I helped my daughter prep for an upper and lower endoscopy this weekend. This involved her not eating anything or drinking anything other than clear liquids for 2 days and consuming stuff to help clean out her entire digestive system. This was a lot less fun than it sounds.
It involved a lot of pain and hunger on her part and very little sleep for both of us. Then we had to show up at the hospital for 6:30 this morning where she was knocked out and had her innards filmed.
She was diagnosed with Crohn’s 5 years ago and it’s been a never-ending round of hospital visits, specialists, pokings, proddings, scans, check-ups, tests, tests, more tests and questions. Nobody knows where this disease comes from, what exactly triggers it or how to treat it.
All the medical community knows is to dole out an escalating series of drugs and when those stop working (which they inevitably do) they start cutting. We fought to avoid all drugs for the first 3 years and managed the disease with diet and complementary therapies. Then puberty hit and the increase in hormones created enough havoc in her body to force us to agree to a very mild immune-suppressant drug.
The effects of this drug are now on the wane and her GI wants to get out the big guns: intensive drug therapies whose side effects are longer than the trans-Canada highway and include links to cancer in the long-term. There’s no guarantee these will work and every evidence that they don’t work for long.
There’s no way I can agree to this. My daughter has been a champ, a star, a gutsy wee thing throughout – putting up with all the crap so far. Especially because she feels pretty well most of the time. She occasionally has flare-ups, but is otherwise very healthy. She’s active, happy, eats well and has the discipline to stay away from junk which I believe has gone a long way in keeping things more or less under control.
So, I’m on the hunt for an Ottawa naturopath with some experience with IBDs who can help keep her stable and maintain growth and development, so we can tell our GI what to do with her nasty pharmaceuticals with some confidence and authority.
I’m open to any recommendations/warning for natural practitioners in Ottawa, as well as any other relevant information. I’ve done more research on Crohns than I’ve ever done on anything in my entire life, but I always find anecdotal evidence valuable. Research always seems to be scrabbling to keep up with what the people who’ve lived with the disease have known forever.
All in all it’s been an unpleasant few days, but not nearly as unpleasant for me as the weekend has been for the young mother I met in the hospital corridor today whose 9-year-old son was rushed to the hospital on Saturday with sudden, severe back pain and who was diagnosed today with leukemia.
Shit like this shouldn’t happen to kids.