Manic Motherhood at it's FINEST!!

Why "I am NOT a VOLCANO!"

Why "I am NOT a VOLCANO!"
click the volcano for the due explanation
"In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured." — Gordon B. Hinckley
Exaggeration is the spice of life

Book I am Currently Reading: Peter and The Shadow Thief

Monday, February 1, 2010

Touchy Topic Tuesday: Overweight and underweight children? The idiot things that doctors and CPS do.

As parents, the doctor is a regular part of our lives.

When we are pregnant, the doctor becomes the only one who doesn't get sick of our pregnancy and hearing about our aches and pains and movements and worries.

When the baby is born, we dread the shots, but are actually excited to take our baby to the doctor because we KNOW everyone is going to coo about how she is the cutest baby there ever was, and oh my gosh, she looks just like ME!

Unfortunately, most of us learn very quickly that doctors can be quacks.

I mean, i suppose we can't blame them. They are human, right? (Really, sometimes I wonder.) Of course, they say stupid, judgemental things sometimes. They're just people. And they don't know everything. And I know, I know- many of you probably have spectacular pediatricians who can diagnose strep throat by the way the kid smells when he walks into the office, or who can get rid of lice by recommending a secretly formulated shampoo that is only available to people who come to their office.

Unfortunately, my husband served 4 years in the military, and we had around 12 different doctors throughout the years, and i think that most of them were clueless professionals, so overstimulated by their own self importance that they totally missed the fact that they had no idea what they were talking about. Thank goodness for the sweet nurses, or I very well may have poked some eyes out.

Still, I can't help but wish that maybe they'd get a clue.

Lilly was only 2 months (see above picture) old when we took her in for a well child check, and the pediatrician suggested that in her future she would need plastic surgery to 'fix' the hook on her sweet little nose.

I was only slightly less shocked when he asked ME if I had had plastic surgery because my nose looked like Michael Jackson's!!!


Throughout the years, starting when Lilly (now almost 5) turned 2, I have had at least 5 doctors tell me that I needed to watch what Lilly ate because she was too heavy.

Okay. A few things to know about Lilly.

1. She is tall. Very tall. She is in the 95th percentile for children her age. (She gets this from her Grandpa Mark, Brandon's dad, who is over 6 feet tall. Brandon is only 5 '10" and I am only 5'3", so it certainly wasn't from us.

2. By 'heavy' they mean that she is in the 75th percentile for kids her age. Are you seeing what is wrong with this picture when this fact is coupled with the one from above? A child who is in the 50th percentile or below that, and still was in the 75th percentile for weight would very likely have a weight problem. Unfortunately for the idiot doctors' calculations, this is actually a very healthy coupling because a. This has been consistent throughout her life since she was around 6 months old (she was born 50/50) so it wasn't just a random thing. b. She's taller than 95% of her peers! Shouldn't she weigh more than they do too? I'm not too sure, but in my book, she'd be healthy all the way up to her being in the 95th percentile for weight too. Which she's not. If you look at the picture above, you will see that she's actually very healthy looking.

3. Brandon is 5'10" as I said before. He has a 32 inch waist and weighs an even 200 pounds. Yes. That's right. Brandon is incredibly heavy for his size. And he's not a weight lifter. On many occasions, the military doctors who made sure that the airmen were in good enough shape to stay in the military told him that if they weren't seeing it themselves, they wouldn't believe it. So Lilly must come by it honestly, huh?

And if any of the doctors had taken this into account (you know, like, cracked her chart open for a peak, or asked me about her family history, or about her father, or even looked at the girl for heaven's sake- because, I'm telling you, they were so busy trying to get out of that office and on to other things, that they hardly noticed her at all beyond a heart beat- they would have been able to discern where her traits come from)

Now, I am not a health nut by any means, but I'm pretty good about putting together meals with a lot of fresh ingredients, including veggies and rice and pastas and other things that are generally considered healthy. We are not vegetarians, but we don't eat a lot of meat. When we do, it's chicken, or sometimes a roast on a Sunday. When given a snack choice, my kids will scream for apples and pears or a stick of string cheese before they will take a Fruit By The Foot or a pack of gummy snacks (though they all have a sweet spot for Swedish Fish) Mahone can eat an entire bag of grapes in an hour if i let him. Lilly's favorite thing EVER are blueberries. Not to mention, they have a pretty strict schedule. 3 meals a day, and 2 snacks a day, between the meals. My kids drink some milk, but only with meals, and they are allowed as much water as they want. Juice really doesn't really have a regular spot on our grocery list.

They were telling me to watch what Lilly ate. But I knew what Lilly ate. I was giving it to her. And she was always an active little thing. So I knew she was getting enough exercise. Daily walks were always important to us then. (Now, not so much, but I plan to change that this spring.)

So, I told the docs i would watch what she eats, and then I ignored them. (For the record, I don't ignore them when it comes to the 'important' stuff- like, when my kids are sick or when they need medicines or whatever. I don't know ANYTHING about that stuff, and I know that they do. Or at least I HOPE they do. Once, they gave my son an antibiotic for an ear infection that we found out later was a dosage meant for adults, and my son broke out in what looked like measles. It took an ER doctor off base to confirm that it WAS in fact Rubella (German Measles) not a reaction to the antibiotics as all the base doctors had assured us.)

Okay, so we kind of have a love/hate relationship with our children's doctors. But what's the 'Touchy Topic" for today?


Social workers took a 2-year-old U.K. boy into care after his mother refused to give him junk food.
Zak Hessey was 17 pounds, 6 ounces when his mother Lisa took him to hospital, telling doctors he was a "fussy eater" and not gaining weight.
Doctors said he should weigh 19 pounds, 8 ounces, and advised the mother of five to bulk him up on chips, chocolate and cakes.
When she said no, social workers were called in and her son was put into foster care to assess if his eating improved.
Lisa, 28, and her husband Paul, 48, battled through the courts for four months before they got their son back.
Social workers then admitted in court that the couple, from Bolsover, Derbys, were devoted and loving parents.
Lisa claimed Zak's time in foster care left him a "chocoholic" and only 8 ounces heavier.
"I thought I was doing the right thing going for help when Zak began refusing to eat and lost weight," Zak's mother said.
"Instead they basically accused me of neglect. They said I should give him chocolate, cakes and junk food just to get calories into him."
Chesterfield Royal Hospital spokesman said: "We believe we acted in Zak's interest."

If it were me, I'd have done the same thing. And I guess, if I were at the right doctor's office, I would have lost my child to the great gaping hole of uselessness that is CPS. (Don't get me started on them. That is a Touchy Topic for another Tuesday.) I really don't understand this logic.

Now, for another list, because there are many things wrong with this picture.

1. A 2 year old weighing 17 pounds 6 ounces is technically under weight. But their 'ideal' weight for him was only 2 pounds heavier. It's not like he was supposed to be weighing 30 pounds and he was 17 pounds. 2 pounds people!

2. 19 pounds 8 oz? Who's butt did they pull that out of? I could see them saying 'we feel an ideal weight for your child should be between 19-24 pounds' but specifically "19 pounds 8 ounces?" That's a little hokey sounding to me.

3. Chips, cakes and chocolate, huh? Now, lets think about this here. We are waging a world wide battle against obesity, and these people wanted this mother (who, by the way had 4 other presumably healthy children at home, so let's not suggest that she was naive and inexperienced and didn't know a lick about what she was doing) to shovel EMPTY calories into his dear little body, clogging his arteries, and setting him up for future health problems like heart issues, blood pressure problems, cholesterol problems, and so forth. Why not recommend that the child continue to drink whole milk, and more often? Why not recommend adding more cheese to his diet, or recommend cooking with oils which are calorie dense. Breads are not so calorie dense, but kids tend to like them a lot, and they have carbs, which are great too. How about pastas? Or, for heavens sake, why not keep the kid on a type of formula, which is fortified with all kinds of vitamins, calories and carbohydrates? Babies thrive on this for up to a year. Why couldn't a picky 2 year old?

4. Aren't there supposed to be investigations in the home that occur before Social Services is allowed to take a child out of the parent's home? It seems that doctors, who see our children once a year, or twice or so if they get sick, are becoming the voice of what happens to our children, even though they know very little about them. If the child was covered in bruises and cuts and burns, it would be one thing to immediately remove the child but that never happens. People are losing their children every day to innocent mistakes like taking pictures of them in a bubble bath and then having the roll developed at WalMart, while babies are beaten to death in homes where S.S. don't even try to get into. Everyone cries "there is a process!!!" but it seems that there is only a 'process' when the issue involves a true victim. They're more than ready to yank any normal child out of the arms of normal, concerned parents. No, this child was away from his parents for 4 months, fed the chocolate and junk food that the imbecile doctor recommended, and only gained 8 ounces. Hm. I wonder what the doctor thinks of that? In four months, the child would have probably gained that 8 ounces anyway. But he can't get that 4 months away from his parents and siblings back.

I have to say, too, that I am always slightly afraid to take my children to a doctor. The things that I hear about happening to innocent families on a regular basis shock me into fear. What if my child is a little bit heavy? What if she is a little bit small? What about Scarlet, who is accident prone, and so has cuts and bruises all over her all the time? What if i take her somewhere and a doctor misinterprets what has happened to her, and she is yanked away from me as quickly as this child was from his mother, who thought she was doing the right thing? What if they take ALL my children? Is it becoming such a world where we can't disagree with a doctor, or hope for a second opinion for fear of losing our children? We can't say 'no' because we feel that there is something better for our child, because if the doctor is particularly irritated at us, or just wants to prove that he is the one that is right, he can just call in CPS and off our child goes.

What do you think? What idiot things have your doctors done or told you? What do you think about this case? Was the doctor right or wrong? What would YOU have done if you were in the mother's place?


The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

I was 27 and my new baby weighed 7 pounds and was 21 inches. The nurse came in and kept saying how small she was over and over and not in a good way. I was horrified.

For the most part we have had good docs for the girls, but have seen some awful ones in Urgent Care and in the ER for my parents.

You really have to be your own advocate.

What happened to those parents is absolutely terrible and sickening.

Roodlyne said...

My peds is sweet but I get frustrated with them cause their diagnosis is no better from what I read in webmd. I always wished I didnt go.I had ramdom people asking what am I feeding my kids if they are on steroids. LOL my 2 year old looks like she's 4 she is really tall, and my 10months old is kinda "healthy" she is chunky but not overweight but hey some ppl can be very incensitive.

I'm NOT a VOLCANO! said...

Girl next door- I always thought 7 pounds and 21 inches was a perfect average!

Roodlyne, I hear you! Both of my girls are very tall (like i said, 95th percentile, the both of them) but my son is only 50th percentile, and I don't worry a bit about it. Kids get genes from all over the place- parents, grandparents, and so on. That is 6 people directly packed into one little child, and anything can happen. Brandon and I are both small and thin- so that's where my son gets it. It doesn't make him 'messed up' because he's different from my girls.

I think that it's probably a good idea to take the kid to the doctor if you're worried about something. But sometimes, it's better to wait out that fever if they have had it for less than 2 days, or even the cough, unless they can't breathe. I think it really just needs to be on the parent. You know your kids. And for the most part, I think we ALL have THEIR best interest at heart.

esianoyam3 said...

Ugh, doctors can definitely be frustrating. I KNOW that my EDD had something other than colic as a baby. If your baby is "colicky" for almost a year, it's not colic at that point. When you combine the nightly scream-fests with her other "issues", I'm pretty sure she has some sort of sensory issue. I spent her first 2 years trying to get a doctor to take me seriously, but everyone told me I was imagining things.

I worked in a ped's clinic for almost two years, and unfortunately, it made me dislike doctors even more. But while working there I finally met the world's BEST pediatrician. She genuinely cared about her patients & it showed in all the little details.

Not only was she perfectly in tune with my children, she was in tune with ME as well. When I took Sparky in for her two week checkup (DH had already moved across the country and I was a wreck & colic/reflux was already setting in with Sparky), she took one look at ME, and asked me how *I* was coping. I would consider moving back to Utah JUST so she can be my girls' doctor again.

I like our ped here, but not nearly as much. And I hate it when we can't get in with our "regular" doctor and have to see one of the other doctors in the practice. I swear they never look at the charts. At Sparky's one year checkup, we couldn't get in with our regular doctor. You know my husband. He has a large head. He's passed it onto our children. Well, the doctor who saw Sparky that day FREAKED OUT about her head circumference and insisted that we needed to get in for a head CT right away. I kept trying to explain that my kids have genetically large heads, but she kept insisting that it could possibly be hydrocephalus and that the large head combined with "developmental delays" was very worrisome.

However, I think I struggle more with myself than with doctors. I spend too much time comparing my children to others. EDD was a late bloomer, but she's thriving now.

Sparky is following along in big sister's footsteps, and now I find myself comparing her to the other kids in nursery who are speaking full sentences when she only says a couple of words. I know she'll start talking in good time (and she makes eye contact and obviously understands what we're saying), but it's so hard not to compare her to other 18-month-olds who already recognize the letters and sounds of the alphabet.

I compare on the weight thing, too. EDD is very tall for her age, and she's SOLID. She's not fat - it's just density. I don't know how to explain it. But she's always been between 75-95th percentile for height and around 75th percentile for weight. It's hard not to compare her to her super skinny friends at church.

As far as the child being taken from his parents, I guess I hope there's more to the story that they're not reporting. I would HATE to think that he was taken away from his home on the sole premise of his mother being unwilling to load him up on junk food. If he was really removed from his home only because of the junk food issue, I think they should be taking a long hard look at the doctors who examined him. With juvenile diabetes, obesity, etc, on the rise, fattening your child up on junk food (ESPECIALLY an already picky eater), is just unsound advice.

I'm NOT a VOLCANO! said...

Shallyse- I totally understand. MY kids have very small heads. (The get it from my family, not Brandon's) but they induced me two weeks early when I was pregnant with mahone, all the while freaking me out about my body and placenta being 'unfit' to cary a child to full term- nevermind that I did it with Lilly, and they said he was starving in my belly and they would prefer him to be on the outside. I was scared for him, so they induced.

The thing is, there was nothing wrong, but he was expected to be a whole pound lighter because they way they check that on an ultrasound is to measure the head. His head is just small. So, when he was born 2 weeks early, nothing was wrong, and he weighed 6 pounds, and he would have been around 7 1/2 or so if he had been allowed to come on his own. Now, I AM glad they erred on the side of safety. I would NEVER want anything to happen to my babies, but I know better now, and if I'm in the same situation again, I will know what to tell them.

Speaking of going to a different doctor, the thing is, the doctor who saw me the day they freaked me out about Mahone wasn't a doctor I'd ever seen before. He said my stomach was measuring small for my time (But, seriously, Shallyse, look at me. We're about the same size. I'm 5'3" and when I'm not pregnant, I'm about 112 pounds. There isn't anywhere for a baby to GO!) He didn't once look at my chart- I noticed that at the beginning, and I firmly believe that if he had, he would have noticed that my progression in my pregnancy was going at a regular, safe pace.

*Jess* said...

Oh, please, don't get me started. I respected doctors over all until I had children myself. Then I realized that 99% of pediatricians were idiots. Their few weeks of rounds in Pediatrics did not doctors make. I've been through countless pediatric's offices until I found a family doctor that doesn't talk down to me and lets me help make medical decisions for my family.

The best example I've seen is with my son Jayce. At 15 months, I had concerns about his diet, sleep, speech, and development. I was even more worried by his 18 mo check up. By 2, I was begging for a speech evaluation and wanted to know why my child hand flapped and toe walked.

The pediatrician said he was just fine and he would eventually talk.

Yeah, my son was diagnosed with Autism by his 3rd birthday because I didn't believe the pediatrician that he was "fine".

Scarlet of Moms Wear Your Tees. com said...

I so agree about the over under weight topic. In fact I don't even look to see what percentile my kids are in. I just ensure they eat healthy and regularly and I trust that is enough!

Rhonda (a.k.a. The Restless Squaw) said...

Thanks for the welcome! I'll be back, I'm sure.

Zertuchina said...

WOW!!! Your kid is underweight, stuff some cake and chocolate in his mouth!!!
HAHAHA!!! Cuz obese kids are healthy kids right?
Next time ask your doctor if he/she is sponsored by Hershey's or Lay's

Anonymous said...

To me a lot of it comes down to shopping around until you find a doctor or pediatrician you like. Yeah, with the military you can't always do that, but it's always in your rights as a patient to have more than one opinion, especially for big things. Or demand that the doctor take the time to look at growth charts. I am not a mom, but I have learned a lot working in healthcare. You need to speak up on things you are concerned about and blow off stupid doctors who aren't familiar with your child or don't listen to your concerns.
Aunt Uber

Jamie said...

From the doctors I know, they are over-worked and paranoid about law suits. They may offend some people by saying stupid stuff, but if just one person sues them for NOT saying something, that ends their career. I don't think all medical malpractice law suits are frivolous, but then I also don't think that all doctors are lazy egomaniacs (not that anyone here is saying they are).

To use a medical metaphor, I think that bad doctors are just a symptom, not the disease. Then entire health care system in the US needs some serious overhaul. I have decent insurance and an excellent doctor, but I know that makes me very lucky.

Crayon Wrangler said...

I love this Tuesday meme and will be following you and participating from here on out.

I currently have a large fluffy 2 year old and have heard it all from everyone...BUT MY DOCTOR! He understands that although "all men are created equal" we are not all going to look equally alike. He makes sure I am provided with all information regarding weight, thyroid, etc. for children and then wishes us all well that ends well.
I love our pediatrician for his common sense approach and non-alarming approach to all things with kids.

Great blog!!!

I'm NOT a VOLCANO! said...

Jamie, you ARE right, and I know not all doctors are impiciles. Just the ones that I have had to deal with! LOL! I have not yet EVER found a pediatrician that I felt was respectful or attentive enough to my childrens needs (LOVED a LOT of nurses though) but I DO believe there are many out there (Brandon would have been EXCELLENT were he to continue down that path), and I hope I can find him/her!

I had a WONDERFUL OB/GYN in Alabama (it was about the ONLY good part of being there) and I had a very pleasant experience while carrying Scarlet. However, another on-base military doctor who was 'qualified' to place my IUD had to do it instead of Dr Martin, (my wonderful doctor) because the insurance wouldn't cover the placement since the on-base doctor 'technically' could do it...yeah, she SHOVED THE THING THROUGH MY UTERUS (after MUCH hastle and argument over the thing...don't even get me started on the retardedness of this woman AND her nurse) and I had to have it laproscopically removed by said WONDERFUL doctor, who luckily KNEW what he was DOING! It took me 6 WEEKS to convince them that I was in much pain, and they laughed at me, hung up on me, told me to take tylenol, told me that it was in my head, and generally only responded and let me have an ultrasound, which ultimately led to an x-ray and ct scan to verify that it WAS IN FACT the IUD (how they couldn't tell, I don't know, because I SAW the results, and I don't have a T shaped tumor growing in my intestines) when my husband, who was an active duty airman called and chewed them out.

My WONDERFUL doctor said, when I entered his office unannounced and in tears with all my test results, refusing to go back to the doctor who DID this to me in the first place so that SHE could remove it through surgery (BTW, she told me in the consultation when we found it out that I would never have children again, which is false because WONDERFUL doc said it was fine.) that he was surprised I was walking and didn't have other problems because it very easily could have punctured my intestines as well and killed me. He called tricare himself with my pleight and made them pay for him to do it.

Worst thing: I couldn't legally sue for malpractice because Brandon was in the military. They give us free insurance, so we have to go to their docs and if they screw up, we're out of luck.

Yes. I'm still bitter.

I'm NOT a VOLCANO! said...

First of all: Imbicile not impicile

second: I should specify that my wonderful doc was a doc off base who accepted Tricare, he wasn't an on-base doc, and that is why they wouldn't pay for him to do it...I wasn't sure that made sense.

Buckeroomama said...

Our pediatrician told us that for as long as the baby is ON the chart --no matter if it's on the 99th percentile or the 1% percentile, --he/she is still okay. We're lucky that our pediatrician has been pretty good so far. If in doubt, we could always go for a second opinion with another doctor.

Natasha and Ethan said...

I know how you feel, except my kids are never told they are under weight, they always go to the other end and tell me my kids are OBESE. Seriously how can a baby be obese? I hate going to the Dr. because I don't want to hear about how my kids are above the 95th percentile for weight and around the 95th for height. I had to sit down one time and answer questions about what I was giving to Chase. It went a little like this

Nurse: How much soda does he have a day
Me: None, he hates soda pop. He calls it
yucky. We sometimes try and trick him into
drinking it to see what he will do, but the
kid is smart and will look at the straw and
see the little bubbles of brown soda and
won't touch it.
Nurse: How much juice does he drink
Me: If he is really lucky he gets a 4 oz drink a
day, but most of the time, he doesn't get
Nurse: What about candy and chips
Me: I don't keep them in our house, so he is
lucky if he gets those too.
Nurse: Well I can't figure out what is wrong
with him.

I get so frustrated. I go home and I am so angry. They want to put my kids on diets. It is starting with Madison now that she is a year. They just get so touchy. The last time I took Madison in to an appointment all the Dr. would say is wow she is really big. What are you feeding her? Does she eat her veggies? I just let them know that she LOVES veggies and, if she had a choice, that would be all she ate.

On a side note, the last time Chase went to the Dr. they said that he was losing weight. They told me good job, and that is when I told them that I wasn't doing anything different.

Some babies are born small and others are born big. I think that most of the time it evens out as they grow up. You would never believe that my husband was a 10 lb baby. He is lean and fit now. I think that people are so obsessed with weight that it is becoming what Dr. visits are all about.

I'm NOT a VOLCANO! said...

Tosh- Chase was always so adorable! He was chubby, but I never thought he was obese. And seriously? Ethan was 10 POUNDS!??? LOL!!!

I met someone once (I only knew her for an hour- it was at a school openhouse for my daughter) that had a little boy who was 26 pounds by 6 months. He was HUGE. And the doctors would only let her feed him formula and veggies. No fruit, no bread, no table food, no treats, nothing. His dad had pretty severe diabetes, and since he was so huge, they were worried that any sugar would kick him into diabetes. I guess that he didn't grow past that weight until he was like 18 months, and then he started growing like normal, and he still doesn't have diabetes. In THIS case, I can understand the concern. But I think, like with ADD and Depression, some doctors just jump the gun with fat/skinny kids.

Christine:) said...

Ugh. Some people (that includes some parents and health care professionals alike!) are ridiculous.
I'm a pediatric RN, and I thank God for that experience and knowledge because I use it every day with my kids. Yes, I tend to overanalyze every sniffle and rash they get, and no, I don't know everything out there by any means, but I do feel that I have a "one-up" in dealing with doctors because of it.

As parents, we truly need to listen to our gut instinct, and we also need to educate ourselves on our kids' ailments/medications/etc. Then we fight for them to receive the best care. Easy as that.

Holy moly, that is one CRAZY rash your son had! I would have been wearing a face mask around him if you hadn't said it was an allergic reaction. Wow.

Christine:) said...

P.S. Tricare....military base doctors... UGH!!! Been there, done that. In most places, we lived far away enough from base so that we could choose our own physicians- thank goodness:)

Michelle said...

We have tricare & military post docs and are blessed by them. so lukcy to have the ones we do. :) that being said...

My oldest was 9 lb 7 oz and 22 3/4" long at birth and they treated her as though she was diabetic and told me she'd always have weight issues. She's 11 years old and comes up to my nose (I'm 5'5") and just weighed in at 100 lb. She's a size 0. She was always "heavy" and back when she was an infant, we were on WIC and they were always telling me to feed her less. HELLO? Do they even LOOK at height and growth patterns? My "baby" on the other hand, was 7 lb 2 oz and 19" long (still respectable in size, but very petite) at birth and grew slowly. I was fortunate to have a ped that agreed with extended breast feeding and very slow integration of solids, and allowed me to follow my intuition with her. She ate solids at 8 months old. She is now 6 1/2, average height and weight and prefectly healthy despite being born with bad kidneys.

I have very negative feelings about cps. I think it's often used as punishment for parents and as revenge, too. And they are too black and white, while life is very colorful and seldom fits into their neatly constructed circles.

I love your touchy topics. Very thought-provoking. :)

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