Colicky babies and how I got interested in allergy
"You're the f***ing doctor, you should know" was the only advice my husband could give me when my firstborn continued to scream. Everything I knew to calm babies had been done. Not just the obvious - the car ride up the bumpy track, the slow waltz around the sitting room and the "she'll cry herself to sleep eventually and feel better because she was exhausted"... I had learned to cope with endless nights on call as a junior doctor by using the worst possible technique - ceasing to care about my patients, so long as I did not do anything for which I could eventually be struck off! Then I could survive the sleepless nights. But this was different. Here I had the little person about whom I cared more than anything in the whole world - she was suffering with colic and all my medical training had equipped me with nothing that could help.
Next step - local chemist for gripe water. But when I saw the alcohol content I realised it was for me, not the baby. I was happy for half an evening. [Craig Robinson, one of my patients, had the same problem with his first born, and he once drank 3 bottles of gripe water in one night!]
Think logically! There must be a reason! "She'll grow out of it at three months" was all I could get out of medical lore. And suddenly I realised that the medicine practised in modern society was not particularly logical. And that was what made it so difficult. I have to be grateful to my kids in many ways for changing the way I think. Little Ruth Myhill, not knowingly, was to teach me my first lesson.
"There must be a reason for this." Ruth was breast fed, it must be something in the breast milk. I loved dairy products - cheese, butter, ice-cream - and so I stopped them all. Not only was Ruth transformed into a normal, quiet, burbling baby, but my chronic rhinitis magically got better.
So why was this not in the medical text-book? I thought this had to be a major, but single, omission. But when I started exploring the causes of illness I found it was just one of hundreds of vital omissions which could be safely used to restore the health of patients needlessly suffering.
And so began my journey!
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