As adults, we know one size doesn’t fit all. Our bodies are all different — both inside and out.
Some people are lucky and are pretty healthy while others struggle with things like acne, indigestion, allergies or asthma. In these cases, there are specialists available to help make life easier.
I am so thankful for these type of specialists. I use them often. This past spring, I had a cancer spot removed from my forehead by a dermatologist. My seasonal allergies are so bad that I’m heading back to my allergist in a few weeks.
But why don’t most of us think of our kids as needing specialists unless it is something major?
My oldest daughter suffered from a severe case of constipation following potty training. We ended up seeing a wonderful specialist, and I’m so glad we did.
She suffered for a long time, and it breaks my heart to think back to those years. We were told to use an over-the-counter remedy that works great for many adults. Unfortunately, it caused problems for us. We just didn’t know it at the time.
I love our pediatrician so much, but she is there for physicals, acute illnesses and general questions. If your child is having an issue beyond those things, you might want to ask for a referral or do some digging into specialists yourself.
Thank goodness we did.
For months while she was on that medication for constipation, she suffered from night terrors, melt downs and personality changes that we attributed to her age. But none of it felt right to me. Even though the problem wasn’t fixed, I took her off the medicine. Within a week, she was back to her old self.
My heart broke. I knew we needed to talk to a specialist.
After seeing a pediatric gastroenterologist, our lives turned around. She was put on a different short-term regimen that cured her completely. Thank goodness those days are behind us. Today she is a happy, healthy second grader.
We did the same for our son. When he started potty training, he had a different issue. He was scared to use the toilet for bowel movements. He requested a diaper every time he needed to go number two. I immediately called back that same gastroenterologist, and we saw her as a preventative measure.
That specialist gave us a detailed plan, and within two weeks, my son was using the toilet for all of his needs. We haven’t had any issues since.
I fear that if I wouldn’t have seen her, I could have had a multi-year battle with my son as well.
The truth is we do our best, but we don’t always think to be proactive with visiting the right doctor. The specialist we saw said she sees so many cases of potty training that turn to chronic constipation. She wishes people would take their children to regular doctor visits, and I can’t recommend visiting a specialist like we did if something like potty training isn’t going smoothly after a few weeks.
Hindsight is 20/20, and I still stand by my pediatrician. (She’s a great doctor.) Still, I would encourage all of you to use your gut instinct — which can be tough, especially with your first child — and seek a second opinion if something doesn’t seem quite right.
After all, there is no harm in being proactive. We only get one body.