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Apr 23 2013

10 Questions to Ask Your Child’s Doctor

By at 11:49 am

baby doctorMy son has been sick a lot during his life. Fortunately, it hasn’t been anything too severe, but especially during the first two years of his life, it seemed pretty constant. And while some of it was totally normal, typical childhood stuff, we also saw our fair share of specialists.

You know that it’s bad when the doctor says that your son has conjunctivitis and you’re relieved. Yeah, he has to be out of school for a day, but it doesn’t have a huge impact on quality of life and there’s a relatively easy treatment for it. Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 5 2012

My Soviet Immigrant Father Vs. Modern Medicine

By at 12:34 pm
doctor's bag

No need to call a doctor, Grandpa's here.

In the 1960s, in the Soviet Union, my father wanted to be a doctor.  But, he was Jewish, so he was told he couldn’t be one – because he wore glasses.  By a Russian doctor.  Who was wearing glasses.

So, instead of becoming a medical doctor, and in spite of the infamous “Jewish Problems” designed to keep ethnically undesirable students out of Soviet Universities, he got a PhD in Bio-Chemistry.

And just doctored on the side – as a hobby.

He did it in the Soviet Union.  He did it upon immigrating to America. He did it to his children.  And now he does it to his three grandchildren.

He did it before he’d ever heard of the American Academy of Pediatrics, or the American Medical Association, or magazines where experts advise nervous parents about what they should and should not do.  And he does it now in spite of them.

Below are some comparisons of the prevailing pediatric medical wisdom (PPMW), and what my Soviet Immigrant Father (SIF) tells me to do with my kids (over the phone, over e-mail, over IM, over Skype)….

PPMW: Do not pour fluid into a child’s ear in cases of ache or infection.  The eardrum may be perforated.

SIF: Heat up some oil.  Pour it in.  Plug up with cotton ball.  Put on a hat.  And bedroom slippers.

PPMW: Stay out of the sun, reapply sunscreen every two hours, wear specially treated, anti-UV Ray clothing.  In case of sunburn, apply cold compresses and a topical pain reliever.

SIF: Children need Vitamin D.  The sun is good for you.  If your skin is peeling, that means it’s healthy.  In case of sunburn, apply raw scrambled eggs directly to the skin, it’ll suck the heat right out. Read the rest of this entry →

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