I love the secret smiles of some of the parent’s patients when they ask if I have a son/daughter and my answer is: YES, I do have a daughter! It’s possible to even hear the music in the background mixed with empathy. Now as part of my training, I have continued medical education at home, with my Beautiful wife and daughter.
This week I fought against a friend called GOOGLE. For sure you have typed so many things in to that white space in order to get “the best possible answer” in the top 10 results, that most of them are “pushed” to the front due to relevance, hits (how many people actually went to that website) and an equation of Money; having all of this information in milliseconds. I came home, hanging my imaginary white coat outside of my home to embrace my family. I was bombarded with health questions, doubts and fears from the information acquired thru the internet. After a couple of minutes of hearing the case, we had a nice conversation translating the raw medical information to easy to understand facts, at the end of the conversation, all the doubts and fears became security and peace. It’s really easy to find medical information on the internet, probably in million results and in almost all languages, but reading does not mean understanding the big picture. When you get the results of the question you are searching, please have a couple of things in mind (http://safetynet.aap.org/internet.pdf), anybody can create a website with information, instead, go to known sources (American Academy of Pediatrics, Healthychildren.org, CDC.gov, etc) in order to get peer reviewed information. But the process doesn’t end there, if you have questions, doubts or comments (I have read a couple of vaccine related web sites, with old information, that creates fear and doubt…) JUST ASK YOUR MEDICAL PROVIDER; information is one of the biggest tools that we can use, AND I LOVE when parents come with questions/comments about things that they have read or heard because it actually moves the conversation to a higher level, we’ll review the information, do fact checks and after having all the information, we can take action talking about “the white elephant in the room” (I will completely recommend using: aap.org, healthychildren.org, cdc.gov and when in doubt, you can leave me a comment regarding a website, and I’ll look into it).
Now, moving to other “growing” things… When you go to your pediatrician, it’s imperative to talk about the developmental milestones of your kids, this way the parents and the pediatrician can talk about the motor (physical movements), language and social things that are appropriate for your children. This week, we noticed her different reactions to our voices, her face changes and she knows how to communicate, in an interesting way, about hunger and change of diaper. She is tracking objects, reacts to sounds and facial features, having a smile that warms my heart. My pediatric brain (usually turned off when I’m at home) measures all this little things, monitoring the growth of all areas of my daughter. It’s important if you have other children to know that every kid grows at a different pace, and could achieve the developmental milestones faster or slower that other siblings, my point with this is: IF YOU ARE WORRIED, ASK YOUR PEDIATRICIAN.
Vaccines are coming our way… My wife hates needles but loves vaccines. In the following week we will have the moment of truth: “the first round of vaccines”. I have been preparing my wife (and my heart too…) for this moment. I will keep you posted… Parents are an essential part of the equation; kids can smell, see and hear fear… Before you step in the room for vaccines, take a deep breath, smile, think about the protection and security that you are giving your kid… Never lie to them, SHOTS hurt, if we say: “it doesn’t hurt”, we are laying to them, then they will be even more scared in the future, not only at the pediatrician office, but every part of your relationship with your child.
What I’ve learned this week for THE UNOFFICIAL MANUAL ON HOW A PEDIATRICIAN BECOMES A FATHER:
1) Internet is a great tool, but sometimes you need a human to translate and filter information from it.
2) Follow your instincts, if you are worried about something from your kid, talk to your medical provider.
3) It is worth it to take a couple of minutes and have a print out of what developmental milestones to expect from your child, that way you know what to expect and monitor his growth.