HealthCentral Interviews Tracy Davenport About Her New Book, "Making Life Better for a Child With Acid Reflux"In your book, you talked about what it was like when Ben was first diagnosed-being immersed in a strange, new world with unusual language, rules, and expectations. Based on your experience, what recommendations would you give during the first 48 hours after diagnosis?
If we had to do it all over again, the first thing we would do after our baby was diagnosed with acid reflux would be to reach out for support – to let our friends and family know that our son had been diagnosed with a potentially complex digestive problem, one for which a viable treatment may or may not be readily available. One of the problems we had with our son’s diagnosis, is that our original pediatrician kept describing our son’s condition as “a little bit of reflux that he would soon outgrow.” In some ways, I think this kept us from reaching out for the support that we needed, because we just kept thinking the situation was not that bad, and that it would be over soon.
In most cases, a general practioner or a pediatrician will probably be the doctor to make the initial reflux diagnosis. Since digestive disorders may not be their area of specialization, the second thing I would recommend is to try to find the best medical help in your area for acid reflux and make an appointment, even if that appointment is months away. Someone who has had (or has) a baby or child with reflux is probably a good source of information regarding a referral in your area; if you do not know anyone that has first-hand experience with reflux, a reflux support group may also be helpful in steering you toward (or away from) a medical professional.
The third thing I recommend just after a reflux diagnosis is to read up about acid reflux, and get to know as much as you are comfortable knowing. Not only will this research, no matter how brief, help you ask the most appropriate questions when you do have your next doctor’s appointment, but it will also help you speak the same language as your physician when you are discussing the disorder.
And finally, I would consider making a doctor’s appointment with your own doctor to tell him or her what is going on with your family, and that your baby or child has just been diagnosed with acid reflux. Your own doctor will not only be able to make suggestions to help you take care of yourself while you take care of your child--he or she may also be a good resource to help you build a healthcare team to treat your child’s reflux. Also, you might have a stroke of luck, like my husband did when he discovered that his doctor’s own child has reflux, and therefore understood the potential stress and strain of the situation.
Published On: June 30, 2006