Last time I had her in for a checkup I was told that a new chicken pox vaccine is being administered, since the first one my kids got at one year of age is now resistant to a new strain of the virus. I refused it.
Yesterday I took my dental-phobic son in for a cleaning. The hygienist was awesome, kept his nerves at bay and made the whole process nearly enjoyable. Then the dentist comes in and thoughtlessly throws her opinion at him that he needs braces at him. ARGH! She didn’t even wait till I was in there. When she finally did discuss with me that he should see an orthodontist specialist she said that he would probably wear a wire device for a few years to stretch his teeth apart so that when he finally got braces it would be ‘as bad’. Again… are you on drugs or something? Make him wear metal in his mouth for about four years???? I had braces in high school. I had already been through elementary and Jr. high school and was very confident in myself and my looks. Can you imagine wearing metal in your mouth through the rest of your elementary and early middle school years? I told him on the say home to not even worry about what she said. “Johnny, forget that she even said that. Dad and I will discuss what is best for you and what is common sense.”
I Went home and had an interesting discussion with John about the connection between private dentist and orthopedic specialists… about the kick-backs that these dental offices get for their referrals to specialists. This makes me angry. This makes me sad. This makes me feel like less of a patient and more of a potential money-maker.
I was recently reading a Newsweek article about the The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This manual is the ‘bible’ by which pharmaceutical companies decide which conditions warrant medications. If something is considered an ‘illness’ a medication can be manufactured and distributed. What was once considered ‘shyness’ is now an illness called ‘social anxiety disordered’ and is generally medicated. This is what scares me though, this ‘bible’ has more than doubled in the last ten years. Not only that, but more than half of the researchers who defined this book have at financial ties to the drug companies who design the medications.
People who have educated themselves on the subject can have frank conversations with their doctors about what medications they do and do not need, but what about us parents? I wonder how many parents crack under the pressure of being a ‘good mommy’ or a ‘responsible daddy’? Five years ago I didn’t refused to bring my infant in for weekly weight tracking, because I wanted to be a good mom. I didn’t want it written in my child’s health record for all eternity that I turned down a recommended treatment. Maybe some parents will decide to have Garasil injected into their little girls because, with the best of intentions, they want what’s best for them. I hope we all start to use common sense in to determine what really is best.
Stepping off my soapbox now.