The operation to remove her wisdom teeth included a general anaesthetic. As she was living in Perth, I guided Casie through the process of advising all people concerned in the operation that she had never had any medications and that she didn’t know whether she was allergic to any. I also asked her to make sure there were no medications given, other than the anaesthetic. She told me that the doctor would give her a script for antibiotics after the operation and I advised that if they were needed, she could fill the script.
Casie got through the operation without any problems. She healed well but within a few days after the operation, she told me that the anaesthesiologist told her that he had put antibiotics in the drip with the anaesthetic.
As a mother I became a lioness, angry at the violation that had just taken place on my child’s body. It was done prophylactically and not because of a major life threatening infection. I called the office and spoke with the office manager. I was furious - I told her of my concerns and did they not have any respect for someone who had never had medications. No doctor called to apologise for their insensitivity to a family that prided themselves on keeping healthy through a lifestyle that was conducive to a strong immune system and strong pain tolerance.
Many of you reading this may think I’m over dramatic in how I felt and at the time, my daughter didn’t seem to have any ill effects. Perhaps I was overreacting.
Over the next couple of months, I noticed things were different about Casie - she wasn’t coping with studies, exams or pressure, she gained 6kg in three months and complained of stomach aches and bloated stomach. She was reacting to foods that she had never reacted to before and was overall not the healthiest O’Meara.
At the time, I didn’t put two and two together but I remember so clearly driving home from work and having it dawn on me that the antibiotics she had been given without her knowledge had wreaked havoc with her microbiome. In the past several years, studies on the microbiome have exploded and have shown that an unhealthy microbiome is linked to obesity, depression, anxiety, GUT issues and autoimmunity. I had no doubt what had happened and what we needed to do to heal from the intravenous dose of antibiotics.
I called Casie that night and explained to her what I believed had happened. She agreed that there seemed to be a downward spiral from the operation. It’s been a slow trip back to health but I believe that we are progressing nicely to heal her microbiome.
So the lesson from this story is that it’s important to make sure that when you are going into an operation, ask the questions as to what is absolutely necessary and exactly what is going to happen.
An apology from the doctor for not understanding where we as a family stood with regards to drugs (legal and illegal) would have been a nice surprise... instead I was seen as a neurotic mother and told that my daughter was an adult and the office manager would only speak to my daughter, not to me.