Being a teenager sick with something that no one really understands requires such strength to deal with the never ending questions of your own parents, let alone health professionals. “How do you feel today? ” “Is your brain fog a little better?” ” What number would you give your nausea levels today?” “Are you hungry/thirsty?” “Are your legs throbbing or aching?” Then there’s the courage required to battle through the symptoms you are dealing with to have as ‘normal’ a life as possible. For some that may mean being able to get out of bed for an hour, for others getting to school despite feeling weak, sick and confused. I am so often moved to tears by the tenacity of the children I know who are struggling with health issues.
There is also a certain amount of courage that one has to find as a parent. I know there are parents who have had to find a lot more courage than I. However the courage I want to write about today takes the form of fronting up to the established medical system and daring to question established ways of doing..because they simply aren’t working for our children. It has taken a great deal of courage for many of us to question our trust in doctors and hospitals and to go ‘outside the system’ and past the double blind studies!
One of my friends recently pointed out how visiting good alternative practitioners with her child leaves her feeling hopeful and supported whilst leaving a specialist’s appointment most often finds her despondent and desperate. I have been hearing a little here and a little there and am hopeful that western medicine is starting to realise that there is much to be learnt from ‘eastern’ medicine and embracing a more holistic approach. We are fortunate to see several doctors who completely understand why we seek answers ‘outside the system’ and yet there have been many times over the past two years where I have had to brace myself for the questioning looks and polite dismissal of any ideas not in that particular doctor’s immediate area.
I am not explaining myself very well. It is getting late and I am tired after a rather intense day at work. However I wanted to share with you an interview with child and adolescent psychiatrist Professor Graham Martin,an international leader in suicide prevention, educator, researcher, a sometime thespian, poet, mediator and black belt in Karate. In 2009, his life took a radical turn when he was suddenly paralysed, and the tables were turned – doctor became patient. He eloquently describes the limitations of our current medical system and what can be gained by embracing other options.
For all those parents and carers who have felt let down by the medical system and had to grit their teeth and accept that double-blind studies are not the only answer, this interview is for you. Enjoy it here !