After NINE years, today was the day that I made the decision to give my daughter Brooke a medication. Well, Laura and I decided together. Her first med of any kind, and it was an antibiotic. I had hoped that she would make it out to her teen years without needing anything, and the reality is, she didn’t need it today. But, the question came, “is the risk enough, that the risk of the medication effecting her negatively, is less than the risk of not having?” We decided it was.
So what we diagnosed her with, is a two week bought of scarlet fever. I have seen it before in my patients, and I have advised patients to fight through it. You see, we are all designed to kill strep, and we do it all the time. I am reminded of the time, about 15 years ago, when I was part of a lab class at school that got to culture the throats of 36 healthy individuals. Then we prepared slides and tested both for staph and strep. All slides prepared were positive using field analysis (counting how many of the bacteria were present in each slide view). Amazing to think that we all would have tested positive for clinical “infection”, yet nobody had symptoms, and nobody needed a med. That was a very powerful lab experiment. I believe all MED students should have to do the same.
So the risk of chronic scarlet fever, is simply that there is potential for the strep to pass further into tissues of the body, where fighting off the strep can become difficult. Now, I should reference my “least common denominator” Daily Sprout from years ago, where I outline the difference between a healthy person, and an unhealthy person. The fact is that most of the risks referenced in journal studies as they relate to infection, and disease, are aimed at the weakest of our society. Not the strongest.
If you treat the weakest of society, and then study them… you only make them weaker, and you then only report the story of the weaker, creating a desire to treat the stronger… who now become weaker because of your treatment. Pretty bad spiral in the wrong direction. I have made it my life focus to make my daughters the stronger. And I believe that Brooke is a stronger, and very capable individual when it comes to her health. I do not believe that she needs this antibiotic. But I do believe there is a very slight chance that she could, and with that slight chance that she could have worse impact if she doesn’t fight this off.
Remember, don’t fall into the trap. This is her first time in NINE years, and will likely be the last time for the next NINE years. Do you remember the study that i reference in my doctors report. JAMA – February 2004 – Antibiotic Use in Relation to the risk of Breast Cancer. I just re-read the abstract, and again, I am reminded that every day that I safeguard my family from an antibiotic, that they are better off. I am also reminded, that in the name of fear, we can make horrible choices.
So, why now? Well, I think that her health is so good, and her immunity has been developed to be so strong, that there is little side effect for me to be concerned with regarding the use of the med. I am confident that she will rebound, and I am confident that if there was a concern over the strep that she is fighting now, that it will be gone with the use of the med. So together, it is not a “win/win”, but the win outweighs the lose.
Brooke is saddened by it. I think she has looked at her health as a trophy, even though I have tried hard in my education to remind her that our choices are decisions that made day by day with a goal of health in mind. ”It is not our philosophy that is at stake, it is our health. And I have told you all along, that we don’t think all meds are bad, we just think the way they are used is bad.” Then of course I had to remind her that her mother just went through over two months straight of antibiotic use to fight off Lyme dx.
Yes. We are better without meds 99% of the time. But yes, there is a time and a place. We will just continue to strive to be better in our pursuit of health over the next period of our life, and see what that yields. Maybe we’ll get out ten years before the next need arises… maybe not. Regardless, I’ll trust God first, then everything else after.
Be well and Be blessed! - Dr. E