My Pediatrician Said What?
You could treat her cold with something homeopathic?
It was the last thing I expected out of the mouth of my pediatrician. Or was it? Suddenly I’m Chazz Palminteri at the end of The Usual Suspects. Bits and pieces of our past conversations are now in sharp relief: Takoma Park Food Co-op…Babies don’t come with a manual (Duh. That’s why there’s Amazon.com)…Neti pots.
I’ve never met anyone so obsessed with neti pots.
The thing is that I really don’t like confrontation. “Well,” I tried to explain, diplomatically, “my understanding is that those remedies don’t actually contain …anything. Like…at all.” And then we just kind of stared at each other.
There was a time when I would have been thrilled to have my doctor recommend a homeopathic remedy — when I spent my days fantasizing about my future VBAC and reading Naomi Wolf (Her motherhood phase, not her vagina phase.).
It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I discovered homeopathy was basically just water. I had always assumed that term meant something like “expensive natural remedy.” I had no idea the theory of homeopathy rests on the magical memory of water until I watched this awesome Skepchick video.
“Oh it’s certainly not nothing, “ she answered. “The theory is that the cure comes from a bit of what made your sick. Similar to allergy treatments.”
“I know the theory. My understanding is that the evidence does not support homeopathy.“ I chewed on my lip.
“It’s been used in Europe for a very long time. There are schools in the U.S. dedicated to its study. I’ve had great success with homeopathy for years. And it’s regulated by the FDA just like any other drug.
In my head: Don’t care. Don’t care. Don’t care. Uh, WTF? Regulated? I read up on that gem later: The FDA does regulate homeopathic products – their labels and what active ingredients may be called homeopathic – but these remedies do not have to undergo the rigorous scrutiny that prescription drugs do. That is, they don’t have to work.
Out of my mouth: “What does the evidence say? That’s all I’m interested in.“
“Well, if you want to talk evidence…you know, the evidence doesn’t support giving traditional medicine to babies with colds either.”
“Right, that’s why I didn’t give her any. That’s why I came here.”
“I’m sorry. You obviously feel uncomfortable.”
Yes, yes. The most important concern here is my feelings.
I know what I need to do. I know I need to get a new pediatrician. But this is kinda sorta the only pediatric office that is both conveniently located and never has much of a wait time. Never has much of a — Oh. Right. Now that’s clear too.