When A2 was about 6 months old, he was admitted to the hospital due to RSV and secondary diseases. This was for a week. He was home a week and then re-admitted for another week. It was a really trying time for us as a family, but we made it through that. Since then, he’s never been what I would call a healthy little boy. Maybe for a day or 2 we’d have him sniffle and snot free, but then everything would start all over again.
He’s just over a year now, and for more than a year, we have never had a good night’s rest. A2 is always slimey/snotty/coughy/sick. He’s been on course after course of antibiotics, none of which seemed to really fix him. Every course of abs, went hand in hand with pro-biotics, but I still felt unhappy that he was given the abs so much. But what else could I do, I felt. He’s still a baby, so we can’t exactly leave it or not give him anything. He’s been on more kinds of medicine than I almost even knew existed for kids. Which is scary in itself.
Last week, I tweeted that it looks like we need to go for our monthly doctor’s visit (it’s more like 3-weekly, actually). Then a few friends responded asking why don’t I take him to a homeopath instead? And that it might be allergies that is causing him to be so chronically ill. Then I asked for a few referrals to Homeopaths. A friend on FB responded about a doctor that live just up the road from me, and turns out he is a clinical homeopath. So I made an appointment and we saw him on Friday afternoon.
Our consultation lasted an hour. Not that we made an hour’s long appointment, but A2′s medical history is just so long for such a teeny person, that it took that long to get through it all. For 45 minutes of that hour, I sat on the floor next to A2, trying to keep him busy, all the while talking to the doctor. He was a really nice guy, and I think we’ve just found our new family doctor. I’m not keen on the medical professionals any more, as 6 months and thousands of rands later, my child is STILL sickly.
We discussed a lot of things and he was appalled at the amount of antibiotics A2 has been given so far. He reckons children under 16-18 months must only be given abs in *extreme* cases, as essentially, their immune system is still supposed to run off the mothers for this time. Only after this time do they really start to build their own immune system. Because of the abs, A2′s body has been trained to believe that when he gets sick, he himself does not need to do anything to fight infections, as something else will come along and be the hero of the day. So in our case, the abs have done more damage than good.
He also doesn’t believe A2 has any allergies and he personally doesn’t believe in Vega testing for allergies, even though he has 2 Vega machines in his office. But like I said, he doesn’t believe that A2 suffers from allergies in the first place. According to his experience, he diagnosed A2 with IgA-immuno deficiency. The only way to confirm this beyond doubt, is via bloodtests, and again, he doesn’t send children for bloodtests, unless absolutely necessary. All signs and symptoms and history point to IgA-immuno deficiency, along with sinus-issues (which he probably inherited from me). The way I understand it, IgA stems from the white bloodcells in your body, and reside in your sinus cavities. Their essential function is to protect your body from any bacteria that passes through your nose/airways. Because A2 doesn’t have that/deficiency in that, the bacteria gets straight into his system.
Another factor that compromises his health, is the fact that his body doesn’t actually produce fevers. And fevers ain’t so bad, if you consider that they are the bodies’ first defense in fighting disease. That is their job. So if there’s no fever, there’s no fighting. This will explain why he gets so very sick/stays sick constantly. He has no natural antibodies to fight infections because of all the antibiotics he’s been given so far. (You know, you think you’re doing a good thing taking them to the doctor, trying to get them healthy. I feel terrible for having let it get this far, because I am his mother. Shouldn’t I have known better??)
The doctor suggested I go read up on the Hygiene Hypothesis . I’m not supposed to take everything on there word for word, but lift out the bits that apply to us and our situation.
So, we’ve embarked on a course of treatment, that will take about 3 months. The doctor said that he can’t guarantee that A2 won’t get sick again even within the next month, but we can try and do something to manage the severity of it. And 3 months is good. I’m not expecting a miracle cure, seeing as we have to undo 6 month’s worth of damage. This treatment will not cure the IgA, because there is no cure for that, but what we can do is take preventive measures to reduce the risk of infection, and prompt and effective treatment of infections.
The treatment consists of a 1 month intensive dose of Colostrum tablets (3 tabs x 1 in the morning), ongoing Vit C intake (1/3 tsp x 1 in the morning), Omega Fish Oil (2ml x 1 in the morning), and 2 other bottles of what I assume to be some kinds of plant extract things, because it sure as hell smells terrible!! And it’s a thick green color. It tastes better than what it smells, but still not great. And then one bottle of drops of something (15-20 drops x 3 daily). I think two of the things are called Imunex and Ribbies, but I can be entirely wrong because the doctor doesn’t have the neatest of handwriting. I don’t know what the other stuff is, but it also looks like Imun-something. I know everything he’s getting at the moment, is to boost his immune system, so that he can re-learn how to fight off infections himself.
His body is very run down at the moment, and that is why normal stuff aren’t making a difference. We used to give him Scotch emulsion and Zinplex Junior as supplements. The doctor encouraged the use of the Scotch emulsion, but said the Zinplex is really not strong enough and that’s why we were given the added Vit C powder.
The doctor also advised us to switch formulas. He was on Lactogen, which is apparently known to cause phlegm (in sick children) more so than other formulas. We’ve now changed to Isomil, which is soya based. He’s not lactose intolerant, so we don’t need to cut out all dairy, but it’s not like he drinks 4 x 180ml bottles of yoghurt a day. Just the milk. I know it’s only been a few days still, but I have to say, I think there’s already a noticable difference in the phlegmy side of things. It doesn’t sound so aggravated anymore, even though it is definitely still there. I think perhaps the milk has more of an effect on this than the medicine at this point though. In the mean time, we’ll give the medicines as prescribed, and re-evaluate the situation in a months’ time.
Hopefully, we are now on a road to recovery.