WHAT TO DO WHEN THERE IS NO CLEAR DIAGNOSIS
All parents share one concern that is at the forefront of their minds 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: their kids’ health. Healthy kids equal happy kids but when something comes up, it can throw a wrench into the family unit and affect everyone. But what happens when your child’s symptoms don’t give a clear route towards treatment or management? The thought can be scary but tackling the problem head on is the key to a resolution.
Approaching your pediatrician is generally the first step when your child is sick or experiencing a health issue. If the doctor can’t or won’t diagnose them there could be a many reasons for it. Doctors are also slow to diagnose children, especially younger children, because doing so can bestow a powerful label on them for the rest of their lives.
Although scary this is no time to sulk or wait for direction from your healthcare provider. Here are some steps to take if you’ve found yourself in this predicament.
- Ask you pediatrician to put together a file of your child’s visible symptoms that can be used for future use.
- Do your own research and if you think your child may have a specific condition but your pediatrician is unable to diagnose, seek an expert in that particular field.
- Have patience if your child is too young. Rushing a diagnosis and overmedicating will not help the problem if the diagnosis is incorrect. Continue to gather information about their symptoms and development will help down the road.
- Be proactive. If you don’t like something or aren’t happy your current healthcare experience, tell someone and do something about it. As the parent you should receive explanations for any test, studies, etc. that your child may need.
- Become your family’s health advocate. Even though you may not be a medical professional you’re the only person who is going to be looking out for their best interest. Take note of when symptoms flare and write everything down. You may find that flare ups may happen when you child eats something, at a certain time of day, before or after a certain activity, etc. You are your family’s health expert. You spend day in and day out with them. No one knows your clan like you, so take advantage of it. Be proactive, not reactive.