I have to warn everyone who is about to read my story that it’s brutally honest. To that end, at some point in this story you might begin to question, “what kind of mother is she?” I ask you to hang in there till the end, because there’s hope, and I want to give hope to those who need it most; but for me to do that, to reach the parents who need this story most, I have to be willing to bare all. Even the ugliest parts.
Megan was born in 1994. I wasn’t supposed to even be able to have babies. Her very life was miracle from the beginning. I guess its not fair to say that, because all life is a miracle. Her life however was a true medical miracle. I was born with spina bifida. One side effect of that was recurring bladder and kidney infections. They became severe when I got pregnant. To the point of spasms in the bladder that would cause some contracting of the uterus and bleeding. From week 8 to week 12 of my pregnancy I had a continual infection, and then intermittent ones during the rest of pregnancy. In all, I was hospitalized 5 times while pregnant, and as if the daily preventative dose of antibiotics twice a day wasn’t enough, when an infection would flair up, off to the hospital I’d go for IV antibiotics on top of that; then discharged home with stronger antibiotics in addition to my daily ones.
Megan was born a healthy 8 pound 7 1/2 ounce baby, 2 weeks late. We’ve always joked she moves to the beat of her own drum. It was as true then as it is now. Megan got her first vaginal yeast infection at 3 months old. I honestly didn’t know baby girls could get vaginal yeast infections. Off to the pediatrician we went. He told me to use Monistat as her diaper cream. It just became normal. About a week before her 1st birthday Megan got a bout of diarrhea worse than anything I had ever seen. It lasted literally 6 weeks. I cannot even begin to put into words how tired I was, how worried I was. Not even the tradition BRAT (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast) diet worked. Nothing I put in her stayed in. Nothing formed a stool. Though she was a big baby (I’m only 4’10’) and she ate well, by her first b-day she weighed only 17 pounds so she didn’t really have a lot of spare weight to lose. I did request a parasite test (stool test) from my pediatrician because I just couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her and I just wondered somewhere in the back of my mind. He declined and brushed it off, “she couldn’t have parasites.” At the end of the 6 weeks, the diarrhea just up and disappeared. We went on with life.
Somewhere between year one and year two – a mysterious rash would show up. Pediatrician said “eczema” and told me to use cortisone cream. I did. It would go away but reappear off and on. Behind the knees, on the back of the calf, on the upper outsides of the arms, on the belly, inside of the elbows. Again, this just became the norm in our house.
Megan was 17 months old the first time she literally slapped me across the face. Yes, literally. My mom was with me and we were in the checkout line at Sam’s Club, and I handed Megan her coat and asked her to let me help her put it on. Being that I’m 4’10” and she was in the cart, we were almost face to face (stop giggling….although it is funny now) and she replied a resounding, “ NO!” and slapped me across the face. My mom said, “did she just actually do that?” Yes, she had. It was the event that hurled us into a nightmare of behaviors for the next 5 years.
God Bless his heart, Dr. James Dobson just had nothing on MY strong willed child. We sought counsel from pastors, from friends with children who had kids Megan’s age, from older parents who had been through the terrible 2’s, and 3’s and 4’s…. from our Bible study group, and even consulted our pediatrician. Our pediatrician who observed Megan’s temper tantrums said, “she’s the worst I’ve ever seen.” He was about 5 years from retirement – he’d seen a lot. Our pastor just shook his head and didn’t know how to help. He said she was like observing his teenage daughters. I’m not just talking small temper tantrums. I’m talking all day long from sun up to sun down over any little thing that didn’t just go right for HER. It could be she just didn’t feel like wearing her winter coat in -30 degree below zero weather, or maybe she just didn’t want to wear pink socks that day, or she suddenly woke up and didn’t like juice even though it was her favorite thing in the world. The issues varied day to day and there was no pattern, no rhyme or reason. It got to the point I couldn’t go out in public with her because if we, for example, were on a play date and had to leave, if she didn’t want to leave, I couldn’t physically carry her out screaming and kicking (partially because of my size, my spinal defect, and I was pregnant with our second child by the time she was 18 months.) Keep in mind this behavior went on for 5 years. Screaming, crying, hitting, kicking, biting. She put me into pre-term labor twice during my second pregnancy over stress with her behaviors. I remember feeling like just the sound of her voice saying “mommy” in the morning was enough to wear me out emotionally for the entire day. I loved her. She was my baby, my flesh and blood. I carried her, gave her life. I FOUGHT for her life. But I didn’t like her. I just couldn’t wait till the next time she slept. At least there’d be quiet and peace. “Time outs” were a JOKE. Friends just didn’t get HOW BAD it was. Suddenly I was one of “those” parents who had one of “those” kids. You know the ones where you think to yourself, “wow, that kid just needs some discipline.” I learned how judgmentally wrong I was of so many people. And NO ONE could help. We even tried scripture.
Our pastor thought maybe the word of God could penetrate her spirit into obedience where we could not. At age 18 months or so when she could just repeat words I sat her down one day to work on Ephesians 6:1. This is how it went after I explained to her she was to repeat after me.
I know you’re laughing but I kid you not. I’m laughing today as I write this, but I just cried and cried back then. I did not know what else to do. At age 25 months she had an episode of purplish-blackish bags under her eyes (which didn’t ever go away after that till the end) and the whites of her eyes were totally bloodshot. We ran to the after-hours clinic to see the pediatrician who stated he had no clue what was wrong, it was her only symptom – he’d never seen anything like it- gave us yet another round of antibiotics and sent us home.
By age four, my pediatrician wanted to diagnose her as bi-polar, and I distinctively remember telling my husband one day when he came home after work that maybe we should consider giving her up for adoption because I wasn’t sure I was the mother she needed. I couldn’t possibly see how I was going to be able to handle her by age 8 or 9 when she stood as tall as me, or by age 16 when she’d be easily able to over-power me. As heartbreaking as it was, there was a piece of me that was serious, and out of options.
The diagnosis of “bi-polar” was enough to get me thinking. I didn’t know ANYTHING about anything alternative or natural at that point. But I had enough wherewithal to believe there HAD to be an answer and that it wasn’t that my daughter was mentally-ill. So I began searching. My first step was reading a book about milk allergies. So we stopped milk cold-turkey from the diet. It made a difference. For a short while.
Then we found a bio-energetic practitioner. She was able to tell us that Megan had yeast overgrowth. That started us down a path of yeast-free diet and purging the yeast from her body. We did that for 2+ years. It helped, a little more. But nothing truly got to the root of things, and after 2.5 years of very restricted diets, stress on the family, accusations from extended family about not feeding our children right (because they WERE eating healthy and not things like ice cream and cereal, and mac n cheese – the standard American diet) – it did get old that we were spending hundreds of dollars a month and truly not getting the issue RESOLVED. One day my dad called and said he had someone we had to meet. Another bio-energetic practitioner. It was like an 8 hour+ drive, but my dad said he had told him all about Megan and he knew what was wrong with her and could help us get to the root. She was 6 and a half now. I would’ve done ANYTHING. We met with this gentleman who is now one of my mentors in the field, and he spent about 2 minutes with her testing her and discovered she was FULL of parasites. Worms, eggs, and every stage of development in between. FULL! We immediately started her on a parasite cleanse. Normal cleanses vary from a few days to weeks to about 90 days or so depending on what product you use and the protocol of the person you work with – Megan was so full it took an entire 18 months of treatment to rid her body of them. We would visibly see them coming out the skin (remember the rash at 1-2 years old) and see them in her stool 3-4 times a day for 18 months. The fabulous news was that we started to see behavior changes within the first 30 days, and at age 7 there was a day we told her to go to her room for time out, and she obeyed. No fight or argument. By age 7 we could see her for who she was. Who she was created to be. Her personality. Let me say she is such a joy! She is an old soul. She’s witty, and beautiful, intelligent, and talented beyond what she even grasps of herself. I cannot fathom what we would have missed or what we would have allowed in her life and ours if we had allowed her to be diagnosed as bi-polar and given meds. Her journey, her life is what propelled me into natural health. I praise God for that. Please do not give up hope. Do not judge other parents with out of control kids. My daughter was so sick on a level no one understood; and she literally COULD NOT control her behavior, her choices, her moods. It wasn’t mental illness. It wasn’t spiritually based, it wasn’t bad parenting. There IS hope, and every parent deserves to be educated to such hope. On a side note: once the parasites were gone, the yeast went away too. They often go hand in hand and feed off each other and multiply each other. Most practitioners miss parasitical infestations. It must be considered as a culprit! There is hope for those ADD/ADHD, out of control, hard to live with, “nightmarish” children. Maybe they don’t feel good and they cannot tell you how or why.