When Your Child Is Unwell: Attitudes Toward Illness

As some of you may have read on FamilyNatural’s Facebook Page, my 6 year old son was recently hospitalized with pneumonia.  And, thankfully, he is doing much better.  There are just so many aspects of the situation that I’d like to share; I’ll just start with first things first.

A little background: In case you don’t know me personally and can’t tell from reading this blog, I don’t have any warm fuzzy feelings toward the practices of “modern” medicine.  I believe that our bodies are made to be healthy, and created to be able to heal themselves as long as they have no interference. In other words, if we get rid of the garbage in our bodies and treat them right, they know what to do and usually need no help. Furthermore, I believe that most medical intervention (in the form of drugs) are not only unnecessary, but extremely harmful to the body, and actually create many and more severe problems than the symptom they were taken to mask.

So, what happens when someone in our family is unwell? (Notice I didn’t say “gets sick”….I do not believe that sickness is something that one “catches” or “gets”, but rather that the body develops) First, I’ll tell you what doesn’t happen. What doesn’t happen is any worry or fear. My (and my husband’s) attitude is: your body knows what it needs to do and it is doing it for a reason, even if I don’t know what that need is or understand the reason. My body was created with an inner wisdom, an innate intelligence far greater than my own. I respect it immensely.

The body needs to use its energy to do whatever healing or repairing needed. I don’t want to take that needed energy away from that work and force the body to use it for other unnecessary things.  Did you know that one third of the body’s energy is used just for digestion? ONE THIRD!!! The best way to accelerate healing is through fasting. By fasting, I mean eating no food, but drinking plenty of water and resting. So, if possible, we fast.

Not into fasting? Or can’t imagine having a child do such a thing? That’s OK. You can still help the body to use its energy more efficiently by eating only RAW foods while healing. Fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds. Water. Nothing else (food wise–I do give/have supplements such as echincea, vitamin C, etc.) until symptoms are gone. Raw foods include the enzymes necessary for digestion and therefore require much less work from your body. That’s a good thing when you want to conserve energy so that it can be used for more important things. I wrote a post on including more raw foods in our diets for healing; you can read it here.

What about fever reducers? Cough suppressants? Pain killers? Decongestants? Antibiotics?  It’s best to avoid them completely.  Not only are the chemicals toxic to the body even under normal conditions, but during healing time they would be even more disruptive, giving the body extra work to deal with.  Those symptoms serve a purpose, and the drugs usually hinder, not help the body to heal

I am thankful for my education in chiropractic; through my four years of school I gained a great deal of knowledge that has been extremely helpful toward raising my family through more natural means. Fortunately, we all have access now (mostly through the internet) to information that gives us the power to take responsibility for the health of our families.  Your medical doctor most certainly has knowledge that you don’t. But that doesn’t mean that he/she is wiser.

A resource I highly recommend for every family is the book How To Raise A Healthy Child In Spite Of Your Doctor, by Robert Mendelsohn, MD.  It’s written by a pediatrician, so he knows common medical practice and also has had plenty of experience. It comes in handy when you’d like a reminder of what to look for to decide if your child actually needs a doctor visit, or if you can handle it at home. Even with my health education, I have referred to this book many times over the years, and it truly does empower the parent to make educated decisions for the child’s health.  My second child experienced febrile convulsions twice, and thanks to the book, I was able to keep myself together (though they were indeed scary) with the knowledge that my child was not in any actual danger.

I’ll share more about my son’s hospital experience in some of the posts to come. I’m thankful that he got helped. And I’m also thankful that I have the knowledge and ability to help his body recover from the help that he got (yes, his body needs to be cleaned up from all the chemicals that were put into him), now that he’s home.

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