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Homeopathy and How It Saved Me

Tuesday, 29 March 2011 19:15

The story begins when I was twenty-five years old and pregnant with my first son Josh (now twenty himself and studying Fine Art Painting at Brighton University). In my first few weeks of pregnancy there was a programme on television about toxoplasmosis, a parasitic disease that one can acquire from eating infected undercooked meat or from changing cat litter. The programme warned that if the disease is caught while you are pregnant, it can cause the baby congenital defects and therefore a blood test was recommended for pregnant women especially those with cats like myself. While attending my scheduled appointment at Hampstead’s Royal Free soon after, I asked for a toxoplasmosis test to be performed along with the routine tests carried out at that time. (http://www.babycentre.co.uk/pregnancy/antenatalhealth/testsandcare/bloodtests/).

I did not think any more about it until I returned to the hospital for my next visit a month later. By then at seventeen weeks pregnant, I could already detect Josh moving around inside my belly and I was very excited about being pregnant and becoming a mother. As this was my first pregnancy and I was young, inexperienced and pretty green, if the truth be known, I had no expectations of any of my tests coming through as abnormal, and so I sat there in the hospital waiting room on my own without fear or anxiety, passing the time leafing through pregnancy magazines. And I was in for a very huge shock. The doctor told me that I did have toxoplasmosis and suggested I abort as they could not decipher from their tests at the time whether I was newly infected or whether my blood was carrying antibodies from an old infection. If newly infected my baby was at risk of congenital defects and they were recommending that I not take that risk.

I stumbled out of the hospital, shared the news with my husband and parents by phone, and then broke down in tears. My husband and parents felt I should follow the hospital’s advice but that decision felt so far from right that I could not go through with it and didn’t. I did my research on the disease and discovered that the risk was 5% and could be reduced by taking the antibiotic spiramycin for the remainder of my pregnancy, eight small white pills per day. I would need to return to the hospital once a month for monitoring with blood and urine samples and Josh would be assessed after birth too with a brain scan and blood tests. It was a stressful time for us all and those autumn months ticked by slowly as we endured the waiting game.

Josh was induced at 41 weeks in January 1991, as my blood pressure was then high enough for concern and after a very long birth he was born healthy and well, with not one iota of damage caused by the toxoplasmosis parasite. So I put the stress of the pregnancy behind me and got on with enjoying being a mother to my new baby boy.

If you are a parent yourself or know someone close to you that is, the first few months of taking care of a baby can be a rather tiring affair, to say the least. Although I tried to rest whenever Josh did, my immunity started to get quite compromised. I am not sure if the repeated antibiotic use in the pregnancy played a part too, but from what I know of antibiotics generally, they do kill off the good bacteria as well as the bad, which can lead to lower immunity to infection. And of course there was all that stress and worry too. All in all, I became susceptible to minor ear infections. My ears felt extremely itchy and were over-producing secretions. I found myself being driven quite mad by the itching and the only temporary relief I gleaned was from scratching vigorously with ear buds – something I would definitely not advise you to do! The relief was only passing and my ears continued to over produce and cause unbearable itchiness.

When Josh was nine months old I suddenly experienced such excruciating pain in my right ear that I could not continue to feed him and I knew it was time for medical intervention. I felt so ill that my husband actually took me to A & E at St Mary’s in Paddington that evening, as they are known for their excellent ENT department. By the time I got there, the pain was tenfold and I screamed so much while waiting that they had to remove me as I was disturbing the relative peace for the other patients. To remind you, I had already given birth so I did have some idea of pain – this was like nothing I had experienced before, and I am no drama queen!

I was admitted and put on a drip of antibiotics immediately. I already knew I was allergic to penicillin but the doctors soon discovered I was allergic to all the other antibiotics they tried too. I was very much out of it on pethidine, which they were using for pain relief, but I remember they tried many options before eventually pumping me with anti-histamine at the same time as one of the antibiotics to bypass my allergic reaction. I was in hospital for eight days and nearly died as the infection was out of control for a while and close to my brain. What I had was a secondary ear infection brought on by the continued use of the ear buds and my low immunity. My right ear was in such bad shape, it was difficult to imagine it would ever heal.

Three months later, the infection switched to my left ear and I was admitted again for the same procedure. Clearly something needed to change. I was blasted again with heavy-duty antibiotics, which my body was allergic to anyway, and I felt more and more compromised on all levels. I started to feel weak and emotional and in on-going pain from my infected ears.

Up until this point in time, I had never seen an alternative health practitioner for anything. The year was 1991 and even though homeopathy and other complementary therapies were going through a renaissance, they were not yet as mainstream as they are today, and so consulting one was still seen as a novelty. I had also never visited any kind of therapist before so my only comparable experience was a five-minute slot in a doctor’s surgery, and even that was rare for me. David Needleman was recommended to me by a friend, and I booked an appointment to go and see him at his clinic upstairs in a chemist’s shop in East Finchley. I had no idea how long the appointment was expected to take, what we would talk about and what homeopathy was. As I said before, I was a pretty green, innocent and uninformed twenty something.

Mr Needleman gave me a space to talk about how I was feeling and what was bothering me. For an hour and a half I talked through my medical history, my pregnancy, my stress, my ear infections and anything else I could think of to tell him. He asked me lots of questions as well as listened and observed me. He also answered all my questions about homeopathy as I surely came across as someone who knew nothing, but was very inquisitive! I should really have done my homework before seeing him, but as I said, this was a whole new world to me.

Somehow in all that I said, he managed to get a picture of the kind of person I was. From his experience, and just holding the space for me, he managed to understand how I felt mentally, emotionally and physically and as a result he could match my symptoms to a homeopathic remedy that treated the symptoms I was displaying. I had no clue of what to expect from the three little white pills he gave me to take every twelve hours over the next couple of days, and no high expectation either.

I could never have imagined what impact those little pills would have on me. Within days my ears started healing in a way that they had not done for the whole year that I had been plagued by the itchiness, pain and infections. Not only did all the symptoms I had been experiencing go away, but also my susceptibility to ear infections. What I could feel was a kind of energy in my ears as the healing took place, a tingling sensation. I also started to notice changes emotionally. I felt more stable, calmer and less tearful – more able to cope with life as a young mother. And my energy started to return.

Mr Needleman explained at my follow up appointment that the remedy stimulated my own healing mechanisms to get me back into balance. I had become stuck in an emotional and physical state where I was feeling very tearful and exhausted post-pregnancy, for a number of reasons, and physically my weakness was manifesting as ear infections. The remedy matched the total holistic picture of what I was presenting on all levels and by helping my system become unstuck I was then able to heal myself, as we all do naturally when we cut our finger for example, or expel matter out of our system when we have food poisoning. I have not had an ear infection since.

I welcome your stories on how you discovered homeopathy, if you have, and what difference it has made to your life.

 

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