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An Asthma Story – From ER Frequent Flier to Letterman in Track – Naturally
Asthma, which is a chronic disease that affects your airways (the tubes that bring air in and out of your lungs), can be a very scary disease for both asthma sufferers and the people who love it. More than 14 million people in the United States have this lung disease. Almost 5 million of them are children.
Being the parent of a child with asthma, I have learned a lot about this disease. And, being a natural health care practitioner, I have found several methods that have worked very well with my daughter.
Kaitlyn, now almost 18 years old, was on the “Frequent Flyer Program” at our local hospital from the ages of 8-14. The frequent flyer program meant I could carry her at any time of the day or night and go right back to the doctor and nurses for urgent care – no registration, no forms, no waiting. This is due to the fact that when Kait was in the so-called “acute asthma phase” with her asthma which is the cough variant, we would usually be in the ER 2-4 times a week, sometimes by ambulance.
It was terrifying, to say the least. After one emergency room visit when she was 14 during which I was actually kicked out of the room (this had never happened before) due to the fact that her oxygen saturation was below 75, I confronted her doctor and threw my mom’s tantrum. ‘ “How can we stop this? This is ridiculous! There has to be SOMETHING we can do to realize this is coming and stop it! Something to stop it!!”
According to the doctor, there was a new batch of drugs that were ‘fresh on the market’ at the time – Singulair and Advair. This, combined with a peak-flow meter (which measures airway patency by how much force the lungs use to expel air) led to our first bout with Kaito’s disease. Emergency room visits decreased, but did not stop. Still, downsizing was a good thing.
The utter exasperation and helplessness I felt whenever I watched my daughter struggle to breathe was more than enough reason to send me searching for natural ways to help her. And, I found them. Please don’t misunderstand me. I have never ‘thrown the baby out with the bath water’ and given up on allopathic medicine. I never told her doctor she was ‘going to hell’. And I always took her to a medical professional whenever warranted. I have been using these natural therapies *in addition* to what the doctor ordered.
Here’s what we did (and remember, this started at age 14, along with Advair and Singulair):
Whenever her peak flow meter dropped below 350 (this was her ‘line’ based on weeks of peak flow records that indicated an approaching asthma phase or attack), or at the first sign of a runny or stuffy nose:
1) We started twice daily foot reflexology treatments on the reflex points corresponding to the lungs and respiratory system as well as the lymphatic system (for immunity as her asthma episodes were many times triggered by something as simple as a common cold). Hand and foot reflexology charts can be found at http://www.remedies4.com/
2) We used a mixture of Ravensara, Eucalyptus, Pine, Myrtle, Cypress and Peppermint oils during the reflexology treatment – putting the mixture directly on the pressure points I was massaging and letting her inhale the aroma of the mixture (3 deep breaths, held as long as possible) with arms crossed over her nose after each treatment.
3) She drank herbal tea 3 times a day containing the herbs Eucalyptus, Licorice and Peppermint. We used this blend until I found the Traditional Medicinal “BreatheEasy” blend – which is very strong herbal and worked even better than my own blend. I cannot recommend this highly enough!
4) We invested in a product called BioVent (you can find more information about this product on my blog) and used it as directed. This isn’t the first product I’ve bought and tried from them – I also used their ADHD medication for my son (which worked great!). They are a solid company with unconditional guarantees, and all their drugs are FDA registered. So, needless to say, I highly recommend them.
5) When she was asymptomatic, and her peak flow numbers were in the acceptable range, we maintained the reflexology/aromatherapy treatment combination on a 3x weekly schedule and continued with the herbal/homeopathic BioVent combination. It actually got to the point where we could tell by the sensitivity of the reflex points on the lungs when it started to drop towards an asthmatic attack or phase.
“Mom! I’ve earned my letter, can I have a Letterman jacket? Please?”
As I said before, Kait is now almost 18 years old. This young lady, who was told as a 10-year-old that she would ‘never play sports or play like other kids’ because of her asthma, has now written in Track for the past three years and has been attack- and symptom-free for almost 3 years.
In her sophomore year, during her physical, her doctor asked the usual questions, but then decided that before signing off on the fact that she was healthy enough for track, he wanted to do some lung tests. So, we went to the hospital for a full lung exam.
Two days later he called to tell me that her physical form was signed and ready for pickup. When I asked what the tests showed, he said, “I’d like to know what you did. She tested that she has stronger lungs than 80% of HEALTHY children her age and that she has lung capacity in the top 10%. still an asthmatic, but her strength and lung capacity are almost perfect. She’s a healthy girl.”
I just smiled and said a quick prayer of thanks.
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