This week is my daughter's 16th birthday. I was hoping she'd have some visitors to help make her feel important on this important day, however, its not looking likely. She was born on the opening day of deer hunting season, and while my take on the situation is pretty much the same as hers (she only turns 16 once and a person can kill a deer just as easily the 2nd day of hunting season as opening day, not to mention that the chances of actually bagging one on that specific day are probably slim anyway) I can see why she's feeling lonely and unimportant. We've explained that to expect people, even people who love you very much, to travel so far (we recently moved very far from where she grew up and where most of our family lives) is unrealistic, which she understands. What bums her out is that she'd rather people not say they are going to visit and then don't, because then she gets hopeful.
In any case, we have spent considerable time the last few days trying to set up something that will make her feel special, albeit on a shoestring budget. Fortunately, she has no expectation of getting a car or something outrageous for her sweet 16.
So, there's that, and then there is the regular school work, job hunting so I can pay for school, and continuing education requirements for membership renewal for the National Guild of Hypnotists.
That has been quite interesting, actually. I'm learning more about using hypnosis for IBS, pain and pre- and post-op assistance. I've already been working with and researching pain in association with Lyme Disease and cancer with promising results. (I take clients with a medical referral through Fox Valley Wellness Center and do non-referral hypnosis at the Fond du Lac Center for Spirituality and Healing.)
In addition, we are having a very exciting house guest this week; my husband's 'brother from another mother' as he calls him. He is a walking medical miracle! A few years ago, he was in a car accident and broken seemingly beyond repair. The fact that he lived is amazing (the person in the other car who caused the accident didn't), but he was so badly injured they had to put him in a medically induced coma to work on him over several surgeries. All of his blood was replaced several times over. THIS is where modern medicine shines, despite the fact that doctors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S. behind heart disease and cancer. In a case like my BIL, without the skill of those physicians, available drugs, prayers and healing energy work, I have no doubt he would not be with us now. We need all that modern technology has to offer for the sick and injured. When it comes to a situation like this, where one can weigh the risks and benefits and doing something means everything, doctors rule. The balancing factor is that we need to utilize the skill where it belongs, and keep out of where it does more harm than good; i.e. healthy birth or in the case of my chosen headline: MRSA.
MRSA is a huge concern these days. The problem is it's not new. 15 years ago, I went to one of the many doctors I've loved and respected over the years. I said, "I have strep throat. I need an antibiotic." He asked how I knew. I said, "I get it every year, and that's what other doctors have always done." He refused to give me an antibiotic. He explained to me that antibiotic resistance was a growing problem (15 years ago, remember) and that just because other doctors had given me antibiotics without determining if my sore throat was bacterial (in which case an antibiotic might be appropriate) or viral (in which case it would be not just pointless, but harmful as it would kill many of the beneficial bacteria my body needed) didn't make it the right course of action. He said most sore throats were viral, and that it would go away in 2 or 3 days, and if it didn't, I should come back and he would take a culture to determine which antibiotic would work. He explained to me that antibiotics were powerful drugs, and throwing antibiotics at a problem without knowing which would be successful was dangerous.
I left fuming, because of course, I'd been going through this for years and I was sure he was wrong. Antibiotics had worked for me every time, and I didn't buy his explanation that it likely wasn't the antibiotics that 'worked'; it was likely that the disease ran it's course.
Funny, but he was right. My sore throat was gone in a couple of days. He did his job. He didn't allow me to practice medicine by demanding a worthless and possibly dangerous course of treatment. Essentially, every time a doctor says they 'had' to give a patient an antibiotic for a childhood ear infection or cold, despite the fact that the CDC and the AAP have recommended against it for years, that is what they are doing. They are letting patients determine care. The CDC and AAP suggest a wait and see attitude, treating for pain only (if present) and reducing risk factors.
I used these recommendations as my daughter was growing up, although I found them in Healing Childhood Ear Infections. She had ONE earache in her entire 16 years thus far. She's had antibiotics TWICE; neither time for an ear infection. Sadly, she's just as much at risk for MRSA as anyone else, despite my caution.
So anyway, now there seems to be evidence that besides breastfeeding, avoiding dairy, sugar, hydrogenated oils and cigarette smoke, just chewing gum with Xylitol can reduce the incidence of ear infections!
It makes me sad when I talk to parents who miss a ton of work, and copious amounts of sleep because of sick babies. So many of the problems parents encounter can be avoided! It all goes back to the birth and early parenting choices.
A side note: please consider the inconsistency of prescribing unnecessary antibiotics because the 'patient made me', or doing unnecessary 'patient choice' cesareans because the patient wanted it, but taking a woman to court to force her to have a cesarean that she doesn't want. Or, using coercion to get compliance on any number of obstetrical options that the mother doesn't want.
I know, I know. I always end up in the same place. But the inconsistencies and lack of common sense drive me batty.
Look, the good doctors want you to keep tabs on your own health. Dr. Roison (who along with Dr. Oz, Dr. Ornish, Dr. Chopra, Dr. Weil, Dr. Northrup and several personal physicians past and present is one of my favorites) explains,
"The medical care we deliver is so complex, we cannot get it right without you," says the Cleveland Clinic's Michael Roizen, who co-wrote You: The Smart Patient: An Insider's Handbook for Getting the Best Treatment with surgeon Mehmet Oz and The Joint Commission. "One way that you can help us is by checking everything we do."
So, that's all I'm doing; encouraging people to be partners in their own care. Suggesting that people do some research before they make important health care decisions that could have far-reaching implications. Saying that physicians are only human, with the same problems we all have. To think otherwise can create unsafe circumstances.
(Speaking of my favorite doctors, If anyone knows Dr. Oz or Dr. Roizen, I'd love to collaborate on 'YOU: The Pregnant Patient'. I've even done most of the research already!)