Thursday, November 22, 2007

I Said Doctor! Is There Something I can Take? Doctor! To Relieve This Belly Ache?

Dear Reader, I went to the doctor this morning to see about getting Fin tested for celiac and she said, 'you put de lime and de coconut and drink em all up, woohoo woo woo wooo hooo'....

Or something like that. Well actually what she did say was, 'I don't know why you are concerned, he's a healthy boy - tall, good weight, handsome (ok so she didn't say that). What we look for in celiac is a failure to thrive and your boy is thriving!'

And while her mouth formed those ridiculous words I found myself thinking, why did I come here expecting anything different? But I went ahead anyway and told her that Fin was on a gluten free diet like me because he had awful symptoms in the past, diarrhoea, eczema, sore spots around his mouth and worse at the other end of his alimentary canal, recurrent boils, poor sleep, excessive flatulence and probably a horrible feeling of things not being right which he couldn't articulate because he was too young. These symptoms resolved when we cut out gluten - not just wheat, the rye bread I switched to was exactly the same.

I explained that we had tried reintroducing gluten at various times and it always aggravated him, although he seemed fine with a small amount of oats. 'But oats are wheat aren't they?', replied this doctor, this person with a medical degree and the power to tell us that these things were probably all figments of my hypochondriacal imagination.

Do you know what? Even though I realised that she knew less than I do about health, about celiac, about how medicine is not just packaged up in a fancy bottle by a pharmaceutical company, about how food can damage or heal. I still wanted her advice. What is that about?

Tears sprang up in my eyes as she told me that it wasn't worth getting tested for anything, 'we doctors don't really believe in all these food allergies you know - that's more alternative medicine and there's no scientific proof for any of it'.

Fin put his cycling helmet back on and got into his coat. 'Oh you cycled here, that's great! What a strong healthy boy you are!', and to me, 'just continue as you are, I don't really think either of you should worry too much you know'. And I bit my lip as Fin said goodbye and what a nice doctor she was (because she didn't suggest going back onto wheat as he feared).

I dropped him off at school, a happy, healthy, gorgeous gluten free child, and went home to make some almond milk for my breakfast tea and boil a delicious orange yolked egg. And then I sat down and wrote this.