Any parent will tell you that the uncertainty surrounding parental decisions, big and small, begins way before your little bundle arrives—OB or midwife? Home or hospital birth? Medicated or natural delivery? This is true especially if the decision potentially impacts your child’s future health.
A few generations ago, parents weren’t nearly as overwhelmed with information, options, and opinions—so many opinions! Your family, neighbors, BFFs and the Internet are all too often more than willing to share the “best” way to handle any decision.
No matter what you’re faced with, the immense amount of health information can be both a blessing and a curse.
When my daughter was born, we immediately noticed gastrointestinal (GI) issues, which only seemed to get worse as time passed. Sometimes this was accompanied by a “colicky” temperament. I tried to stay away from Dr. Google and mentioned my worries at every checkup. I repeatedly receive assurance that all babies are different, and there was no cause for concern. Still, my gut said something was off.
This went on until my daughter was about a little over three-years-old when I mentioned to a mom-friend that I felt our pediatrician didn’t take our concerns seriously. My friend had recently switched her kids to a new pediatrician, and she highly recommended that I see him for a second opinion. I felt loyal to our doctor, but I decided to try hers in hopes of quelling my anxiety.
At the appointment, he took the time to listen carefully to my concerns and talked to and observed my daughter. He ordered labs which later revealed her antibodies were off the charts—very unusual for her age—and the first indication of Celiac.
He also referred her to a specialist for an evaluation of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), based on my descriptions and his observations of her behavior during the exam. She was diagnosed with SPD, a neurological condition where it’s difficult to process information received by the senses, which was likely the cause of her “colicky temperament” as an infant.
She has been in weekly occupational therapy ever since, where she has learned to overcome many of her earlier obstacles. I often wonder where she’d be had we not sought the second opinion.
The one thing I learned never to discount, of all the resources out there, is my gut.
There are so many decisions to make and things to learn when you become a parent. When you encounter difficulty having a doctor hear your concerns or reaching a diagnosis, be sure to reach out to another to reach resolution. And whether it’s “mother’s intuition” or not, I am a firm believer in listening to my gut.