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March 06, 2008

When The Mama Cat Comes Out

StephanieI'm a non-confrontational type of gal. More likely to give in to someone rather than assert my own opinion if the situation isn't that important. But when it comes to my kids, watch out. The Mama Cat will get you.

This warning is mainly for doctors, and in my seven years as a Mother, I've had to claw and gobble up a few. And then spit them right back out. When my first son was very young, he went from being a normal, happy little toddler to having seizures constantly day & night. What was almost more frightening was the feeling that we were all alone to come up with our own treatment and diagnosis since our doctors didn't know what to do. Their only suggestion was meds and more meds. In some cases this might help, but in our case it only made him worse. Oh, and his neurologist told us that he may end up in an institution!

We were still new to this parenting thing and new to the medical world, but we knew that we had to get our son better no matter what. The best decision we made was to take him off the meds ourselves, fire our doctors, and get him to a doctor that knew what they were doing. Today, after a ton of prayers and a few years of the Ketogenic Diet, he is doing great... seizure-free and med-free. And he'll be just fine.

We learned a big lesson early on that sometimes doctors don't know better than the parents. Surprise, surprise- they are human, too. But we also didn't lose faith in doctors completely. Because of some great, amazing care our son was able to recover quickly and we couldn't have been more grateful.

Still, we tend to go with our gut and always look at medications as the last resort. When our youngest son seemed to have a chronic sinus infection at just 6 months old, the pediatrician wanted to push antibiotics or allergy medication to clear it up. I just had a feeling it had to be something more and suggested he be tested for food allergies. It wasn't what the doctor felt necessary, but thankfully I still went on to the allergist where we found through a simple blood test that our baby was allergic to dairy, eggs, and nuts! Since I was nursing at the time I just eliminated all those offending foods from my body and he was better within days.

I am usually very up front with our medical providers and warn them of our past experiences so that they know we will be asking questions, seeking alternative treatments, and ultimately making decisions for our children that we feel is best. Sure, we still have some doubtful moments wondering if what our instinct is telling us is the right thing. But knowing we have an open relationship with our doctors allows a good dialogue and communication to figure out just what is best. Because no matter what, this Mama Cat is protecting her cubs and doing the best she can.

If you'd like to learn more about our journey with epilepsy, please read my son Noah's story at the American Epilepsy Outreach Foundation website here.

Original Chicago Moms Blog post. Stephanie also blogs at Adventures In Babywearing and Close To Home.

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