Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Vindication! Or Validation! Or Some Other V-something-ation-word!

Yesterday morning, we were planning to have our annual family pictures done.  The outfits were chosen, the appointment was made, the baths had been taken . . .

And Miles woke up with a rash.  All over his face.

Needless to say, I cancelled the portrait appointment, and made a doctor's appointment.  Only our regular doctor - we'll call him Dr. B - wasn't available, so we were scheduled with another doctor - Dr. G - from the practice.  Considering our relationship with Dr. B, I didn't mind the change at all.  I went in prepared to give her the entire run-down of Miles' medical history.

Except she already knew it.  Unlike Dr. B, she had obviously read his medical history.  She walked in, said hello, then turned around.  She looked at Miles, smiled as she tickled him, and told me, "He has eczema."  She followed up with a thorough examination, but stuck to her initial diagnosis.  The vindication, however, came in the post-examination discussion.

"Has he shown any signs of sensitivities to foods?"

So, I explained about our suspicions about milk.  How we'd spent months telling Dr. B that milk caused him to have ridiculous diarrhea.  How Dr. B had told us that kids this age didn't have allergies or lactose intolerances.

At this point, she interrupted me.  "Umm . . ." she said, then paused for a long time, trying to figure out a politic way to say what she needed to say, "that's not exactly correct."  She went on to tell me that milk allergies are one of the most common causes of eczema.

We talked about my experiment - the two weeks of dairy-free - and she told me that was precisely what she would have recommended I do.  But, my conclusions were a little off.  I had assumed lactose intolerance, and had therefore switched from regular milk to lactose-free milk - which is still milk.  By trying to make certain that he was getting the proper nutrition, I had inadvertently exposed him to large amounts of something that he was allergic to.  The end result was an outbreak of eczema.

So, I was a little off.  But, if Dr. B had taken me seriously, we would have known it sooner.  Dr. G set things straight, prescribed a heavy-duty lotion, and some antibiotics to deal with the infection that had resulted from him scratching at the eczema.  With that little bit of business out of the way, I asked her out.

Okay, not really, but I did ask her to be Miles' new doctor.  She accepted, after listing her credentials, to make certain that I was making an informed decision.

Her specialty is pediatrics.  Dr. B was a general practitioner.


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