Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cause and Effect

In my last reflection on Joy's brush with craniosacral therapy, I mused about doing a post on cause and effect. Here 'tis.

It strikes me that there are two sides to cause and effect when it comes to how we evaluate what's going on with Joy's health and development. One has to do with what's going awry; the other has to do with what's going right.

I'm particularly interested today in the "what's going right" side of things.

We're trying different treatments and interventions with Joy all the time, in an elusive journey toward improvement / healing / wholeness.

There's the allopathic medicine side of things, such as the combination of strong medications we've brought to bear on Joy's epilepsy. We carefully track the seizures against the dosing. Funny thing here: the three times that we've almost gotten to a month without any knock-down seizures don't seem to correlate very directly with dosage changes, and yet without the meds we'd be in big trouble. (The one time that we tried to back down the dose of one of the two meds she's currently on, the seizures increased dramatically).

There's the non-traditional medicine side of things, like we tried with the craniosacral therapy, various attempts to bring healing through correcting flows of energy and such.

Then there's the educational realm of interventions that we're tweaking all the time, between three therapists from the school district. The intensive autism therapy I should perhaps put with the medical side of things, but the day-to-day interactions have a lot in common with what we're doing with the school district and we deliberately coordinate the two.

Then there's the fact that Joy continues to grow and mature.

What a complex and fascinating endeavor, trying to facilitate (and evaluate) all this potential growth/healing!

And somewhere, woven between all of this, is faith and mystery and miracle.

Some Boggle-playing friends of mine at church had an amazing experience lately that relates to this.

Their middle-school-aged son dislocated his knee earlier this month, a painful injury. The doctor was able to manipulate the knee back into place with quite a bit of effort, but it wouldn't stay -- it was popping back out with a fingertip's worth of pressure. The family requested the prayers of the congregation as they scheduled their son for surgery.

The day of the surgery arrived, the son was prepped for the procedure and placed under anesthesia, and then... the surgery didn't happen. The surgeon reported that the knee was back in place and healing well, staying put even when he pushed at it. Nothing in the literature suggested the possibility of that course of events.

"Are you religious?" the surgeon asked the parents.

There is much about the causes & effects of healing that is beyond our knowledge. I'm continuing to learn about being open to a range of healing, however it may come.


Thank you to Barbara at TherExtras for precipitating this post. I hereby submit it for inclusion in her upcoming blog-carnival on healing, scheduled for October 6.

[Additional note: the mom of the lad with the inexplicably-healed knee did give me explicit permission to post the story!]


Anonymous said...

Thanks, JoyMama! You are so good at succinctly making a cogent point! Your literary background shows in every post - and all your readers admire your love and commitment to your family. I am sustained, too, with your references to faith and the realities of 'medicine'. Barbara

Niksmom said...

eresting that the doc asked if the were "religious." I don't equate religion with prayer, per se. I am not religious yet I believe in God and I believe in the power of prayer. Maybe I draw a fine line between relgion and spirituality?

Anyway, my point is that I think the power of prayer is immense. There have actually been studies done on it. I can't find the link now but there was a significant write up in one of the major news outlets (NYT? Post?) sometime in early 2005.

I truly believe that the power of prayer helped my son through his earliest and scariest days when he was constantly fighting for his life.

And, too, one cannot discount the unfathomable depths of our children's minds and brains and how they are constantly developing and adapting.

JoyMama said...

Barbara - much appreciated, both your comment and the impetus for getting me to write this up in the first place!

Niksmom - The way the mom told me the story, she said the surgeon "blurted" the question, "Are you religious?" What struck me was not so much the way he chose to express it, as his stunned acknowledgement that he couldn't explain what had happened without reference to some power beyond medical knowledge. But your point is well-taken.

Anonymous said...

Hi, niksmom,
Looks like you have the beginnings there of an entry to the healing blog carnival. Please consider. Barbara

Mama Mara said...

I'm with niksmom regarding the healing of power of prayer, whether religious, spiritual, or skeptical. I am sending my good thoughts your way!

Anonymous said...

After all of the things we have tried and are still trying - anti-seizure drugs, diet, supplements, Tomatis, ABA and school - we have come to one conclusion: All of those things have helped tremendously, but if our daughter is ever to be "healed", it will only be because of the power of prayer and the power of God.

Andrea said...

Totally believe it! We had the best of both worlds for a time when we saw the charismatic Christian osteopath who has trained so many around the world. Dr. Viola Fryman is Biblically laying hands on her clients and accessing all of her training--medical and spiritual--praying her way through each treatment. It was she who first challenged me to approach some of his behaviors on a spiritual level. Reid had some definite breakthrough with her.

you gotta wonder said...

Thank you for sharing. I absolutely believe that through our faith we can be healed, if it's within God's will. Sometimes that faith leads us to a medical solution (doctors, pills, therapy, whatever it takes), sometimes prayer is enough. Your post is certainly thought-provoking.

Jeanette said...

I enjoyed your post on Healing. Sometimes I think that the medical community forgets about the faith side of life. I believe in prayer. I also believe in God's will. I couldn't have made it this far with out it. BTW, I LOVE the Elvis Sightings name and where it came from. Very Appropriate.

Terri said...

The medical profession and 6 year olds (and 18 year olds!) have much in common: Because they have learned so much they think they know all. There is so much more than meets the eye--all held in the hand of the ONE who does know...

Thank you for this food for thought.