Sunday, December 12, 2010
Her parents brought her to my office for treatment of leg pain. As the three of them entered the treatment room, she paid little attention to me; no fear of the doctor that would be customary for a child this age. No clinging to mama; she began to check out the room, handled everything she could, and slapped at the vertical blinds.
After adjusting her spine, I advised her parents that both the leg pain and her fearless behavior might have some connection to her diet. I recommended a trial of no dairy.
The next week, she was back for follow-up. This time, she was all girl!
Glued to her mom’s leg, the two entered the treatment room. She glanced around the room, kept a careful eye on me, and remained close to mama. Her leg pain was much diminished. Mom had removed the dairy from her diet since the last visit.
Two weeks later, she was back; and all boy again!
Just like the first visit, she cared not who was in the treatment room. She was far from her mother’s side, and showed not the slightest concern about me or my actions. I asked Mom if her daughter was back on dairy again. Her response was, “it was so difficult.” A game of tag ensued as the little guy began messing with every piece of equipment in the room. Mom would say “no” and move toward her. She would release the handle, knob or lever, and race to yet another. As she began swiping at the vertical blinds, Mom had had enough, swooped over, scooped her up in her arms and held her. There was a struggle, and some yelling from the little one. Then the real boy in her broke out; she bit her mom’s arm. Not a nibble, she clamped on that arm.
I never got to see her again, but would bet anything that if the milk and cheese got turned off again, Dr. Jekyll would return. It was clear what Mr. Hyde was eating.
Questions: What must it feel like to child, to be out of control one day, and in balance another? When out of control, what is the effect on family, school, and friendships? What is it that makes some boys and some girls, all boy? And what will it take for our culture to appreciate that foods can alter behavior?
(photo - not of the young lady in the story, but rather of, and courtesy of my wonderful granddaughter, Liel Geraci, who is all Liel)