I adopted my first son when he was nine months old. From day one he had a runny nose. Not just a regular runny nose, a thick and green runny nose that seemed to permanently hang from his nostrils. It was only a matter of time before the runny nose would lead to an ear infection and the ear infection would lead to antibiotics. Within two weeks of finishing a round of antibiotics, it would start again. Green nose, ear infection, antibiotics… repeat. Finally, a doctor suggested that in order to stop the cycle, we should consider putting tubes in my son’s ears. As a young mom, the thought of elective surgery scared the bajeebers (yes, my made up word for the day) out of me. It scared me so much that I decided to pull him out of his child development center (that I was managing) and try in-home care, hoping to avoid surgery. In-home care did provide a temporary fix, but within a couple of months, the green monster returned.
Just as I was about to schedule the surgery, a close friend suggested that I have my son tested for allergies by a holistic practitioner. Immediately, I rolled my eyes and made a face that expressed my reluctance. Until this point in my life, I had never considered a holistic way of testing for food allergies or alternative ways of thinking about health. In general, I put the term “holistic” in the same boat as granola moms, which I was not. However, because of my desperation to avoid tubal surgery, I decided to give it a try. When we arrived at the practitioner’s office, I was more than skeptical. How could someone test my son for allergies without sticking needles in him or taking blood? What did muscle testing even mean? I started looking around to see how many of the people in the office sported Birkenstocks and was pretty sure that everyone was wearing natural deodorant. What in the world had my friend gotten me into?
As I watched the testing process, my skepticism turned into fascination.
After the testing was over, it was determined that my son was sensitive to corn. Corn? No biggie. He doesn’t eat much corn. He can surely live without popcorn. Silly me, I hadn’t even thought about the fact that almost every processed food item contained some form of corn. There’s cornstarch, corn syrup, and corn meal. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that this was going to be a BIG adjustment for my little man. In addition to the corn sensitivity, the practitioner advised me to abstain from giving him any product containing dyes, especially red 40. Sure, we could do that…what is Red 40? When he mentioned the impact red 40 could have, I immediately thought about the times my son would resemble a demon-possessed monster after eating certain foods. As I researched this more, I realized that my son really did consume a diet full of corn and dyes. ACK. This was going to be harder than I thought.
If you know me at all, you know that I am pretty much an all or nothing kind of girl! I decided it was time to go ALL in on this holistic journey. I went home and threw out everything with corn and dyes. Our pantry was pretty bare after the big purge. I researched food allergies and their impact on the body and was surprised to see that there was actually a lot of research out there on the subject. Within weeks of making the necessary changes to my son’s diet, his green nose disappeared for good. I was simply AMAZED at the results. Of course, when the green nose disappeared, so did the ear infections and antibiotics. We were able to cancel the surgery and my son never had another ear infection. That was sixteen years ago.
As my family grew, I would take each child in to be seen and tested by my holistic practitioner. Some had sensitivities to gluten, dairy, dyes, and another with corn. Yes, it is hard to cook for so many children with sensitivities (I am also very sensitive to gluten and dairy), but it is soooo worth it.
According to WebMD, Holistic medicine is a form of healing that considers the whole person — body, mind, spirit, and emotions — in the quest for optimal health and wellness.
The difference in our traditional medical bills before discovering this information and after is huge. My older children were constantly placed on antibiotics; my younger children have never needed them (not that I am against them, if they do). Over the past sixteen years, I have learned so much about holistic health because of my son’s green nose. I can honestly say that as much as his green nose grossed me out back then, I AM GRATEFUL.
Before I start getting hate mail that I am against traditional medicine, let me clearly state; I am NOT against traditional medicine. I am NOT against antibiotics. However, I do believe there are times when our bodies can be treated holistically. I also believe there are times when our bodies need to be treated with traditional medicine. They should not be enemies, but rather work together. I have seen children and adults experience tremendous results with holistic medicine. If your child had tubes put in their ears and it stopped the ear infections, super! Truly, each of us has to make decisions as parents. We are responsible for our own children. You parent YOUR children the way YOU feel is best and I try and do the same. Let’s not judge one another because of our decisions, maybe we can learn from each other! Parenting is hard enough without the judgment of others.
If I can help you find a holistic practitioner in your area, feel free to email me. If your child is running around with a green, snotty nose and you are at a loss, you might want to consider thinking out of the traditional medical box.