Sunday, May 6, 2012

Learned Wisdom by the Things Which She Suffered

My son was getting after his girlfriend for not taking anything to get over a cold besides ibuprofen, and it gave me the opportunity to explain why I do what I do.  I use a lot of natural remedies, my primary care doctor is a chiropractor/kinesiologist/nutritionist (not generally recognized by health insurance), and I believe that the body should fight its battles rather than medicine. 

I came to these opinions because of several influences: 

1)  my parents had found relief from ailments using less than conventional means; thus, I didn't discount them. 

2)  I didn't have health insurance a lot of the time. 

3)  Medications didn't work. 

When I first moved to Salt Lake City, I lived in Sandy, Utah, and I worked at Balkamp, Inc. as the secretary to the General Manager.  One of my duties was to take care of the health insurance for all of the employees.  By viewing billings and claim forms, I got an idea of who people went to, and I saw that many people chose Dr. Gailey for a dentist.  They also chose Dr. McNeilis for a gynecologist.  So, I decided to try both of these doctors.  

Dr. McNeilis gave birth to two of my children:  Krista and Jay.  He moved when Brad was born, and then moved back, and then we had completely different insurance for Erin's birth.  I don't see his name in the phone book anymore, so I don't know where he has gone.  He was a very good doctor.  He allowed me to ask him any question I had about what was going on and what I was feeling.  I appreciate that in a doctor, one who gives me his time and isn't hurrying me through. 

Dr. Gailey has been my dentist for many years, and all the children have gone to him.  He allows me to pay for my treatment in installments.  Most doctors and dentists require upfront payment in full, and there is no way that I could ever do that.  That one quality alone has kept us going to him.  But he is a good dentist as well.  He explains the teeth problems thoroughly.  He shows me the x-rays, he draws things out, he even writes down the options.  So, I know exactly what the problems are, and I choose my treatment, what I can handle, what I can afford.  I appreciate that in a dentist/doctor.  Sometimes he has prescribed too many medications or wanted to shoot me with too much novacaine, but I usually ask for just one shot, and he's willing to respect my wishes.  He's used to me by now. 

In Boulder, Colorado, where I grew up my mom had always taken me to a chiropractor as our "primary care" doctor (not that insurance would recognize him that way, but we recognized him as our first choice in health consultation.)  So, after moving to Salt Lake/Sandy I contracted some back problems and searched out a chiropractor to alleviate my suffering, and I found the Egberts.  They were okay, but the next time I tried out the guy next door (literally on the other side of the office building), Dr. Gunn.  I liked him better, and have been going to him ever since. 

I had gone to Dr. Gunn for awhile for my back, but one of the first healings actuated in my behalf was when I went to him a few months after I got married to find out if something was wrong with my neck.  I couldn't seem to hold it up.  He examined me, then took an x-ray, and found that nothing was wrong.  That evidence prompted him to look elsewhere.  How was my energy level?  In the gutter?  He had me get the results from a test performed at least five years previous to this from a different doctor - a glucose tolerance test (drinking more than a desireable amount of syrup).  The results had indicated hypoglycemia, but the doctor had failed to follow it up with what to do about it.  So, Dr. Gunn filled me in on what the results meant and how to manage it with diet.  I left there and embarked on a life-changing way of eating, which I follow in varying degrees depending on my need and desire, and lately, time.  Now, this many years later, Krista and Brad, because they are related to me and live in this old world, have found occasion to need that same diet, and they extol its benefits.

This is what Krista says about it: 
After I had my precious little Lizzy, I went nuts. I had absolutely horrifying thoughts of harming myself, Lizzy and Michael. I couldn’t function properly around people. I wanted nothing to do with anyone, because I couldn’t imagine the horror of someone finding out how much I hated myself. I couldn’t communicate effectively with anyone. Instead of feeling grateful for all the help everyone was giving me, I felt judged by those who were simply showing me how to be a mom. I felt myself becoming the one person in this world that I did not want to be, an abusive parent who thinks only of themselves. I had worked so hard for the past four years trying to be the good person that I wanted to be, and within an instant, I was incapable of even coming close to being that person.
I suffered this way for seven months, hating myself because I couldn’t seem to control my actions. It was as if there were two people living inside of me. One person so desperately wanted to be a happy mother and wife, while the other person did absolutely everything possible to keep that from happening. I would think and feel one thing, and act and say the exact opposite. People didn’t understand me, because I was just flat out mean, when I wanted nothing more than to be their friend and love them. I did not go to my doctor about this, because I just knew I would be diagnosed with post partum depression (PPD), and I did not want to start taking medicine for that.
In January 2011, I went to Dr. Gunn to get some adjustments. I told him how I thought I had PPD. He said that I didn’t, and explained that my brain was lacking the nutrients to function properly. He gave me a diet which is designed to keep a steady flow of nutrients to the brain throughout the entire day. It took me about a week to get used to, but I had the best month of my life. I was happier than I have ever been. I had enough energy to play with Lizzy, and do laundry, dishes and cook. I felt calm and at peace. The other person that had been trying to control my life had no influence on me. I was in control again, and it felt absolutely wonderful.
Leah was conceived shortly after starting the diet, and I haven’t been able to fully commit to it since, but I still implement what I learned from it. When she is born, I will go back on this diet, so that I can be happy, and so that I can have a happy family. Heavenly Father has asked us to take care of our bodies, and I know now that that is to protect us from Satan, who will do everything in his power to try to control us.

Brad was having problems with depression on his mission, but I was completely unaware until my stake president called to relay a request from Brad's mission president that I consider giving permission for him to take Prozac.  "What in the heck for?"  The only indication I had had was that shortly before this he had mentioned he tired easily.  I quickly picked up on that, however, because he kind of had had issues with it previous to the mission, and I sent him the diet.  Needless to say, through email we discussed his health quite a bit for several weeks.  He is using the Prozac, with all of its side effects, because the spirit gave me the distinct impression it would be okay.  A doctor also gave him a diagnosis of ADHD, a condition I had always suspected he had.  When he gets home, I will feed him better.  Hypoglycemia has the symptom of depression, which can be treated with proper diet. 
As the kids were growing up, they were sick every now and then - Brad more than the others.  I didn't go many places his first year because he was always with a cold, fever, or croup.  He contracted many ear infections, which usually were accompanied by a fever and eventual croup.  His crib was fixed with a tent over it and a cool mist humidifier (very expensive but wonderful) beside it.  I gave him the usual amoxicillin, followed by augmentin, followed by cephalosporin - each one more potent.  I gave him these and he would invariably come back with another ear infection soon thereafter.  Obviously, his body was not building up an immunity to the infections.   Finally, his doctor prescribed a 1/2 teaspoon of medication everyday for three months.  When he, and he was about two then, immediately came back with another ear infection, I said, "Stop, this isn't working."  Fortunately, the Lord put someone in my path who could tell me the next step I should take.  A young girl (she had older kids, but I was older because I married later) in my ward told me about E-3 Oil - a mixture of olive oil, lobelia, and some other things.  I used one drop in Brad's ear with a teeny bit of cotton to keep the oil in.  I did this three times a day for six weeks.  He did not have another ear infection until he was six. 

So, building up immunity is important to maintaining health.  With other sicknesses I worked around this same premise.  I also encouraged good sleep to overcome the disease.  If sleep was hindered, I did what it took to get us back sleeping.  Fever is a natural way the body has of fighting off infection - burns it out.  As well when you sleep, your body heats up, similar to a fever.  When you don't get enough sleep, your body doesn't stay in that "feverish," "heated up" state long enough to fight infections that could be starting up or progressing to an advanced state in your body.  For that reason, if you're not getting enough sleep, you could easily get sick.  When my children had fevers, I didn't immediately give them ibuprofen or aspirin or Tylenol (acetaminophen).  Instead I watched them carefully, (one of the purposes of a stay-at-home mom) took their temperature often, and put cold wet cloths on their foreheads during the day and night to keep the fever down and from advancing up to their brain.  When the fever reached 103 degrees, then I gave them something, but I could probably count on half of a hand the number of times that happend.  One benefit to a child having a fever and not being medicated for it is that the child feels sick, they are lethargic, they lay around, lay in bed, and they get well.  So, while they lay around, you get a break.  Another benefit of a fever is that it builds up immunities in the body.  While my children were at home sick for a couple days with a fever, and then returned to school never to come down with that again, other children were visited with the same sickness several times during one season. 

Again, when Erin was in elementary school, she contracted a rash on her leg.  I took her to a skin doctor who gave her a steroid to get rid of the rash.  Well, the steroid worked - took the rash away slick as a whistle.  However, two weeks later it came right back.  This time I took her to Dr. Gunn, who told her that the rash was an indication that her body was too alkaline.  So, he prescribed bathing her leg in vinegar, drinking vinegar everyday, and taking a multi-vitamin.  It took several weeks (maybe 6), but the rash disappeared and has never returned.

When Jay was older, in junior high, he had an ear infection that burst his eardrum.  I took him to the doctor for it because the bursting part scared me.  No one had ever had a burst eardrum with their ear infection, so I wasn't sure how to handle it.  He was given amoxicillin to kill the infection which would allow for the eardrum to heal.  He did that, and about a month later he had another one.  This time I gave him nothing but a painkiller, if needed, and let him heal from the infection and the burst eardrum.  Again, he never had another one.

As I stated at the beginning, my "primary care" doctor is a chiropractor/kinesiologist/nutritionist.  I've already mentioned how I've gone to him for his chiropractic and nutritional expertise.  His kinesiological expertise has been the most fascinating road to travel.  Applied kinesiology (AK) is an alternative medicine method used for diagnosis and determination of therapy. According to practitioners using Applied Kinesiology techniques, it provides feedback on the functional status of the body.  Dr. Gunn has used these techniques on me, and I can say that I probably was skeptical at first, but now, I believe...   While I am laying on an examination table, I lift my leg, and Dr. Gunn has me touch certain places on my body that are trouble spots, and then he says, "Resist me."  He pushes on my leg, and I resist his push - I push back.  If I have trouble pushing, that spot is definitely a trouble spot.  He then lays one supplement after another on me, and when I can resist strongly back, that is the supplement that would benefit me the most.  I can tell you that there have been a couple times when I could not push back at all, when I felt no strength whatsoever in my leg.  In that case, that spot is a big problem.

A couple years ago Dr. Gunn diagnosed me with having a hiatal hernia.  I felt symptoms with it, but over the past several months I have not been able to get too much relief from it.  The treatment was to take bromelain, a digestive enzyme, and to pull my stomach down everyday.  I went to other doctors for it, and they prescribed Prilosec which gives me side effects:  headaches, shakiness, etc.  And another who performed an endoscopy/colonoscopy.  It cost me/my insurance more than $2000 to find out that I have a hiatal hernia.  Dr. Gunn diagnosed it for a mere $40.

The only medication that has worked, and lest you think I won't do medications at all, I had this experience.  Jay has had eye allergies forever.  He gets really red, itchy eyes during the months of February through November.  Note:  that's most of the year.  I first tried a homeopathic allergy medicine on him, but it didn't do anything.  I tried other things on him as well, including a visit to an eye doctor who recommended I put warm washcloths on his eyes, but nothing helped.  Finally, I decided to pray for his eye problems in the temple.  Upon returning home from the temple, I took out the phone book and called several eye doctors.  No one was available until a certain pediatric eye specialist at the Moran Eye Center answered the phone.  I made an appointment with them.  In fact, they were able to see him the very next day.  After hanging up with them, I realized they were in the same building as the other eye doctor I had taken Jay to with no good results at all.  Oh, I didn't want to go there again.  I dialed the number of the place with whom I had just made an appointment in order to cancel it, but I couldn't get through.  I tried again and again, but could not get through.  Finally, I decided I would just go.  The next day at the appointment it was discovered that Jay had limbal vernal conjunctivitis - bumps on his eyelids that cause his eyes to be red during the summer months.  In other words, he had a seasonal allergy that affected his eyes during the months of February through November.  The doctor prescribed eyedrops, Alocril, and a steroid for the eye called Alrex.  Those medications relieved the problem.  Over the years he has grown out of the problem.  Usually it's not bad unless he is outside a lot in grasses.  In fact, in doing research on the condition on the internet, it mentioned that he would probably grow out of it, but it might develop into asthma.  He has been on track and cross country teams, so I don't think asthma has been a problem, but he has had pneumonia twice.  I don't like that he had to use a steroid, but it was only administered topically.  And I know that I was led by my Heavenly Father to that doctor to diagnosis and prescribe the treatment. 

Jay has also had a runny nose for years.  He snuffs and snorts incessantly.  Because of the eye problems, I had always thought it was allergy related.  Eye problems/nose problems - very related.  I remember going to a doctor when he was younger, maybe in 2004 to get some help with it.  The doctor thought it was allergies and sent me home with a bagful of medications to try.  I couldn't get Jay to take anything.  The doctor also took some x-rays and a CT scan (very costly) to see if that could give us any clues.  Nothing...     Jay had suffered with this problem for several years already, and he continued to suffer until he was 17 when he expressed a desire to finally find out because it was annoying to his family, his friends, and now to him to be snuffing/snorting incessantly.  He was now willing to do whatever it took, but he confided that he didn't want to be taking pills all of his life.  I was sure that he would be taking an allergy something forever, Benadryl perhaps?   But I took him to Dr. Gunn first.  Dr. Gunn applied his kinesiology to Jay, who had never had this done to him before, and discovered that he had a parasite.  Well, I was skeptical, but we bought the ParaCleanse pills, and Jay took them and got over it.  I couldn't believe it, and Jay was thrilled.  Wow!  Now we sit next to Jay, and he is quiet.  The snort is gone.  How many years had he and we suffered with that problem?  Dr. Gunn, however, was not surprised.  He has total faith in this method and all of its ramifications.  I don't know why I go to anyone else.  How much did that cost to diagnose Jay?   $40!!  

So, what I have seen in dealing with the health of my family has been that we have been better off concentrating on building up the strength of the body to fight off disease rather than to use an outside source to kill off the bacteria causing the disease or to cover up the symptoms.  I was told the other day that doctors now prescribe antibiotics for an entire month (rather than the 10 days that I remember) because the bacterias have developed a resistance to the medications.  So, again, rather than making the body stronger, we have made the bacterias/infections stronger.  The medical field is focusing on the wrong thing.

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