Here’s the story of how a dental abscess can turn into pneumonia for a sensitive child like my boy. I’m still processing these events on several levels. During my last post, I focussed on our many blessings.
On the evening of November 9, 2011, Moses complained about a “bump” on his face. Although it wasn’t easy to see, when we palpated it, we realized that the abscess was quite well developed, so we brought him to the ER the next day. (Note that the development of abscesses are typical of individuals with Job’s Syndrome, and Moses has had several in the past). After an ultrasound and x-rays, they discovered that the abscess was the result of an infected tooth, and the infection had migrated up to his cheek. The abscess measured 2.5 cm x 1.5 cm (quite large)! They started him on an IV antibiotic and we stayed overnight at the hospital. It was a bit of bad timing because this was the Thursday before the Remembrance Day long weekend and the dentist wasn’t going to look at it until Monday. The next day, they put Moses on day passes from the hospital, so that he didn’t need to stay between antibiotic doses. We needed to bring him back at 8 am, 4 pm, and 10:30 pm, for about 45 minutes.
I consulted with Moses’ homeopath and she prepared a new drainage dropper for him, as well as a new Thuj dropper to help resolve the abscess.
During the first two nights at home, Moses’ abscess started draining through his mouth (he had bloody pus on his bedsheets from where it was draining). The good news about this is that they didn’t need to surgically drain the abscess, as they did twice in the past.
During this entire time, Moses remained in a great mood, and so I wasn’t very concerned. My Heilkunstler always reminds me that Moses’ state of mind is a better indicator of overall health than the symptoms (in this case, the abscess). I knew that the abscess would resolve itself (in the Heilkunst view, an abscess represents underlying issues being brought to the surface, to be resolved). I was making peace with all of the hospital interventions, knowing that they too would pass and his Heilkunstler would be able to prescribe any homeopathic remedies that might be necessary to clear the negative effects of all of the interventions (i.e., IV antibiotics, ultrasound, x-rays, anesthetic).
Four days later (on the Monday following the Remembrance Day weekend), the dentist removed the offending tooth. The sad thing about this was that back in April, Moses’ dentist gave us the choice for one of Moses’ molars to be pulled or for it to receive a root canal. We opted for a root canal (due to my insistence) because one of our natural health practitioners had mentioned the negative impacts of teeth extraction. Well, if I could turn back time, I would have opted for the tooth to be extracted back in April because it would have saved us a lot of time and agony. (See also this article posted on the Heilkunst site re: potential problems with root canals).
Moses remained in a great mood during this entire time, but after the tooth was removed, he started vomiting (likely because of all of the blood and pus he swallowed after the extraction — the abscess was draining into his mouth). He vomited again during the middle of the night twice and couldn’t keep any liquids in his system. He spiked a fever of 39.9. Oh my.
During the next two days (Day 5 and 6), Moses’ health deteriorated quickly. He couldn’t keep anything down, not even water. He had terrible diarrhea. He complained of a headache. He wasn’t feeling good at all. He ran a continuous fever, despite the fact that the nurses were constantly giving him Tylenol and Advil (something I don’t agree with, but that’s another story). He received more x-rays for his stomach and his lungs and complained “I can’t take this anymore”. My poor baby. I was worried and upset. Livid actually.
His Heilkunstler felt that he was having a hard time after the dental anaesthesia, and his body was also having a hard time with all of the suppression that was going on (IV antibiotics, anti-fever medication, etc). She started him on new homeopathic droppers for the emotional stress that he was under, as well as homeopathic powders to clear the effects of the anaesthesia, ultrasound, x-rays, IV antibiotics, etc.
And then they diagnosed him with pneumonia (on Day 7). Ack!! A serious pneumonia that affected 2/3 of his lungs, his entire mid and lower lobes of this right lung.
I was comforted by his Heilkunstler’s reminder that pneumonia (in the viewpoint of Heilkunst) is a strong healing reaction (not a bad thing in their opinion) and that given that Moses’ pneumonia was so extensive, it was an indication that his sustentive power (the part of his life force that works to keep him healthy and in balance) was strong. A good sign that his body was working hard to bring itself to balance after all of the destabilizing events that his body was under (related to the aggressive allopathic treatment that he was receiving).
The medical doctors aggressively treated his pneumonia with four antibiotics (three via IV delivered 8 times a day and one oral dose). Moses didn’t have any energy and he couldn’t walk on his own. We had to carry him to the bathroom. He often couldn’t hold his urine or his bowels and soiled the bed several times. My poor boy.
We received some good news on Day 8. Moses’ IgE levels decreased yet again to 16,612 IU/mL (down from 22,311IU/mL just a month ago). I felt that this was a sign that underneath the symptoms, his overall body is getting stronger and more well.
A day after they started him on IV antibiotics, he stopped having fevers, but a couple of days later, he started having fevers again. This puzzled the doctors since this was an atypical response to the IV antibiotics. His state of mind started to improve during this time (which is something that I took strong note of — in the Heilkunst view, the state of mind is the best indicator of health), so I knew that Moses was on the mend (in my mind, the homeopathic remedies helped with this).
A few days later, they noticed that Moses’ hemoglobin levels were dropping (it was 110 g/Lwhen we admitted him to the hospital and it declined to 66 g/L on Day 11. Normal is 120 g/L or higher). His blood cells were hemolyzing (breaking down) either as an inappropriate response to the infection or as a result of the stress that his body is under, related to the fact that Moses has an enzyme deficiency, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G-6-PD deficiency, which makes his blood susceptible to hemolysis when his body is stressed). We knew about Moses’ G-6-PD deficiencey due to difficulties that ensued shortly after Moses was born.
That’s when they decided that he needed a blood transfusion. Ack! This was just getting worst and worst.
We reluctantly agreed to the blood transfusion after considering the risks associated with doing so. We asked if we could pray over the blood before they started the transfusion, and the nurse respectfully gave us all the time that we needed with Moses’ new blood. I prayed that the blood would help with my son’s healing. DH said his own silent prayers over the new blood. I told everyone to imagine “healthy, new, shiny, dancing, healing blood to help my boy”.
His temperature rose when they started the blood transfusion, and for some reason it was painful when they started the transfusion. We worried that he was having a reaction to it (one of the potential risks is an allergic reaction, even anaphylaxis to the new blood). Twenty minutes later, they tried again, and this time there were no problems. That was the last fever that he had.
During the next four days, Moses’ energy levels and appetite slowly returned and his hemoglobin levels not only stabilized, but actually increased from 106 g/L the day after his transfusion to 120 g/L (i.e., to normal levels, the highest his hemoglobin levels have ever been) on the day we were discharged (Day 15).
We were happy and thankful to bring our boy home. There was a big snow storm during the night before and the morning that Moses was discharged. As we were driving home, it occurred to DH and I that the new snow symbolized a fresh start for our family and our boy. He was discharged on the day that our American neighbours to the south celebrate Thanksgiving. So much for us to be thankful for.
Another thing that I wanted to mention is that Moses’ skin during this time has remained clear. He seems to be releasing through his lungs, but not through his skin (whereas in the past, he released through both avenues). I need to remind myself to count the blessings where they can be found.