Lessons in Gentle Healing

As I said recently, we have all been sick here at our house.  We were up all night with the little one for about 3 days until we came to the end of our wits and our rope.  She didn’t seem that sick.  Her fever was gone and she had a runny nose.  She was fussy and didn’t want to sleep and refused to eat at many of her nursings.  I just figured she felt crummy, and when you feel crummy you don’t really feel like eating a whole lot.  But after a few days of all of this, and barely any sleep, and my mommy powers being taken away because she didn’t want to nurse- well when my husband suggested we take her to the doctor in the middle of the night, I knew it was the right thing to do.  At least we could all have a change in scenery- even if it was the inside of an 24 ER.

I feel kind of silly writing that I took my child to a 24 ER because she wouldn’t sleep, but we did and I’m glad we did.  Turns out she felt so crummy because she had an ear infection and tonsillitis.  I felt bad at first that I didn’t realize my baby was hurting so much!  But truly, this was the first time in 11 months she has even been sick enough to warrant a trip to the doctor or need medicine, and I don’t think I was expecting it, considering she’s not around very many other children.

The next day I also went to the doctor and we all got more medicine than you would think three people could use.  I decided not to take any of it.  I had a virus, so antibiotics wouldn’t do anything anyway, and I’m still (happily) breastfeeding and there’s very little that you even can take under that circumstance.  I didn’t want to chance it.  My husband, being sick for about two weeks, finally started getting better on antibiotics.  We really debated whether or not to give Marlee her antibiotics.  There’s information out there that states that a lot of children can safely recover from ear infections without antibiotics.  But I also read that children under 2 have a greater chance of developing complications from ear infections, and since she can’t talk yet, I felt we wouldn’t have a good way to know how she was doing without it.  Especially since we didn’t even catch on that she was so sick in the first place.  (But that is just what we did in our situation.  If you have a little one, you should make your own assessment, talk to your doctor and decide whether you’re child needs antibiotics or not.)

But through all this craziness, sickness, doctors and medicine, I still have this very strong, underlying belief…

I can help my body (or my child’s body) heal itself gently and naturally.

There are a few experiences in my life that led me to think this way.  The first was experiencing my father’s diagnosis of cancer, and in two years, it taking his life.  I saw all the latest modern medicine, and all that it did not do to help him.  It was around that time I became fascinated with alternative types of medicine.  The second was my own experience with anxiety.  For a while in my young life, it took over my life.  The medicine I was on for a short time, without a doubt, made things worse, and it was then I began to educate myself on my own, and read books about how to relax myself without drugs.  The third was my decision to have a home birth.  It was an easy decision.  I knew my body was created to accomplish that purpose and didn’t need man made inventions to do it.

But something wasn’t adding up.  If I had so eagerly educated myself and found gentler, better alternatives to other situations in my life, why wasn’t I applying it to my own child?  Who I want, more than anyone, not to be inundated with synthetic chemicals and drugs?  I realized my values in this area needed education and action behind them.  I couldn’t offer her anything but modern medicine, as long as I did not know what else to offer her!  So now I am embarking, just like in the other situations in my life, to educate myself about childhood illnesses, natural remedies, how food plays a role and other alternatives like chiropractic (which I already believe is very beneficial).

It’s not that I am against modern medicine like pain relievers or antibiotics, certainly there have been times when I was grateful for those things and more, but I believe that we were all designed wonderfully by a brilliant and infinitely wise Creator.  I don’t want to try and take God’s place, I believe healing ultimately and in every situation comes from Him (whether we recognize it or not), but I think by treating ourselves a bit gentler, we can honor God.  We can honor God by acknowledging His divine wisdom in the way He made our bodies to work and fight off diseases on their own, and also acknowledging the amazing wisdom and functionality in the different plants and herbs He made for our benefit.

I really want not just to learn about natural remedies for my family, but to put even more of my life in His hands.  Letting go of fear of the unknown, I can learn to trust and pray to Him when we need healing and wisdom and look to Him first, the Great Physician and Healer and Restorer of every part of our lives.

I love that God has given each of us common sense and intelligence, and the ability to acquire knowledge.  I think each of us can use that to better ourselves and our lives (as long as it does not contradict the word of God).  I am now just beginning this journey towards learning how to treat illness with a different perspective, that is, faith based, not fear based, and am excited to see where God will take me!

 

In what kinds of ways do you help your body heal gently?

 

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