I’m an idiot…

…or at least, that’s why Nathan’s doctor thinks I am.

Let me say this first. I love Nathan’s doctor. She is the best doctor I know. She’s a House kind of doctor. She’s a great diagnostician. She is smart and gutsy and almost always spot on. She has kept Nathan out of the ER numerous times and has always been a great advocate for him. When we have a crises, she’s the only one I trust.

But after she told me I would go to hell for taking Nathan for stem cell therapy, I decided to keep things very basic with her … I take Nathan to her when he is sick, I don’t tell her more than I have to, and I keep things really simple. When she tells me it’s time to vaccinate Nathan, I tell her I’ll have his dad bring him back because he’s better with shots than I am…and then we never show up. For the last 4 years, this has worked for us. She’s an integral part of Nathan’s team and we are appreciative of her for helping us during many crises.

Today I had a brain fart. She asked me what meds Nathan was on, and I said happily, other than his supplements, he is med free! “What supplements?” She asked. And I brain farted again. “Oh, you know, his B6, B12, D, C, homeopathics, fish oil, you know, all the regular stuff”. She looked at me strangely. “And who gave him all these supplements?” “The chiropractor gave him some, his DAN doctor gave him others, the homeopath gave him another, the nutritionist gave us the new formula we’re using.”

Then she went red in the face. And started yelling.

“Do you know that Vitamin D in excess quantities can become toxic and cause increased ICP? And how do you know what’s in these supplements? Did you know that supplements in the US are not regulated? That many supplements are made in China with sub-par ingredients? How could you give him all this without checking with me?” Inside I was thinking, “Because I only use the highest quality supplements. Because he’s on dosages too small to make him toxic? Because I didn’t want to hear you scream at me”

She was furious. And Nathan laughing at her. Hysterically. I’m not kidding. She yelled, he laughed.

So I said to her, Doc, Nathan is mostly very healthy, look he’s on no meds, hasn’t been hospitalized, he’s in great shape, you know what an accomplishment that is, so what I’m doing is working.

Her response, “He’s been healthy! He would’ve been healthy without all this junk. You’ve been flushing money down the toilet. You should’ve been using that money to pay for insurance.”

At which point I came quite close to losing it. Because we HAVE insurance. And we pay a FORTUNE for it. But I kept it together and corrected her on the insurance issue.

And I kindly asked her, “So Doc, what would you to do help Nathan? What would you do to boost his immune system? To improve his muscle tone? To improve his digestion and respiratory system?”

She turned away and started typing into her computer. Then she told me she would give us a referral to an ENT, to another orthopedist, and to a nutritionist. Even though I told her that we HAVE a nutritionist. I even showed her Kelly Dorfman’s site, where it is apparent that she is quite a reputable nutritionist, and proceeded to say that how did I know she wasn’t making everything up that was on her site? And when I told her we have Nathan on a Metagenics formula, she said it was a scam, that someone tried getting her to sell metagenics and that the practitioners earn a percentage. Except I don’t buy the formula from Kelly, I buy it from a local shop that sells it. Anyways, I told her that if she could tell me of a formula that is gluten casein free and has lower sugar content, I was all for it. So she asked me why it had to be gluten casein free. And I bit my tongue instead of telling her of the DAN testing that we’d done to tell us about Nathan’s gluten and casein intolerance. Because I’ve never told her he’s on a GFCF diet. Because maybe she would’ve slapped me at this point?

Anyways, she also told me we’d do bloodwork to check for different levels of vitamins, and an X-ray of his nasal passageways. And she’d write an order for his latest vaccines.

At which point she walked out to write the orders. And I took advantage of the moment to grab my boy and run run run as fast as I could away from that office. If we’d been in a hospital I’d have been AMA.

So I’m an idiot, for trying to help my son. I’m an idiot for not giving him pediasure. I’m an idiot for using supplements that have been proven to be helpful for children with brain injuries. I’m an idiot for using alternative medicine. I’m an idiot for taking Nathan to a chiropractor and for working with a nutritionist remotely.

Honestly, I was kinda laughing inside me. Because she doesn’t even know the half of it. I barely scratched the surface with what I told her. Hehehe.

I know it sounds weird, but I didn’t take offense. She was trying to protect Nathan, as best as she knows how. She was making sure we weren’t giving him anything that could be harmful.

So now I am trying to decide. Do I need a new doctor? What do you guys think? I know it sounds like a stupid question given the fact that she pretty much berated and insulted me for 30 minutes straight. But she IS an excellent doctor. Think of House. Great diagnostician, awful bedside manner. Would you fire him as your kid’s doctor, or keep him?

Oh, and the good news of the day – she said even though Nathan is on the skinny side, he looks very well nourished and she didn’t think we had to talk about a G-tube again for a while!!! So we can set that aside for now!


  1. If I were in your shoes, I hope, I would see her again, but not without a talking to. The “I’m his mother, not you!” talk. Professionals have expertise that they spent years and many dollars acquiring; you are the Nathan Professional and you have earned that. She needs to respect your choices, even if they are not ones that she would make, or she needs a reprimand from some kind of responsible body (a board that she’s certified by, maybe?). She gets paid, you do the paying, who exactly is the customer that is always right? You.

    On the other hand, I might just completely take the verbal abuse in order to have access to the diagnostic abilities. But I hope I wouldn’t!

    In any case, whatever you decide is right, that’s the position I support.

  2. Im in exactly the same boat with Bella’s paed. He is brilliant etc etc but freaked when he found out about her vaccine status. He doesnt know about her supplements etc and Im not quite sure how he would react. It does make me doubt myself sometime though…… 🙁 Having a bit of a crisis moment at the moment with the whole biomedical thing. It seems Bella has chronic inflammation and they want me to start Glutathione and I just keep wondering when will it get to the piont of saying no more supplements and horrible tasting stuff???
    Anyway my view is take the verbal abuse… a good doctor is a rare find.

  3. My response is from being the pro – I hate patronizing physicians! I could/would never get away with that kind of behavior. Like K said, you are his mother. There is no excuse for yelling or berating. She can give you her advice and you get to choose, to a point. Beyond that, you might not be thinking this, but she can refuse to treat Nathan, too, if she believes you are non-compliant. And if she thinks you are endangering him…..she is required to report.

    There is decision-power on both sides, yours and hers.

  4. I can not believe it! Well i guess I can. Your description of pediasure etc, supplements, nutritionist is the same thing that is going on with me and my son.Im having the same experience at the same time as you. Wow, this is surreal. What ive decided is that although these doctors mean well. Im not convinced that they understand nutrition to promote good development. All they are obsessed with is treating the symptom not the cause. Ive decided just this very hour, to go with my heart and see what happens.God help us and guide us make the right decisions for our children.

  5. I have run into doctors like that over the last 13 years of being a mother. It is very frustrating after you know how much time and research has been put into what you are doing for your child. The thing is, primary doctors know a little about a lot but not a lot about anything.

    There is so much information out there and so many different trains of thought. Makenzie’s pediatritian has been pretty good about it all over the last 3 years. I have told them most everything and even sent her delayed food allergy test results straight to their office. We talked about it. They told me that they didn’t think she was alleric to anything on the list but in the end do not have any issues with her diet.

    I think that if you like this doctor and you think she is good for Nathan you should stay with her. When you talk to her only give her the plain and simple facts and tell her exactly where you stand with vaccinations and why. Tell her that you respect her opinion based on her education but make it clear to her with your knowedge that you understand what you are doing with Nathan.

    I have found that the more I can talk to doctors in their language the more they will grin and bear it. They may not like it but at least they know I have done my research on the subject and am well informed.

    Hang in there… oh and by the way…. you are so not an idiot!

  6. Sally Fraley says

    not an idiot.
    vaccines- touchy subject- especially from a public education standpoint- as a traditional american medical lab person- I didn’t get my daughter the guardisil shot inspite of pressure from her Dr. and lo and behold- 2 ppl I know have been ill since getting the series.
    trust your mom gut
    and let this dr know exactly-politely- what you are hiring her to do…if she accepts that- great- if not- well- cross that bridge when you get there–but um…no g-tube talk–proof is in the pudding!!!

  7. even if you so choose, would she even want you guys back after you left? i think barbara’s point is a good one. if you two are clearly on two separate pages on so many (basic) things, it is hard to tell if the relationship can be salvaged. plus, only you know if the abuse is worth her experience, we can’t tell you that. and i wish you all the luck in the world making that decision… it’s a hard spot for sure!

    what i want to know is this… why would she want an x-ray of nathan’s nasal passages? i’m curious about F’s nose/ears… the passages for both seem small (even compared to audrey’s) so i am wondering if that adds to congestion… and moreover, is this further collapse that ABR could benefit… hmm.

  8. IF you do go back to this woman I would remind her that SHE works for YOU.

    That YOU pay HER to run certain diagnostic testing as related to Nathan’s overall health and CONSULT with her “as needed” for other health issues that may come up.

    Remind her that you do not regard her as a deity or guru which you feel obligated to “obey” at each command.

    I would let her know that you are looking for someone to work WITH you in treating Nathan. As a responsible physician with real concerns for Nathan’s well being, the least she should do – given her feelings about your “wasteful treatments” – is perform regular tests to ensure that nothing you are “throwing your money away on” is causing him any harm.

    Take control of the situation – put her in her place. Let her know what YOU expect of HER. If she is unable or unwilling to work with you perhaps it’s time to find another primary physician for Nathan.

  9. We have Parker on a blenderized diet during the day and Complete at night.

    We tried doing the alternative stuff, but it shot his liver panel results through the roof.

    But Parker is a very hard case of any and everything.

    I’d go back. I’d recognize that she doesn’t buy into the alternative stuff, and focus on what she does well. How I’d LOVE to have a doc who could nail a diagnosis!

    Tammy and Parker

  10. Liz the PT says

    hi there!

    i’m an EI physical therapist and i have to thank you, first of all, for the content i’ve read so far on your blog–got here from BLOOM. i just copied and saved your “happy medium” email to share with my colleagues, as it says so clearly and positively everything we should remember as professionals/”experts” in someone else’s child’s development, a child on whom that person is actually the expert!

    to be fair, there are many, many loving and desperate parents out there who don’t do the research. or who don’t read the actual, medical research, or know how to interpret it. then again, the actual, medical research is not the last word in anything. i personally believe it’s worthwhile to have many things/therapies in your toolbox. every case is truly unique. what i mean to say is that it’s good to hear exactly what kind of research parents are doing.

    as a professional, you cannot expect your pediatrician to do her job with partial information. i completely understand why you are withholding information from her about supplements and trials (especially after she said you would go to hell?! who died and made her god?), but if you want the full, safe benefit of her medical expertise, you should print up a list of therapies, supplements, trials, etc that you are doing with nathan and give her a copy for her files. update it frequently, preferably by email or fax, and not by calling in to have a nurse cross off and write in different things, so you are the only one updating it. feel free to preface it with “i would like you to *not* give me your opinion on these interventions unless you have medically relevant safety concerns for my son, in which case please speak to me respectfully.”. or just reference her back to your email. 🙂 if you keep her fully informed, it will help her do her job optimally, which is the thing about her that you appreciate the most.

    again, i completely understand that this will be difficult and uncomfortable and possibly demeaning (if she gets cranky and yells at you again…bedside manner leaves much to be desired!) for, and i am sorry to hear that. in the past, she has not acted in a manner that would encourage full honesty from you on difficult subjects. it will be safest for nathan’s medical management, however, to have his doctor fully informed about what is going on with him. she can’t do her job with partial information.

    thanks again for your honesty here…you are doing an amazing job with your son!

  11. Yep, been there and we fired them because they did not have the persoanality or sense to ask why or what we were doing. Just assume, get rude, and try to use their so called authority. That is the problem, so many have authority problems and don’t like questions or to be questioned. I know more about nutrition and JAMA nutrition research than any MD I personally know. Many other doctors especially good doctors of chriopractic take rigourous training in nerve system problems, spinal trauma, nerve trauma, and nutrition. We love our upper cervical chiropractor and if I had to choose one, I would stick with my chiropractor.
    We have a good peds doc now. You may check with a goo- ole country family MD who knows that traditional family healing methods are very effective and medication is needed much less than promoted. As of now the US has the WORST infant moratlity rate in all of the industrialzed countries. You can verify that with WHO health reports.

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