Your child has been suffering. You are tired. You want answers. Your doctors are giving you looks of irritation and frustration. You know they have yet to experience irritation or frustration. They should be in your shoes, right?
You have tried to tell them your child’s medical history. You have shared your child’s symptoms. You are trying to get them to see what you see. Your child has been suffering and doesn’t want to feel sick anymore.
Of course, doctors have the degree and the knowledge to help patients. They are supposed to listen and understand their problems. They are there to get our children a diagnosis and get them treatment. Our children are the ones experiencing pain, suffering and discomfort. We bring these problems to them with an expectation they will help us and listen to us. We do not go to a doctor to be treated like we have no brain and have no idea what we are talking. We are the ones keeping them in business.
How Can We Navigate Through This and Get The Help We Need?
1- Start a Health Journal & History
Completing a thorough health history, and tracking the course of your child’s symptoms, lays a foundation for doctors. This method provides a beginning for your doctor. It’s a clear beginning for you, and they need to see it that way also. They need the whole picture. A thorough symptom tracker, with a history, can provide a picture that you have only seen at home.
You also need to keep track of any type of previous medical tests your child has had, the results and appointments. All previous appointment information is available through the patient portal required in this country.
Want help organizing your health history and notebook? Check out How To Get A Diagnosis. It has all the tools to completely build the medical history and information binder you need to get doctors on board with you.
2- Take someone with you to your appointment.
If you have a medical professional of any type in your family take them. Sometimes physicians are more comfortable speaking to another professional. If you don’t have a professional, bring someone who can listen with you. Your physician may provide additional information. An extra set of ears can help when emotions get to you. And an additional adult can help tame your child so you can focus and listen to important information.
3- Go to your appointment prepared.
You need to bring your entire notebook with you. Your journals, your history, and all your previous medical information. Although your doctor should have your results and notes on file, they will not have them organized the same way as you. You don’t want to show up to an appointment and be put off because the doctor isn’t locating necessary information to provide you with answers.
You also need to be prepared for every type of doctor and scenario possible. You might have an understanding physician who will listen and provide you with testing and move you ahead. But you will likely be faced with a physician who isn’t sure about your situation. It takes time, consistency and organization to convince doctors of what you are presenting. They will likely doubt you. They may order testing or may not, or order testing that doesn’t apply. Ruling out other conditions is as important as determining the condition your child has.
4 – Be prepared to seek an additional opinion.
All tests that day may come back “in range” or normal. You might be told there is no need for a follow-up and they might send you on your way. You might get a follow up in six months. Six months is a long time if your child is struggling on a regular basis. Don’t give up. You deserve treatment and an answer for your child. Keep tracking symptoms and your journal. And find another doctor to see. You might need a new pediatrician. Or maybe work your way through to another pediatrician in the same practice. Bring your notebook with you to your next appointment. Give yourself some time to track more. You might need to make the next appointment when you know you just can’t watch your child suffer again.
We have been through three pediatricians. I have been through four general practitioners. It’s difficult to get a physician who will listen and treat you seriously.
5- Look for helpful tips and preventative measures to ease symptoms and try to control your child’s disorder in the meantime.
This site provides a lot of helpful Healthy Living 101 tips. These are tips to help ease and subside disease flares. Everyone has different disorders, but there is always something that makes it a bit better. It might take some journals and tracking on this subject to determine what seems to ease your child’s symptoms and condition. If you notice providing an overload of probiotics makes it worse, time to cut back. If you notice treating with certain drugs prescribed makes it better or worse – take note.
In the next few weeks, we will be focusing on accessing and working through the healthcare system. On Healthy Living, we will be focusing on what might aggravate or lessen conditions.
As always, be careful when making decisions regarding medications and healthcare. We are here to help you keep track of your health care. We are not here to offer medical advice or treatment options. A physician will need to provide that for you.
Stick with it. Keep tracking, keep a journal and keep working toward finding a physician who will see the whole picture.