Oh, friend. This day was coming and I knew it was but I just didn’t want to face it.
As you may know, Andrew is super sensitive to mosquito bites. I had concluded that Andrew has “Skeeter Syndrome.” The research I did said people who have skeeter syndrome are either elderly or young children with compromised immune systems. I feed Andrew pretty well so I’m not sure why he would have a compromised immune system but his symptoms match the symptoms that skeeter syndrome peeps have.
So long story short, it was getting so bad that I had to figure something else out. Scott and my in-laws wanted me to take Andrew to an allergist so my first instinct was to contact my local WAPF email group and see if any of them had resources for a trustworthy children’s allergist. Sometimes doing this whole “natural” thing can be complicated because I feel like I can’t just trust any doctor. Most doctors prescribe medication that suppresses the symptoms versus actually finding the root cause of the problem. Anyway, I sent out that email and a woman replied back with this:
Yes, your child probably has food sensitivities that are the root cause of the over-reaction to bug bites. I would skip the doctors and see Sherry Bell. After the first visit, you will have a food list that should calm his immune system rather quickly.
A light-bulb clicked on. If Andrew has food sensitivities that are causing the over-reaction to bug bites that could possibly mean his immune system is being compromised. Having a compromised immune system is the first indicator of someone who has skeeter syndrome. *Ding ding ding*
As you can imagine, I quickly googled the business and made an appointment. The receptionist explained that the woman Andrew would be seeing is not a doctor, it’s a 2 hour test and the way they test is through an electrodermal screening test. Instead of me trying to explain to you what it exactly is, I found a better explanation —
According to traditional Chinese medicine, a form of bodily energy called chi is generated in internal organs and circulates throughout the body, forming paths near the surface of the skin called meridians. This whole-body network is called the meridian system.
Acupuncture points are points on the skin, usually located on meridians, where the circulation of chi can be manipulated.
By stimulating an acupuncture point on the skin through pressure, suction, heat, or needle insertion, the circulation of chi is affected, which in turn affects related internal organs. But this is not the only way to take advantage of the meridian system. The meridian energy flow also carries with it information about internal organs that can be used in diagnosis. This is the basis of the electrodermal screening test (EDST). The device used in the EDST is the electrodermal screening device, or EDSD, which works by measuring electrical resistance and polarization at acupuncture points and meridians. Through these safe, skin-level measurements, it is possible to analyze the bio-energy and bio-information produced by internal organs and systems. (source)
I tried to look up information on this specific testing but not many people have heard of it and there aren’t the most reliable web sources out there (many conventional type websites saying it’s a quack) so I just took a leap of faith and trusted the woman who gave me the referral.
The day of the appointment
We arrived early and I was a little anxious to see how this two hour appointment would go. Since I didn’t know exactly how he was being tested, all I could think about was that it could go really good and Andrew would participate or it could go really bad and he could put on his bull horns.
It was a little bit of both. We went into the room and Sherry told me we would be testing my meridian flows because Andrew would need to sit on me to take his reading. She explained that it would be sort of like putting a scale to zero and then weighing something else. This took about 20 minutes and she made it clear that Andrew could not touch me or it would mess up my readings. Everything was going well until Andrew was doing a somewhat pee-pee dance. I asked if he had to go and he said no. I asked multiple times again and he said no. Then, he just stood right there and peed! I couldn’t believe it! So, that was fun cleaning up and apologizing a million times and realizing that Andrew would have to go half naked for the rest of the hour and a half we were there.
Annnyywayyy…. So we finally got Andrew on me and did the testing and the results were a little frightening. I sort of already knew that I’d have to take him off of certain foods but I didn’t want to confront it. The test showed that Andrew would have to go off of all gluten, dairy, sugar, most nuts and couldn’t eat a whole host of other things until we calmed his immune system down. Of course, all the food he can’t have is the food that he eats on a daily basis. It’s almost like GAPS diet but worse! It also showed he has a little bit of candida so we’ll be trying to calm that down as well. On top of all of that, we (meaning Andrew and I) also have to do some chiropractor work in the near future, as well.
I left the office feeling a bit overwhelmed but relieved because now I know what I need to do in order to heal his immune system. I had a few homeopathic bottles to help him along his way and a long list of foods he could and couldn’t eat. I called to my friends on my Facebook page to see if any mama’s had advice on allergy-free foods and a family member caught wind of it all. Darn Facebook! Needless to say, I got a phone call and had to basically try to defend myself and my choice of taking Andrew to a holistic practitioner versus a regular doctor.
Suppressing Symptoms vs. Finding Root Cause
“So what kind of doctor is she?” I was asked. And the tone of voice was definitely like a “I-know-you-probably-didn’t-take-Andrew-to-a-doctor” tone. “I’m sure they would find something wrong with any child being taken to a doctor,” she said as if there really isn’t anything wrong with Andrew. I’m sure you could see where that convo went — nowhere.
I ended the conversation feeling quite irritated and disappointed. Why is it that I take my son to a person who will find the root cause of his problem and I’m criticized but if I were to take him to a regular doctor who would probably find nothing wrong with him, no one would care? Why is it when I step outside the bounds of “mainstream” and try and find alternative answers I’m looked at as weird and potentially a bad mom?
I know from personal experience that doctors are capable of not finding the issue. I had unexplained chest pains for almost two years and I did all the testing you can think of. Not one doctor found a problem yet I still had these chest pains that only appeared when my body temperature rose. Why? But when I finally find a naturopath and she does a “different” kind of testing and actually finds what’s wrong, no one believes it and everyone is skeptical.
It just doesn’t make sense to me! The worst case is when a holistic practitioner or naturopath ends up being wrong the first time — heaven forbid! Many people are quick to judge and write it off like some quack thing but when a normal doctor gets it wrong for the 5th time, there’s no issue.
In the end of it all, I need to do what I feel is right for myself and for my family and not worry about what other people think. I feel confident in my decision of going to a holistic practitioner for Andrew and I think we will be able to really heal him; so much to the point that he’ll be able to enjoy the foods we have to eliminate as of this time.
Now, the hardest part is to come: changing his diet.
What are your thoughts on a holistic practitioner vs a doctor? Do you have any advice for switching over to an allergy-friendly diet? Leave a comment below!