Back in March, I told you about the problems M1 has had with ear infections and ruptures. Our family doctor referred us to an ENT and after two rescheduled appointments, we finally went yesterday. As we walked in the fairly new, beautifully decorated building, I couldn't help thinking that it takes a LOT of surgeries to pay for that kind of fancy. Once we were inside, I wondered if any of the parents who watched their children play in the big, colorful play room knew about the likelihood of food allergies being involved in their child's infection cycle. M1 and I talked and laughed with each other while we waited. It was a rare occasion to be alone with my oldest son, without even M2, so I soaked it up.
We had a nice conversation with the audiologist and she even had a couple of insights to share when I mentioned Papa Bear's hearing loss and ringing ears due to his time in Afghanistan. M1's hearing is perfect, according to her tests, and she gave him some good advice about keeping it that way and listening to his iPod. Then we went to a different room and waited some more for The Doctor. When he came in with one of those reflector headbands, I thought M1 would laugh out loud, but he contained it...until after we were out of the office. I shared my theory that perhaps all of M1's orthodontic work had rearranged the structure of his jaw and palate and created the problem. The doctor examined all of M1's head cavities while asking me questions. He had me look over his shoulder at the white streaks at the back of M1's throat and explained what adenoids are. He said that my theory was plausible but it wasn't the case this time. Adenoids can become swollen because of bacteria and there isn't anything to remedy it. Altogether, it took him about five minutes to determine and declare that Mason needed surgery to remove his adenoids. SURPRISE! M1 watched me because he knew what was coming next...
To sum it up, I told the doctor that that is what I expected we would hear, that we preferred to avoid surgery if possible, and that I would check into other alternatives first. I also told him about our experiences with dairy and ear infections when the older boys were little. He said that there may be 1000 different holistic or homeopathic remedies that might work on a small number of people but don't work for everyone. He also admitted that he is not knowledgeable about other treatments since he was trained specifically in medicine. And then he said that the ball is in my court. Yes, it is. While I appreciate the need for medical professionals, I do think that people rely on them way too much and accept what they say without questioning or researching on their own. If we cannot resolve the issue on our own, after exploring the alternatives, then we'll reconsider the doctor's advice.
As soon as I got home, I went online to see if anyone else had discovered a connection between swollen adenoids and dairy consumption. I already knew about the connection to ear infections but wanted to find out if eliminating dairy resolved the adenoid issue. Of course, I found many testimonies to support my theory. Doctors want scientific studies, I want to hear personal experiences. Due to our experiences with dairy so far, I didn't have to say much to convince M1 to eliminate dairy from his diet. To make it easier for him and to resolve any underlying issues for the rest of us, we are all going dairy-free again. Except for Papa Bear. You couldn't convince him to give up his glass of cold milk with dinner, his occasional bowl of cereal, or his weekly chocolate malts.
I'll keep you updated on our discoveries as they unfold. I would love to hear about your experiences, so please leave a comment.