This may look like the simple picture of an 11yo boy who can clearly walk, but is being goofy while rolling around on the floor and pretending he has to crawl. And while that's certainly true, it represents so much more to me.
This child is an overcomer. He has had more thrown at him in his life than most people will ever know. I only tell a fraction of his story to most people, and even that goes over their heads pretty quickly. "Mold toxicity" is at least self-explanatory. But PANDAS? Nope, not a cuddly bear. Chronic Lyme is just plain misunderstood, but once you have that long-term party in your body yourself, you will understand a bit better.
And those are just some of the easier-to-explain experiences. His recovery has involved many false starts, dead-ends, misdiagnoses, unhelpful assumptions by well-meaning folks, and literally flying coast-to-coast to get treatments and answers. It has involved doctors who have been overly-cautious in their diagnoses, underly-cautious in the same, and many layers of recovery to peel back. We're still walking that road, but we're a good bit of the way there.
So why this particular picture? Because this is something he hasn't been able to do since he was about 6 or 7 years old. The intense mold and dust he was exposed to in TX seems to have triggered a severe dust allergy that meant that for years, playing with stuffed animals left him itchy, and sitting or playing on the floor left him scratching and running to the shower for relief. Upholstery at other people's houses always left him wild with itchy feelings, until we could go home and he could shower. We've carried his bedding with us for overnights. But as an active child, he would ALWAYS forget, and do these sorts of activities anyway, but then come running upstairs to me telling me he was itchy (the signs of his irritated eyes were visible too!). A few questions about what he was doing would make it obvious that Mommy's silly rules about no pillow fights once again had been proven to be for a reason.
But that all stopped this summer. Because of trying a new treatment that I'd not been willing to try for years. I love my excellent doctors, and have also dabbled a good deal in various forms of "natural" treatments over the years for various ailments. I've used essential oils, herbs in many forms, targeted supplements, detox baths, elimination diets. All have helped with some things, mostly acute illnesses.
But there's one form of "natural" treatment that I avoided because it just sounded a bit weird. Not dangerous. Not illegal. Not immoral. Not expensive. Not hard. Just weird, and I couldn't wrap my brain around the "why" of it. I like a "why" answer.
But when a trusted medical professional (our amazing Physician's Assistant in NC) finally turned me onto homeopathy, after gaining my trust in other areas for her expertise, I was finally willing. Not convinced, but willing. You do weird things when you're desperate.
Folks, I still can't explain the "why" of homeopathy. I know how the preparations are made, and I know that no reputable homeopath is actually claiming anything contrary to Avogadro's number (which is the chief argument against homeopathy, and shows a misunderstanding of the claims of homeopathy). But how it works? Nope.
But I know that the Lyme and Epstein-Barr symptoms I suffered from for years receded 98% by taking these strange substances. And 2 years later, results have mostly maintained. (And please don't tell me I imagined I was sick. That's just ridiculous, uncharitable, and I had multiple lab tests confirm my illnesses, including one that the lab tech declared "the most highly-positive Lyme test" she'd ever read.)
And I also know that I didn't tell my son either WHAT he was taking, or for what SYMPTOMS he was taking them, and yet, his recurring mouth sores stopped in their tracks, and we have not had one incidence of him needing a shower for relief for dust, since this summer when he was given his homeopathic remedy. He now plays on the floor with siblings, and it's just weird. And wonderful.
And quite frankly, while I love statistics, used to teach it, think everyone should take it as a high school course, etc. . I don't need a double-blind study with 10,000 participants over a 10-year time frame to know that for my son, I want this remedy available for his use, when he needs a "tune-up." Health is way too individual to only ever seek treatments on what has been "statistically proven" to be effective. Seek moral options, legal options, safe options, by all means. But years of mystery diagnoses and symptoms lead people to try weird things. And today, I'm thankful for weird things.
And I'll close with this: we need these options left for people to try, when conventional treatment fails. But the FDA is currently trying to reclassify homeopathy and make it much harder, if not illegal, to obtain. For a Christmas present for me and Hans, will you take 1 minute to sign a pre-scripted request for the FDA to extend the deadline for this guideline 180 days, so the homeopathy community has adequate time to appeal this decision? You don't have to "believe" in homeopathy. You just have to believe in a mother and her son, and in the insanity of outlawing safe substances with a time-honored tradition.
All I want for Christmas is the FDA out of my hair.