08 February 2012

Home home-o[n] the range of medical opinions

had two health-related appointments today. one for me, one for X. 

i got up early to have my first dental appointment in 4 years. eeks! this is a very traumatic admission from me. previously, in my (stable) life, i had gone to the dentist no less than once a year, normally every 6 months. i always felt a silly pride after leaving those visits with glowing reports and a mouth with no cavities. i had my last appointment sometime in july 2008 (as i recall), before france prep really got underway. well, once in france, i wasnt about to locate and attempt a french dental visit. i should have a made a quick dental visit between france and halifax, and i would have, if id been thinking. once in halifax we had so much going on: moving, set-up, a roadtrip to boston and new york, finding out i was pregnant, horrifying nausea (the idea of having dental equipment in my mouth at any point in my pregnancy made me gag just thinking about it actually), the birth of monster/X, and the mind-boggling exhaustion of taking care of newborn X all kept me away for (i consider) good reason. and then later my reasons were: "should you get x-rays while breastfeeding? seems sketchy", "i can barely find time to shower, why do i want to take precious time away from myself to go to the dentist?", "eeeeeeeeps, its been an embarrassingly long time since ive been to the dentist now. my teeth are more and more sensitive these days...im afraid. im a wuss", "we dont have dental insurance. i dont want to swallow that whole bill myself", etc.

anyway, with the sign "fenwick dental centre" staring me in the face every day that we walk down our street, i could no longer kid myself. i needed to just make the damn appointment. forgo the x-rays until X is weaned, but get your ass in the damn chair already.

my hygienist was intense, thorough, and very serious but very attentive to making me comfortable and avoiding irritating sensitive spots in my mouth. she was also pretty non-complimentary (yes, i lamely felt a bit of wounded pride) and caused me a lot of bleeding (something new for me). she scraped and scraped my teeth, she ultra-soniced my teeth. she fluoride-treated my teeth. she spent so much time that i had to make another appointment to come back and actually get checked by the dentist! my bill was ~$200 and im now a bit dismayed for the future of my oral health (actually, im pretty sure im going to be looking in to this book to try and stop the dental downward spiral). :( i need to force dave to make his dental appointment now...that should be interesting...

our next appointment of the day was to a homeopath, for X. i think this is about as "out there" as im going to be getting on the alternative medicine pathway. i have regularly been hearing the crunchy moms talking about it around here and Xs food sensitivities arent lessening as shes approaching two. i hate to see her writhe around in her sleep on nights when weve accidentally given her something bad. in fact, there is almost nothing we can give her as a night time snack anymore that doesnt bother her stomach to some degree, while sleeping (her stomach seems much more tolerant of things during the day. i think this is due to the fact that gas and cramps are easier to deal with in the vertical position). plus, after her blood tests showed low iron, i thought it was worth it to dig one last time into my bag of options to see if we cant get on a better path.

we went to the top homeopath in town and had a 2 hour appointment. she tries to get a really clear picture of the issue and the personality of the person with the issue so she can treat the person (rather than just the disease/condition). basically this is the exact opposite of modern medicine which spends as little time with a patient as possible and typically treats symptoms rather than the root causes of things. i dont pretend to know the ins-and-outs of homeopathy, or its philosophy, nor can i attempt to be its cheerleader, at present. on the outset, it seemed legitimate enough to me to give it a go, and the lady seemed to ask enough of what seemed like the "right" kinds of questions to make me feel like she was competent in whatever skills she may possess, so we shall see.

in a week or so she will have a remedy ready for us to give to X. remedy is misleading though, because one size doesnt fit all so she has to figure out exactly what combination of things will best serve X and her particular issue(s). it could be a few weeks before weve found what is going to work for her, and im not even exactly sure how far we can expect to get with homeopathy (aka, im not sure what a remedy that "works" would look like...no more food sensitivities? iron levels restored? nothing? we shall see).

side notes on digestive issues:
- a scientific american article i came across talking about babies and gut bacteria that adds to my understanding of things in general and X and her tummy.
- a research finding dave had sent me about gut bacteria in autistic and non-autistic kids. fascinating, and i believe this was the starting point for that vaccine controversy getting wildly out of control (ie. vaccines CAN affect gut bacteria...which, through whatever thought process, led that researcher to conclude that vaccines cause autism).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your really conscientious parents started you and your brothers on the dentist routine when you were 3 years old!! After that you were taken religiously to Dr. Vanker and then because he was just so darn expensive you were taken to Dr. Grabiel. By then, your pattern of dental care was established. Be aware that care of your mouth is very important to your overall health. Once you get in the pattern of regular visits, you should be good again. Do you floss every night like your mother does? xoxox