Tuesday, April 7, 2009

My own medicine rant, and school

I weighed Coen on the Wii Fit again when he turned two months old. This is all the "two-month checkup" he got, as we were uninsured. This time, however, I weighed him only in a diaper, whereas two weeks prior, he was dressed and probably even layered. So I don't know if he has lost weight or stayed the same. Last time was something like 11 pounds, and this time was 10.6. Not a big difference. He's growing out of the newborn sleepers, and eating, peeing, and pooping regularly, so I'm not concerned.

The kids are covered temporarily now while our application is considered, but I'm not a fan of checkups anyway. My kids are pretty healthy,* until we go to the well-check and pick up whatever bug is floating around the doctor's office. It seemed like Kalten got sick every time we went in for a checkup. We don't do the shots, either, so there's really no reason to go. I know my kids, I know they are healthy, normal, and developing on track, and I usually take the "helpful" advice on starting solids, turning the carseat around, and where I should put them to sleep with a grain of salt. You can probably tell, we are far from mainstream and tend toward the more gentle, natural route. We've got one amazing, smart, independent, healthy young man and are working on the other. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to raising a family, and we've found what works for us.

I did not intend this entry to become a diatribe on natural vs. The Great and Mighty Western Medicine, I just wanted to tell you Coen's weight. But since I'm on the subject, I'll tell you a story.

We used to take Kalten in about every two weeks for an ear infection. Round after round of antibiotics, which never worked and on which he'd often get a new infection in the other, previously healthy, ear. Copay after copay, prescription after prescription. Trip after trip to the doctor 45 minutes away. Not fun. I could tell the ear tube discussion was on the horizon. I quit giving him the medicine, took him to the chiropractor, and started him on probiotics to help restore the good bacteria in his gut. Within a month, all infections cleared up and have never returned. I have since learned that recovery time is about the same with or without antibiotics, and that doctors often prescribe them because of pressure from parents or just to make parents feel like they're doing something to help. In fact, they may just be creating resistant strains that are even worse, not to mention, not all ear infections are caused by bacteria, and there is no way to tell whether it is bacterial or viral. The chiropractic adjustments, on the other hand, have helped his ears to drain better so that there is not the backup of fluid sitting there to get infected in the first place.

I'm not saying doctors are evil or wrong or that well-checks are necessarily a bad idea, please don't get me wrong. I'm not against modern medicine or even antibiotics, I just think that overuse is a dangerous thing, and there are more natural ways to treat many problems with fewer side effects. Also, treating symptoms (such as recurring ear infections) only Band-aids the problem and we should look for the underlying cause and find out how to fix that.

Whew! anyway,

I have started doing "school" with Kalten. He was interested when Paul had to leave for school, and I asked if he wanted to do school like Daddy. Of course he said yes, so this last weekend I bought two little workbooks for him. One is simple mazes and the other is ABC dot-to-dot. They start out really easy and get progressively harder. We'll probably spend a couple of days on each page (rather than a page or two a day like the book suggests - he's only two!). I gave him his very own pencil and showed him how it writes and how we can erase the marks. We only "do school" when he asks, and we put it away when he wants to. Yesterday we looked at the first maze. We found the start, the end, and the path (there is only one way to go on the easiest ones). We followed the path with our fingers, and then he wanted to be done. He's got his own school bag like Daddy's, and we put everything away. I think we'll wait on the dot-to-dot book, because he knows all the letters but not necessarily the right order, and the puzzles are kind of small and require a little more pencil skill. I'm not expecting great things and not trying to turn him into a genius. It's fun for him, it's a special time when he feels important and gets to be like Daddy, and if it helps him learn to use a pencil, sit and concentrate, and maybe get a little head start, even better.

* (from paragraph 2) Both boys are kind of stuffy, and Kalten sounds hoarse and is cranky when sleepy, but is not feverish or in pain and is frankly having fun playing with his new voice. Real, honest-to-goodness sickness is pretty rare in this house, thankfully. I'm keeping an eye on K, and if he gets worse, I guess we're going to have to find a doctor in town that we like.

1 comment:

Klif said...

I like the way you think.