Posts Tagged "feeding"

Another “impossible” on the 1000 things May would never do – done

Posted on Jul 14, 2014 | 5 comments

Another “impossible” on the 1000 things May would never do – done

Five years ago, I sat in a small office of a hospital with a professor at one side of a desk, my husband’s hand in mine and the weight of a list of all the things my daughter would never ever do, suffocating me. Thousands and thousands of activities pouring through my mind. Everything from toilet training to going to the circus. So, what happened next? Okay – toilet training is out. But there were plenty we did do. May went to the theatre. She performed in a school assembly. She danced (she doesn’t stop bouncing sometimes). Swimming. Travelling. Bed time stories. Carving a pumpkin at Halloween. Eating ice cream. My word, for some reason, the idea that May would never taste ice cream killed me. I was wrong. She loves it. Today, we ticked off yet another item on the list of ‘1000 things May will never do’. Today, she rode a bike. Next, the...

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I ignored the advice of my daughter’s doctor

Posted on Mar 21, 2013 | 8 comments

I ignored the advice of my daughter’s doctor

Today on the BabyCenter Blog, I discussed how sometimes it is inappropriate for me to follow a doctor’s advice. Not all the time, just sometimes. But, I seem to have unwittingly given lots of paranoid mothers the rationale to not vaccinate their children. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. I intended to free myself and other mothers from the burden of choosing for their child the most appropriate solution from a range of medical options, instead I gave mothers the opportunity to explain exactly why their doctors, with all their years of experience, are just a plant to pedal them expensive drugs by pharmaceutical companies. I thought it would be interesting to discuss research by the University of Michigan where they discovered 2/3 of parents do not always follow medical advice. That sounded like something most parents would never admit to but, in fact, do. I know I do it, but then as I explain below – what else can I do when I receive at least ten new pieces of advice each week? I’m not sure what is better in this situation: to write the post or not? I feel like I’m banging my head against a wall sometimes. Here’s the opening of my post I ignored the advice of my daughter’s doctor: My daughter is brain-damaged. May has no less than six doctors with specialisms ranging from neurology to orthopedic surgery. They are all eminent in their fields, the best the country has to offer. They have decades of training under their belts, degrees from world-class universities like Oxford and Cambridge and whole teams of people scurrying around them, jotting down their every word. Everyone except me. Sometimes, I even plain ignore them. When it is something like May’s seizure medication, I follow their advice exactly as prescribed. But, other times, I nod in agreement but don’t follow through. Sometimes, I even argue back. Like when May was underweight as a baby and her doctor insisted that I see a dietician. I refused. The dietician assigned to us advised that we never use a microwave and make sure everything May ate was organic and homemade. Not only would that advice not fatten her up, it simply wasn’t realistic. The doctor argued with me incessantly but she was dipping into our lives for a twenty minute appointment, and had lost sight of the bigger picture. She saw a measurement on her chart that said May was underweight. She jumped to a solution. Our situation is extreme. Most parents don’t go to a hospital at least once a week. They don’t have a team of medical staff each bestowing one or two requests on them in every visit. Besides doctors, we see a whole team of therapists. We could easily be told “to try” a new stretch, way of feeding, type of equipment or a sleep solution every day. And, that’s just impossible. Hitting this level of information overload, I imagine many parents would turn off completely. In other words, not pick and choose as we do – but do nothing. Turns out I’m right, but on a much larger scale. As reported in Science Daily, The University of Michigan took a poll of the parents and found that only one-third (31%) follow their doctors advice all of the time. In other words, 69% of us don’t. You can read the full article, including more information on the U of M study, on the BabyCenter Blog. Is there a situation where you would not follow your doctor’s...

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If you had the chance to lecture 300 doctors, what would you say?

Posted on Oct 28, 2012 | 11 comments

If you had the chance to lecture 300 doctors, what would you say?

This month, I will address a conference of pediatricians in Hull, England. It will be the second time I’ve spoken at a conference, though the first time I was 23 and I delivered a paper on post-colonial literature. I can’t even remember the book I spoke on… so a very memorable speech then. One of my friends is a doctor  – several actually, but this particular one is organizing the conference and she asked me to come speak about May. In other words: she took a big risk on a friend of hers who, she knows, has a big mouth. I’ve spent several months thinking about what I want to say. The opportunity to address a room full of medical professionals is a rare gift. To speak to them outside of an appointment, with no pressure on them to address May’s medical needs. To tell them what I really think: about them, about May, about anything really. That’s big. It’s delicate though. Too critical and they will get defensive, too kind and I’m stroking egos. Neither option sounds at all useful. So, I thought before I close off writing my speech, I’d turn to you readers and ask, if you were in my position: What would you say to a room full of doctors? ____________________ One more thing: Major success! May’s height and weight were measured this week. She is no longer off-the-charts small, literally below the zero percentile in height and weight compared to others her age. There are actually children out there shorter and lighter than her! May’s weight: 11.5 kg / 25.3 lbs May’s height: 90 cm / 35.4...

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3 things I forgot about May, until I read this

Posted on Sep 10, 2012 | 2 comments

3 things I forgot about May, until I read this

Whaddya hear? Whaddya know? Three things I forgot about until I re-read this archive post from January 2010: How loudly May used to snort. That there ever was a pre-teething phase. The endless exercises we tried to help May hold something to her mouth. And, of course, that May is adorable. Never underestimate May’s superior power of cuteness. In all seriousness, I was reminded today to appreciate every moment. Small moments like these are not insignificant. It was that thought which led me back here. Without further ado: This week I’m… using teething biscuits from the archives, January 6, 2010. _______________________ In our household – we fear teeth. May is readying herself for teething. It is coming. Stick a spoon into her mouth these days and it may not come out. Chomp! Stick finger into her mouth – chomp, chomp! There are benefits to not breastfeeding. This has led to a great triumph. May’s ability to use her hands improved this week because she loves teething biscuits. Easy to grip and, oooooh so sweet! In the video below, I held her under her upper arm, but I didn’t guide her. I steadied her arm, but she did all the work. If she masters this, it could lead to all kinds of amazing things. Better hand control. Reaching for interesting objects. Feeding herself. Congrats to my little monkey! Did this exercise from back in 2010 help May reach her potential in 2012? Find out in the next...

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May’s new chair has arrived! So, why do I feel like this…

Posted on Jul 12, 2012 | 10 comments

May’s new chair has arrived! So, why do I feel like this…

I should be celebrating. Woohoo! May’s new chair is here! After months of insisting, pleading and, finally, demanding – it is here. It is even adjusted so she can use it. It is comfortable. Her positioning is good. She seems to enjoy it – and she does not feel that way about all chairs. So, why do I feel like this: Maybe, I should feel more like this: It’s never simple, is it? **UPDATE** I need to clarify that this chair is not May’s wheelchair, as I think most people assumed. This is her feeding and activity chair. The one she was using was broken for at least eight months and was only fixed about two days before this new one arrived. (Nice work, Lambeth Social Services.) May’s wheelchair has been ordered as well and should be with us in about a month’s...

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