Opting Out: Parents Fed Up with Conventional Medicine and "The Look"

The-Oh-Youre-One-of-THOSE-Moms-Look .jpg

 

Parents today are faced with many challenges and obstacles in their quest to raise happy and healthy children. We get conflicting messages all the time about the “right way” to parent. The most recent study seems to contradict the previous study. Where should your baby sleep? What should your baby eat? What to do if your baby is a picky eater? Can you hold your baby too much? Everywhere you turn you get conflicting data. Vaccine safety is another hot topic loaded with controversy. An increasing number of parents see their children (and others) suffering from chronic illnesses, even though the “why of it” is unclear, and they are justly concerned for their child’s health and safety. This has led many parents to be concerned about the ‘conventional’ medical care their child is receiving. More and more parents are doing their own research on how to raise a healthy child and often find answers lie in direct conflict with current 'conventional' wisdom.  Many are deciding to opt out of health care procedures like vaccinations, despite the recommendations from their pediatrician and it's stirring up a lot of emotions and frustrations in parents and doctors.  Pediatricians give parents "the look", you know the one that says, "Are we really going to have this conversation again?"  I'm hearing from parents all the time that they're  fed up with it because they don't feel like they can engage in a conversation about their healthcare decisions without feeling judged.  Some can't even count the number of times they've seen "the look".  Others are proud they've gotten it and opted out of the current medical system altogether just to avoid the confrontations that go with every doctor visit.  Instead they only use 'conventional' medicine for emergency situations. Some parents, me included, are seeking a different healthcare model for their child because they want the best of all medicines - both 'conventional' and alternative or whatever you want to call it (shouldn't medicine just be medicine and not conventional or alternative or complimentary?).   Many  of these same parents are making choices that are outside the norm for their children regarding nutrition, supplementation, complementary therapies, alternative therapies or vaccinations and feel like they are swimming upstream and they’re not alone—many parents are fed up with the status quo and  are tired of battling.  Before I continue I want to be clear: this post is not about blasting medical doctors, because there are a lot of really great doctors out there treating kids. The question is what do you do when ‘conventional’ medicine is inadequate or not working for your child? What are your other healthcare options?

Sick-and-Tired-of-Being-Sick-and-Tired.jpg

I know I’m biased when it comes to this topic. I am a pediatric acupuncturist and the majority of my patients have parents frustrated with their child's doctor or the medical system in general. In some cases they’ve come to me as a last resort because nothing else has helped their child. Others come because they want natural treatments, avoiding medications unless they are absolutely necessary.   Some feel guilty that their child isn’t healthy despite doing everything their doctor told them to do (see my post on Mommy Guilt). Some children have been denied medical care because their parents chose not to vaccinate them at the prescribed times! What I’m seeing in my practice is an increasing number of parents dissatisfied with the limitations of our current medical model and looking for more effective solutions. Why are they so exasperated? Here’s what I’m hearing from my patients about their pediatricians:

  • The pediatrician adds little additional advice for common problems unless the problem has become critical.
  • Most medical interventions are band-aids that treat the symptoms but fail to address the root problem.
  • If the parents disagree with the doctor, the pediatrician reacts somewhere on a scale between annoyance to down-right bullying (and maybe everything in between).
  • They feel like their doctor has written them off if medical treatments don’t solve their child’s problem.
  • They have been told by their doctor that they will no longer provide medical care to their children unless they vaccinate.
  • The parents are afraid to share alternative remedies their child is using/taking because they fear the doctor will disapprove.
  • If they do share the remedies they are using, their doctor dismisses them, or “poo poos” them, or gives them “the look”.

I understand where these parents are coming from because I’ve been there myself.  When my first-born son was 3 months old he started to get eczema.   I was assured by his pediatrician that his worsening eczema had nothing to do with the vaccination shots (how he could have been so sure either way I don’t know).  By the time he was 9 months old it spread to his limbs, bottom and back so we were referred to a dermatologist and an allergists.  The advice we were given was to put chlorine bleach in his nightly bath (no lie!) and rub Elidel cream (a possible carcinogen!) on the widespread areas with eczema.  We were also told by the allergists that foods could not have been triggering the problem either. After months of working with the medical doctors we were  no closer to curing his eczema, so my husband and I turned to alternative therapies.  I also began my first post-graduate training in pediatric acupuncture.  With dietary changes (eliminating eggs, gluten & dairy), herbal medicine, homeopathy and acupuncture we saw tremendous improvement in my son’s skin.  When I shared all this with my pediatrician did he jump for joy (ok, maybe that’s a bit too much to expect)? Did he want to know what I did so he could help other patients?  Nope.  He told me I was wasting my money on herbs and homeopathy!  Needless to say he did not remain our pediatrician for long. If you have a story like mine or are a parent that wants to use natural solutions and home remedies that work with their child’s body and promote healing it’s unlikely you’ll find it at the pediatrician’s office. Pediatricians often have very little training in nutrition and no training in herbal medicine.  They won’t know which herbs are safe for children or which herbs may have interactions with medicines, so most will say "no" to all herbs, even those that are safe and beneficial.  Giving dietary advice to meet the recommended daily allowance (RDA) is very different from nourishing a child.  With the current trend in America’s eating habits a child may be well fed but malnourished, leading to a wide variety of health concerns. Rarely will a pediatrician, or any other doctor, make the connection that food may trigger symptoms unless you’re seeing a holistic physician who practices integrated medicine. In my experience food sensitivities that contribute to common conditions like asthma, eczema, allergies and ADD/ADHD have skyrocketed yet are often overlooked by pediatricians.  Parents will find very little support at the doctor’s office in discovering food triggers beyond a few lab tests that have high false negative results.  This is disheartening for both the parents and the doctor, especially when the child is suffering. In the process of writing this article I spoke with hundreds of different parents, mostly moms, who struggled with these issues.  I started digging on the internet and no one is writing about how to help families who are denied medical care when they chose to alter or abstain from vaccines.   Are there so few of us that we're not worthy of notice or is it just that no one wants to talk about it?   The trends I'm seeing leave many unanswered questions.  Where can you turn when medicine is not enough?  How can you opt out  of a system that's not working for you child and create a more ideal healthcare team?   How can you incorporate the best of all medicines?  How much medical care does your baby or child need if you're not going in for vaccinations or altering the vaccine schedule? Stay tuned.... that is subject of next post Opting Out Part 2 (to be posted Monday, March 25th).

Are You Frustrated with Your Pediatrician?  Been Denied Medical Care Because you Chose not to Vaccinate?  Have you Opted Out? Or Are You Happy with Your Medical Care & Love Your Pediatrician? Leave A Comment Below...

This Post has been shared on:

TALU from Wrinkledmommy.com

Real Food Wednesday from Kellythekitchenkop.com

Party Wave Wednesday from Holisticsquid.com

Whole Food Wednesday from  Wholelifestylenutrition.com Thank Your Body Thursday from Thankyourbody.com Old Fashion Friday from Ourheritageofhealth.com Small Footprint Friday from Smallfootprintfamily.com Fight Back Friday from Foodrenegade.com Thank Goodness It's Monday from Nourishingjoy.com Link Love from Mamaandbabylove.com Simply Natural Saturdays by Pistachioproject.com

Disclaimer

 

26 comments

Debbie McCormick Mar 20, 2013 04:52am
Very informative! Change is never easy and I feel it is easier for our healthcare system to not think outside the box. Sad, but true.
Read more
Read less
  Cancel
Robin Green Mar 20, 2013 09:41am
Right Debbie! It's gonna take a grassroots effort to start making changes. Thanks for stopping by! :)
Read more
Read less
  Cancel
We've mostly "opted out". Once we stopped vaccinating our children our pediatrician started giving me major guilt trips. She played the "dead baby" card several times. I'm surprised I stayed as long as I did. I'm also impressed with myself for not wavering - although I started to dread appointments. Since then we've been to two different care providers that have been much more supportive. They are both interested in homeopathy. I really like the newest Doctor even though I've only been to his office 2-3 times. We're in the midst of trying to figure out some chronic issues with my daughter - congestion, ears plugged, swollen tonsils. We finally went to an ENT who of course suggested the surgical route - tubes and tonsils removed. Before we go that route we're trying diet changes and I found a homeopathy provider who will give long distance care. We just started Monday (today's Wednesday) and I'm seeing changes in my daughter so I'm really hopeful! The current culture is very difficult if you try to go in a different direction than conventional medicine. The good news is that the more you do it the more confident you become - also the internet is great for finding support in like-minded people and resources.
Read more
Read less
  Cancel
Robin Green Mar 20, 2013 04:03pm
Susan, I totally feel ya! It's hard to go against the norm sometimes, but like you say the more you can use medicines that support the body the more confident you become in your choices. ~ Robin
Read more
Read less
  Cancel
I would immediately have changed not only pediatricians but allergist as well. The first thing should be to narrow down the cause not to simply treat the symptom. While I am in the medical field, I believe in attempting to modifying the diet, environment, etc prior to medicating. Unless, the symptoms need to be treated first to gain control (I.e hives that are associated with breathing issues: breathing treatments to maintain the airway because airway is life).
Read more
Read less
  Cancel
Being the wife of a chiropractor, we struggle with this a lot. So much of what we do is unconventional (homebirths, unvaccinated, no milk, etc.) We went to a pediatrician twice with our first child and didn't go back because we didn't want to"discuss" our choice not to vaccinate every visit. We see a naturopathic doctor regularly and love her. So Nice to have someone support our decisions, give us lots of information, and spend time looking at lots of possible causes of a problem. It's sad that we have to pay so much money to see her, and so many others can't afford that. Alternative therapies should be accessible for everyone. (I'm in Canada). Thanks for your post!
Read more
Read less
  Cancel
After being bullied about not Vaxing when I had been a mother for all of 3 days, I vowed to never again be subjected to "The Look" by avoiding conventional doctors altogether. We consider our ped-specializing Chiro to be our family doctor, and Mommy handles the rest with homeopathy. We have had to take my son to an urgent care twice for failure to breathe with croup, and I just stand my ground and show gratitude for conv. medicine in emergency situations.
Read more
Read less
  Cancel
I have been looking for a nutropath or someone to help us with all of this. My daughter has a condition known as FPIES and I am currently exploring GAPS for her however there is so much to take in! She is only 22mo and I am terrified I am going to do something to hurt her based on something I read in a book the have the authorities on me for doing it! I just don't know were to turn to find someone to help me.
Read more
Read less
  Cancel
I suffered through a similar experience with my daughter's eczema, allergies brought on by antibiotics. There was very little she could eat without reacting so I put her on GAPS. My pediatrician kept telling me I needed to add canola oil and sugar to her diet to make her gain weight.
Read more
Read less
  Cancel
Susan, I commend your strength and standing tall against the push from your original pediatrician. I am familiar with the electric-charged feeling that seems to pop into the air from when I chose not to vaccinate my children and any time there has been a discussion on using "complementary medicine" first and "traditional medicine" as a last resort. I'm glad you've chosen to move on and seek out a provider that is more supportive of your desires. I would, however, suggest widening your scope beyond homeopathy, to natural medicine as a whole. There are many professional and very well trained providers out there. While a distance consultation can be beneficial, it is also be risky. (though I am thrilled that whatever they've suggested seems to be helping) My husband is a Medical Herbalist. Just reading your child's symptoms he automatically jumped to "this is more than likely caused by a food allergy, remove all dairy and gluten and take no less than 15K in probiotics a day, try to include Kefir whenever possible" but also follows up with the fact that a full evaluation would be required to rule out other possibilities. The American Herbalist Guild and the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians offer a provider listings - you may be able to find one near you.
Read more
Read less
  Cancel
My son has Asthma, Allergies, Reflux and VCD. His doctor's, who are Children's Hospital doctor's, have advised me to take him to an acupuncturist. I have been unable to find him one. His doctor's have said, sometimes conventional medicine doesn't work. I was shocked, but impressed. And yes, more than one of his doctors have recommended this.
Read more
Read less
  Cancel
Victoria Landers Mar 21, 2013 09:50am
Hello!!!!My name is VJ and I have a wonderful daughter who happens to be a DOCTOR. Not all doctors are over paying to cover loans or CTA. But they have gone to school for a LONG time and studied about disease and hurts and medicine. They are not in med school to study homeopathy. They are in school to learn how to help the public when they are sick or hurt. I would say if you do not like your doctor or pediatrician then you need to try to find one who agrees with your choices, but can give you medication or a referral if they need ever arises. Just saying....
Read more
Read less
  Cancel
Candace Holmes Mar 25, 2013 07:09am
Hello Stacy, I know how you feel! I have a 15 month old with several digestive problems, eczema and allergies. I am not sure where you live but hope this website helps: www(dot)naturopathic(dot)org They have a section where you can search for doctors in your area. Hope that helps and good luck with everything!
Read more
Read less
  Cancel
This was our story too. We saw it everywhere...with food, child-rearing, health care/medicines. The look. That's funny. No, no one wants to vilify doctors. They are caring people just doing what they are trained to do. But what if their training is flawed? Could that be so impossible? Nothing a doctor recommended to me for our children's allergies/eczema (including slathering the skin with CRISCO) ever worked. Our naturopath had the eczema gone in less than three weeks. You know what he did? Instead of spouting off a band-aid remedy by rote, he took a drop of blood from our son and inspected it under a microscope on a screen, where we could see. We saw black mold spots in his blood and parasites clung to once-healthy red blood cells. We saw the cause. Then he prescribed the homeopathic remedy. I also loved that it didn't come with a three-page handout full of drug side effect warnings. Eczema and its root cause - treated. I love that people are starting to stem the tide. Natural is better, that's our life testimony. Thanks for the great post.
Read more
Read less
  Cancel
Opting Out Part 2: The Doctor of the Future is You & Your Healthcare Team Mar 25, 2013 02:51pm
[...] my last post, Opting Out Part 1: Parents Fed Up with ‘Conventional’ Medicine and “The Look&#8221..., I examined the common frustrations parents have arising from deficiencies in ‘conventional’ [...]
Read more
Read less
  Cancel
Lori @ Our Heritage of Health Mar 28, 2013 05:01pm
Oh, yes, I'm getting quite familiar with "the look" now that I use mostly natural and herbal remedies! I think it's so sad, though, that many parents feel bullied into agreeing to things they might not be completely comfortable with like vaccinations or other conventional treatments. I realize that not all doctors are like that, but I really wish there could be more of a balance in the training doctor's receive between conventional and alternative medicine. Thanks for sharing with Old-Fashioned Friday! :)
Read more
Read less
  Cancel
Thank Goodness It's Monday #13 - Nourishing Joy Apr 1, 2013 04:46pm
[...] Opting Out: Parents Getting Fed Up with Conventional Medicine from Kids + Love + [...]
Read more
Read less
  Cancel
Imbibed in March - Unchained Sunday Apr 16, 2013 10:31am
[...] Opting Out: Parents Fed Up with Conventional Medicine and “The Look” [...]
Read more
Read less
  Cancel
Rhiannon A. May 17, 2013 05:15pm
My Husband and I have recently decided to opt out of vaccinations for our children because we both feel that at this time, we can't justify the ingredients that are used to make them. When I called to inform our pediatrician of our choice I was lectured like a child and told, "Oh god! Have you really done all of your research? Both sides of this so called argument...? I am 100% Pro-Vaccine and I WILL try to talk you into vaccinating every single time you step in my office." I have yet to make their recent check up appointments because I'm not sure that I want a lecture every single time my kids need a check up. I don't feel that parents should be bullied every time their children see a doctor. I love my children and only want the best for them and I think that that needs to be respected.
Read more
Read less
  Cancel
Robin Green May 17, 2013 05:51pm
I think many parents can relate to your concerns about vaccines. How can the issue be settled without proper and respectful debate of the subject? Where is the research about the safety of vaccine ingredients? I'm sorry your doctor treated your that way and I hope you can find a doctor willing to understand and respect your decision. ~ Robin
Read more
Read less
  Cancel
Rhiannon A. May 17, 2013 06:20pm
That's what it comes down to. Proper and Respectful debate. Not a battering of a person who has a different view than you. I explained to this doctor that I am ALWAYS open for a discussion and asked him if he felt the same and he implied that I was wrong and he was always going to be right. I just want my doctor to be open and honest with me. Tell me what's going on, why you think it's a good idea to do it this way, ASK me if I agree, and then proceed. I'm not ignorant. I expect to be treated as though I have some kind of intelligence. But I guess that's what happens when you start asking questions and when you actually take responsibility for your own children. Thanks for listening :]
Read more
Read less
  Cancel
Robin Green May 17, 2013 08:54pm
Well said! Thanks so much for commenting on this touchy topic. Sadly, I think many parents that question vaccines are vilified and portrayed as crazy, ignorant and on the fringe, but from my experience it's quite the opposite. That's why I felt compelled to write this article on opting out. I see too many parents that aren't taking their kids to the doctor because they don't want to deal with the whole vaccine issue and would rather fly under the radar. Nobody is talking about this trend and I think it needs to be addressed.
Read more
Read less
  Cancel
Thanks for this article, it makes me feel a lot better about my choices to exclude all doctors from my family's life (except in a emergency situation) I clearly remember the best piece of advice I received from my midwife (besides my mother of great wisdom) the day after my son was born she came to check up on us at home (left the hospital 2 hrs after giving birth) and she told me that only sick babies needed medical doctors care. Till this day (over 3years later) my son has never been checked by a doc. Some may think that's neglectful but a mother that's equipped with the power of knowledge can tell when her baby is thriving and when they need care. My son is never sick, was walking at 11 months, breastfeed till 2.5, has a very happy healthy attitude and eats Kale, so I've decide to stop doubting my self on my decisions to not see a doc and be vaccine free and be proud that I was able to tell the health nurses that called my house to convince me to vaccinate, no thanks, ill talk care of my sons illnesses with natural remedies when they arise. Why would you vaccinate to prevent something that a child may never incounter in life anyhow?? I'm 28, never been vaccinated, suffered little to no major childhood illnesses (not even pox), and still to this day am so thankful for my mother and her knowledge for keeping her children on the safe side. I just knew that if I had to incounter "the look" I would respond with a nasty lashing. I just wish the rest of the world would realize that the kids that aren't vaccinated are NOT the problem with disease spreading and personally I think that being rejected by a school, or a doc for not stabbing my son with a needle and filled with toxins in just ludicrous. Every parent needs to make the best choice for there family and this article and following comments make me feel so great and the choices I have made! Thanks again for writing this ;)
Read more
Read less
  Cancel
I have been blessed with a wonderful pediatrician! I had a homebirth with my son and we opt out of vaccines and I'm all for homeopathic medicine and she is so supportive. she raves about how healthy he is, and tells me unless he's super awfully sick, don't bring him in and keep doing what I'm doing :)
Read more
Read less
  Cancel
Robin Green Mar 16, 2014 07:50am
Hi Caylee, Thank you for sharing your story. It's wonderful to have such a beautiful and healthy situation and a Pediatrician who supports your path of health.
Read more
Read less
  Cancel
Old-Fashioned Friday #9 - Our Heritage of Health Feb 18, 2016 04:47pm
[…] Opting Out: Parents Fed Up With Conventional Medicine and “The Look” at Kids+Love+Acupuncture: […]
Read more
Read less
  Cancel

Leave a comment