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Overmedicalization

 

 

My son is 14 years old, with no serious health problems. As a caring and perfectionist mother, I took him to his yearly medical check-up.

 

After telling the doctor about my son’s lumbar discomfort when he sits in school and when he plays video games, our doctor sent us in physiotherapy and podiatry in the event that my son’s flat feet were causing the discomfort. Our encounter with the podiatrist was rather straightforward. After two meetings, during which my son’s footprints were taken and analyzed, he was given foot orthoses that would address the flat feet issue… provided that he wore them at all times. Additionally, there were 12 meetings with the physical therapist, which involved ‘electroshock’ therapy. Since this did not seem to work, we went to see the acupuncturist on three occasions, the homeopath on five occasions, the massage therapist on two occasions, and the osteopath on four occasions. We finally ended up at the chiropractor. After a few radiographs, we finally figured out why his back hurt. His spine was curved a little and he has a leg slightly longer than the other.

 

Ever since then, we’ve been seeing the chiropractor once a month to realign my son’s spine and the podiatrist has adjusted one of his orthoses to balance the length of his legs. We also went to the dentist. His teeth were cleaned, the dentist took an X-ray, and my son underwent a quick examination. We now know he is cavity free, but some of his teeth are a little crooked and two of them showed recessed gums. We were then sent to the orthodontist for dental braces which he needs to keep for three years. We also consulted a periodontist who treated his recessed gums. All of this work has left my son somewhat overstressed, not to mention that kids at school now call him “Iron Man” on account of his braces and thick glasses. Consequently, we went to a psychologist at his school who sent us to a child psychologist. We believe that it helped as he no longer complains about his braces. We went to an optometrist anyways to order contact lenses. It might be less practical, but it looks way better.

 

Oh, I forgot! Speaking of beauty, the dermatologist prescribed antibiotics for his acne. He didn’t have much, but his appearance is very important to him. To that end, he started taking protein supplements for bigger muscles and is seeing a naturopath at that. Total cost for the year: a slight exposure to radiation, $12,000 in it, 95 hours spent in consultation and waiting rooms, as well as back pain that persists.

 

My son doesn’t know yet what he wants to do when he grows up, but something health care-related I bet  :) How about a kinesiologist, a health specialist advocating physical activity?