Wednesday, September 24, 2008

More on "health"

I was thinking last night as I crawled in to bed too late that I should also mention a few things. Health is an interesting concept because we assume it is always a bad thing to get sick. We miss work/school/chores, we feel awful and then usually we pass it around too. But, our immune system is a dynamic force, going up and down depending on our state of health including sleep, nutrition, stress, etc. So, when we start running ourselves down (too much stress, not sleeping right, not getting exercise and a diet filled with empty calories and sugar) we are setting ourselves up for illness. No magic bullet (or shot in this case) will cure that. And, even if you DO the right things, you may still get sick. I know, no one WANTS to get sick. But, the way your body responds to threats is how it gets stronger. And on the flip side, a person who NEVER gets sick should be concerned too. That could mean your system is so overwhelmed that it is not responding properly to threats. And, people who get sick all the time could mean that your system is on overload and is reponding to any and all threats that come its way. What I have noticed is that when I use homeopathy, supplements, rest, etc. at the first sign of illness I can rebound within a few days rather than my usual course of sore throat, then the mucous/running nose/sneezing, then it moves into my chest and I am awake coughing for a week, etc. I end up stopping the bug at the sore throat phase with early intervention and natural medicine. Before, it ALWAYS progressed, and in the same manner each time. But, am I guaranteed not to get the full blown flu? No way. But, the more diligent I am about my diet, stress management, supplements when the bugs are more prevalent, etc. the more likely it will be milder if I do get it. I know when I am fighting something because I am EXHAUSTED. That level of "I could just lay down at 10 am for a nap" exhausted. And that is what ideally I should do, take a nap. But, listening to my body is not always what I do. But, it gives us hints about what its threat level is. That fatigue could be telling you that you are fighting a bug and it needs more rest to fight appropriately. What we need to understand as a society we are ALL exposed to things all day everyday, unless you are an agoraphobe and stay inside your home, never bringing things in. And usually our system is strong enough to fight things off which is why it never progresses.

And, mental state/attitude has a lot to do with level of health. I know it sounds corny but how you look at things DOES impact how you feel. Do you know any "Eeyore" types? The doom and gloom people, woe is me, and often times they are sick or have chronic conditions that ail them. Now one could reverse that and say maybe it is the ailment/chronic condition that makes them so gloomy. But, it would be an interesting experiment to see if changing their attitudes would change their health. So, maintaining health should be a multipronged approach with focus on many aspects of your life. Balance is key. And I know personally, that is very hard. Life is busy. But, I think many times we need to refocus on what is truly important. Recently I made a decision to get less involved in my community. That has been something I have been passionate about from day 1 of moving here. But, lately it has been a drain dealing with others' negative attitudes. Plus with the additional work with Matthew's DAN! protocol and more research to do and more things to learn, I just realized THAT is where my focus (and limited free time) has to be. Put the energy where your heart is and my heart is my family. So, that means scaling back some things so I can fit some other things in that I love, yoga, training for another triathlon, scrapbooking, crafting, etc. Now even though I will be less involved I will still be involved, just not to the level I once was because I still care about our community. But, my main focus has to be my husband, kids and their education and health and of course ME. The person who usually gets forgotten in the equation. But, as cold and flu season begins, more me time could mean less down time if I do focus some of that energy and care on myself. It is an interesting experiment, one that I plan to try and implement this year. We'll see what happens. Besides, who has time to get sick, moms don't get days off anyways! :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Chalk another one up to NATURAL medicine

Wow, sorry folks, it has been so long since I have posted. It has been busier than ever around here. Matthew's DAN! protocol is going GREAT with success being seen in evey area of his life ~ including potty training which we are immersed in right now! He's doing GREAT at school, still in the integrated class 100% and participating without an aide assigned to him. He is affectionate, telling us how much he loves us and very engaged in activities. He also celebrated his 5th birthday this month which he was SO excited about. This is the first real birthday where he was thrilled to have people over, understood the concept and was excited about cake and presents. We had a minor catastrophy with the GFCGSF dye free, hydrogenated oil free cake that required total redo of the frosting and mommy meltdown for a moment but we rebounded and it all came out great! Eric also celebrated a birthday (his last in the 30's, hahaha) so it has been busy at the Hirning house. Matthew also started Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN). It is an immune system modulator which blocks opiate receptors. He had a week of feeling awful and hyperactivity but he has leveled out now. And he's missed the ick going through our house because hopefully his immune system is more robust than ever.

Poor Emma, this weekend she was complaining of a sore throat. It was bordering on me taking her to *gasp* urgent care. I could just see how that visit would have went. But, we limped her along until yesterday (giving her tylenol for the first time in well, I can't remember the last time we gave her anything for pain) and I got her in to see her naturopath. It was viral and not strep, more than likely the Adenovirus that had decided to settle in her throat (its definitely going around). Once I found out it was viral, we added in Vitamin A (4 drops), Virastop and Olive Leaf extract and VSC (another viral immune support supplement I got from my Chriopractor) and off for a nap she went. When she woke she complained of a tummy ache. I was on the phone with the naturopath discussing the type of elderberry syrup we had for dosing instructions. The naturopath said we may have given her too many things at once = tummy ache and to just back off and see what happens as elderberry can cause nausea. But, after a small snack and then some homemade chicken noodle soup, her beautiful smile had returned!!! We still went forward with vitamin C and some more OLE and Virastop at bedtime. This morning not ONE WORD about the sore throat that was making eating and drinking difficult for the whole weekend. Could it be coincidence that right after I give her antivirals she is better? Maybe her body just finally fought it off. Maybe all the stuff we did (including the use of essential oils) gave her body the edge it needed to fight back. But, no antibiotics (which would not have worked anyways) and no pressure to get the FLU SHOT which is starting to come.....dun dun dun. I am always amazed to see the body rebound like it does. Extra fluids, sleep, supplements & good nutrition = the prescription you need for probably 90% of ills.

Speaking of ills, I JUST saw the push for the flu vaccine start on the news. They have changed the recommendation on who should get the flu vaccine and they have broadened the age gap for kids. Basically 6 mo - 18 years "should" get the flu shot. Remember folks, the flu vaccine STILL has the mercury preservative that has been removed from childhood vaccines because of its neurotoxicity. Why is it bad in childhood vaccines but not in the flu shot???? We stay away from the flu vaccine. When your body gets the onslaught of crud in the vaccine it has to work hard to clean it out (if your body's detox system is working well). That can actually lower your immunity which then leaves you susceptible to other bugs which is why some people report getting sick after the vaccine. And, there is no guarantee it will be the strain of virus you get, they take a big guess when they make up the year's batch. Your best bet is this:

~ GOOD NUTRITION - lots of whole foods, veggies, fruit, high quality meats and dairy if you so choose (speaking of, the farmer's market now carries a limited supply of RAW cheese, YIPPEE all the good stuff if you ARE going to eat cheese).
~ Good (high quality) supplements for HEALTH, not sickness - Good multivitamin if you are not sure your food is giving you all you need. Boost up your C and whatever other nutrients. I take a B for high stress and a trace minerals supplement. Other things we find helpful are Grapefruit seed extract, echinacea and probiotics for the healthy stuff to help crowd out the bad stuff.
~ Appropriate treatment when you are feeling under the weather - SLEEP, the best healing happens when you sleep. Plus there are supplements to help fight viruses regardless of what a mainstream doctor may tell you. Here are some we always keep on hand:

~Olive leaf extract
~Elderberry syrup
~High dose Vitamin C - think GRAMS not milligrams, like 7 grams up to bowel tolerance. When you start having loose stools you've hit your saturation point, back it off a little from there.
~Vitamin A works great on respiratory issues. (NOTE - Vit a is fat soluble which means you CAN get too much of a good thing. You should always consult your own Dr. about the right dose for you and your family).
~Epsom salts for foot soak. Soak JUST the feet in warm epsom salts. It increases your circulation and pulls it towards your feet. That gets your lymph drainage going and moving AWAY from your head/throat/chest which is what you want to have happen.
~Essential oils such as eucalyptus and thyme and tea tree. We put a few drops of eucalyptus in the kids' humidifiers as it is a respiratory support. Great for putting in a steamy bathroom, shower or facial steamer to open those clogged sinuses. Add a little tea tree and lavender and you can even fight off sinus infections. Tea tree is like lysol but in natural form. They are even doing studies about using tea tree oil in hospitals because it even kills the HIV virus in blood products. You can make a throat rub using thyme and tea tree in some oil. Tea tree is also very effective against yeast but that is a different discussion.

OK that is enough for now, I don't blog forever and then my blogs are HUGE.

Some things coming:

~Found a few sources for organic GRASS fed beef, organic poultry (even holiday turkeys!) locally with drop offs in the east valley
~More flu and cold remedies as the season nears
~Craft ideas for Halloween and Christmas (YIPPEE)

I hope to stay more on top of my blog. Life has been crazy as usual but all great things are the Hirning house, hope it is in your house too!!

Monday, September 1, 2008

"Didn't mean to..."

With all of the changes going on in Matthew, we hear so many new concepts from him. Recently he's been doing something a little funny and yet a little annoying at the same time. His new phrase when he whacks someone, bumps them, runs over their toes with his bike (like he JUST did to Eric) or even recently when he DID intentionally push Emma, he says automatically "Didn't mean to" as if that is the cure all. And he says it like a teenager, as if what he really means is "Didn't mean to so get over it, buh byeeee.....". We both did a double take the first time he came out with this phrase. And now I am wondering if the age of duplicity has begun to set in. Prior to this, if Emma was crying and saying Matthew pushed her and I asked him he would immediate 'fess up to it. Now I think we will be hearing a lot more of "Didn't mean to...." in the house. And, I can't help but wonder where it came from. But it is another new concept and I can appreciate it on that level. I wonder what new things we will hear today.....