Listen to Those Mommy Instincts

All of us moms have had them – those moments where you just know something is wrong, when your mommy instincts kick in and the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.  Last year my daughter became quite ill. At first her symptoms were brushed off as a minor viral illness but as the days went by and she didn’t improve, my gut told me something more serious was going on. I let myself be convinced by a health practitioner to wait another day or so.

I listened. I shouldn’t have.

When we finally went to the Children’s Hospital she was diagnosed with a very serious potentially life threatening illness and we had nearly missed the window of opportunity to treat her. Thankfully she is just fine in the end but I can barely even bring myself to think about what could have happened had I not followed my instincts in the end.

I have seen many a child whose mother has suspected a problem and been brushed off by a health practitioner. I always tell them to push to get things investigated until someone listens.

In one case a mother brought her son to see me for treatment of colic. I had a look and told her I didn’t think that’s what it was. She told me that she suspected lactose intolerance (he was formula fed) but had been told by her family physician that the ONLY symptoms of lactose intolerance were x, y, and z and any other symptoms could not possibly indicate this condition.

I asked her what SHE thought was going on. She was quite convinced it was lactose intolerance. All I could tell her was that in my professional opinion it wasn’t colic and then I recommended that she follow her instincts. She called me a week later to say that she had switched him to a soy-based formula and it was like night and day. He was settled and happy and of course her stress levels had dropped dramatically.

In another case I saw an 11 month old girl who seemed to be having hip pain. She was not wanting to put weight on one leg and it was affecting her ability to crawl and get up into standing. She had had x-rays which were all normal but there were obvious issues with her mobility.

The last time I saw her she had gotten up walking but had balance and stability issues that were out of the realm of normal variation. Mom was still concerned so I asked her if she had been referred to a paediatric neurologist. The mom told me that she had asked her family physician about it and he said that because her daughter was now up walking everything was fine. I could tell from the look on her face she was dubious. I encouraged her to keep pushing until she got some answers.

If you ever have any concerns about your child’s health, listen to your mommy instincts. Keep asking questions and seek out health care professionals who will listen to your concerns and not just brush you off. One day your child’s life may depend on it.