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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Finding doctors who care

This post is in collaboration with Brand Meets Blog

When I was pregnant I knew there was a chance I could have another allergy baby. Of course I was hoping we'd avoid it, but having already had one child with multiple food allergies, the likelihood was high. It was ok though, this time around I was prepared. So I thought.

I knew how hard life was last time so I'd do things differently. I'd change my diet, continue breastfeeding, do everything in my power to minimise the impact the allergies would have on our family and our baby. All the things I didn't try last time I'd try this time and it'd be better. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but reality is a different beast entirely.

I've since discovered no matter how prepared you think you are, you're never truly prepared for an allergy baby. Even though I've lived it before, my mind managed to erase just how horrible those first few weeks were {which is probably a good thing or I might never have tried for a second child}.

I definitely wasn't prepared for the hours and hours of relentless high pitched screaming that never seems to stop, it merely fluctuates in its intensity. Sure, all babies cry, but this is next level screaming. I'd forgotten how distressing it is to watch a baby spend hour after hour, day after day in agonising pain, which I do everything in my power to stop, but can't. Nor was I prepared for the very real fear I feel when eating something new wondering if it's going to hurt her, or the tremendous guilt that follows when it does. I've spent countless days too scared to eat anything because I think I'm poisoning her, but I force myself to because I know I have to eat.

Then there's the relentless, soul crushing sleep deprivation. The torture of having to console a screaming baby for 20+hrs a day while simultaneously looking after a needy toddler for 16 of those hours, all the while running on 2hrs of broken sleep, just hoping and praying that one day it will end. One day there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. Some days the hope that that day will be tomorrow is literally the only thing that gets me through the day, because I have no idea how I'd make it through without lying to myself that tomorrow will be better.

Tomorrow has to be better.

I've tried everything to bring her some relief from the pain. I changed my diet within the first week. I've used countless wind drops, reflux medicine, baby massage and old school remedies my friends, friends grandmother used to swear by. There comes a point though where you have to admit you need professional help. For me this point came very early, but I've struggled to find the right help.

I've spent weeks on waiting lists then hours traveling all over Brisbane trying to find a doctor who could shed some light on our situation. Someone who could give me hope that it will actually get better and tell me how to make it better. When you're surviving on absolute minimum sleep driving all over the place, spending hours in waiting rooms to see random Dr's is the last thing you want to be doing. To add insult to injury I was then dismissed by a lot of those Drs with the general consensus being babies cry for lots of reasons, it doesn't mean she has allergies or that anything is wrong. Insert frustrated eye roll here.

It really astounds me how many doctors there are out there that dismiss a mother's concerns about her own child as if she knows nothing about the person she gave birth to and is raising. It's tremendously frustrating knowing there's something very wrong with my child, yet having medical professionals dismiss those concerns. Still I've persisted looking for different options in the hope of helping her. After almost resigning myself to the fact I'd tried all avenues and there was nothing more I could do, I discovered the wonderful staff at Ubuntu medical centre.

visiting Ubuntu family medical practice

Ubuntu is a family run medical centre in Stafford on the northside of Brisbane and I managed to get appointments with a GP and a dietitian within days. Hallelujah, no ridiculous waiting lists! I thought for sure it'd take weeks to get a dietitian appointment. The best thing about Ubuntu is they have a huge range of allied health services within the same practice. Taking two kids on long drives when exhausted isn't fun, so being able to see both the GP and dietitian at the same practice was super convenient. They also have a massage therapist, naturopath, acupuncturist, chiropractor and other services available {I wish I had of known about them while I was still pregnant, hello massage therapist!}.

Despite having a plethora of services available Ubuntu still has the charm of a family medical centre. After attending countless appointments elsewhere over the past few weeks where I've felt like just another number, it was refreshing to meet medical professionals who genuinely cared about our situation. I really felt like they had a sincere concern for her wellbeing and mine, and instead of trying to get us in and out the door as quick as possible they took the time to have in depth discussions about my concerns. They then provided a holistic approach to help us rather than prescribing medication to mask her symptoms. I've found so many other Dr's just want to provide a band-aid solution (or dismiss my concerns completely), yet the team at Ubuntu really wanted to help me determine the root causes of her allergies.

playing in the waiting room before doctor appointment at ubuntu medical centre

After 12 weeks of horrible sleep, numerous tears {both hers and mine}, watching her squirming in pain and changing my entire diet, I finally feel like I've been heard. I feel like I've been acknowledged by medical professionals who actually cared about our situation and who took my concerns as seriously as I do. I have a renewed sense of hope and a new plan to work towards while I wait for the better days to come. It's not a complete solution, unfortunately with allergies there never is a quick solution, but most days just knowing we're definitely on the right track, and I'm doing everything I can do, is all I need to get me through.

And sleep, sleep would help too, but we'll get there eventually.

Toni x

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