. I just said, not an option. She didn't even wonder why. Don't you reckon, love, that a bottle of formula, for a fully breastfed baby, would give her more than a freaking belly ache?
  • Hi Georgia,
    what a crap doctor! There you are trying to cover all bases and he's misinformed git. Sounds like you have a great naturopath so maybe back to square one. What a bugger and your poor little bubby with a sore tummy. I hope you get some relief soon! I have a grown friend who suffers with something that sounds very similar but her's is due to parts of her gut nerves not working after a hysterectomy for cancer. Another friend who's a sensible doctor :D advised me to put Conor on his left side and massage his right hip as that apparently sends gas speeding out. It works for us but who knows? Sounds like you're trying lots of things already. There's also a back point used by osteopaths which I've seen in the flesh used on small children with sore tummies - I have never heard so much burping and farting come from a small body! But it fixed it right up. I have no idea what it's called but it's apparently the spot on the spine related to stomach stuff. Know a good osteo??? Does IBS run in your family?
    Good luck with it!
  • OMG... Where have all the good doctors gone?
  • I was going to say it sounds like irritable bowel but does it really occur in such young ones? Irritable bowel is linked to anxiety, isn't it?

    I would suggest coeliac or other food sensitivities but I know you already exclude all that stuff Georgia.

    I've known elderly people to develop pockets in the gut and bowel (dimaticulitis sp?) where food can get cause and putrify - I know it can also occur in the very young. Massage helps.

    I hope you find a sympathetic practitioner.
  • Er, correction, DiVERticulitis...

    Irritable bowel...

    Leaky gut syndrome...

    Anyhow, I don't want to play doctor, just wanting to offer some ideas to help you identify the problem. All the best!
  • What a horrible experience- I hate it when doctors wont listen to mums.
    I hope you have some luck finding out whats wrong.
  • One pead. told me that Jordan had toddler diahorrea (at 2.5yrs), not to worry, then said he probably had leaky gut. Ahh, don't worry about it he may grow out of it, is what he said. Jordan was diagnosed with coeliacs at 3yrs and some of the symptoms you mentioned we had here.

    Some doctors are definately better than others. I am amazed at how little knowledge doctors have of vaccines actually. Quite frightening. I informed mine of some of the toxins in some and why I wouldn't consent to Jordan having them - he just sat there dumbfounded.
  • What a couple of idiot doctors. I can't believe the simplistic "swallowing air" diognosis! I think the elimination diet is a good idea- does he have soy at all? Sometimes that can be hard to digest. Thank goodness we have a good doc. He supports not vaxing and because he's an anthroposophical dr as well as a GP, he prescribes homeopathics as well as everything else, but the kids still get to see him for free (free dr visits for kids under 6 in NZ). Anyway, he prescribed a homeopathic called siderit for Lily to help with digestion , it seemed to work pretty well.
    Hope Malakai's sore tummies get better really soon :)
  • Anna still breastfeeds on demand (she is nearly 18mo, is feeding as we speak). We have never had wind problems. If anything I think they swallow less air breastfeeding.
  • Oh, Georgia, they can be so patronising can't they? But there are a few good ones out there - members of the medical profession I mean.

    The first thing you should do is get him onto some good quality baby bifidus, if he isn't already. I know that Metagenics has a good one that's dairy etc. free. Ask your naturopath about it. It's vitally important, not just for the condition of his bowels, but for his immunity in general, that gut flora is balanced.

    I'll point out this thread to Melissah - she has loads of experience with food intollerances and can probably give you a bit more direction.

    Good luck. Isabelle had similar problems, and I'm pretty sure her problem was dairy, but I didn't know much about any of this back then.
  • thanks for all the advice ladies. i've pretty much done everything suggested already...the doc was my final point of call. i just needed a vent as i was very angry. so i've decided to write the doctor a letter suggesting he needs to review his awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding, especially extended feeding. and that he also needs to have more respect for a mothers awareness and understanding of her child, for whilst there may be some mothers who are disconnected from their children, i think most are very in touch and know more about their child/ren than any doctor, and the doctors should give credence to this and trust the mothers instinct when treating young children. as i said i think by now i know the differnce between my son waking up coz he wants a feed and mum, and him waking up screaming in pain. i'm sure we all know that difference. and whilst i may be strong enough nd educated enough to stand up for my beliefs, there are unfortunately many mums who would listen to this doctor and when he suggests that breastfeeding a child of 18 months isn't important, they would probably believe him and wean their child. so can any of you who suggest a few good website links for me to include in my letter to give him some valid research to read? much appreciated.

    Georgia :)
  • ROAR!!!

    try, also tom hale's website (not sure but he might have something), f course aba.
  • this is long but just what your talking about.

    Seen but not heard
    Author: Julie Robotham
    Date: 03/04/2004
    Words: 1615
    Source: SMH Publication: Sydney Morning Herald
    Section: News And Features
    Page: 32

    Some doctors are too ready to look for psychological problems in the family when diagnosing asick child. Julie Robotham reports.
    THE woman thought it should be relatively straightforward to have her son diagnosed and treated especially given his history of knee injury. The 13-year-old was suffering excruciating pain in the same leg he had damaged three years earlier, and his mother had no reason to expect it was anything other than a recurrence of the old problem when she took him to a Sydney children's hospital last year.
    One week after his admission, the teenager's shaken parents removed him from the hospital and drove him home. Doctors had found no explanation for the continuing pain so bad it made him vomit and instead of support, the happy family found themselves subjected to a line of interrogation they found simultaneously absurd and disturbing.
    ``A child psychologist was brought into the picture who asked odd questions about our family," the boy's mother told the Herald. ``When I asked why this was required, they advised us they were looking into all possibilities . . . [my son] is from a very family-orientated and happy background, but the questions were leading in a different way."
    Soon after, a physiotherapist unconnected to the hospital identified and successfully treated the problem a chronic muscle spasm had developed because the boy had been walking unevenly to compensate for his earlier injury. His treating doctors expressed polite interest, but were unabashed at having called the boy's mental health into question.
    Across the country and internationally, parents of sick children are feeling themselves under a microscope of suspicion as doctors weigh the possibility they may have caused unusual symptoms in their children deliberately, or unwittingly by bringing them up in an environment of unbearable psychological stress.
    And while it is unarguable that some parents abuse their offspring, sometimes in bizarre and cryptic ways concern is growing that the medical profession may be exceeding its remit by too readily attributing illnesses that doctors cannot explain to family circumstances.
    Adara Davies fell foul of just such an insidious set of assumptions. The case, revealed by the Herald this week, of the cancer-stricken toddler whose diagnosis was delayed for three weeks while doctors speculated about her parents' relationship, highlights the danger of applying a psychological construction to children's symptoms before possible physical causes have been eliminated.
    The Children's Hospital at Westmead has apologised to Mark and Rodna Davies and made a full admission that the delay in identifying their daughter's disease of which the major symptom was constant vomiting occurred because pediatricians were hell-bent on a psychological explanation, despite the parents' insistence something was terribly wrong.
    ``When people fixate on a diagnosis, that should be a warning bell to clinicians to step back a bit, particularly when parents are objecting," says Merrilyn Walton, the University of Sydney medical faculty's associate professor of ethical practice. ``There's a growing acceptance that patients are experts in their own right in terms of their experience of their illness and if you're finding yourself discounting this, you should say, `Hello, I might need help here'."
    In the case of children, doctors should regard highly anxious parents not as neurotics who are overstating a trivial illness, but as a potential clue that the child may be very ill. ``I would like to see parental concern [regarded as] as important as a temperature," said Walton who, as a former NSW Health Care Complaints Commissioner, investigated a number of instances in which very sick children were left to languish in emergency departments while their frantic parents' intuition that something was seriously amiss was disregarded. Nevertheless, she says, there is strong scientific backing for the notion that psychological stress can cause illness in children, and doctors are right to consider that possibility when a more obvious cause cannot be found.
    Don Roberton says illness symptoms in childhood typically give doctors few clues. In adults, a clutch of complaints can set a doctor confidently on the road towards a particular diagnosis; in children they have to consider a much broader spectrum of possibilities, says the president of the pediatrics and child health division of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. ``A three-month-old baby with a severe kidney infection might be crying, potentially not feeding or vomiting," Roberton says, though the same symptoms could be attributable to a vast range of other illnesses or conditions many of them much more likely than severe infection. The challenge is to keep in perspective the probability the baby will turn out to have something like a gastric virus, while not dismissing the possibility of serious illness.
    And it is entirely reasonable and essential to look at a child's social circumstances when trying to figure out why they are sick. ``Very young children can seem very irritable, there may be failure to thrive, because there are some very complex dynamics elsewhere in the family," says Roberton. Details of the family background ``should be part of the history-taking on every contact with children".
    Even if that information does not inform a diagnosis, it is still an acknowledgement that ``the caring will occur in the family context", and the regime of care and treatment must be comprehensible and acceptable to the family or else it will not be followed. Poverty and being a single parent are just two factors that can influence how a family is able to care for a sick child.
    But Roberton agrees parents can feel threatened and intruded on when a doctor subjects them to scrutiny, and it can be a factor in the breakdown of the relationship between the two parties. ``It's relatively rare to be in direct conflict like that, and sometimes a health professional needs to offer the parents the chance of second, third or fourth opinions." Pediatricians who found themselves in deepening opposition to a child's parent should urgently ``seek help from others not to recruit them to our cause but the child's cause", says Roberton.
    A difficulty, says Terry Donald, is that doctors in such a situation may not understand their own motivation. Donald, the head of child protection at Adelaide's Women's and Children's Hospital, says many doctors are unhappy with the medical compromises they may have to make to maintain a constructive relationship with parents for example, ordering tests a parent insists on but the doctor believes are not needed.
    Donald has witnessed instances where doctors up the ante on parents they disagree with over a child's diagnosis by suggesting Munchausen's syndrome by proxy (MSBP) the psychological diagnosis in which the parent is judged to have fabricated or induced the child's illness.
    Such an allegation can help a doctor regain control of a situation that is spinning out of their grasp, but Donald says heavy tactics are never acceptable. Even the most difficult parents have to be brought around so that ``they have regard and sufficient trust to allow the doctor to lead the process of diagnosis and management. [Doctors have] a responsibility to push this point of engagement," and not to allow relations with parents to sour, says Donald.
    Where psychological or family factors have to be canvassed, it should always be done with the utmost care, and always by a senior doctor with relevant experience. ``It's not always presented well to parents. Some doctors do it very badly and that can affect badly the way parents respond," Donald says. Without preamble, some doctors bark out the sensitive family questions in the same tone as they ask about fever and eating patterns, and that gets parents offside, he says.
    IF doctors' communications skills fall short, their attitudes to parents may be worse. Michael Fairley, head of child and adolescent psychiatry at Sydney's Prince of Wales Hospital and Sydney Children's Hospital, described to a conference last year the disrespectful way some doctors refer to parents of children with unexplained illnesses. ``I'll concede that round corridors people will say, `Ah, this one seems a bit Munchausen-y'. It does get a bit derogatory," Fairley told the Australasian Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect in Sydney last November.
    He acknowledged this was inappropriate but said parents' worst fear that a child may be removed by child protection authorities if an unfounded suspicion of MSBP gets out of hand was unjustified. Loose talk ``certainly doesn't lead to the removal of children . . . the diagnostic criteria prevent this going too far", Fairley said.
    In a paper in the Medical Journal of Australia last year, an Adelaide psychiatrist, Jon Jureidini, argued the medical system itself was guilty of perpetuating illness in children, blaming doctors' ``excitement at life-and-death scenarios, or fascination with apparently rare and publishable cases". The rise of patient power meant parents were emboldened to seek ever more specialist opinions, and professional rivalry meant doctors would sometimes collude with parents in the quest for an exotic diagnosis if it meant they could dismiss the views of a more pedestrian colleague.
    ``Doctors may associate more personal status with finding the diagnosis than clarifying that a problem has multiple ill-defined causes," wrote Jureidini, the head of the department of psychological medicine at the Women's and Children's Hospital. ``Also they may avoid saying, `I don't know what's going on here,' perhaps because they fear revealing their ignorance."
  • It's so hard to find a good doctor. I hope you find out what's wrong pretty soon as it doesn't sound like much fun for any of you. Thomas gets windy occassionaly and I massage his belly with either cammomile or lavender in a base oil.

    Good luck and I hope things get beeter soon.
  • It's a difficult balance isn't it - I wouldn't like to be the one trying to work it out. However, being a bit of an 'expert Mum' at dealing with medical proffessionals now, I'm pretty thick skinned to the brush off - I will sit in the doctors rooms until I am satisfied with the outcome. In this case I would have said 'No, it's not air, so what else could it be?' - remember, you are not only the customer but also your childs advocate - it is completely your decision as to what action to take based on the doctors advice/opinion, and you can also ask for more actions if you feel they are needed.

    I have a great GP who says things like 'I think this ear infection will clear up in a couple of days without antibiotics, how do you feel ? ' - if I disagree, he takes that seriously and we discuss other courses of action. When I told my Obs last year that I had a 'feeling' things weren't right (no physical symptoms) she took that very seriously and sent me off for a cervix ultrasound that day - I was right, I was in prelabour already at 28 weeks and needed to go in to high risk mode. She said that she has complete faith in most woman being in touch with their bodies/babies in a way that hasn't yet been explained with science but that she knows exists.

    So there are some good doctors, maybe you should get a second opinion ?
  • Oh, Georgia! Sometimes it is so frustrating "just being the mother...what would we know anyway!!!?????
    Love to you my friend :)
  • Hi Georgia,

    I can't resist adding my little bit about doctors to this! Florentina has had a loose poo problem since around the start of June, after a particularly bad virus. She is now 19 months old. Our first stop was the gp who ordered a stool test which showed nothing was wrong. She said not to worry about it as lots of toddlers went through it and it was probably damage caused to the digestive layer?? by the virus. She said if it continued and we were concerned she would refer us to a paediatrician. 3 weeks later, I called for a referral as nothing had changed. She referred us to a paed who is also a gastroenterologist.
    He was one of the worst medical so called professionals I've been to. He didn't offer much info and only elaborated on things if I asked. Anyway, I went through dd's diet etc. and mentioned that she was still breastfed. Well! He immediately latched onto that as what was exacerbating the loose poo. He said the virus damaged the digestive layer so that Florentina would have to go on a no dairy diet and also exclude certain vegies and fruit, but he said the most significant thing was to stop BF as she didn't really need it at her age, it is just a psychological dependence and is acting like a liquid laxative!

    We followed the diet for a few weeks, without stopping breastfeeding, whoever heard of such a ridiculous thing! to no change.

    Anyway, needless to say, we went and saw another doctor who was the complete opposite to him and was really wonderful. She is a GP who also practises complementary medicine. She has recommended Metagenics Flora care for Kids which Florentina has been taking for a week and is already showing improvement!

    However the icing on the cake to this story! At this new GPs surgery I saw the letter the paed had written re our visit to the first GP. He said Florentina was suffering a minor viral illness. Her main problem was 'gasp' excessive breastfeeding!:roll
  • :OMG You have GOT to be joking! Excessive breastfeeding!!!???
    Some people/doctors/whoever just have no idea... It was probably one of the only things that was keeping her going! I am sitting here, shaking my head. Unbelievable.