When I read the definition of what a “crunchy mom” entails, I don’t know that I’m 100% crunchy. I wouldn’t eat my placenta, for example (yes, that happens). But I’d say I err on that side, for sure. My husband calls me a hippie because of my essential oil use. I try to eat natural, organic, whole foods (I am far from perfect at that). I believe in natural medication first, conventional medicine when needed as a last resort. I’m a proponent of breastfeeding. I believe God has given us what we need. Unfortunately man has corrupted much of that. But luckily for us, there are a lot of crunchy mamas (and dads) that are bringing hippie back, and with it reminding us that there are other ways. If only it were that easy.
Almost exactly a week after I wrote this post about how we stayed healthy this winter, I got strep throat. It occurred to me when I wrote it that I was just setting myself up, but I don’t share things on here to be perfect or unfailing or right all the time. I share to be helpful, to be informative, and to inspire. And did getting strep make me change my mind about using natural methods before medication? Nope!
I happened to be at the ob/gyn Friday for a procedure and asked her if she was able to run a strep test while I was there. She graciously did, and she prescribed Amoxicillin. I let her fill it, knowing full well that I didn’t intend to pick it up…not just yet, anyway. But I think many of you who have tried to use natural methods for just about anything, especially health care, understand that there is a level of insecurity to telling a physician, “no thank you” and that you prefer to heal yourself naturally. Fortunately my ob/gyn is supportive of my efforts, even if, as a physician, she may not fully agree. She, herself, has used natural methods and diet to treat her own skin condition, so that, too, is helpful. She is more knowledgeable about natural practices than most physicians and PA’s that I see.
Even still, I was braced for a friendly argument…her strong suggestion to use the antibiotics, combined with a list of the risks for not adhering. I didn’t get that from her, and I’m so grateful. I also consider her a friend. I am blessed to be in her care!
But when I posted on Facebook that I was determined to eradicate this infection sans antibiotics, I got quite a mixture of support and warnings. I get it, people have good intentions. Strep can be dangerous and there are risks, especially if left UNtreated. (But note, I’m not NOT treating it…I’m treating it with natural antibiotics over prescription ones.) I’m guilty of doing the same in reverse, encouraging friends to try natural methods and not jump straight into meds. I suppose it’s not different but it feels like it is. The general population supports medication, I think mostly because that’s what we know and because we trust doctors and that’s what they’re educated to know…pharmaceuticals. Nutrition? Natural alternatives? Not so much. God bless the doctors that get that training on their own! Those of us that resist medication over natural methods over prescribed medication are a minority, and being a minority is not always a comfortable place to be.
I find it so frustrating. We are supposed to be in a country where we have a right to choose health care, and where we can allegedly decline treatment that we wish to not have. But increasingly that seems to not be the case. When we literally have to fight with a doctor over that ability to choose, when we’re treated as bad parents for such choices, when we get skeptical or judgy looks when we share what we want to do…that inhibits our ability to choose. I was scolded by a PA for not getting a flu shot a few years ago when I went in with influenza. I was already sick…wasn’t that my choice and therefore my potential consequence?
As moms, and in many cases, head of healthcare in our homes, we shoulder a big burden when it comes to making decisions about how to deal with illness and the worry of making the wrong choice. We love our families and want the best for them. When research and our gut leads us to make a choice that is in conflict with the advice of our doctor, a professional…it’s hard not to doubt ourselves.
As with everything when making a journey towards natural health and wellness, everything is a process and requires gradual, baby steps. Along the way, our confidence grows and our skin thickens. But it’s always nice to have someone back us up, to know we’re not alone, and especially that we’re not crazy.
So here are my words of support for YOU. You are not crazy. You love your family. You’re doing your due diligence in researching all the options, maybe you’ve even prayed about it, and you have a strong feeling about the right path to take for YOUR family. Trust yourself and don’t allow yourself to be bullied into choosing another course.
Why didn’t I want antibiotics? While there is a risk of rheumatic fever with untreated strep, I felt like that risk was way less than the certainty of long-term effects to my gut from antibiotic use. And my gut is already a mess, as evidenced by my skin and many other symptoms. I’m currently reading “Eat Dirt” by Dr. Josh Axe on Audible and I highly recommend it if you want to know more about leaky gut and how it affects the whole body. You can read more about natural strep treatments, natural antibiotics and the long-term effects of prescription antibiotics here, here and here.
As far as my strep throat, I am doing really quite well! I started having a sore throat Wednesday and unlike sore throats I get in times of stress, this one wasn’t subsiding throughout the day. I was able to get through the work day pretty well but had some body aches. I was tested for strep on Friday, and that night I got a fever complete with chills, and my throat hurt badly into the next morning. The achiness and fatigue was worse at that point. I found out that morning that my strep test was positive, and made the choice to tackle it naturally. I did so with several methods, including recommendations from my doctor, from an oily friend, and from online research. I slept tons better last night and other than having a pretty good headache this morning and being tired still, I feel pretty good, considering. I hardly have any sore throat left. My nose is running more, my guess that the little bit of congestion that I had is breaking up and making its way out (which is good). Not only did I avoid antibiotics but I also did not take any pain or fever relievers. It certainly wasn’t a picnic but it was doable, especially since it has resolved so quickly.
I can’t tell you what to do and I can’t say that anything I did “cured” my strep…I’m not out of the woods yet and I am not a doctor. But I am confident in my progress and glad that I stayed the course for my long-term health over choosing potentially short-term relief. (But lucky for me things seemed to resolve as fast and maybe faster than they would have with antibiotics!)
I need to write down what I did so that I can share that with you, but for now I just wanted to offer encouragement to those of you moms who are finding natural health to be a battlefield!