Last Friday Seedling started acting extra fussy, had a very mild fever (98.9 taken in the armpit) and started having a cough with clear discharge from the nose. It seemed to run it’s course over the weekend, and everything seemed on the mend come Monday. However it hung around through Tuesday and flared up on Wednesday. Now the snot was green, there were eye goobers, and she was rubbing at her ears. Oh, and did I mention that Tuesday my car decided to stop working? So Thursday my mom called in sick to her job so she could take us into Seedling’s pediatrician.

Diagnosis: Double ear infection. Eye infection.
And did I mention Seedling shared her cold with me? Sore throat, stuffed nose, pressure in ears… I don’t have insurance, but at least Seedling got seen.

We technically see an RN, not a Phd, so that means we generally get more time, and better chance of discussing various options. While there are some important differences between human medicine and veterinary medicine, the principals are still the same, so I tend to do different research and ask different questions about what our options are than the average parent. I love that our pediatrician is open to merging eastern and western medicines.

I know the benefits of medicine. But I also know the side effects. And the side effects are real. Real things to know and be concerned about. I also know there are limits to medicine, science and doctors. That the truth is we barely scratch the surface in our understanding of how the human body works.

There is a lot of sensational media out there. And it’s important to keep in mind who’s benefiting from it. Who’s making money. Because no matter how noble their intentions are, they have to pay to keep the lights on, you know? Research studies are not cheap. Creating new medicines is not cheap. Getting your medical education is not cheap. The rise in physical, mental and emotional disabilities is mind boggling. Everyone wants to know why. In my humble opinion, it’s not just one simple answer. I think it is a mix of “nature” and “nurture”. I think we have the knowledge to diagnose a lot more, I think we are exposed to a lot more chemicals and drugs, and I think we as parents need to take it all seriously. We also have to do what we are comfortable with, knowing that no matter what we choose, there is a trade off.

Take vaccines for example. A HOTLY contested issue. Some people give every vaccine, some give none. And everyone wants to judge those who don’t do what they do as bad parents being ignorant or paranoid. For myself? We are doing a delayed vaccine schedule. The body can really only respond to so many assaults at once, this way Seedling’s body has a chance to really do that. We also spread out her exposure to aluminum this way. Anything with human DNA we are delaying anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. New research coming out shows that it is possible for foreign DNA to actually change the DNA of the person. Kind of scary stuff, because we have no knowledge of what that means. And yes, we can’t forget the fact that some people feel that some vaccines may have played a role in causing their child to express autism. Before people start getting all riled up let me say this: I DON’T BELIEVE VACCINES CAUSE AUTISM. However, if there was an underlying something making a person prone to autism, I do think that some vaccines could trigger something in the body making it express something that was already there. Of course, some people will have autism regardless of vaccines.

Anyway, all that to say, I wanted to know about my options for treating the ear infection. As I was a child with seriously chronic ear infections, I know it’s likely in Seedling’s future. Our pediatrician also told me that when a kid gets their first ear infection before the age of 4 months, they have a higher risk or chronic ear infections. I also know I don’t want to just put her on antibiotics chronically. Some studies show that at best, antibiotics don’t do much for ear infections, and at worse have been linked with the expression of autism. But googling holistic or alternative therapies comes up with an overwhelming load, much of which sounds like bullsh!t. However, in talking with some other moms who utilize holistic therapies, I was given some good information. I know that garlic and onions and ginger are all common therapies when people are sick. Of course, Seedling is too little to eat them. (But I’m loading up on it!) But I did learn about some holistic ear drops that would help alleviate her discomfort. Some drops to help heal the infection. And a book with sound advice on holistic medicine. So what are we doing? Since she has been sick a week, we are giving the antibiotics, but we are also giving the ear drops. A two pronged approach, as it were. I know enough about alternative therapies to know that it’s not all voodoo, but you have to be discerning and take the time to research the product. I think the reason why most medical professionals are so skeptical is simply because they have no knowledge. Their schooling is grueling and intense and the schools simply don’t have the time to cover it.

So that’s where we are at. Looking at a weekend of comfy clothes, tea and homemade soup.

I just want to be clear. I have half a dozen friends with children who are autistic. Those kids are beautiful, wonderful people and I don’t think their parents or anyone else is “to blame” or caused it. I think there is a lot of things medicine and science don’t understand. We do the best we can with the information at hand. There is a lot of research going going on in the field of autism. Maybe we will look back one day to find the answers are completely unexpected. Regardless, the bottom line is that people who are autistic (or have Down’s syndrome or ADHD or any other medical diagnosis) are important and valuable, deserving of love and understanding.


One response to this post.

  1. I’m heartened to read this post; I’m currently looking into the vaccine thing and am COMPLETELY on the fence about it – same reasons as you and considered a delayed schedule. I’m less concerned about vaccines ‘causing autism’ and more just about the amount of ‘stuff’ being pumped into such a new body – the number of innoculations seems to increase every 10 years or so. Such a hot topic . . . also interested in promoting natural immunity (why does the word ‘natural’ have such a hippy connotation?)

    Also feel similarly about antibiotics . . . I don’t doubt they have ‘their place’ but I do think they can be overused. I haven’t had any for maybe nearly 20 years now (lucky me, I know) and am happy to avoid


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