Thursday, May 28, 2009

Alea's Illness

Sorry I have been so slow to update on what has been going on here at Koinonia Community. I have begun many times to write, but have been unable to complete what I start.

Alea was diagnosed quite awhile ago with severe abdominal migraines. She will go for days with abdominal pain and vomiting. She will be restless and exhausted, anxious, disconnected. She is fearful of travel, of sleep, of eating. She moves and thinks very slowly, and if you try to rush her, her anxiety level increases and she gets sick. She becomes very introspective and a very worrisome way.

These began when she was barely five. We have tried to treat them with medication. The meds did nothing. The doctors prescribed doubling the dosage of her medication and adding another very serious medication. Concerned with the way the medication made her feel, and praying for God alone to heal her, Alea chose to go off all medication.

She didn't have any problems for over a year. Recently they started again. Of course, she is nearly ten, so there could be a bit of a hormonal trigger occurring this time around. We have identified so many "triggers". I'm not sure they are triggers as much as amplifiers. Alea really can't have caffeine, especially chocolate. She can't have anything with nitrates in it, such as hot dogs or pepperoni. She has to be wary of preservatives and dyes in what she eats. Sometimes loud noises and bright lights can bring on an episode. Often fatigue, and stress or worry, or even a feeling of a lack of security can trigger days of pain and vomiting.

There has been research that has shown that a misalignment of the atlas bone between the cranium and neck can contribute to migraines. When Alea was five (right around the time the migraines began) she had a boy jump off some playground equipment and onto her head, splitting her scalp open. We had her neck scanned and her atlas is out of alignment (in the direction of the blow she received). So we began chiropractic treatment. I think we are onto something. But here is the rub. Every time she has her neck adjusted, it triggers another episode. That seems to point pretty clearly to the misalignment being a cause. But how do we get it back into alignment without aggravating the situation in the meantime?

Lately, she has been sick a majority of the time. It seems that the unsettled position of staying in the camper and all the running around town to shower and wash clothes, and all the running involved with trying to build a house aren't helping the situation. What she needs right now is to have the comfort of her own bed, with her own comforting things around her instead of in storage. She had the added stress of 'tech week' for two dance performances, and the death of a few animals here at the farm.

So why am I sharing all this information? Our family has been in survival mode lately. Everything has been placed on hold while we just deal with day to day living, worked around Alea's health for the day. Those of you with children with illnesses know exactly what I mean. True, we are not, to our knowledge, dealing with a terminal illness. But for day to day living for the entire family, it is no less disruptive.

We know so many of the readers of this blog are praying for our family and this project. I ask only that you redirect your prayers. Alea needs your prayers. We all need the prayers. God can create something amazing from all of this. He already has begun. He takes hardship and uses it to strengthen relationships. He takes illness and uses it to strengthen faith. We are completely powerless to help her now. But of course, when we are weak, He is strong. Please lift us up in your prayers.


egassner said...

Oh Natalie! You guysa re in my thoughts.
Hope Alea starts feeling better and everything with the house gets going so she can have the comfort of 'home' again!

Amber said...

Oh my. I'm sorry I didn't see this before now. I hope Alea finds some comfort soon! What a terrible ordeal. :(

koinonia community said...

Thanks Amber. She has been doing much better this week so far.

koinonia community said...

I spoke too soon. She had one again yesterday. We had to stop on the way home so she could throw up in an old lady's yard.