As parents, we want to protect our children. We all do. With all that is happening around us, sometimes it may feel like an enormous task.
My issue as a parent is with doctors and privacy, the system, and prescription drugs.
We all know that the amount of transmitted venereal disease among our youth is sky-high. We all know that untreated, those diseases can cause lifelong health issues. Infertility for women as well as stillbirth and death.
What gets me worried, even mad, is how the whole thing is handled while trying to see both sides of the issue.
Annually our teenagers go thru their well-check to go back to school. Part of the exam is testing our children for venereal diseases. Perfect, and absolutely on board with the idea.
However, the following makes me angry.
The results are not shared with the parents because it is private. The hell it is! Therefore, if your child has been sexually active and contracted something, is she/he going to tell you on their own? You can guess the answer will be “no.”
The fear of being discovered and facing the repercussion that their actions have caused is greater than the alternative. Lack of facilities where our youth can turn safely to for medical help, stigma, ignorance, and embarrassment are factors of keeping it a secret. Meanwhile, continuing spreading the disease as if nothing happened.
This, to me, is not acceptable. Doctors, in my opinion, must tell us, parents, about it. How can we help stop any disease, teach, and get the proper medical treatment if we are kept in the dark?
Granted, not all parents may act the same. Some parents will have diverse reactions. However bad or good our feelings and emotions are on the subject, the reality is that our kids will, at one point, be sexually active.
Isn’t it our job as parents to accept the fact and make our kids comfortable to be open and talk to us about anything? Even if the subject makes us, parents, uncomfortable?
Why are our children scared to talk to us? Scared to get the help needed?
That is the other side of the coin. Are we raising our children in a world that tells them they are perfect and cannot do anything wrong and that they die inside of fear and shame when something like this happens?
Worse yet, how about the parent that will shame the child and kick them out of the house because they are tarnished now? I feel we are back in the dark ages, but this is true today as it was fifty years and more years ago.
Doctors are caught in the middle of all this by protecting a child from a violent parent, shaming, or worse, being kicked out of the house. I am sure it is not a great place for them to be in.
But who is at the losing end of this battle?
Our youth. While understanding their point of view and the child’s fear, it is unbelievable that there is no easier way.
The world around us sends so many mixed messages. We must teach and help, but we cannot teach and help. Sex is still taboo, yet our youth is sexually active at a younger age.
Some cultures are not believers in protective sex, thus spreading diseases faster.
Why are we such prudes and close-minded? How can we dispel the stigma and teach parents in some cultures, religions, and rural areas about all the dangers that those diseases will cause their children’s health?
Unfortunately, where can our youth turn to if not their parents or doctors? Even though it is working hard on prevention and control, local health infrastructure still does not have all the resources necessary to direct our most vulnerable youth. Doctors can help to a certain extent.
And there there is another problematic issue.
My other issue is the prescription of opiates to our kids for small surgical matters. This did happen to us, and we all, my son included, hit the roof.
Here is my teenager getting his wisdom teeth out. All four teeth pushed thru, not hurting, and taking advantage of that, and they have not rooted themselves in the gums too deep to take them out. The procedure took 29 minutes. That is all.
Medication is given: Antibiotics, Ibuprofen 800 mg – pretty strong if you ask me, and oxycodone.
Yes, you read right, oxycodone. We could not believe our eyes. With all the statistics showing that our teenagers are the most at risk of addiction to those medications, here they are, sitting on our counter.
I wanted to scream.
What is green’s earth was the doctor thinking? I am still disbelieving that 12 pills were given to us, to our child. With all the painkillers readily available, why was that one dispensed? No wonder we have such an issue of addiction.
Who is to blame here? We sure did not ask for it.
Why weren’t we consulted before it? Why were we dismissed as if nothing happened and had a “you have a choice to take them if you want to” attitude? Putting the responsibility on our laps instead of the doctor being held responsible for talking to us first and founding alternatives drug. Or better yet, do not prescribe it.
Or having a doctor be very aggressive to the point of anger as to why you, the parent, do not allow them, the doctor, to administer opioids to your child when in reality, none was needed in the first place.
A close family friend’s child was dehydrated a week after major surgery. The parents took him to the emergency room at their pediatrician’s orders.
The emergency doctor prescribed a fluid IV and opioids. As soon as the mom questioned the doctor’s decision and why the opioids were prescribed, personal knowledge more than anything else, the doctor became belligerent and highly aggressive toward the parents.
As it turned out, the child needed a fluid IV to restore him from dehydration, and some anti-acids were prescribed, and the child was back on his feet within 24 hours.
Unfortunately, everywhere we turn, we hear such stories.
Is this why there is such a problem with addiction among our youth?
Your opinion means the world to me. How do you feel about all this? Please share with me.