Thursday, February 27, 2014

Of Boo-boos

Pain hurts.  This is an obvious fact of life, but sometimes we have to go back to the basics.  When you're little and you're growing and you're just learning about life, this is a basic lesson that is often repeated.  I'm all grown up and I still have a little trouble with it.

My little guys have lots of owies, every day.  I kiss owies from dawn till dusk.  Usually a kiss is sufficient, sometimes some Arnica for a bad one, or a little homemade herbal salve for scratches.  Andrew loudly demands attention for the smallest bump --we call him the "squeaky wheel"-- but his owies magically disappear with a touch from mommy.  He runs off to play again, no worse for the wear.  Evan --our "highly sensitive child"-- has a little more trouble getting past things.  He seems to be genuinely hurt by every little thing.  Even toothpaste makes him cry because the mint is "hot", not matter how mild it is.  He's also a little clumsy, so he seems to get a lot of hard bumps.  When he comes to me crying, I comfort him but he says "It still hurts.  It won't stop hurting!  I want it to stop!"  I always explain that it will go away in a minute, but that is small comfort.

Sometimes I get so exasperated.  It's just a bump, Evan.  It'll go away in a minute.  Please stop wailing!  Recently, though, I had a sudden thought:  I sound exactly like this.  All the time.  In my pleading with God over every trial and pain, this is how I sound.  And worse, probably.  I go on about how hard it is, that I'm too weak.  I sound like Evan when he cries that "It's too hard! I'm too small!  I can't do this!" when I give him some small task that he doesn't want to do.  I'm a lot like Evan, see.  I can relate to him. I've always been over-sensitive.   I don't deal with pain well.  Physical, emotional, mental-- it hurts. A lot.  And I want it to go away.  And I avoid it at all costs.  I often wish this weren't true of me.  I wish I had a tougher skin.  I wish I couldn't feel things so much.  But it's life, right? Pain hurts.

Some people say, "Oh, but God will get you through it."  I respond, "I have no doubt of that.  The only question is how much will it hurt?"  I'm thankful that I have a loving Heavenly Father to take my hurts to.  Even though He often deems that I just have to go through it anyway.  I don't even promise not to whine.  It's a process.  I'm learning, just like my little ones, and sometimes I'm amazed to see the parallels.

I think that my "healing" tendencies --my fascination with health and the human body and remedies and medicines-- is partly rooted in this.  I love to learn about the workings of our amazing bodies.  I can read about it all day long and not get tired of it.  I'm always gathering information and putting it together and learning more and finding remedies for everything.  Perhaps this is the upside of my pain-avoidance?  Maybe I can learn to use it for the good of other around me.  For right now I am always learning.

A month ago we were in Oregon visiting our family there.  It was a great trip and I really cherished all the family time.  But halfway through the three-week stay, I got a nasty case of the flu.  It was the worst one I've had in years (possibly ever?).  It just went on and on and nothing seemed to help.  You can bet I did a lot of whining and complaining.  It doesn't help that when I'm sick, I don't sleep, and five nights without sleep makes me pretty crabby and fragile.  And I was so annoyed to be unable to join in all the fun.  The Superbowl Party?  I was in bed with a high fever and couldn't even enjoy all the amazing food we had been planning.  I was glad to have some sense of taste back by my birthday, so I could eat the yummy supper my Mom made, but I was still pretty miserable.  Then it turned into a bad sinus infection that had me living on ibuprophen for two weeks.  By then I was pretty sick of being sick.

But desperation is the mother of invention, right?  (That is how the saying goes, I think?)  Through all this sickness (other people in the house had colds at the same time) we needed some vitamin C!  We'd been using those Emergen-C drinks, but those are expensive and seem to be used up quickly.  Mom had some ascorbic acid, but that is not really vitamin C.  Our bodies can't use that alone.  So I got to thinking...  I came up with a vitamin C drink that is similar to Emergen-C (it doesn't contain the B vitamins that are in Emergen-C, though I have some doubts about whether the form of those Bs is even very good).  The idea of this drink is to combine the ascorbic acid with minerals and bioflavinoids to make it into a usable form of vitamin C (mostly calcium ascorbate) for the body.

So here's the recipe:

  • 1 part ascorbic acid powder
  • 1 part organic lemon or orange peel powder
  • 1/2 part dolomite powder (the fine kind like Kal brand)
  • 1/8 part baking soda (more/less to adjust the amount of fizz)
  • stevia powder to taste (optional)
These ingredients are all pretty easy to find at a health food store or on the internet.  Mix the powders together and store in a tightly closed jar, keep dry.  To make a drink, mix 1/2 teaspoon of the mixture into water or juice.  Sweeten to taste with stevia, honey, maple syrup, etc.  1/2 teaspoon of the mixture should contain approximately 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C.

And here is one more homemade remedy I recently made:

Ice packs for my little guys' bumps and owies!  They were always taking my big gel ice packs, which I would later find melting somewhere and not available when I needed one.  Not to mention the inevitable probability that I would soon find a mess of gel in the couch or my slipper or something.

I mixed 1 part rubbing alcohol with 2 parts water in a little zipper baggie.  I double bagged it and folded the top and taped it down.  Then I sewed up little pouches with some thrift-store flannel that a friend gave me.  It occurred to me that I could have used some cute trendy fabric and it would be all fashionable, but hey, I used what I had on hand.  And the boys like the colors.  We keep them in the freezer and the mixture freezes slushy, not solid.  The flannel is double-layered so they're comfortable to use right out of the freezer.  We like them much better than those little "Boo Boo Buddies" that you can buy in the store.  Those things are always small and hard and easily lost and broken.

Evan and Andrew happily agreed to pose with some pretend owies to demonstrate just how handy these little ice packs are.


All better!