As we introduced ourselves on the first day of class, telling why we had chosen to learn about homeopathy, I was awestruck by the miraculous stories of healing that had brought my classmates there. I, on the other hand, had been handed a pamphlet about the Florida Academy of Classical Homeopathy by my dentist and told that this was right up my alley. I had put the pamphlet with a pile of other papers; eventually the pile made it to my stairs, where one day I almost slipped on that pamphlet and took a good look at it. Lo and behold, a new class was starting in a few weeks. What the heck, it was “right up my alley” and it would be good to meet like-minded people.
Like most dabblers in homeopathy, I started with the seemingly all-encompassing Arnica. I used this and a few other remedies for my family alongside my trusted herbs, vitamins, and energy work. Homeopathy was a good addition to my arsenal.
Yet I never had that “wow” moment to make me a believer for life. Until Thanksgiving….
My husband, two daughters and I were leaving for Asheville to visit my brother and his wife. We were packed, the dog was at the kennel, and I was looking forward to the quick flight to the mountains.
My younger daughter, a very strong and healthy eleven-year-old, had been lying on the couch all morning while the rest of us ran around finishing last-minute odds and ends. She kept ordering us, especially her older sister, to keep it down. “Quit being so loud! Stop playing your music! Can you guys talk in the other room?” She was complaining of not feeling so well, her stomach hurt. My kids get hugs and all the other mom stuff, but I don’t immediately pop something in their mouths when they’re uncomfortable. Natalie has digestive issues on occasion, so I assumed she was a little gassy. I put her whining off for a while. “Stick your bottom in the air like a dog on all fours and you’ll feel better in no time. And please stop being so nasty with everyone. We’re going on vacation!” And I went back to running around the house.
Then it was nearly time to go to the airport. Natalie had been stationed on the couch in this goofy position for quite a while and it clearly wasn’t helping. She didn’t have a fever or sore throat. I broke down: “All right, all right, let me get you an antacid. Chew on one of these and stay in that position.”
Twenty minutes later she’s on her right side with her legs pulled up, as she was originally. “Mom, it’s not working. Nothing’s working.” I give her two more antacids and start to worry a bit.
She asks for water and downs the whole glass; very unusual for this child. She is terribly annoyed by my “weird” questions, but she’s vehement about the pain in her stomach and starts to cry. Now I’m really worried.
I get out my reference books and keep coming across APPENDICITIS. OMG! That’s hospital stuff, which we’ve never had to do. We’ve been fortunate… until now.
I was in a horrible situation. I knew if I took her to the hospital, she would automatically be put under the knife. I kept thinking, this child could just have gas. She needs her appendix. On the other hand, she could die. Small chance, but a real one.
I got on the phone and called her pediatrician, who is fortunately a student of homeopathy. She wasn’t in the office. I called my homeopathy teacher. No answer. I called my classmates who were a doctor and a nurse. No answer. I figured there was time for one last call, then we’d be out the door to the emergency room.
In the meantime, Natalie was holding her right side, pushing her hand into the bottom of her right rib cage, crying in tremendous pain. Again, she wanted water and drank a huge glass in one gulp. So weird.
The moment of decision was upon me, but I could scarcely think. I had one child in great pain and crying, the other frantic that we were going to miss our plane. My husband was pacing. I went upstairs, took some deep breaths, and said a prayer. PLEASE God help me. Please help me to make the right decision and do what is best for my child.
I made one last call, to my supervisor from the school’s clinic. First she sent me for Rescue Remedy – for myself. (Funny how we don’t think of these things when we’re in a crisis. Now I know why people suggest not being the homeopath for yourself and your family. It’s so hard to think clearly when you’re emotionally involved.) More deep breaths. Then the realization that yes, if this is appendicitis, this is serious.
I told my supervisor that I had recently taken a class with Dr. Rastogi from India, who had said that the three most effective appendicitis remedies were Bryonia, Lachesis and Belladonna. Now that I was calmer, I could see clearly that Natalie was in a Bryonia state – the irritability, the thirst, the way she was pressing on her side and didn’t want to move. My supervisor remembered hearing that Bryonia for appendicitis needed to be given in a high potency, a 1M or a 10M. I had only a 200C. She agreed to call homeopaths near me to see if someone could drum up a 1M. In the meantime, I ran downstairs, grabbed the Bryonia 200C, and put two balls under my daughter’s tongue.
At this point, Natalie was still on her right side, legs pulled up, hands pushing into the bottom of her right rib cage. She was crying, telling me to take her to the hospital, to have whatever needed to be taken out of her cut out. I asked my husband to start the car.
The phone rang. A 1M of Bryonia had been found, only three blocks from my home. Tearfully I said that I had given my daughter a 200C and if we didn’t get a miracle in 1 minute, we’d be out the door. But returning to the living room, I found my daughter soundly asleep, her legs straightened and her hands under her head. Now what? I jumped in the car and drove for the 1M.
When I returned ten minutes later, Natalie was still asleep. I sat and looked at my sweet child, tears running down my face. I slipped the 1M under her lip. What the heck.
The pediatrician called back and I told her the situation. She said that if I had taken my daughter to the hospital, they would definitely have removed her appendix, even if she herself were the doctor on duty. That was protocol. But as a physician who understood homeopathy, she said that since Natalie was sleeping without pain, she might be all right. She advised me to watch her and, if anything changed, to take her to the hospital.
An hour later Natalie awoke, stood up and walked to the bathroom. When she came out she announced she was hungry, felt great and wondered when we were going to get on the plane. As badly as we all wanted to spend Thanksgiving with my brother, we were going to stay home to make sure she was okay.
She ate a serving of ravioli, then asked for another. I was afraid to give her more. We watched, waited, and had a very thankful Thanksgiving.
I will never know for sure what was wrong with my daughter that day. Whatever it was, homeopathy took a child in a tremendous amount of pain to feeling happy and peaceful within a matter of minutes. I have seen the miracle.