A mom who likes to live outside the norm

What’s the right thing to do?

So, I’ve been reading more about vaccines, and doctors, and nutrition.  I’m still happy with the decisions I’ve made so far, and am considering more “crazy” ones.  The more out of the mainstream I go, the more I see to change.  But this has opened a whole new set of questions for me.

Mainly: Why am I bringing my healthy kids to the doctor?

But there’s a whole lot of questions and things to consider with this question.  First, if I’m not vaccinating, why am I risking my kids getting sick at the doctors office just to turn down vax and to see how big they’re getting?  I can weight and measure them myself to ensure they’re growing.  I’m already doing so much for them by providing good nutrition…

Also, by not bringing my healthy kids to the doctor, I’m giving the office more time with kids who need it.

Why not bring my healthy kids to the doctor?  “Well-care” visits are free!  But then, isn’t that part of what’s driving up the cost of healthcare?  Labeling well-care as free, when the main purpose is to monitor what parents are doing and vaccinating kids?  And of course, it’s not free.  Taxpayers are paying for it.  I’m paying for it with my premiums…

Then the foster parent in me comes out, and I realize that especially for kids who aren’t in school, well care visits are often when abuse and neglect is noticed.  But, in all honesty, people like me who are stirring the pot by not vaccinating their kids are more at risk for getting Children’s Services called on them for neglect than the parent who is abusing their child or not feeding them properly.

Then alternative parent in me comes out and I realize that doctors are so busy, they barely have the time to come in and check the majors than to notice malnutrition or abuse.  Heck, the neglecters and abusers are the ones not bringing their kids to the doctor in the first place (along with crazy alternative parents that is).

There are so many kids who instead of a proper diagnosis and treatment are prescribed a myriad of psychotropic drugs and other meds.  Sadly, some of my foster kids will be and I’ll have no say in the matter…

Parents, trusting their doctor, don’t know that they can treat these things through proper nutrition, elimination of triggers, and exercise.  Or in extreme cases, find out what is really to blame and eliminate it.

And I’m not trying to shrink illness or disease. I have a family history of mental illness, but I’d rather find out what is really going on and try out nutrition and eliminating triggers than have my kids on a medication cocktail.  And I’ve dealt with depression for most of my adult life, but over the last year and a half when I’ve cut out all the medications, processed foods, and as many of the triggers as I find, I’ve had no instances of “the blues”, even in the postpartum period when I experienced it in the past.

But back on topic.  As a person who was home schooled as a child and plan on homeschooling my children into the future, there’s another problem.  Most homeschooling families are honestly doing the best they can for their kids, providing them with a great and personalized education.  But I know through the experience of friends that there are many kids that are in a cycle of neglect and abuse.  While those friends think there should be much more regulation on homeschooling families (which I honestly think will regulate some great parents out of HSing and scare off even more), they bring up a valid point of requiring annual visits to the doctor as part of their oversight.

While part of me on the inside screams “this is just more useless government regulation!”, part of me agrees that this is protecting kids that can’t speak up for themselves.  My friend as a teenager almost died from neglect because her mother wouldn’t bring her to the doctor because she didn’t want to be forced into vaccination and thought the whole medical establishment was corrupt.  Do I have the potential to turn into that?  I sure hope not.  So while part of me is seriously thinking about not bringing my kids to the doctor unless they are actually sick and natural remedies aren’t working, the other part of me realizes that my sinful human nature can take over.

So what’s the right thing to do?  In a time of insanely rising healthcare costs and doctors not having the time to consult with parents and discuss options and alternative care, skipping “well” visits and researching on my own seems like a great idea.

But then I think about the bad side, and how it could seem like I’m trying to hide something.  Or there might be a parent who has no idea what they’re doing, and take my advice either under the assumption that they’ve done due diligence.  And then the parents that simply don’t care for their children properly.  And the abuser and neglecters.   There are kids that suffer.

But when is oversight too much?  When is enough enough?  Abusers will abuse, and those who neglect will continue.  Is it worth it for good parents to jump through more hoops to prove they’re doing the best for their kids to catch a few more bad parents?  Or will good parents be hurt because those overseeing don’t agree with them and take away perfectly healthy and loved kids and scar them by taking them away?

It’s a topic very close to my heart and it just gives me more questions instead of giving me any answers.

For more reading on nutrition, health, and the medical establishment, a good read is: Why do Pediatricians Deny the Obvious?.

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6 thoughts on “What’s the right thing to do?

  1. Evie on said:

    this describes perfectly how I feel about regulations on so so many things. On the one hand there are things I don’t agree with and wish there was some way to impose regulations that would lower their incidence (marketing foods to children, especially with food dyes, eliminating high fructose corn syrup, etc.) but as someone who often has chosen an alternative route (which are often looked down upon) after researching all of my options I find I certainly don’t want more regulations on those things. And in the end laws and regulations do a pretty poor job I think anyway of reducing the negative things we hope they will. In the end like you say the abusers and neglecters will always be there, regardless of laws. Laws do a poor job of judging situationally, and as humans we always find ourselves in complex situations. Perhaps it could be argued that blindly following doctors and the medical community without taking time to research and listen to your own instinct and those of your children is truly neglect as well? Although, of course, socially acceptable and unlikely to earn one a badge as neglectful how many children are actually hurt and end up with chronic illnesses or medicated for symptoms that could be reversed from dietary changes from parents who blindly follow the medical community’s advice?

    • Your last comment is spot on. I think it is neglectful to blindly follow advice without researching it and listening to your inner voice on whether it sounds right. I have 2 c-sections that were caused by me blindly following my OB’s recommendation and not researching other options and the consequences. And I’m so thankful that God has blessed me with healthy kids despite me being clueless for over 5 years and now we’re all even healthier now that I take all advice with a grain of salt, research it, and decide what sounds best.

      I probably annoy many people with my opinions and findings, but I won’t stop because I wish someone had shared this info with me years ago!

  2. I have not really brought my 6 and 4 yo to the doctor for well child visits until just this past year. The benefit was that I finally realized that my 61/2 yo needed glasses. However, I still don’t recommend regular well child visits (if you can really tell your kids are healthy)… I did have a few questions for the doctor when I finally went though. NO regrets, cause she only rarely wears her glasses anyways.. I had never thought of the taking time up for other parents argument. That’s a nice one.

  3. I think it really depends on the pediatrician and how closely you see eye-to-eye. If every well check I felt uncomfortable and pressured, I would be less likely to continue even though I think well checks can be beneficial. If you aren’t vaccinating (or are practicing any other parenting method that isn’t mainstream – baby-led weaning, extended breastfeeding, co-sleeping, cloth diapering) and aren’t thrilled with your per, those first 2 years can be long with well checks every 3 months.

    But what if the well check is actually beneficial? What if they notice something you don’t? If there is something developmentally lagging, the earlier it’s caught, the easier it is to remedy. An unusual turning of the foot, delayed speech, a heart murmur – it’s not terribly common but it happens. Sometimes the doctor will be concerned about something that a parent thought was normal – and probably was “normal” for their child.

    But back to my original thought, if you have a good relationship with your pediatrician, I think these well checks aren’t bothersome.

  4. Pingback: Table of Contents « UnorthadoxMomma

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