Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Lamby by Nikki Polidori

Lamby: A Mother's Journey Through a Twisted Medical System to Save her Son by Nikki Polidori. SMA Publications, ISBN 9780578118659

Lamby is a book that if anything shows the problems within our medical services. A child is born and released from the hospital with a bad cough, frequent vomiting (as opposed to spitting up) and other problems. His mom, an RN, calls the pediatrician over and over only to keep being told he has reflux and to give him a medication and just wait it out. Three years later Dylan is still sick with multiple medical problems. He has been averaging something like 60 doctor appointments a year, where for the most part mom is being blown off as a nervous Nelly, doctors never want to even see him to check him out in person so for a year he hasn’t even seen his respiratory doctor, they fly to different states to see specialist that didn’t bother to read his chart before he showed up and the doctor only gives them 15 minutes of his time. Then you throw in his non-custodial father taking him for weekends and never bothering to give him his medications and breathing treatments which left Dylan sicker by every Sunday evening. And so the story goes.

The book is written as a journal/diary that is mostly about Dylan and his needs and how absolutely exhausted his mom was. The only jarring thing in the book is her suddenly married to Mike, we got the drift along the way that Dylan’s father and her weren’t getting along and so the divorce wasn’t unexpected. But the first indication we had that she was with someone new was the entry talking about her having gotten remarried and then another journal entry that she just had another baby. Other than that, there wasn't a lot of personal history other than to see what his mother was doing to get her son well.

It is easy to relate to, as I got very sick 11 years ago with all sorts of weird symptoms. One of which was intense pain. When we asked our doctor at the time if it could be fibromyalgia, he blew us off and said it was too hard to diagnosis! Since when does difficulty with diagnosing a problem mean you don’t try to diagnosis it anyhow? It is very hard to find truly competent doctors including those that are smart enough to say that something is over their head instead of treating something that they don’t know how to treat. This is what the author went through. Only one doctor ever took his time with her, as he discussed Dylan’s truly rare problem but had to admit that he didn’t know how to fix the problem. At least it gave his mother a stepping stone to find a doctor that could.

This was a very interesting book and you feel sorry for this child that had to go through so much pain and discomfort in his early life.

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