My daughter was really, really sick. At first, we were all sick with a lingering cold, so we just thought she was still fighting it. But after two to three weeks, we knew there was a bigger problem. She wasn't throwing up/flu sick, but lifeless, no energy sick. We'd go to a store and she'd sit in the shopping cart and sleep. Not just once or twice––but every time we went to a store during these weeks.
So we did what any rational parent would do. We took her to a chiropractor. Now this wasn't just any old chiropractor that did adjustments. This was a chiropractor that sold vitamins that could cure anything. And although he came highly recommended to us, we didn't really feel too comfortable telling others what we were doing. Because we knew it was crazy. But we were lying to ourselves. Sometimes all you need to do is just state what you're doing out loud to get better perspective. "My daughter is really sick, so that's why I'm taking her to someone that makes his living cracking backs." That could've cleared things up a lot sooner. Now I should add that we were going through a period in which we didn't trust traditional medical doctors, but that's another story (or stories) for another time.
So we go see the doctor. And he's a nice guy. Pretty big sense of humor. He's wearing the white doctor smock though, like he's a tv doctor. Kinda strange. Like he's trying to convince us he's a real doctor. Red flag number one. And right away we get the sense that his advice will be to stay off gluten. We get the sense that his advice to everyone is to stay off gluten, no matter the issue. Red flag number two presents itself. Good thing he's not an ER doctor. He asked some basic questions about symptoms and diet and then went right into his groove of talking about the molecules of the gluten protein. He even had charts and graphs ready to show us. Lucky thing those charts were already sitting on his desk. The diagnosis was apparently that obvious.
He takes us in the exam room so they can draw her blood. He wants to check cbc levels he says. I ask him what he's looking for. "One of the things we're checking for is to make sure her white blood cell count isn't through the roof––a sign of leukemia" Oh. Zero to 100 real quick. Now you may be saying to yourself that with that kind of bedside manner he wasn't a doctor, he just played one in his office. And you're probably right. However, in the heat of the moment, I'm not thinking about his credibility, probably because the white doctor smock reassures me that he actually is a doctor. Instead, I'm only thinking about my daughter in this moment. He immediately sees the look on my face and back tracks. "I don't think she has leukemia! I shouldn't have said that! That was just an example." Well tell that to my anxiety. It's not so easily convinced. And my daughter is not doing well at all through this. She's extremely pale, with dark circles under her eyes. She was lying down almost as soon as the appointment began because she was so worn out. Before we left, the doctor pulled me aside and said in a low voice, "your daughter is really sick." Sigh. Now we must await the results of the blood test.
The waiting game became the next snafu. Our appointment was at the end of the day on Tuesday. They had to send the blood to an offsite lab and thought maybe we'd get the results late Wednesday at the earliest. Probably Thursday though.
Tuesday night I was surprisingly ok, all things considered. Tried not to worry about it, I guess. That changed Wednesday when I Googled it. The rest of the week, my stress was through the roof. I was not functioning in any effective way at work. I called the office late Wednesday. No word yet. I called Thursday morning. Nothing. Then Thursday afternoon. They told me there was an error in processing and they would expect the results Friday. That week did damage to my long term health, I know. The call came in on Friday. "She has an iron deficiency. Easy fix." A huge burden was lifted from me. "And she has a gluten sensitivity." Well that comes as no surprise given the doctor.
No leukemia. Thank God, because I'm skeptical that the best way to treat leukemia is by going gluten free.