Thursday, October 13, 2011

Oh, it's just a little rant.

I just have to tell you why I have such little faith in today's medical professionals (and why I rarely take myself to the doctor, not even for a birth).  I had to go to my doc to get a referral to see a neurologist because I've been having 5-day migraines a few too many times this month.  My "doc" is an NP, in her mid-thirties.  She was very amazed that I homeschool the children.  She thought that was "a lot".  She asked Isaiah to count to 10 (no brainer, the child is almost 6).  She asked him the date of his birthday.  Isaiah told her his birthday, Luke's birthday, and Jacob and Andrew's birthday.  She then told me that she thinks I do have a little bit of "underlying depression".  (She told me the exact same thing back in April, when I was a bit overwhelmed with school.  It made me wonder whether she tells all mothers they have "underlying depression".)  She thinks it's just "so much" for me to homeschool, cook, clean, do laundry.  I'm thinking: "Mothers have been doing this type of work for years!  It's not that difficult!"  I told her that staying home with my children is very enjoyable when I don't have headaches.  We go to the park, we read books, we color, I cook for my family (something I love doing), do laundry, the usual.  I think I take it so much easier than most moms these days who are running around here and there most days.  Then I mentioned breastfeeding.  That I do wake once or twice a night to feed the baby, but that I feel like I'm getting plenty of sleep, especially since I've been forced to go bed at 7 or 8 because of the headaches.  The NP says:  "You breastfeed??? With all those teeth??"  Jacob has 4 teeth.  "How old is he??"  (10 months.)  She was very shocked.  I told her I nursed the other two until 18 months (just to shock her a bit more).  Lol.
At this point, I pretty much said to myself: "Sigh...if this female NP doesn't even know about nursing babies, how in the heck is she able to help people??  What do they teach these people in medical school anyways?"

It reminds me of that one time 6 years ago I went to another doctor because of migraines.  This one was another woman, in her late twenties (or very early thirties).  She proscribed me a medication that she swore up and down would not go through to the breastmilk.  I knew better.  Either she was lying straight through her teeth, or she was just a very uneducated doctor.  I read the little side effects sheet and talked to the pharmacist.  The sheet said the medication is used to treat "mild heart attacks" and "might cause heart palpitations".  I told the pharmacist that I was breastfeeding and I won't be taking anything like this while I'm nursing.  The pharmacist was very surprised the doctor even proscribed it for headaches.  (Duh people, I don't have a medical degree, and I don't like chemistry, but I can read, and thanks be to God, He gave me a good amount of common sense.  My dad is a microbiologist, and my mother is a Swiss RN, so I do know a thing or two about medicine and health.)

Another time, a few months after this, while Andrew was deployed and Isaiah was about 10 months old, I went for a women's check-up, and now you'll find out why I don't do those check-ups anymore (big waste of time).  The doctor (female) asked me whether I was sexually active, even though she knew my husband was deployed.  I politely reminded her that my husband was currently about 7000 miles away.  (I really had to keep from cursing at her - how rude of her to assume and suggest such a thing.)  She then wanted to know whether I was taking any birth control.  Now I really started to feel that maybe this doctor wasn't quite right in the head.  2+2=4. Husband deployed + not sexually active = no need for birth control.  I also made sure to tell her the fact that I would never take any birth control because it is a grave sin, not to mention, really bad for my body.  "Well, you can get pregnant while breastfeeding, you know", she continues to inform me.  "Yes, I know.  I'm not fertile right now.  I monitor my fertility through the sympto-thermal method of Natural Family Planning."  "The what?"  I go on to explain what NFP is, what the sympto-thermal method is, and how I do my little observations to be 100% that I cam not fertile.  It was all news to her.  I felt like I needed to give her my NFP textbook so she could read up on it and not be such an ignorant family medicine doctor.

Haha, so that's my rant on the health professionals.  There are a few other instances when doctors have acted like they cannot do anything that requires common sense.  They can only check the symptoms and give medication.  Now, don't get me wrong, I think doctors are wonderful people and do amazing things.  I'm glad that there are a lot of good ones out there.  I just wonder sometimes, why all the ones I have seen through the military system (which are not actually military doctors - they are civilians), are so ignorant of common things such as breastfeeding and NFP.  NFP I can understand.  It's the best kept secret, unfortunately, and women are being told lies about birth control.  So, if per chance you do not know what NFP is, please, go to and find a teaching couple and educate yourself on Natural Family Planning.  But now you know why I don't bother to go to the doctor (unless I need a referral).  We'll see what the neurologist comes up with.  Should be entertaining.  No, seriously, I do hope some health professional will finally help me figure out these headaches.

Thankfully, prayer seems to work better than medicine.  My headache is gone since 10am and not back yet.  Praise be to God.  Thanks for all your prayers.  The finger is also healing very quickly and looks much better today.  Now off, to nurse that baby, with "all those teeth".


  1. I'm not even going to start on the medical community ;) My rant is similar to yours :( Have you checked Molly Shannon's Nutrition and Fertility? Maybe there's something in there that might help with the headaches. Since you're having them so often... I believe there's an updated version too.

    It's amazing how clueless docs can be sometimes. NFP and breastfeeding are so simple, maybe they're too simple for the complicated mind of a doc. So many years in med school may lead to thinking nothing so simple can work?

  2. I understand your frustration, Elisa. So many doctors today just want to prescribe you to good health. A pill for what ails you. I see a DO who should, theoretically, be more concerned about my whole self, but even they fall into the prescription drug trap. I really hope you find the underlying cause of the migraines and a really good solution. Not that medication can't be a solution, because it often is, but only after the true cause of the illness is known. I think most of the really good docs these days are specialists, so hopefully your neurologist will turn out alright.

    PS don't feel bashful about telling a doctor "my son is not your patient" when a doctor gets sidetracked about the real issue. I have learned not to talk to doctors about my family life. They just don't get it at all. They are not there to hand out "dear Abby" advice, just find the root of your medical problem. It's not "in your head." ( well, technically it is, but you know what I mean) ;-)

  3. Kelly, I bet you are talking about Marilyn Shannon's Fertility Cycles & Nutrition, right? I love that book! I give it as gifts to my newlywed friends. I will look over it again and try to figure out this headache business.

    Barbara - Haha.."not in your head" =). I saw a DO too, and was really surprised he went straight to give me the imitrex (which doesn't really work on me).

  4. The comments about breastfeeding really get to me, especially since the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding until at least 12 months! Even though it isn't very supported in our culture, professional physicians' associations recommend it so your NP should know about breastfeeding and ENCOURAGE it!

    I think doctors should be better educated about NFP, but I don't really blame them since it isn't really part of the mainstream medical community - but breastfeeding, come on!

    And as for you doing "so much!" - what do other mothers do? Do they all have maids? I'm sure you do a lot and do get overwhelmed sometimes, but what would her solution be? And asking your son to count to ten? What was she trying to prove, that your homeschooling doesn't work?

    So sorry you had such a terrible experience.

  5. I just had an experience today...why are people so interested in how many children I have or that it's pefectly fine to ask me "so are you done?"

    I totally AGREE with Barbara. I wouldn't NOT I REPEAT NOT LIKE it at all if someone was testing my probe if they are learning anything at home...that is not the reason for the visit.

    I switched to a ND, but recently found out she supports Planned I am on the hunt for a new one. For all it's worth...I love the support from a ND and or a chiropractor. Which leads me to ask you, "have you tried a chiro for your headaches...?"


  6. I love my kids doctors more than my own. My OB and I are friendly even and she doesn't give me grief about no birth control, though she always offers it after every baby. We agree to disagree. ;) Was surprised about the nursing comment though.

    Anyway, migraines... I get them too. What if a bunch of triggers are coming on all at once vs individually? For instance, for me that would be parts of my cycle, food-related, weather-related. I found dairy and eggs to be huge supporters to my migraines and by taking those out of my diet, I have cut my migraines by at least half. I can't control weather-related ones but I can (try) to control sleep and hydration. Hormones can do a number and haven't figured that one out yet. Also, I read somewhere about clutter causing migraines in susceptible people - and I do think this is true! But it is probably good that you're seeing a neurologist since you're having so many, outside the norm it sounds like? Hopefully you don't have to wait long.

  7. even we think there are a lot of dumb doctors out there (wife of a future doctor speaking), although i've never quite experienced the ignoramus's you have. when you say NP - do you mean nurse practitioner or naturopath? because neither of them goes to traditional medical school. but, still, they should be a little more educated than yours. but, so many traditional western medical professionals don't support the benefits of breastfeeding. when ezra was six weeks old and i went to the obgyn and told him i was depressed and he suggested anti-depressants, to stop breast feeding (he thought he had already gotten the most important part - the colostrum) i knew i would just have to get through the baby blues on my own. which i did. i nursed my boy a little past his fourth birthday! lol... and for the record, we rarely go to the doctor and haven't even been any one of us, since ezra was 2 years old. it's very important to be self educated these days. but, doctors do play a very important role and i am sure my husband will be a great one one day.

  8. p.s. about your headaches - i often suffered from what i called nursing headaches for many days as well. i know it's the obvious - but, are you hydrated enough?

  9. I'm so sorry you've had horrible experiences with doctors! I've had good ones and bad ones. I love my doctor right now thankfully and she is a strong believer. My friend in Omaha was having problems after her miscarriage last month and it was the 5th doctor she went to that finally found she had an ectopic pregnancy! Crazy. I am praying the Lord will heal your headaches and also lead you to a better doctor- hopefully one that loves the Lord and believes in our values :)

  10. What a crummy experience. I hope you find some relief from the migraines, I know how debilitating those can be when you have one that lasts for days. I am fortunate that I've had nothing but support for our choice to homeschool but if my doctor started quizzing my kids I'd probably lose my temper. I have to go to a regular physician more regularly because I'm diabetic and have to keep an eye on that. The OB/GYN...I just do my yearly exams though next March I will start having mammograms 15 years earlier than recommended because of my Mother's cancer.

  11. Tell me about it. So tired of the Army system and ineffective the fact that there is no continuity of care! I've lived in the same place 4 yrs yet have seen over 8 different doctors for my OB issues (and 5 different OB/midwives during this pregnancy alone) because they refuse to refer me or make appointments with the same one. Which is why I pay out of pocket to do long-distance consults with an NFP doc! Too bad they can't just refer you to a naturopath or something...

    Just out of curiosity, have they sent you to a chiropractor? My mother suffered from migraines for awhile when she was postpartum, and they finally figured out that her back needed to be aligned so it would stop putting pressure on her neck/spine and causing headaches...

  12. You guys are awesome. Thanks for all the feedback. Definitely going to put a chiropractor on my list of things to try, as well as avoiding eggs & dairy for a while, to see if that works. I do think this past bad one might have been weather related. We had rain a few days in a row and temps dropped 30 degrees from what they were before. That is the only major change that I think might have caused it. Maybe my body just needs an adjustment period for weather changes.

    Anushka - yes, NP - nurse practitioner. I was really surprised she was so ignorant b/c it seems that sometimes the nurses have more common sense than the MDs. Hmm..I do think I drink enough, I have a nice 1 L camelback water bottle, and I try to drink a min. of 3 a day. Maybe I do need just more in Texas b/c it's so hot here. I do think I have most headaches while nursing. I have few while pregnant...although, this last pregnancy in Texas - I had more than my pregnancies in California and New York.

    Casey - praying for you & the cancer stress. God is in control. I think I heard breastfeeding can prevent breast cancer??

  13. If you do try eliminating dairy/eggs and IF they are a problem, keep in mind that it might get worse before it gets better. For me personally, I peak with the awfulness for dairy between 5-7 days (and it includes a migraine) but then I start feeling good - and I keep feeling good the longer I'm off it. Plus, wait a few weeks before trying it again (each item separately) to see how you react, and give yourself a couple days to react. I had to go dairy-free for my last nursing baby and once my boys had to go gluten-free (celiac disease) I found out about the eggs for me. Crazy stuff.

  14. I really hope that it is easy for you to change your doctor.

    Sounds like she doesn't know much about school either - strange woman.

    I wouldn't expect many health professionals to know too much about medication these days as there is so much and it's changing all the time - impossible to keep up.

    Hope your headaches are sorted out soon

  15. Nicole - I just made the meal plan for next week and it's going to be really hard to eliminate dairy. I'm going to wait a bit, and keep in mind to try it later. I do eat dairy almost every day. Haha, that's what happens when your grandmother was a Swiss dairy farmer!

  16. I really like Kelly's comment!

    Hi I'm a new follower from Catholic Mothers Online!! I'm looking forward to reading. :o)

    For Love of Cupcakes

  17. The reason they say doctors practice medicine is because they are still learning. I just don't want them making mistakes while they are 'learning' with me. Or anyone else for that matter.

    Stick with your good common sense, Elisa. Walking, drinking plenty of water, and getting a little extra rest - these are things that have helped me to improve my health. I also go online and read as much as I can - sometimes a change in diet can help, as others have mentioned.

    I hope you get to feeling better soon.


  18. Oh, I can so relate to your doctor (or ND or NP, etc)frustrations. (Also LOVE Marilyn Shannon's book.) You and your headaches will be in my prayers. I have had them on and off for years, but have had them drastically reduced (like hardly ever now)since I cut out almost all sugar in my diet... with the exception of a wee bit of really dark chocolate now and then :).


  19. crazy! my daughter was having terrible migraines every day and the ped simply told her to take ibuprofen (it did nothing) and rest and referred her to a neurologist - a neuro that can't see her until after the new year :( ended up taking her to my homeopath and we cleared the migraines up in 2-3 days and my daughter is back to normal, full of life. hope you find some relief soon!

  20. When I was 19 and newly pregnant I got chicken pox. They told me to go to the ER (we were Army in germany at the time). I got to the ER the doctor on duty said it couldn't be chicken pox or I would be much more ill. My husband said he hadn't seen me a few days ago. Doctor insisted it wasn't chicken pox and brought me into the main ER with all the other patients. He put us in our little cubicle. We waited and waited. Hubby bored and a bit annoyed walked out into the main area to see wat was going on, only to find that the doctor was looking through the Reader's Digest Book on health. The very one we had at home.
    The doctor said, well maybe it is German Measles and sent me to the dermatoligist.
    It was chicken pox.
    And you know what? That isn't even my worse story!
    I am with you. Believe me.
    I hope your headaches are getting better. I am thinking of you and praying for you!!!


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I love reading them and I try to get back to you one way or another. =) +Elisa+

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