The Lord always is good. For whatever reason this winter has been a season full of doctor visits for our family. (Good-bye, tax return.sigh.but thank you, Lord, that we had it!)
It started out with our daughter’s eczema flaring up. I tried our usual remedies and lots of new ones but was still not able to get it under control. It was spreading, itchy, red and really starting to upset her.
We have had a visit or two to the dermatologist earlier in our parenting career. Pretty much went like this, here’s some steroid medicine, no, we don’t really look into what causes eczema, give us $500.00, good-bye! Oh, and you could add some bleach to the bath water. Really?…..Ummm, no, thanks!
So around Thanksgiving time I decided to take her to see a Naturopathic Physician. She does muscle testing. Not sure how that works but we’ll take her word for it! She finds that my daughter is sensitive to all sorts of foods! Dairy, eggs, artificial dyes and flavorings, add this to the fact that she already has Celiac Disease, which requires a strict gluten free diet. She is already without an ounce of fat and she started losing weight. She was very careful to follow the doctors instructions but even after a couple months things weren’t clearing up! In fact, they seemed to be getting worse.
We decided to try a different Naturopathic Physician. He is really kind and seems to have a lot of knowledge. He listened to us and didn’t even look at her skin much. He loaded us up with vitamins and herbal/homeopathic supplements. We saw him a few times and still things were not getting better.
Finally one night my daughter came into our bedroom after the other kids are sleeping. The rash had spread onto her face and neck and everyone commented on it. She started sobbing and telling Blue- eyes and me how she is struggling so much. She tells us that she prays everyday that God will heal her and it just doesn’t seem like He hears her. She says that we keep telling her it will be ok and we’ll get it figured out but when? Our hearts are breaking for her. After she goes back to bed Blue- eyes goes into her room and prays for her until she falls asleep.
Next morning, you know it, I am on a mission. In desperation I decide to bring her to the dermatologist. First I call and they say they don’t have an opening for almost a month. Oh no! But wait there actually is a cancellation for later that day. Can we make it? Yes! Luckily Blue-eyes is working in the same area as the dermatologist so he meets us there and takes the other kids to lunch while I bring her to her appointment.
By this time I am freaked out that my daughter actually has some horrible rare skin disorder. The doctor comes in and checks out her skin and makes his diagnosis in about five minutes. Just plain old eczema with a raging staph infection in it. What?! I guess all of our bodies have staph present and sometimes it can infect open cuts. Once staph is present, the skin cannot heal. Because she was scratching, mostly in her sleep, the skin would get new small openings and the infection would spread.
Now, I cannot even tell you the last time anyone at this house was on an antibiotic but we went and filled our prescription and literally, within 48 hours, it was like a miracle taking place! The dermatologist was completely right. Her rash is gone except a little bit of normal looking eczema on her elbows and wrists. She says that the verse that says that “God will not give us more than we are able to bear” has been made alive to her because she seriously could bear it no more and right then God allowed her to be healed. Thank you, Father, for being faithful to my girl!
Then I felt bad for not taking her there sooner but I was doing what I thought was best. Too bad that neither of those naturopathic doctors picked up on that! The word says that God refines us through trials, my daughter and I have talked a lot about what we can learn from this season, compassion, long suffering, and trusting God even when it FEELS like He’s not listening. But I keep telling her that her skin is going to be radiantly healthy and beautiful after all those supplements she’s been taking!
In between times my oldest son had two mishaps that perhaps could have used stitches. Had it not been for doctor Dad, he would have been hauled in both times. One of the many things I love about Blue-eyes, his ability to remain as calm as a cucumber in any situation. Then, one more mishap that was even too much for Doctor Dad, so off he went to the E.R. where he got 11 stitches put in his cheek. Thankfully, in every one of those situations, Blue-eyes happened to be here. When my kid is bleeding profusely I get a little (or a lot) freaked out.
Then most recently, my smaller son had a huge swollen lymph node under his chin. Because I know that swollen lymph nodes can be sign of the dreaded C word. We decide to bring him to the pediatrician. He was pretty excited because this is a rarity at our house. We do not bring our kids to well child visits because we don’t vaccinate and if they are eating, happy and growing I see no reason at all to go.
Because my son had not been seen at this clinic before there was a lot of paper work. Why does it matter if we are Hispanic or white? The receptionist said it is because of grants they get from the government. Hmmm….I still don’t see why it matters. Then I get to the other paper work and I started feeling a little annoyed. What does whether or not we have guns in our home have to do with my doctor visit? And who would check the box that says “yes” and then check the “no” box for the next question. Are they locked up? And what would happen if you did?
After reading through a few more I decided that since the government was not paying for my child’s visit I was not obligated to answer any more questions (Yay! For a while I am free to pay for my own child’s doctor visit. What a novelty ) . I was already feeling grumpy when we went back to our room. Then I got grumpier, all over the exam room walls there was propaganda about vaccines and other ways to keep your child “safe”.
I was feeling defensive and grumpy before the doctor even came in. Then she came in and funny thing, she reminded me so much of one of my favorite nieces. She was young and as sweet as could be. She told me the lymph node was swollen because of a small infection on his chapped lips and it’s common for kids to get swollen lymph nodes on their necks and faces. Use Neo-sporin for a few days and it should be fine. (It worked.) She gave me couple of prescriptions for his seasonal allergies, which I definitely won’t be using.
All of my defensiveness fell away and we ended up having a nice visit. she gave me some tips about NPs. She said to beware if they are selling supplements because that can be where they make a lot of their money. She said she has seen some kids on a lot of unnecessary supplements. Good advice, I thought.
I had to laugh at myself a little on the way home. And wonder at the way it all worked out. If someone is well they don’t need a doctor. Pregnancy is not a sickness and home is the safest, healthiest place for the healthy delivery of a healthy baby. But a sick baby needs a doctor. I think well child visits are a scam. Maybe to make us quite sure that we can’t afford to pay for our families own health care. Who knows!?
What is a mama to do? Well, I can tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to feed my family lots of healthy food, let them get lots of fresh air and sunshine. I’m going to call doctor dad if anyone is bleeding more than a little. And I’m going to trust the Lord to lead us each step of the way as we care for His heritage. “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” Psalm 127:3
Oh, and our daughter, the other night before prayers Blue-eyes was tickling her feet and she was laughing and laughing. Just laughing her thirteen year old head off. I was listening in from the other room and my heart was so full of praise! Later he asked me,”How long has it been since she laughed like that?” It’s been a few months! Oh, praise the Lord that “He restores the years (or months) that the locusts have eaten”!
“His mercies are new every morning and His compassions they fail not!”