I have a secret, well, a secret `conspiracy theory` that I think may have been the cause of my daughter Lily’s birth defects and maybe eventual death.
You see, in Late February 2011 I had multiple x-rays done on my left leg where I have a titanium rod attached to my femur that was broken in 3 places back in 2001 in a car crash. It had been causing me agonizing pain lately and to the doctors orders the only way to see any possible shift or reason for that pain was x-rays.
So off I went to the imaging office- nicer name than the dark cement room where the employees stand behind a protective wall whilst you are filled with ionizing radiation … but anyway. So, I kept adjusting the lead apron to cover my lower abdomen the sacred home of my ovaries and the nurse kept coming in and yanking it back, I actually argued with her that they were to be x-raying my femur not my hip, and that part of my body should not be exposed. She said the doctor wanted the hip, I had my then 2 and 4 year olds alone in the waiting room, so I said fine just get it over with, this was the last of 4 x-rays she had already taken, I remember wanting to cry, feeling like I should have just walked out, the doctor would have been able to see enough with the first 3 x-rays.
You see, a month later I was pregnant with my Lily. My first baby girl. I never thought about that x-ray again.
Until 10 months later, when we were being told our daughter had 3 heart defects- congenital heart disease its called- that’s common right? yes and no.
We went home after a few weeks in the NICU being told that in a few years we’d be back to check on the holes in Lily’s heart to see if they grew and would need surgery.
We went home but only to return to the hospital one horrific night two weeks later because Lily had stopped breathing. After a week of MRI’s and ironically more x-rays but on my tiny baby girl this time, they found she had another defect one that made it impossible to breathe. Her windpipe was 1/4 of the size of a normal windpipe which meant she needed a tracheotomy- a hole cut in her throat for her to breathe. That combined with the g-tube that was put into her stomach at 4 weeks of life for her to feed would give her a really hard and frankly boring life. In a wheelchair, hooked up to a machine that puts food directly into her gastro intestine, breathing through a machine through a hole in her throat. God how I was so overwhelmed with what life taking care of a disabled child was about to become.
The doctor pulled us aside and said you have to think of the quality of life she will have- the short answer- not good. he insisted if we asked him to he would have done the surgeries the next day but being that our little wee girl was not doing very good already her chance of making it out of surgery was slim- See ideally a healthy baby would be what they want to operate on especially these very high risk surgeries as the ones she needed.
So we sat with our angel- devastated. I held her as they took out her breathing tube and never began to breathe on her own. Of course in my heart all I was praying for was a miracle- that they would take it out and voila- she`d be that 1% miracle story they have plastered all over the hospital walls of babies who overcame. she`d breathe. on her own. and we`d get to take her home. No that didn’t happen. she died, and to this day I secretly think it has something to do with the x-rays on my hip and femur that left my ovaries exposed to the radiation 4x that had something to do with somehow affecting the egg that became implanted in my womb that later affected the growth of the beautiful little girl that was inside it.
Here a very interesting article on Points to Consider Before Taking Another X-Ray
`For decades, the scientific community has known that x-rays cause a variety of mutations.
rays are known to cause instability in our genetic material, which is usually the central characteristic of most aggressive cancers.There is no risk-free dose of x-rays.
Even the weakest doses of x-rays can cause cellular damage that cannot be repaired.
There is strong epidemiological evidence to support the contention that x-rays can contribute to the development of every type of human cancer.
There is strong evidence to support the contention that x-rays are a significant cause of ischemic heart disease.`
And this from the Health & Physics society.
`Most diagnostic procedures expose the embryo to less than 50 mSv.1 This level of radiation exposure will not increase reproductive risks (either birth defects or miscarriage). According to published information, the reported dose of radiation to result in an increased incidence of birth defects or miscarriage is above 200 mSv.
Another important consideration is the stage of pregnancy in which the radiation exposure occurred:
In the first two weeks post conception or the second two weeks from the last menstrual period, the embryo is very resistant to the malforming effects of x rays. The embryo is, however, sensitive to the lethal effects of x rays, although doses much higher than 50 mSv are necessary to cause a miscarriage.`
To read more follow link below.
That doesn’t sound like it proves my point- I know- unless you add together the fact that I had 4x-rays that day not just one and the timing which was in the two weeks from my last menstrual period .
Anyone that goes through the terribly tragic and traumatizing ordeal of loosing a child knows you search your brain for a reason- why?
I was, am a very healthy, active person, why did my baby grow so wrong inside me! Could it have been the radiation I was exposed to weeks earlier? This had made me incredibly weary of any and all x-rays, especially those on my children- i.e.- dental x-rays.
I told my dentist I was not going to be getting anymore x-rays and they very kindly offered me a sheet to sign saying I was denying the `doctors orders’ but it was all very easy.
However, when I told my children’s pediatric dentist that they will not be getting x-rays- whoa! I had three technicians attempt to persuade me, one even quite rudely commented that my son- who is 5 had had them every year until now ‘what’s the problem?’ I did not correct her that he had only been coming to the dentist for the last 2 years and had only had 1 but anyways- the fight I received in attempting to save my children from the exposure to radiation left me feeling angry and annoyed. Is it not my right to say no? Is it not my job to protect my children as I see fit?
You’d be amazed all the evidence you can find on-line as to what constant dental x-ray exposure does to you- here is just a couple of many I found
`A recent issue of Consumer Reports questions the need for yearly X-rays, particularly for children. It seems that many dentists have been re-evaluating the need for yearly X-rays in light of a study that was released in April that found that frequent dental X-rays, particularly in childhood, may be linked to an increased risk of brain tumors, or meningiomas, in adulthood.`
In WebMD Health News (By Salynn Boyles ) http://www.webmd.com/brain/news/20120410/dental-x-rays-linked-brain-tumors
` Getting frequent dental X-rays appears to increase the risk for a commonly diagnosed brain tumor, a new study finds.
Exposure to ionizing radiation — the kind found in X-rays — is the biggest known environmental risk factor for largely non-malignant meningioma brain tumors. Routine dental X-rays are among the most common sources of radiation for most healthy people in the U.S.
The new study suggests that performing frequent X-rays may expose patients to unnecessary risk.`
The dentist still after I explained my reasons for no x-rays- because she still had to ask after the dental technicians apparently, still attempted in vain for me to re-consider saying it is imperative to be able to see the progress of the growth of the teeth. Fair enough I understand you want to do your job in the easiest way possible- but my only concern is with cavities and regular cleanings so as I said to them previously- should you not be able to see with your eyes any problem and there is a cause for concern we can revisit having to have an x-ray- she seemed happy with that. And then recommended my son go to an orthodontist that could do an full circular x-ray of his mouth and that way he`d only have the one done….I thanked her took the card and left.