A Complicated ENT Problem

But Dr. Friedman Solves This Medical Mystery in Just One Appointment

“Dr. Friedman gave her back her childhood,” said Carolyn, mother of 12-year old Amanda from Illinois. Looking at her now, over 5 feet tall, with long golden brown hair and an easy smile, you’d never know she’d been through so much. You see, Carolyn’s only child had spent the majority of her childhood sick in bed, and in and out of hospitals and medical offices.

Traveling from doctor to doctor, taking test after test and trying one medication after another, it’s no wonder Carolyn gets emotional when talking about her daughter’s long and tedious medical journey. This medical nightmare began shortly after Amanda was born, when she was diagnosed with Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) at 5 months. For the next 3 years, Carolyn thought her daughter’s unrelenting sinus, allergy and cold issues would finally disappear once her adenoids were removed at 3 years of age.

Unfortunately, that “simple” surgery left her daughter even weaker and sicker than before. And so this mother and daughter’s daily life continued as before, with Carolyn still researching doctors and therapies, hoping to discover why her little girl was in even worse shape, and feeding Amanda a daily regimen of steroids, antibiotics, and nose sprays. Over the next eight years, little Amanda developed even more health issues, including migraines so debilitating that she ended up in the emergency room 2 to 3 times a week for pain relief.

To make matters worse, doctors claimed Amanda’s pain was in her head. As the years passed, Amanda missed more school days than she attended, and she was noticeably absent from dance recitals, family events, school functions, and summer camp. She basically spent the first 11 years of her life feeling sick. One night, Carolyn was sitting at the kitchen table scouring the Internet and came across a name of a doctor she had never heard of: Dr. Michael Friedman.

Before we met Dr. Friedman, Amanda and I must have talked to at least 30 doctors.  All the ENT doctors we met were surgery-happy. But my husband and I both felt there was a piece of the puzzle that was missing.  And we couldn’t forget how sick our daughter became after her adenoid surgery.”

Carolyn knew Dr. Friedman was different from the minute she met him. “I brought Amanda’s full chart, complete with every cat scan and every test result.  Dr. Friedman took one look at this huge folder and then looked right at me and said, ‘Moms always know best. I want to hear what you think is going on with Amanda.’

“For the next two hours, he sat there and listened to me review Amanda’s history.  When I finished he said, ‘I don’t think anything is wrong with her sinuses.  It’s something completely different.  An immune deficiency.’  I had never heard any doctor suggest that. He performed a simple blood test that day, got the results a little while later, and then set me up with his immunologist, Dr. Siddiqi, who took one look at the results and told us to stop all her medications and throw out the inhaler. She prescribed a single medication to strengthen her immune system.

“Just 3 months later, Amanda was like a different kid.  She had energy. Her dark under-eye circles were gone. And she felt great.” That’s when Carolyn’s eyes begin to well up with tears.  “Amanda didn’t miss one day of school last year. And she made National Honor Society.”  Then she chuckles to herself as she recalls how, a few weeks ago, for the very first time her daughter Amanda had her first “normal” cold.  Her prescription? A big bowl of chicken soup.