When My Son’s Doctors Viewed His Daily Symptoms as Acceptable

Our 5-year-old son has a number of congenital “anomalies” as his doctors like to call them, from his brain and spine to his heart and intestines. His list of diagnoses can fill a page on the doctor’s printouts. However, the one thing that has troubled him the most is his gastrointestinal (GI) issues: vomiting and constipation.

My son was born with intestinal malrotation and had a Ladd’s procedure to help correct it when he was around 9-months-old. At this point, he was constipated, underweight, not eating enough and vomited readily so a feeding tube was placed. 

Over the next two years, my son regularly vomited during his tube-fed meals. It was his norm. And his doctors agreed. Since his weight and height were proportionate, his vomiting wasn’t affecting his growth. In other words, daily vomiting was acceptable from his doctors’ standpoint. All of them. They didn’t seem concerned with his quality of life. They weren’t concerned with how his vomiting affected his aversion of food and lack of progress with eating. They weren’t concerned with his overall wellness. We, however, were frustrated, exhausted, and frankly, unhappy.

What do you do when all of your medical specialists are OK with something that is acceptable in the medical world but not OK in the wellness world? Since when did they stop coexisting? 

After guidance from a relative, we sought an alternative. I consulted over the phone with a holistic doctor who practices intuitive medicine. After three months and a few consultations with this holistic doctor, our son’s vomiting improved. Over the course of six to 12 months, his vomiting had significantly improved to the point where it happened only a couple of times every few months. When it came time to follow up with his gastroenterologist and other specialists, they didn’t care so much how it improved but that it just improved. That disappointed me. 

Yes, our son has abnormal intestines. It is not uncommon for him to have constipation or vomiting issues. Per the status quo. I don’t like status quo. I wish a lot of doctors didn’t like status quo, either! 

So I say to all you fellow status-quo-protocol parents, it’s OK to look beyond the medical world. It’s OK to look into other ways to help your child. But, most importantly, when you seek other methods, always keep your doctors in the know. You still want everyone to be a part of your child’s team, you’re just adding to the roster!

Lead photo source: Thinkstock Images

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Chronic Illness

chalk style drawing of girl on bed with cat

When I Pressure Myself Not to 'Waste' a Bad Day of My Illness

Sometimes I wake up with pain in my face and forehead like my skull is contracting. The running joke in my family is that an alien life-form in gestating in my brain and I’m experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions. It’ll pass. (Until the day the infant alien bursts forth.) Anyway, I woke up to false alien [...]
Portrait from behind of loving couple holding hands at the beach and watching the sunset

To the Friend of Someone Who Recently Became Chronically Ill

Becoming sick is never easy; whether it’s something temporary like a cold or something chronic, it sucks to be sick. When we get sick, friends are usually the ones who keep us going. Bringing over soup or just sending a “get well soon” card can really boost the spirits. But when we don’t “get well soon,” [...]
woman watches sunset while sitting on a mountain

What It Feels Like to Come of Age With a Chronic Illness

If someone had asked my 18-year-old self how I envisioned my life at age 24, I know for certain how I would have answered: I would be a physical therapist, have a stable job in a hospital or clinic and be living with either a long-term boyfriend or husband. I would have a beautiful apartment [...]
woman performing onstage

To the Usher at the Theater Who Asked If I Was the 'Sick Girl'

Dear Miss, First of all, thank you for being an usher tonight. I’ve always had an admiration for what you do, and for the whole world of the Great White Way. Tonight, I was really excited to see one of my favorite musicals being revived on Broadway. I used to live for this stuff, and [...]