You are here

patronizing doctor at hospital mini rant

Sorry about this, I felt I needed somewhere to have a little rant and get some advice as I remember from previous posts you guys have been around twats of doctors regarding your kids being vegan.

I got back from the hospital today after my little girl (who's 2) having a really bad sickness bug and becoming dehydrated and needing to go in on a drip.  She couldn't even keep a teaspoon of water down and had been like it for almost 2 days when we got sent to hospital.

Basically, this doctor wanted to put a tube up her nose and down her throat so that they could stick water straight into her stomach.  We wouldn't let her do this for several reasons - not only had 2 doctors and 3 nurses told us it would not work as the problem is in the stomach, therefore bypassing the mouth is just going to mean she'd vomit with a the tube in her still but also it's a really distressing procedure, even more so considering it wouldn't work.

After that the doctor refused to see us and sent in student doctors with a nurse to fit the drip (I swear it took them 7 attempts but at least they'd put on numbing cream so my little one didn't wake up).  I felt we'd handled the 'tube' section well.  We didn't make a big scene, she had the student doctors with her and I made sure it didn't seem like we were putting her down in front of them.

The next day, this morning, she had to come see us again to discharge us from the hospital.  She'd seen on some notes that Winn (my daughter) is a vegan, which I only told the hospital so that they cold rule out certain forms of food poisoning.  At this point she decided to go crazy on me.  She insisted that I have to have a nutritionist come do a home visit and that I just have to under stand that some diets just aren't approprate for children noting that it's not appropriate for most people.  I stayed calm and pointed out that I hadn't just cut out a load of food groups and was living on potatoes, noted a couple of things that we eat and get iron, omega 3 etc from and she said 'yes, but you see children are different from grownups, and she won't be getting her nutritional needs.'  I stayed calm again and pointed ou the main argument people have against the vegan diet for children (too much fiber etc) and how I was aware of it and what we did so it wasn't an issue.  I then noted that studies done on the vegan diet in children showed a slight lack of calcium took place before milk replacements and cereals were fortified with vitamins and minerals and therefore no longer relevant.  Her response was 'but children need different nutrition'

Thing is I don't actually mind speaking to people about what my daughter is eating, I don't think you can ever learn too much about nutrition, and I told the doctor this but I hate the way she did it.  I also notied that there were no vegan options for children (although there was a large vegetarian menu but every dish had cheese or milk in)  and I just feel sad that this infromation is being given by the nhs. I was thinking of getting information from the vegan society and sending it to the doctor.  I'd like to put a letter with it but don't want to seem petty but I really feel she was in the wrong and also, as I'm a 'young' (i'm 24) mum I think she was looking down on me and assuming I didn't know anything. 

Any advice would be great I don't want to just let this go and trying to find the right way to go about it. 

Thanks for getting through my rant, sorry it wasn't as mini as I'd planned!!

Also, sorry about any typos, haven't slept for 3 nights now and not on form!!

0 likes

Hope your little one is feeling better.  I know it must have been really scary for you.  I couldn't find a similar statement from the British Dietetic Association, but here's the American Dietetic Association statement on vegetarian and vegan infants and toddlers:

http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=8060&terms=vegan

0 likes

Next time ask the Dr. how many months of nutritional study she did in school in order to become a Dr... I did that once to a doctor friend... he shut-up there and then and has never given me a hard time again.  He never did answer the question but I'm guessing he might have had a lecture or two.

Hope your little one feels better soon...  my kids always want yogurt (soy) when they are ill but starting to feel better.

K^2

0 likes

I am sorry they treated you that way. I have crohn's and as a result I hate doctors. I have encountered many patronizing medical staff.

0 likes

I hope she is feeling well.  My daughter had a rough bout last year where she threw up just about everything for about 5 to 6 weeks.  Everyone (as in frieneds, families, and my ex)  was determined it was the vegan food.  (Hmmm.  Their kids are sick all the time, constantly have runny noses, but THAT CAN'T be related to the food they are fed.)    

Anyway, I find it is best not to mention it to doctors unless you feel them out and know they have a clue.  You don't want someones arrogant attitude to affect the treatment your child receives, and you don't need the trouble of being reported to an equally ignorant social services worker.  The gastroenterologist probably pieced together that we are vegan based on what I told him we do and don't eat.  They never did figure out what was wrong, and the problem resolved on its own.  In today's age of cross contamination, veganism doesn't really protect against food poisoning anyways.  

I've be hospitalized twice in my adult life and just generally picked through their menus and supplemented with my own food.  My daughter hasn't been hospitalized since she was born.  Many doctors just think that the degree means they know everything.  I like the idea of asking about how many nutrition courses they've taken.  At least here in the US, we do have the USDA's statement that carefully planned vegan diets are safe for all ages and may provide benefits.  

0 likes

That really sucks, on top of your kid being sick you had to listen to that. My guess is that no matter what sort of logical info this doc receives, she'll still believe she is right. It may do better to send the hospital a letter about the food options in the cafeteria, maybe w/ some healthy and easy suggestions, and work it from that end. I mean, you can't be the only vegans ever admitted.

0 likes

http://www.nhs.uk/Planners/birthtofive/Pages/Vegetarianandvegankids.aspx

I just found this link from the nhs - basically saying there is nothing wrong with the diet as long as it's well planned etc.  So if I have any problems at least I know that 'officially' it's not against anything the nhs deem as correct.

I do think I'll send something to the hospital, as you said we can't have been the only vegans ever in the hospital.  We actually got given the 'dairy free' menu and told that we'd have to make do with that if she was still in when she was eating.  We'd already decided that if she was needing food one of us would travel back home and bring back some food for her as the most balanced thing on there for us would have been a jacket potato with baked beans followed by a wholemeal roll and an apple.  Not to bad but you don't want it for every meal every day!

I don't think I'll have much trouble with the person coming round, as we have the nhs here we can get things like vitamin drops for free and I wouldn't be against that and also I think once they've met us, especially in our own home and spoken to us  (hopefully with and open mind) they'll see that we're not clueless and are using nutrition based facts to do what we feel is best for our family.  Also it's written on my file that I'm a Buddhist, meaning that it would be illegal for them to suggest I add meat into my diet.

0 likes

Next time ask the Dr. how many months of nutritional study she did in school in order to become a Dr... I did that once to a doctor friend... he shut-up there and then and has never given me a hard time again.  He never did answer the question but I'm guessing he might have had a lecture or two.

Hope your little one feels better soon...  my kids always want yogurt (soy) when they are ill but starting to feel better.

K^2

This exactly... Probably like 1 class on nutrition!

I am so sorry about what you went through... I am glad you held it together... I probably would have flow off the hinge after all that!

0 likes

mimiread  Get the book "The China Study" By TC Campbell.  It is full of the fact and info you need to use to speak to health care providers.  A lot of them do not know the benefits of being vegan.

0 likes

thanks again for all advice.  I've ordered the book from the library so that should be here soon.  I've felt really down since coming back from the hospital, it's hard that my little girl isn't just better, I knew she wouldn't be and that it would take time but she's gone off most food, and a lot of food that she wants to eat triggers her gag reflex and makes her panic.  It got me down for a while as I felt like I'd let her down and with what the doctor said I started to lose confidence in the diet I'm giving her thinking that maybe what everyone around here calls 'normal' food would have been easier for her to eat.
However, I've turned it around today - you've all really helped bring back my confidence and I understand that it's just that she's unwell and it will take time for her to get back to normal.  I've sent my partner off on a healthfood shop run to get a wide selection of healthy vegan snacks and also things like vegan jelly, 'hotdogs' and soya milkshakes as I figure anything that starts to get her tummy back taking food and back to normal size is good.
Thanks again for all your support, I know we're giving her the best diet and I could never justify another way of living.  I think that all the missed sleep mixed with worry and pregnancy hormones finally caught up to me!  Thank you again - you've all been great, it's so good to have this kind of support avaliable!  And also I apologise for going all emotional on you, I'm British and don't do this kind of thing often but I suppose it all has to come out sometimes!!! lol

0 likes

I know that this kind of situation is not really comfortable for everyone but I admire you for keeping calm. Anyway, about the diet of your little one, I hope it will not offend you but let us just be rational here and look at all sides. I think you need to ask second opinion and consult a nutritionist specialist for you to know what is really the problem with your child. Angioplasty

0 likes

How awful. In regards to the doctor and nutrition advice it is true that nutrition has astoundingly little to do with medical school. Most doctors recieve about three hours of training in nutrition. It is frustrating...at one point in my life I had an eating disorder where I binged and then made myself vomit. I was told by a doctor to "just eat carrots and broccoli" and I would feel better. I felt so bad about myself for not being able to do that...it wasn't until later I really began to understand that doctors are only people and they are going to have serious gaps in their education and knowledge, like anyone else.
I have seen nutritionists who are very knowledagable about a vegan lifestyle and how healthy it can be, as well as nutritionists who insist meat and cheese must be consumed.

Sorry you are having such truoble in regards to your baby, it truly is horrible. Trust your instinct and seek second opinions, thirds and fourths if you need them!

0 likes
Log in or register to post comments