Saturday, July 17, 2010

Out of Necessity

Those who have been reading my blog for a while know of Doozer's breathing difficulties. Those who have not been reading my blog are missing out on some amazing literature. Anyway, today we're going to talk about Doozer's health journey up to this point, which is culminating in a difficult decision for me.

I was visiting my family in Washington for three weeks for my brother's graduation plus some. I was hoping that Doozer's breathing would do better while I was there since we would be away from the mold present in our apartment.

Mold? MOLD? Yes, we have a moldy apartment. My manager and landlord try to pish-posh it off on Oregon weather, but that's only true if you consider that weather used to have direct access into my home through the rotten roof the winter BuggaBoo was born. That's when the mold started, when our apartment was drenched with Northwester rain. And it hasn't ended because getting anything done with the manager and landlord is like pulling teeth.

Right, Doozer's health. Well, she didn't get better, she actually got worse. We went to the ER one night where she received a chest x-ray (clear), an Albuterol treatment, and an oral dose of dexamethasone. She was wheezing again by the time we made it back to the car.

While we were in Washington I had Doozer scanned with a Pharmanex BioPhotonic Scanner to test her antioxidant levels. Here is an article that talks about the importance of the level of antioxidants in the skin, about halfway down. My level is 40,000. Not bad but room for improvement. Doozer's level is 28,000, not good at all for a breastfed baby. Everyone I've talked to about her levels says that Doozer is burning through her antioxidants dealing with all her health issues.

The Monday we were to head back to Oregon we did two things. First, we visited my childhood chiropractor to see if he could help with Doozer's wheezing and yeast diaper rash. Then we talked to one of my sister's midwives that is knowledgeable in herbs to see what she would do.

My chiropractor sensed energy blocks in Doozer's crown, sinus and jaw. He then adjusted those areas. Then he tested me for some things, since my health affects hers. He detected a B12 deficiency. Not good.

The midwife advised the use of mullein tea, colloidal silver, and tea tree oil. The mullein and silver were to be both orally and used in the nebulizer, the tea tree oil was to be used in the nebulizer only.

We drove home Monday night. Tuesday morning The Hubby and I took Doozer to her four-month well back check up. Our pediatrician did not like the sound of her wheezing, but she's growing well and has a happy disposition. He then diagnosed her with Reactive Airways Disease, or RAD. The pediatrician said this is because she had RSV at such a young age. He took her off the Albuterol, which made us happy since it gave Doozer the shakes and didn't do much for her wheezing. Then he prescribed Pulmicort, an inhaled steroid, which didn't make us happy.

The Hubby and I made this decision: We would try the natural method first, giving it until Wednesday night to work. If it didn't work by then we would put her on the steroids. We started nebulizing the mullein, silver, and tea tree oil several times a day. We saw a major improvement, so we decided to stick with the regime. By Thursday her breathing was amazing, beautiful, and perfect. Her little tummy was so rounded with each breath, I wanted to cup it with my hand.

Thursday afternoon BuggaBoo shoved the garden hose in Doozer's face, causing her to inhale some water. Every symptom came back with a vengance. The natural treatments were not working, and she was coughing so hard, working on getting that water up. Saturday morning, during a nebulizer treatment, she coughed up foamy, slimy mucus. I became very worried about that. I called our pediatrician's office and made an appointment with another doctor in the practice.

I took Doozer in to see the doctor, and the doctor wasn't happy with us. She listened to Doozer's lungs and decided that this wheezing episode was the same as all her others and had nothing to do with getting a face full of water. She wanted us to "stop that natural stuff" right away and put her on the Albuterol and Pulmicort. She didn't even tell me if she had heard water in Doozer's lungs until I asked at the end of the appointment.

After the appointment I did some research and found articles supporting my beliefs about dexamethason being ineffective in the treatment of infant wheezing and corticosteroids being ineffective in the treatment of childhood asthma symptoms.

Overall I was upset about the appointment and feeling very chastised for following my instincts. So I made an appointment with a pediatric naturopath. We had that appointment this last Thursday and I was very pleased with the outcome.

The naturopath was also unhappy with the allopathic pediatrician prescribing a steroid. We talked a lot about my diet, since I'm breastfeeding and whatever I do affects Doozer. The naturopath suggested upping our DHA and other omega-3 fatty acids to help combat inflammation. She told us to use probiotics to help strengthen our immune systems, including fermenting kefir at home. She told us to continue the use of mullein and colloidal silver but had us substitute lemon oil for the tea tree oil. She wants me to eat more antioxidant-rich foods like berries and leafy greens to help combat Doozer's free radical problem. She told us to help BuggaBoo's immune system so he stops bringing colds home.

And then she told me to eat eggs to improve my B12 levels, especially since I'm tandem nursing..

I felt this was going to happen, and I've been feeling the need to add eggs to my diet. But this is hard, guys. I mean, I really don't want to eat baby chickens, which is what I'll be doing because I strongly feel for eggs to have benefit for me they have to be fertile. But I don't want to do this.

The Hubby and I have always said that if things reach a point that we need to eat animals we will, but now that this time is here I am sad. I feel grief. I keep telling myself that this is needed, but a little voice is telling me that she must be wrong, that being vegan is always healthy, always. That anybody who says differently must be uneducated in the matter.

But I take my supplements nearly every day. I'm taking 16,000% of my B12 a day. I eat my nutritional yeast. I'm doing all the right vegan things. I have to come to peace with myself knowing I'm doing everything right but it's not enough. That it's okay to add eggs back in.

I will do this. I will do this for my babies.

This is a hard thing.


  1. Oh man. I know we have had our conversations about you guys being vegan and how hard it would be to go back to eating meat or animal products. That has to be some hard news to take in, and I applaud you for doing it. Let me know if you need anything!

  2. A very well written post Krista. Although i cannot understand 100% what a hard decision that must be for you, my heart pangs for you. I know you only want to do what is best for your babies, but i know you try so hard to make sure your nutrition is balanced and that you are getting everything you need, and you do a great job at that. But i do think with nursing two babies, and one of them being very sick that you probably need a bigger boost in vitamins and such that you just can't get from your current diet. I know you will do what is best for your family, and i applaud you for that. I love you so much and i admire you and everything you do to keep your family healthy, safe, happy and thriving. I love you bunches and bunches!

  3. oh miss Krista, that is a hard thing. With my little guy we had a lot of unexplained issues, until we discovered food allergies ... so many things had to change. I hope you will see some improvement with your little one soon ....

  4. I realise eating eggs is something you don't want to do, for the reasons you mentioned about being a vegan and not wanting to eat "animals". I sincerely respect your view on this. However, reassure yourself with this fact; if the mother hen is not clucky and doesn't sit on the eggs from the moment they are hatched, then they will never be baby chickens. Without the warmth of the mother hen, a fertile egg will not ever be anything other than... just an egg, and technically not an animal. I hope this makes you feel better about this.
    Wishing you all the best with an improvement in your daughter's health.

  5. Oh, sorry, I also wanted to thank you for your lovely comment on my blog, but got distracted by your thought provoking post.
    Thank you!

  6. Everyone, thanks for the sweet support. I'm more comfortable with the decision now. As a quick update Doozer is doing very well, only wheezing when she wakes in the morning and after long naps. I think mucus settles in her lungs when she lays down for so long. It clears up quickly, especially after a nebulizer treatment.

  7. That is great to hear Krista! I hope she gets better and strong quickly!

  8. Krista, I'm so glad to hear that she is doing better! You are such a strong woman, I know that Heavenly Father wouldn't have given you these "stepping stones" if you couldn't handle them.