I grew up in what I would call a traditional American home where if you were sick you went to the doctor. Period. My dad was, and still is, especially adamant about this. I can’t tell you how many times I was sick went to the doctor and the doctor said there was nothing he could give me for my cold because it was a virus or how many times I got an antibiotic and how many long-term problems that caused me in the years since.
Somewhere around the end of college and the first years of getting married, I had increasing health problems and started trying to find natural solutions. That meant I went to the doctor less and less. But one time 4-5 years after I was married and my husband and I had moved closer to home, I got sick and I just couldn’t get over it.
I had a lingering cough that lasted for months. Finally, my mom talked me into going to my old doctor and I went through four rounds of antibiotics and none of them worked on the cough. Eventually, the cough mostly went away.
I can’t even tell you how many health problems I have had since then. It’s been 15 years of health problems. What I really wish I had done is go to the doctor at the beginning of my cold and gone to a different doctor that would give me the right antibiotic for strep pneumonia (which I’m 99% sure is what I had) and killed off the bacteria at the beginning before they caused me so, so many problems (like rheumatoid arthritis).
Fast forward 12 years from that time and I was way more into natural remedies than ever before. My 2 and a half-year-old daughter was sick. At that point, I had four young children and it seemed like someone was always sick.
But here’s the big difference with her being sick and a normal cold – she had a high fever for like a week. She just laid on the couch all day for several days. My dad told me multiple times I should take her to the doctor.
But I was being prideful and wouldn’t listen. I just knew it would be a waste of time and money and I didn’t want her to get on an antibiotic because of all the terrible things I had read about them after my experience above.
I actually tried to take her to the doctor after a while, but he was completely booked for the day since something was going around – plus I was nervous about taking her to the doctor since she hadn’t had any of her shots.
So I went to several natural-type doctors, but they really couldn’t help much. To make a long story short, she ended up almost dying of strep pneumonia and was in the hospital for almost three weeks.
All because I didn’t take her to the doctor sooner. Moral of the story – if your child has a fever for more than 72 hours, get them to a doctor immediately. You can read in a lot more in depth of this experience here.
Then about a year and a half after my daughter’s hospitalization, my only son started having health problems. Nothing major. He had what we thought was a bladder infection but it wouldn’t go away. He wasn’t sleeping good and complained that his head and tummy hurt constantly.
Once again, we tried everything natural we could think of to help him. Then one day he started throwing up and up and up. He slept the entire day. I didn’t think much of it since my girls had the stomach flu earlier that week.
But instead of pulling through it by night like my girls had done, he started throwing up more and more at night. I could tell he was dehydrated, but I figured he would be better by morning and he would be able to start eating and everything would be fine.
But everything was not fine. To make a long story short, he ended up having Type I Diabetes and was very close to dying for a day or so. You can read more all about that story here. With him, the symptoms prior to the day we took him to the hospital were so a-symptomatic that I really don’t know if it would have done any good to take him to the doctor.
But I do know that when he woke me up at 5 am and was acting really, really weird, I should have taken him straight to the hospital. I shouldn’t have put it off for a few hours. Thank goodness we did test his blood glucose around 7 or 8 am and take him to the ER the second we saw that it was 456.
It just makes me so frustrated as I write out these stories that I didn’t go to the doctor sooner these three times. But so grateful that I eventually did feel a very strong prompting to take my children to the ER. It saved their lives. I really think that we need to find a way to balance traditional medicine and natural medicine.
I think it’s tragic how close-minded each of them can be to the other’s methods. There has to be a better way to take the best of both worlds and put them together into one awesome world.
For now, I seem to have found that balance by going to a naturopath that is trained in both traditional and holistic methods, which means they take my insurance for the doctor and most of the tests, most prescriptions and access to supplements I couldn’t otherwise get. If you haven’t tried a naturopath yourself, you may be able to find one near you by Googling it.
They usually go to medical school and then complete further training for the natural part and they are usually very popular and hard to get an appointment but totally worth it.
How about you. Were there times you wish you went to the doctor sooner? Do you go to a naturopath?