Archive for Health

It’s been busy

doctorI haven’t written much here this year. We have had a very busy year. One of our children has had some mental health issues this year and getting medications adjusted has been a challenge. In December, I was hospitalized between Christmas and New Year’s Day with a MRSA cellulitis. It was weeks before I felt half way normal again. In February I threw a bridal shower for my older daughter. In April, my older daughter married her long time steady boyfriend, and the day after the wedding my mother was hospitalized and in an induced coma on a ventilator for 10 days. In between all this, we have helped care for my next door neighbor who has been recovering from a medical emergency for the last 2 years. It appears that there may be an end in sight for her health issues.  I am grateful for faith, because without it I might despair in all of the tumult.

Dear Lord,

Thank You for all the learning experiences this year. Please help me to continue to grow beyond my comfort zone and to be the woman You would have me be.

Amen.

A reflection on events of 2011

It is December 25, 2011, the Solemnity of the Birth of our Lord. We are truly blessed to have a warm home, clothes and food and the love of family. Many have so much less.
I feel blessed to have been able to help out a neighbor during a time of need this past year. She was very ill and depressed. There were days when helping her felt like a burden, but the right thing to do. I pray I did what the Lord willed. I am very glad that she is much better and that she no longer needs me on a daily basis. She has even moved on to helping out someone else in need.
She has thanked me many times for doing what I could for her. I told her that we are supposed to care for one another. She says that most people don’t or won’t do so.
I have felt all year that this was really too easy a corporal work of mercy. I didn’t have to go far, and it was only a small amount of my time.

Dear Lord,
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you by helping others. Please continue to heal those who are hurting and ill. Use me in this capacity if it be Your will.
Amen.

Are we too clean?

I was reading a tongue in cheek article about the 5 best toys ever and came across this article about dirt and the effects of being too clean. It would appear that all the germ phobia that goes on in our society has weakened our immune systems. Somehow, I am not surprised. There was a reason that the knackerman’s children were always the healthiest.

A Good Samaritan story

When I was a teenager, I volunteered at the local hospital. Each summer there was a training day to refresh every volunteer in protocols and duties. Both my parents worked, so I rode my bicycle to the hospital. At least I started out riding my bicycle to the training.
On my way I stopped to visit with my cousin whose home was en route. I left there and continued on my way about a half an hour later. I had to travel down a rather busy road that was a moderately steep hill. I was about half way down the hill when a gravel truck went by. I recall thinking to myself, “Please, God, I’m too young to die,” just as it passed me.
I put my hands in front of me and everything went black. It was as though a fog started at the edges of my eyes and came rapidly in to cover my vision. I woke up some time later further down the road than I thought I should be, face down on the road. I rolled over and immediately a man I did not know came over and rolled me back and told me to stay still. He had stopped when he saw me in the road and was directing traffic around me so that I would not sustain any further injury. My family learned later that one of our “neighbors” had driven right by without stopping.
Another car stopped and it was my friend Cindy and her mother. Cindy also volunteered at the hospital and they were on their way to the training. They put a blanket over me and then continued on their way. They would be sure the director of volunteers knew that I would not be at the training and why. A few minutes later, my aunt was at the scene. Her sister had arrived at her home and told her about a bike accident down the street. Knowing I had been at her house visiting, she hopped into the car to see if it was me.
A police officer arrived and began asking me questions, “Who was the first president? What day is it?”
I know now that these are level of consciousness questions that all head injury victims are asked. At the time I was thinking, “What dumb questions, doesn’t everyone know that?”
An ambulance arrived and the EMT’s used a neck collar and backboard to put me in the ambulance. There was a flurry of activity at the emergency room. I had x-rays and a facial suture specialist to fix me up. My face was cut and scraped, I had two black eyes and my mouth felt like it was full of sand. It was actually sand and tooth chips in my mouth.
I had apparently landed on my chin when I fell. I had knocked all my bottom teeth out of the jawbone. They eventually settled back in, though they were no longer straight. I spent five days in the hospital. I had a moderate concussion and I was in mild shock when I was admitted. My jaw was broken in two places and had to be surgically repaired. My mouth was wired shut for six weeks.
When I reflect on this incident in my life, I think of the Good Samaritan. He did not know the man who had been beaten, yet he stopped and cared for him. The man who stopped was a stranger to me. I had never seen him prior to the accident and I was not to ever see him again. While life was a little less busy in those days, people still had places to be and things to do. As in the parable that Jesus told, the man who stopped took the time to be my neighbor in my time of need as the Samaritan had taken the time.

It was over 30 years ago that this accident happened in my life. It was a turning point for me in many ways. I was a teenager who did not believe in God although I attended Mass with my family every week. During that summer of healing I saw a poster at church for a “Teen Encounter Weekend.” I was not old enough at the time, but I took the information and attended a weekend as soon I was old enough. Based on Cursillo, Teen Encounter was an encounter with Christ and an invitation to make Him a friend instead of an abstract being. If not for the bicycle accident and my Samaritan, I may never have turned on to the path toward Our Lord, but continued down a secular path that had been before me.

Healing Autism Naturally by Becky Cash, A Review by Christine Hebert

Healing Autism Naturally by Becky Cash, A Review by Christine Hebert

Let me preface by saying that I do not have any children on the Autism spectrum, but that I have several friends who have children on the spectrum.

This book is not a one size fits all do-it-yourself guide.  It is, rather, a gentle leading through a personal journey and the roads that Becky Cash and her family have taken to get there.  Becky frequently points out that what works for one child or one family may not be the answer for another child or family.  Becky starts the story of their journey in helping to heal their children with a background of her upbringing and how she and her husband Chris met as well as a bit of Chris’ background.  She tells that she learned that everything has a quality standard from her father, and compassion from her mother.  Knowing the quality standards of a product is important when looking at what we eat and what we feed our children.

Becky tells us about her first two children and the health issues that began when they were very young.  She writes passionately about questioning conventional wisdom when it does not help the situation.  She details issues related to immunizations that her children received and the reactions that occurred.  She explains celiac disease and the problems her children have had because of the stress celiac put on their systems.  A series of respiratory problems plagued her second child.

Nutritional supplementation seemed to make a difference after their third child became ill.  When probiotics helped to clear some issues and both her father and pediatrician said, “Oh, I could have told you that,” but had not told her, Becky decided that she realized it was time for her to take control of her family’s health.  Because of all of the different health issues her children have endured, Becky has taken the time and energy to “dig deeply into the field of autism and autoimmune diseases.”

There is a chapter that is exclusively an overview of autism and all its forms.  Becky gently tells parents to question and get testing done if there is any question that something may be wrong.  There is discussion of traditional western medicine and non-traditional approaches to autism, as well.  Becky takes on the topics of nutrition, food allergies, supplementation, and diet and how to handle the system.  She notes that if your child receives early intervention, you want to be sure that when they “graduate” from that program that you have a public school program in place.  If your plan is in place, you do not need to reinvent the wheel.

I found the book to be well researched and quite easy to read despite the weight of the topic.  There is one chapter on supplementation that read like an advertisement for a particular brand to me.  I found this a bit off-putting.  The information regarding which supplements to use was sound, however I was more than a little irritated that she continually mentioned only one brand.

I mentioned the book to a friend who has children on the autism spectrum as well as issues with gluten and epilepsy in her home.  She laughed and told me she was reading the same book!

I found that the book was well laid out, and that particular topics were presented in such a way as to make the information easy to understand and easy to find again if I wanted to go back to it.  I will definitely be recommending the book to several friends.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for purpose of review.  It is available for purchase through Amazon.