Plug for Dr. Barak and TCM
Maybe “plug” isn’t the best term considering the topic. Warning, poop mentioned:
I take back most of what I wrote in the previous post. Sick SUCKS, regardless of where. Matan began clutching his stomach on Saturday. Sunday I took him to the doctor, but since he didn’t have fever or diarrhea, the doctor sent us home telling us to come back if he begins running a fever. He didn’t and on Monday night, we ended up in the ER after calling our insurance and telling the nurse that Matan was bent over and crying in pain.
At the ER, they did x-rays and an abdominal ultrasound. Great news, they found nothing and just gave him an enema for constipation since he hadn’t gone since Saturday. After he filled a diaper, they sent us home. But within hours, Matan was again doubled over and crying in pain. The ER doctor had told us that in toddlers, constipation pains are so severe that Matan was likely feeling pain similar to a woman giving birth. Matan was screaming in pain, on and off, since Saturday night. He hadn’t eaten and threw up a couple of times, but usually a result of my trying to give him baby pain syrup that really did nothing for his pain except maybe cut the screaming down a decibel or two.
We went to our emergency care center, they said it was probably still him getting over the constipation, but they referred us for stool sample to test for parasites. We had no poo, so nothing to test. He spent another night in pain. First thing next morning, we called his pediatrician but he never returned our calls so we showed up at his office around 4 in the afternoon. He checked Matan again, said his stomach was soft and that the ER tests pretty much covered everything. Told us to call him if Matan isn’t improving by the following day.
Needless to say, Matan continued doubling over in pain and we spent yet another sleepless night up with him, trying to treat and distract him from the cramps. By Thursday, we had given up on the ER and our pediatrician, so I called my acupuncturist, Dr. Reuven Barak, a pediatric surgeon by training who today prefers to practice TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). He agreed to see Matan immediately. In addition to needling, he suggested that Matan may be suffering from intussusception, a condition where the bowels get knotted up, or something similar.
We called our pediatrician for an ER referral, just in case we needed it over the weekend. He heard that we had come from the acupuncturist and told us to go to ER immediately. He didn’t seem happy to hear about the TCM. Professional competition?
Back to ER last night. We redid the x-rays and abdominal ultrasound. Still nothing. We were waiting for the ER dr. to return and tell us the results when all of a sudden, DH began complaining that he smelled shit. I perked up, and quickly checked Matan’s diaper. Yeppers, he made, and made again! Seemed that the acupuncture was kicking in! They released us from the ER after telling us that his tests were fine, and now that he finally poo-ed on his own, the first time since Saturday, he was fine.
We finally got home with Matan close to midnight, Thursday. Five days of either a doctor or ER each day. His stomach has been felt by about 10 doctors. In the end, we didn’t get any treatment at all at ER last night. They released use for two reasons. One, he had a bowel movement that seemed to bring him relief and two, there were no GI doctors in the hospital because they were all at a conference and would only be back on Sunday. Can you imagine, biggest hospital in Tel Aviv and not a single GI guy? Also, with Matan screaming in pain, they couldn’t give him anything except Tylenol.
Where’s the plug? Well, with all these doctors, emergency care centers, ERs and tests, it appears that the only thing that gave Matan relief was his treatment by Dr. Reuven Barak. Dr. Barak is also the only doctor who gave us any idea of what other possibilities there might be. No other doctor deigned to even speak to us beyond the absolutely necessary questions they need to complete their forms. The age of formulaic medicine and protocols that don’t bother looking at the individual patient. He is a genuine healer, and it doesn’t matter if he’s using eastern or western medicine. He also adores children, and is quite comfortable telling parents they’re idiots but always focuses on the child and what is best for him/her.
You can learn more about Dr. Barak by visiting his blog. He’s treated me for migraines, among a host of other problems. Even DH, who was more than skeptical when I first began treating, became a believer when Dr. Barak helped him with a problem a few years ago. After his his help with Matan, DH was upset that our pediatrician was so dismissive since it is only the TCM that helped us in the end.
Thru lunch today, Matan has eaten almost normal quantities of food and wasn’t grabbing his stomach and crying in pain. He even gave us another delivery this morning. Nothing like a nice healthy poo to start the day!
After lunch he began showing evidence of pain, holding his stomach, but no screaming. Dr. Barak told us to call him at home tomorrow (a Saturday) to update him about Matan.