Friday, May 16, 2014

Over the edge (but it just might save my sanity)

It's funny, because if you had asked me to select three words to describe myself as a mother, the words "crunchy," "hippie" and "natural" would have appeared exactly nowhere among them.  Still, somehow I've gone down that rabbit hole.  Maybe it's because I went to college in Boulder... somehow, those granola-loving hippies got their hooks in me way back when and it's still catching up.

It may have hit me as we were working toward finishing the school year.  Which, by the way, is every ounce as hard when you're homeschooling one child as it is when you're finishing out the year with 140 8th graders.  Just for the record, my burn out is somewhere along the lines of this.  As in, three worksheets + I meant to do it but we watched TV instead Wednesday + did I brush my teeth yesterday? + same sight words for two weeks + how many days till my husband gets home?  It's been ugly.  (For anyone keeping track, Casey was gone 27 out of 32 days.  FIVE DAYS AT HOME out of 32 - non-consecutive, because that seems overly relevant.)  Momma needs some sort of illegal concoction definitely not approved for pregnant ladies invented by a shady bartender who learned to mix cocktails while working for a covert foreign government agency like the KGB.  But here's the genius of homeschool that doesn't happen when you're a paid teacher... wait for it... I declared it SUMMER BREAK!  Because I can do that!  I'm drunk on power!

But I digress...

Beyond the bread making, homeschooling, cloth diapering, pillow and curtain and baby-food making (oh my!) I am now also swearing off western medicine.

Okay, so "swearing off" is overstating things a bit.  It's just that we have been so unbelievably and continually sick this season that I'm pretty well broken down and ready to try something new.  There has got to be something better out there than being sick more days than not between November and April and wracking up a $5000 hospital bill because my almost-four-year-old couldn't breathe.  Yes, that's a real number.  Be afraid.

Enter: DoTerra oils.

I know, I get it.  It sounds completely hokey.  I thought it did, too.

A friend gave me some samples, which I was attempting to use to treat the kids in the middle of the double-ear-infection fiasco of 2014.  Aaaaand, as predicted, they weren't working very well.  (Turns out, you can't start using essential oils right smack dab in the middle of an illness that requires antibiotics and expect a miracle.  Shocker.)  I was totally ready to throw in the towel, until I tried this:

It was recommended for sciatic pain, which is something I suffer pretty severely from for the duration of each of my pregnancies.  I've tried a number of homeopathic remedies since I don't take medication, but nothing has ever had any effect.  Without expecting much, I put a couple of drops directly on my back at the site of the pain.  To my extreme surprise?  The pain was gone.  Almost completely gone.  Easily as good as Tylenol, except that even me and my pregnant self can take it!

And so I took the plunge.  I bought a few starter oils and a diffuser (a handy little device that takes all the benefits of oil and makes it airborne).  I didn't know what to expect, nor did I have very high hopes that this craziness would really be effective.  But here's the thing: I got the oils on Sunday and had my first chance to try them out, since Logan came down with a cold Monday morning.  What the heck?  Why not give it a shot?

So here's what I've done: 
  • Onguard and Melaleuca on the feet 4 times a day for immune support
  • Blend of coconut oil and Peppermint on chest, back and down the spine to help with congestion and cough
  • Homemade cough syrup: 1 TBSP honey mixed with 1 drop each: peppermint, OnGuard, Melaleuca and Lemon
  • Small drop Lemon on sides of nose to help with congestion
  • Diffuse OnGuard and Melaleuca once a day
We've been sick a ton this winter, and here's our typical pattern: As soon as one person gets sick, everybody else goes down within 48 hours.  3-5 sleepless nights per kid as they cough their heads off.  Several days of couch sitting with two littles who don't have enough energy to do much else. Illnesses typically take 10 days to clear up, or get worse after that point.  

On our oil regimen, here are our results: Logan was already sick when we started this, but he is currently the cheese who stands alone.  (WIN!)  There has only been one sleepless night, and we're now on day five with significant improvement.  As in, he's through the worst of it and back to his happy, playful self, even if he still has a bit of a runny nose.  On day five!!!

I'll admit to being pretty impressed.  Obviously, there's no way for me to know whether this is a direct result of the oils; all I can do is continue using them to see if we have any long-term success.  In the mean time, my world has been sufficiently rocked.  The simple addition of coconut oil and its awesome health benefits is worth the price of admission in my book.  

So, there you have it.  I'll keep you posted on the results once I get a little further through the rabbit hole.  See?  I told you.  That crunchy sound would be coming from this girl. 

Yeesh.  Better go gas up the Subaru...

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