Last week’s post discussed the high price of health, using my 16-year-old daughter’s recent diagnosis with Celiac Disease as an example.
Her doctors recommended all first degree relatives have a simple screening blood test to measure the level of antibodies that do the small intestine damage. Since my last post, screening showed my 15-year-old son has it too. In fact, his number is high enough that there is really no doubt that he has it.
However, the “gold standard” of Celiac Diagnoses in the USA is the endoscopy and biopsy. Elsewhere in the world, his numbers would exempt him from that step. I don’t really know enough of the science to understand why, but I can see the benefit of scoping for the extent of damage.
Apart from the expense of this procedure, the worst part as a mother is that the accuracy of this test depends on his continued digestion of gluten. Since we are not Children’s Hospital’s only patients, we are put into the scheduling system and have to await our turn. While we wait, I have to feed him food that’s harming him.
Yes, comparing it to that bad mother in The Sixth Sense would be overly-dramatic, but I don’t like it anyway.
Speaking of expense, have you ever priced gluten-free food? Thanks to the trendiness of the gluten-free diet, there are a lot of good options but holy cow. I bought a large loaf of bread (family sized) for $9 last week.
So if you’re looking for me, I’ll be over here learning how to make my own gluten free bread, scrubbing all visible and invisible poison crumbs from my kitchen, and monitoring my bank accounts.
Again, and I can’t say this enough, I know we’re the lucky ones. We can afford the insurance necessary to get this done, we have access to one of the best pediatric gastrointestinal teams in the country, we had the confidence to pursue this for our kids. And while it won’t be easy, we can afford the coinsurance and the $9 loaves of bread.