Friday, March 27, 2009

Adventures in Homeopathy, Pt 2

Before I get into explaining how the Lord changed our treatment for Ethan, I want to explain first our viewpoint on homeopathic medicine. Really, the method of treatment for any illness is not something that we had ever given much thought. Jeremy and I are very healthy people. Except for the occasional headache, cold, or stomach bug, we are never sick. If any of us ever did get sick, we just did what we had always done: found whatever sort of pill or elixir made the illness feel better. It's something that we had never thought of to discuss.

If you read my blog, you'll know that I am a super frugalite. If I came down with a sinus infection, which I'm rather prone to do, I would always use a home remedy first. Not because the Lord spoke to me about it, or because I thought it was better. I was just looking at the finances and didn't want to pay for a doctor visit. A few days of a steam tent, a regimen of apple cider vinegar, lots of saline for the sinuses and a few modification in diet always did the trick.

When Ethan was born, his pediatrician came to make his rounds in the hospital, as doctors do. When I pointed out his skin (mind you, at this point, Ethan was about 17 or 18 hours old), I would described the doctor as shocked. He suggested just a bit of Vaseline or Eucerine ointment, because he was too young for anything prescription. We followed doctor's orders. It didn't really help, on the long term. He got worse. We took him back to the doctor. We followed doctor's orders. It didn't really help, on the long term. He got worse. We took him back to the doctor. We followed doctor's orders. Over and over this was our story. We prayed, earnestly and fervently, for healing but he was never really better.

One morning, not too long after this New Year, Jeremy woke up saying, "I think the root of Ethan's problem is a vitamin deficiency." I remember thinking to myself, "Huh? Where did that come from?" Ethan had not had an asthma attack in a several weeks, but his skin didn't fare too well through the winter. He'd often wake up in the middle of the night crying with painful, cracked skin. It was just "life" for him though. Nothing had brought this up. It had not been a topic of discussion, so for Jeremy to right-out-of-the-blue bring it up is not his typical character. It must have just been the good hand of the Lord directing our family through the head of our home. I didn't really know what to say in reply. "It very well could be. Lots of illnesses are just vitamin deficiencies that have gotten too far out of hand. So what do you think we should do?" was my sort of confused reply. "Well, I think I'll order him some Body Balance and see if that helps." Being the frugalite I am, I asked, "Uh, can we afford that?" He said that he'd chug the budget around and see what we could do.

We were able to manage to cut some more corners and buy the supplement. Body Balance is a whole food liquid vitamin and mineral supplement that my pastor introduced us to. His elementary school age son had warts removed from his hand several times and they always came back. After starting Body Balance, they didn't stand a chance. Even after he quit taking the supplement, his sons warts never came back.

Not immediately, but within 3-4 weeks we were able to notice some improvement in his skin. Mind you, that we were still giving him all of the prescription medication mentioned in part one of this series. We did not apply any of the topical medicine unless needed, but the daily meds were still being taken. The asthma medicine was not needed at this time either. Eczema and allergies are directly related, especially in severe cases. If Ethan's skin was clearing up, that means that he was able to tolerate some of his allergies better. In other words, his immune system was becoming stronger. We thanked the Lord over and over. We told anyone we could get to listen.

This is getting lengthy again, so I will make a part three!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Adventures in Homeopathy, Pt 1

Okay first, to really explain what's going on here there will have to be a lot of background info...probably divided into a few posts.

Ethan has had diverse "problems" since he was born. Nothing terribly awful in the wide scope of things. No cancer, leukemia, autism, etc. For that, we can't complain. But he's never been "well." He was born though with eczema. I'm not talking just a dry patch here and there. I he came from the womb with mean red, inflamed, bleeding, cracked, painful skin. Even at the most results for eczema can't compare. It was bad. Nothing would help. When he was too little to scratch I could keep it from him. As he got older (I mean 3 months old), he would nearly claw the skin off his bones.

By 10 or 12 months, the eczema was more manageable, but his regular allergies got worse. By two he began with asthma. He was allergy tested at 3 and he was allergic to peanut, cat, dog and feathers. The asthma continued to grow worse, although the doctors would tell me that it was "controlled." The list prescriptions grew also. Daily he took Zyrtec and Singulair by mouth. Elidel and Aclovate were used topically. Albuterol, Xopenex, and Pulimcort were used as needed in a nebulizer for asthma attacks. The pediatrician told me to keep a prescription refill of Orapred at the pharmacy...a pediatric oral steroid. He also carries an Epipen in case of anaphylactic shock after exposure to peanut.

Ethan's prescription medicine that he's accumulated in his 4 years. This doesn't include anything over-the-counter, which we used as needed.

In a year we had him tested again after a very scary allergy/asthma attack that he was nearly hospitalized for. The results from that allergy test had dramatically grown to include cat, American dust mites, European dust mites, feathers, bahia grass, bermuda grass, rye grass, peanut, milk and wheat. The most disturbing was the allergy to peanut, which had nearly doubled since the last test. Now, if he's exposed to peanut he could die if not treated.

It seemed like the more prescriptions that he took, the worse he got. Not to mention that his behavior was not always wonderful. He was very apt to be moody, angry, dramatic, and rebellious. The mood swings were awful. I couldn't help but think it was all related.

Well, a few weeks ago the Lord directed us to rethink the way we were treating this chronic condition. :-)

Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. --3 John 2

Monday, March 23, 2009

Safety 1st Can't Beat This!

I get funny videos sometimes, but this one was just really great to me.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Lydia's Prayer

Reading can really wear you out!

Since Lydia's been able to talk, we've been sort of teaching her to pray short prayers. Jeremy would say a phrase and she would repeat. Last night during family altar, Jeremy asked Lydia if she would like to pray and she said yes. Well, before she could be coached, she took off praying. Here's what she said:

Jesus, thank you for deers ... and for the Bible ... and for Pastor ... and for Mommy ... and for Jesus ... ... ... in Jesus' name, Amen!

But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. --Luke 18:16

Friday, March 13, 2009

Short, Sweet and to the Point

Just wanted to share with cyberspace how joyful I am today about the Lord saving me! What a work He did. What a work He's still doing by molding me, loving me and teaching me! Praise Him.

Also wanted to share a little sweet surprise from my dear husband. I had asked him where I could get an aloe plant. Nothing fancy, just something for a burn to two.

Here's what was on my hope chest when I got home Thursday.

The pot you may remember from a previous post, but it looks pretty good in our bedroom. Thanks, my love!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Calling All Home Remedy Experts (or Novices)

Lydia has been battling constipation for about 10 days. She gets "the urge" but with little to no result. It's starting interfere with her potty training and, frankly, I'm getting tired of cleaning puddles up from the floor. When she's constipated, she doesn't want to do anything with the potty.

Any home remedy I can find via Google searching for constipation involves something that I know I'll never get her to drink or eat. Any suggestions for getting things moving again?

See, the problem (I'm 100% certain) is that since we've been busy with t-ball, I've just not had the time to cook proper meals. Meaning that our vegetables and fiber have nearly gone to zero. I'm going to try to encourage her to eat more apples, prunes, and maybe some raw carrots if I can get to the store. I'm just not sure that this will be enough to get her regular.

Thanks, ladies, for any help you can offer.

Friday, March 6, 2009

No Homeschooled Preschoolers Allowed!

When I was in school, my school participated in the Book It! program. It was really fun to get a free personal pan pizza once I had met my reading goal. I was pleased that Book It! was open to homeschoolers. As I went to enroll my two homeschoolers, I learned that only one of them was eligible. Ethan is reading independently and is in preschool (K4). He was ready to start this year, a year early, so I didn't see any reason to wait until he was "old enough." Book It! doesn't see it like I do. They have a preschool program, but only extend it to kids in a "state school," day care, etc. I called them, because surely they wouldn't be so narrow-minded. But they are. They make no provision for preschooled homeschoolers. I sent them this message:

I was thrilled to learn that Book It! allows home educated children to participate and was eager to enroll my kindergartner. I participated in Book It! in elementary school and thoroughly enjoyed the free pizza! I knew my son would enjoy it also. That excitement soon turned to utter disappointment. I home educate two of my children. The younger of the two is 4 and will not be in kindergarten until the 2010-2011 school year. Sadly, he is not eligible for Book It! Beginners because he is not enrolled in a "school." We home educators understand that a child's ability is not hindered or mandated by age. He should not be excluded for being intelligent or an "early learner." He works very hard and deserves to be rewarded. He is reading independently, fluently, and better than some children twice his age. I humbly request that you reconsider your policy in regard to home educated preschoolers and the Book It! Beginners program.
Respectfully yours, Elizabeth

Here is the response I received from the people at Book It!

Thank you for your email. The materials that are printed for the
BOOK IT! Beginners Program include a poster, cutouts, teacher and
parent calendars and several other helpful items for teachers to use.
At this time the BOOK IT! Beginners program has not been modified
down for individual use and unfortunately we do not have the budget
to mail materials to parents nationwide that read to their
preschoolers. We do have a wonderful web site with many ideas and
items that you are welcome to print off and use, however we would not
be able to enroll you as participating. I hope this helps you
understand our situation and look forward to you enrolling your
homeschooled children when they turn 5 years old and begin
kindergarten. Please let me know if you need anything further.

BOOK IT! National Reading Incentive Program
PO Box 2999
Wichita KS 67201
Fax: 316-685-0977

Needless to say, I was not happy with the response that I got. What gets me is that Ethan will never be five years old and beginning kindergarten. He will be in first grade at five years old. I don't even really care about the silly posters. It was the idea of getting to take the kids down to Pizza Hut for a free personal pizza that was fun. I suppose I can just pay for it for Ethan out of pocket, but he won't get a fun Book It! clip or anything.

Okay, I'm done venting now! :P

Happy Thirty-Somethingeth Birthday, Hubby!

Not that he would actually care if the whole world knew he was thirty-three.

Happy birthday to my love! What a fantastic husband he is, too. He's a good provider, a Godly example and household head, a hard worker, and a great Daddy! His birthday was actually yesterday, but I was just too busy to get a post together.

Jeremy and Lydia last summer...couldn't find a more recent image!