The Power to Heal

My youngest was just 4 years and five days old when she was whisked to the hospital in the middle of the night because of her asthma. This was her fourth hospital trip for asthma related issues in less than two years. Her first was when she was two and a half and we were traveling. Luckily we had family in the area and could find a local hospital and get her seen quickly. The attending physician asked me how long she had had asthma. “She has asthma?”, I said quizzically. Duh. During the three days she was admitted to that hospital, I had time to think about my daughter’s non-existent asthma. Thinking of the humidifiers on FULL STEAM AHEAD all night, every night in the winter. And still, every time she got a virus – that barking cough appeared. Frequently, Dad would take her downstairs so she could sit, propped up on the sofa – making it easier for her to breathe while she slept. Then a nice steamy shower in the a.m. and she’d be ready to go for the day. So THAT was asthma? Call me stupid, but it never occurred to me that was what asthma looked like. In my mind it was wheeeeezing. Not coughing. And I wasn’t going to take her to the doctor for coughing. I could handle coughing.

At the time, coughing seemed like the least of our problems. We were engulfed in her brother’s immense medical and behavioral issues called autism, so to say we had our hands full would be an understatement. The biggest issue surrounding the coughing, at that time, was the fact she would awaken said brother and nobody would sleep another wink in our house that night.

So started our journey into asthma – another one of the “A” afflictions facing more and more of our kids these days…Asthma, Autism, ADHD and Allergies. We bought a nebulizer and had our arsenal of inhaled drugs. Treatments were done several times a day, everyday. Little by little she got better. But then cold season was upon us. And she ended up hospitalized again – pneumonia. When she recovered, her pediatrician suggested that she continue her nebulized steroid daily, everyday, to tamp her respiratory system inflammation down. That way, when she got sick again, she would be inflammation free and would be able to cough normally. It worked, when she got sick the next time – there was no hospitalization. Hooray! But little pieces of our victory started crumbling away. She started to need more and more nebulizer treatments to stay at her baseline of  “good”. Then the stomach pain started. Every time after she ate, she would report her stomach hurt. It even caused her to stop eating preferred food. A little research showed that an “uncommon” side effect of one of the nebulized meds was stomach pain and should be discussed with the patient’s doctor immediately. That conversation went something like this:

Dr: “Well, that is a very rare side effect”

Me: “Yes, I realize that, but she is experiencing it and it is very real”

Dr.: “Well, there isn’t much you can do. Maybe back off the med a little”.

We followed this protocol and then next time she got sick – she ended up in the ER again. This time oral steroids were prescribed. Yes, they worked. But by 4 years old, her asthma was ESCALATING and the drugs were becoming useless, or worse, harmful.

Four.

FOUR YEARS OLD.

“If it is to be, it is up to me” – it is one of those sappy lines from those useless management training classes I took in my previous life. But it had never rung more true than when I thought about it at that point in my life. And how sleep deprived had I been for it to take this long for me to realize this? It was time to take my autism biomedical skills, used to bring back my son’s health, and kick some asthma keyster. I put on my thinking cap and realized that inflammation was my enemy. I KNEW how to treat inflammation – and I was off and running. Omegas, curcumin, anti-oxidants. Settling on a regimen I thought would work well for her, I felt a little hopeful. She was on her supplements for about 3 months before catching the dreaded H1N1 flu. Yes – the one and only. I was convinced she was going to end up back at the hospital. I bumped up her nebulizer treatments and she…got…better. And I noticed that spring that she had more energy, and less allergy reactions to pollen. Those dark circles under her eyes were gone. Her belly flattened out. Her ears, normally packed with almost black ear wax, were clear.

Reporting back to her pediatrician at the next “well child visit”, he was pleasantly surprised to see she had done so well in the past 10 months. I explained our shift to the Vitamin D3 and Curcumin and Quercetin. He said to me “Well, when the meds are no longer working – you have to move to the naturals”. Less than two years before I had BEGGED him for options. I had felt powerless and defeated and he shrugged his shoulders. And today he acts like I did the most natural thing in the world – almost as if HE SUGGESTED IT.

Then I realized that my mistake those years before was that I went to him for an answer – again. Why? Did he ever, EVER give me a useful suggestion for a health issue? Child not sleeping? Well, you shouldn’t co-sleep. You should cry it out. Child not pooping? Take this Miralax. Child has autism? Watching too much TV. Why did I go to him? Had I not learned where the power to heal my family came from already? It comes from within – within ME. I am the only one that cares what happens in my family (yes, hubby does too – but healing is my job). It comes from within YOU too. That pediatrician? S/He’s got a family and a business and paperwork and coding and regulations to take care of everyday. S/He is not up until midnight researching a supplement that some folks calls “quackery” to see what PubMed articles are published on it. S/He is not watching the minute changes in your child daily. S/He is not motivated by the pain you see in your child daily.

When did we turn this power over to the doctors? When did regular people become too dumb to understand healing? I remember listening to my grandmother and her siblings talking about “cures” or “poultices” they used growing up (and were still using). Of course, they were Pennsylvania coal people and had no money for doctors. They HAD to heal themselves or perish. Very quickly, healing became sophisticated and science-y …and moved out of the hands of the every-man. Not long after, we stopped paying attention. As a nation we fell into this “Aaaah, I can relax because I’m being taken such good care of” by my smart and caring doctor. We stopped questioning. And if we did question we were chastised for it. We’ve handed over our health to people that generally do not know us and do not care about us.

This revolution is about taking back that power. It’s about doing your own research on PubMed, printing it out and showing to the doctor when you say “No” to a treatment and s/he wants to know why. It’s about sticking to your guns. It’s about your right to say NO or “I want another opinion” or a different method. It’s about walking away from someone who will not have a CONVERSATION with you about your health.

Small steps. Big change. Question authority. It doesn’t have to be adversarial. It just needs to happen.

~ LuvBug

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26 Responses to The Power to Heal

  1. Allie says:

    GREAT post, Luvbug!
    I love this site, and ALL of the thinking moms (and dads) out there! Thanks for the daily dose of inspiration, perspective, and HOPE in my inbox each morning. Viva la Revolution!

  2. Zed says:

    Thanks for this wonderful reminder. Sadly, most modern-day medical practitioners have forgotten that in the end, ALL healing is SELF-healing. No one has the power to ‘heal’ another; rather, it is the responsibility of healing practitioners to safely and effectively elicit the healing response that resides in every cell, tissue and organ system. Of course, the inherent capacity for healing may only express itself in varying degrees, as it is dependent upon the smooth operation of complex, coordinated efforts that occur from the inside-out. While crisis-averting drugs are sometimes necessary, even those are patterned after chemical interactions which healthy bodies produce on their own, naturally, in crisis. As my six year-old granddaughter recently stated, “it’s not the pathogen–it’s the terrain.”

  3. Renee Tagliavia Harrison says:

    When there is a Thinking Moms Revolution T shirt, bumper sticker, hat… i want to be on that design and execution team. Another ditto dat, high five, how is that there are so many of us living parallel lives?

  4. LuvBug says:

    It’s a long, strange and somewhat unbelievable story about how so many of us are living parallel lives, but at least we are finding each other… Stay posted for t-shirts and what not – we love swag!

  5. KFuller says:

    I think there was a time when Med students only got a semester of education about drugs. That has to have flipped now. Full on education on how to prescribe for health. Awful. Good work Mom!

  6. Professor says:

    Amen, sistah! I can so relate to this one. I DO know asthma (because I’ve had it since I was 12) and I recognized when Beckett started doing an asthmatic-type cough at night at about 16 months. Of course, since I recognized it so soon his lungs were clear by the time I took him to the doc. She said, “Asthma doesn’t come and go like that.” Um, yes, it does. That’s EXACTLY what allergic asthma does. It only sticks around when the inflammation level is so high that the body can’t heal itself. THAT’S usually when it’s diagnosed. The doc should have known better. But all she would have done was give him meds, anyway, and I didn’t want him going down that road. So, when my cousin mentioned this “quackery” called NAET, I signed Beckett up. All the allergies and food sensitivities gone in a few short months. No tendency toward asthma has reappeared. Someday I’m going to spend the money to get myself some NAET.

  7. Joy Whitcomb says:

    Awesome Article, and Prof – I just have started NAET for my own allergies and for my 6yo ASD kiddo’s sensitivities. I’m pleasantly AMAZED that i am not on my Zyzal yet this allergy season. I should’ve been a month ago. and Wheat isn’t making me swell anymore. Amazing.

  8. “Love Bug”, I could not have hoped for a better life partner than you. Thank you for your courageous and exceptionally successful efforts. Your efforts have both wowed and amazed me. Moreover, our daughter – and son – have benefited greatly from your work!!! Much love and appreciation.

    “hubby”

  9. Laurie Ford says:

    Can you tell me what curcumin is? I just read about querctin. I have vitamin d3 and probitoics for my son’s asthma. I have also read about enzymes. How are those and probitics different? The probitics have worked for about 6 months but now bouts of his asthma are kicking back in again and I think I need to change his regimen. What probitoics do you use? I use organic garden of life. Thank you for your great article.

    • Professor says:

      Curcumin is a spice used a lot in Asian food. It turns out it is one of the best anti-oxidants out there and helps a lot with inflammation. You can get it concentrated in capsules.

    • Professor says:

      Enzymes help you digest nutrients. The biggest reason for them in ASD kids is to break down casein and gluten so they do not leak through the gut into the bloodstream as large molecules that poison the brain. The other reason is to break down carbs so that you’re not feeding the “bad” bacteria as much. Probiotics, on the other hand, are “good” bacteria that your child needs in his/her gut. Most ASD kids have messed up gut flora and the probiotics help to kill the bad bacteria and restore the good bacteria so the leaky gut can heal.

  10. noahspins says:

    Bravo! Bravo! Beautifully written. Perfectly illustrates our reality! THANK YOU LUV BUG!

  11. Laurie says:

    Are there any enzymes, probitics or brands of curcumin in partiuclar you recommend?

    • LuvBug says:

      I feel compelled (as a lawyer jabs me in my ribs…) to say I am not a doctor. But I can tell you about my family and our experiences. There are so many types and brands of enzymes. I found Houston Enzymes a great place to start to learn about enzymes especially this page http://www.houston-enzymes.com/learn/
      Most enzymes available over the counter are plant derived and if you have a food sensitive kiddo, be sure you know exactly from what plant your enzyme is derived.

      Probiotics are as varied as the people on this earth. Talk About Curing Autism Now (TACA) has some great information to get you started on probiotics and lots of different supplements. Start here with the “Supplements – An Overview” http://www.tacanow.org/family-resources/supplements-an-overview/

      Our family used Lee Silsby’s Enhansa as a Curcumin supplement. Curcumin is very hard for the body to absorb and their formulation makes that a bit easier. Do some research on this first – it is not a supplement that is for everyone. Here’s a post from one of my favorite blogs about it: http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/08/enhansa-curcumin-supplement-helping-families-treating-autism.html

      Part of being a “Thinking Mom” (or Dad) is doing the research, finding a message board in Yahoo or Facebook so you can compare experiences with other families, and thinking about what is right for your family.

  12. Laurie says:

    Understood. And thank you. This is a great start!

  13. Pingback: Feb 29, 2012: LuvBug’s Power to Heal… | The Thinking Moms' Revolution Starts Here

  14. Stan Bobzien says:

    Appreciate it for helping out, fantastic info .

  15. You read our minds. We’ve had this exact conversation a million times, but don’t seem to stumble across many other moms (dealing with autism or otherwise) who think this way. We absolutely have learned the hard way that we are our children’s healers. We must rely on our own instincts and research. By blindly following the advice of our doctors (and not questioning them), we made some really poor decisions that resulted in harm to our children. And we’ve spent years trying to undo this damage. Hat’s off to you for encouraging moms to think for themselves. That’s why our tag line is “Rethink what you’ve been told. Refuse the status quo. Escape the whirlwind of confusion.” -Molly & Leah

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