I have never been a big fan of support groups. That is, until my infant son developed symptoms of acid reflux. Before my son became ill, I had a picture in my mind of support groups being made up of whiny people sitting in a circle, talking about how bad their life was. Boy, was I wrong.
While I cannot speak first hand about how support groups may help with other chronic illnesses, I can tell you there are several reflux support groups which can really make a difference in your family’s life if you have a baby or child with acid reflux. These support groups have helped us in several ways.
For one, the support groups we contacted were able take more time than the doctors had to listen to our experiences with our baby. This was important not just for the satisfaction of feeling heard (although that did feel good), but by listening closely to our observations about our son, the support group volunteer was able to help us put our observations into common medical phrases, and thus communicate the symptoms better to our doctors.
Another great help was the medical referrals the support groups provided. While these volunteers and professionals were often very careful not to specifically recommend individual practioners, they were able to steer us away from inadequate care, or let us know we were probably on the right track, based on the information they had received from many different sources across the country. The individuals in the reflux support groups are often the ones to know about of the latest available treatments for the disorder.
And most importantly, the volunteers and professionals from the support groups we contacted assured us that we were not losing our minds. They assured us the symptoms we were reporting had names, and were not caused by “the colic” or worse yet, by us.
In my next blog, I will provide a review of several of the infant reflux support groups.
Learn more about Tracy's second edition of her book, Making Life Better for a Child With Acid Reflux. This edition brings in the voices of six medical experts who provide up-to-date knowledge about acid reflux in babies and children.
Published On: June 09, 2006