WARNING: This post is completely controversial and I know many of you will want to scare me back into compliance. I don’t think you can. (That was the warning.)
Every couple of years, I’m compelled to overhaul some piece(s) of The Physical System that keeps my mind so incredibly sharp. This bout started a few weeks ago. I was researching online and came up with more scary news about Ryan’s asthma inhaler…
Long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonists may increase the risk of asthma-related death. Blah blah blah, big important words, blah blah blah.
Great. There are other warnings that long-term use of inhalers could stunt a body’s growth. Not that Ryan is stunted. The kid’s regulation teen-size and incredibly good-looking.
But he’s been on inhalers and anti-allergens for 80% of his lifetime. I can’t tell you (unless you have a child with something) what that does to you. Your kid’s on drugs for life, drugs that are "growing up" with him… Not one has stood the test of real time, like say aspirin. Add to that my firm conviction pharmaceutical companies are the Axis of Evil. They have ZERO motivation to make you well and EVERY motivation to keep you reliant. Why would they ever cure anything?
Asthma remains completely mysterious. No one really knows – at least they aren’t telling – what asthma is, what triggers it, what creates it. The only thing pharmaceutical companies are exploring is how to make another maintenance drug.
So, after finding the warning, I called Leah, my angel pharmacist, and asked her what other choices Ryan has for inhalers. She said Symbicort was the best, but why didn’t I take him off for a month, give it a rest, see how he does?
I know you won’t believe this, but I couldn’t speak for a few seconds. Take him off for a month? He won’t drop over dead? I can do that, it’s not too radical? Won’t I go to jail? "No," she said, "No jail. And, yes, you can do that. In fact, it’s recommended."
I am floored. NO doctor or pharmacist in the U.S. has ever suggested that. In the states, you are overwhelmed with fear and danger. Overwhelmed. You dare not mess around with FDA and AMA guidelines. Someone could get hurt.
I’ve probably mentioned once or twice that one of the things I love best about living in Costa Rica is NOT living in the U.S. I love not being scared to death all the time. I love not knowing what my terror alert color is. I love it that the Costa Rican government is not looking for ways to criminalize everything we do. I love that there are no chemtrails here. And I love that a) you can get generics for almost every drug at half the price, and b) doctors and pharmacists are not interested in scaring you to death. Yet.
Alternative medicine is widely accepted and practiced in Costa Rica. I guess because, in many villages, all you have is the local medicine man. Er, person. At every feria [FAIR-ee-ah, market, in this case specifically a farmer’s market], there is at least one stall selling medicinal herbs. Jam packed with ’em! My photo doesn’t do it justice – too close. ‘Cause he’s too cute. But this guy is surrounded by hanging dry herbs and all kinda bottles and bags claiming cures for everything you could ever have. Even asthma. I would LOVE to be fluent enough to be able to read the labels… one day.
Since I can’t read the labels yet, we start with something we know: chiropractic and acupuncture. Both proclaimed to be hugely successful treating asthma. Why not? Ryan is gung-ho. He is sick of taking meds, being the Sickly One. He’s ready to move on! While we are at it, I could use a tune-up. Every 52 years or so, it’s probably a good idea.
They say when the student is ready, the teacher appears and we’ve found the two best in Costa Rica! Dr. Jim McClellan is our chiropractor. He’s FANTASTIC, we love him. Except he told me to do a liver cleanse which I’m doing today (and tomorrow) and which I’m thinking is going to be the least fun I’ve had in quite some time.
And Dr. Kim is our acupuncture doctor. He is flat out incredible, wild about him, too. He told me I am allergic to sugar (I told him this was not possible) and dairy; that Ryan is allergic to both of those and wheat. BUT he can cure them all! He’s also given us an alkaline diet to follow. Guess what? Butter and chocolate cake are listed under EVITAR [a-vee-TAR, to avoid]. No wonder I need a liver cleanse.
Both doctors are funny, charming, smart and healthy. Isn’t it amazing
when you go to a doctor who looks like s/he’s on death’s door? I always
find that a little amusing in a sick sorta way. Not these guys: they
live what they teach and I am so impressed by that. Whatever they are doing, it is sure working for them!
How did Dr. Jim know I needed a liver cleanse? Iridology. How does Dr. Kim know about our allergies? Kinesiology. Hal just rolls his eyes, just managing to avoid laughing out loud. Not that he’s so in love with the AMA, au contraire. But whenever you mention a hoo-ha approach, he likes to roll his eyes. He’ll see. Once Ryan and I are healthy and perfect, he’ll be all making his own appointments.
Ryan’s been off his meds for about three weeks now and not a breath out of the ordinary. If something bad happens, we are on the alert, have good drugs here for an emergency, and only five minutes from a hospital. But he’s never had a serious attack and he’s never been better. We’ve been told many times that when a young person has moderate
asthma, like Ryan, it often disappears when they hit puberty. I’m assuming it’s the influx of testosterone, another misaligned hormone. But how would you know unless you quit the drugs???? Ryan’s at That Age, so the cures may just be coincidence… but it sure does feel good to be taking positive action toward health, instead of just waiting around to see what’s gonna kill you.
I am in Hong Kong right now and I was tempted into finding someone versed in iridology but I have the feeling most I will do is try the reflexology massage and hope I dont sound like a whimp as apparently its painful.
On a separate note my younger brother started with a very very persistent cough when he was 8-10 and it lasted well over 6 months, my mom was scared beyond belief when anyone mentioned the asthma word…………he got ‘fixed’ when my mom took him to a homeopath, spending 6 years in college taking chemistry/engineering courses tell you that is TOTAL NONSENSE what they claim it does (smaller concentrations bigger effects????????????) but at least in HIS case it worked
Yeah, glad you found an “eye guy”. Cool, huh! We’re believers even if Bill does still roll his eyes. Yesterday he was even a little impatient for his steeped rosemary to cool so he could use it to help heal his cut.
I think you just didn’t have a doctor who was “up” on the latest research in the States. I was on an inhaler for many years and one day my doc just simply told me to stop using it and give it a rest. Haven’t needed it since. People do outgrow asthma – no one really knows why – and not everyone does – but enough people do that it’s worth giving it a shot (no pun, etc…), you can always carry it with you in case of an emergency until you get comfortable with no longer needing it.
I am no expert in this area so take the following in that context. The little I know is from observing my wife work with her asthma.
The one thing I know is that the asthma needs to be controlled. That could mean doing nothing or some spectrum of treatments. Whatever works.
Many times my wife’s asthma symptoms are brought on by food allergies. Tomatoes and pecans are particully problematic for her. So she just doesn’t eat these foods.
She has achieved resonably good overall control by using Singulair (a pill) and Advair (a long-term once-a- day inhaler, not for acute asthma episodes). With the Singulair and Advair she has a reduced need for an acute episode inhaler.
Although her doctor hasn’t said so, in so many words, I get the impression that he expects the Singulair and Advair to control most of her symptoms.
I’m not promoting either of these drugs. Since you did not mention them in your comments, I’m assuming that you are not using them. I only mention them in the case that your alternative strategies don’t prove satisfactory.
I’m thrilled that he is doing so well. My 22 year old daughter has asthma too. Part I know is from our tragic climate here in the mid-west and part from tragic allergens here in the mid-west… when we were in Belize she was great. When we go home to the SoCal desert she is fine… I’d love to move her in w/ my folks in Cali but she went and got married and lives here. She does see a non-alt type chiro but I’d love to find someone here like you have (nada here for alt meds). She’s a very picky eater and that compounds trying to limit what she might be allergic too on that front. She has ran out of meds and not done as well as Ryan I’m afraid. I’m not even sure what she’s taking; don’t want to know. If I knew I would be searching for alternatives I’m sure, but then wouldn’t be there to make sure that she implemented the alts. It sucks.
I’ve suffered from pollen allergies for years, and developed asthma in high school. Over the years I’ve been to quite a few doctors, spent years taking shots and so forth. My current doc is the first one to suggest not taking antihistamine pills – just nasal sprays and eye drops daily during the season and provided inhaler (Advair) that I only use for episodes or if I know one will come on that day. I’m amazed at how well it seems to work, though I’m sure that I’ve outgrown it quite a bit (when I was 5 I couldn’t sleep at night without being propped up).
I once got some ayurvedic medicine from India, but I don’t know how it would have works as I had to ditch all the acid in my diet and when I snuck some (tomato in pizza) it made me throw up. I’d like to give natural methods another go – curious to see how your holistic docs work out.
Wolfie, I’ve been told too many times to count that homeo works for asthma, but we never did that. There are so many things we didn’t do in the U.S. because of lack of money and/or time. And fear…
Yes, Jen, I thought of you when he was staring into my eyes! Years ago in New York, my mom (hence and I) was a patient of Dr. D’Adamo, the guy who made it famous in the states. The first guy to tell me I should stay off the sugar… Ryan and I have been off for a couple of weeks now. We aren’t dead.
Hey, Dan, no one mentioned getting off them… Glad they did to you! What a relief. Ryan is doing so good, I’m thinking he must’ve outgrown it at some point recently…
Hi John, Ryan used Singulair and Symbicort, which is akin to Advair. And everything I’ve read or been told is that asthma symptoms are usually brought on by an allergy. Both my doctors are working on curing the allergies. Dr. Kim said Ryan can never eat peanuts (which he always has enjoyed to no ill effects), but other than that, he should stick to the alkaline diet (I’m posting this today).
Over the years, I have noticed that when Ryan eats a goodly amount of sugar, or nothing but pasta, his breathing is much more noticeable and wheezy. We’ve also both been using a neti pot which is supposed to clear up allergies. Actually, it’s a baby syringe, but same thing. Ryan breathes thru his mouth always, he’s always congested, even on the drugs. That’s allergies. He and I are both determined to kick this if possible. Worst case scenario, he goes back on the drugs and we have our answers!
i live in guanacaste and i see chemtrails here. i think. anybody else?
yeah, Robin, I think so much is the weather and specific allergens. I have a friend who is wanting to move to Key West from NJ for that very reason. She can breathe in Key West!!! And, yes, better not to know the meds. You’ll just scare yourself like me… How’s that baby!?!?!?!?
Arp, the holistic way has got to offer some relief, I figure. It’s just been around too long to ignore. You all sound like the beach is where it’s gonna be at for you, but I have a friend in Tamarindo who comes in to see Dr. Jim, he’s so good.
Don’t know about the chemtrails… bummer.
For What It’s Worth
If I understand, the standard approach to identifying food allergies is to eliminate most all foods from the diet and then reintroduce one at time and record results. I’ve always had a hard time imagining just who had the patience for this strategy. I’ve also heard of “skin” tests to identify allergies, but have some vague recollection that the results are not particularly reliable.
Somewhere along the way I heard that a “craving” for a food might be a way to identify a food allergy. At least in the case of my wife with tomatoes, this is particularly true. She is severely allergic to tomatoes and also has a near uncontrollable urge to eat any tomato she sees. Accordingly, we keep absolutely no tomatoes in the house.
I don’t know the truth of the “craving” test for allergies, but it sure is simple, quick, and low cost.
Hi John … Funny you should mention the allergy elimination diet, as, on my return home from Costa Rica, I am being facilitated through this process with my naturopath. Patience, yeah, need that for this m.o., absolutely! As I am NOT so much a patient gal, I am counterbalancing my impatience with an optimism that an identified food allergy could explain 20 years of symptoms … and subsequently support me toward great health moving forward.
Sally, I’m *so* glad to hear Ryan is faring well. I think it is a good thing when we explore ways to support our own best health … and a good thing when we’re willing to rock the boat a bit in that process. I hope all continues swimmingly!
cindy, just loooving my no dairy, no wheat, no eggs, no corn, no sugar, no soy, no citrus, no chemicals meals these days … but still optimistic!
Good to hear that Ryan is remains improved without the meds.
I’m one of those people who goes around with a stuffy head all the time here in Florida. It moved with me when I changed houses recently, so I’m pretty sure it wasn’t from being in an old wood-frame house built in ’25 as I’m now in an all CB house built in the mid-50s.
But the odd thing is that whenever I come to CR, about the third day there my head clears up and stays that way for the duration of the trip. Once I return home to Tampa, in about three days I am stuffy again. So it has to be something here in Florida.
I do think diet is contributory to the problem to some extent. I love milk and dairy products and when I consume them it seems to exacerbate the situation. There was a time when I had access to raw goat’s milk from a local organic goatery (is that a word?). When I would drink the goat milk (from freshing does) my head would open right up and stay open ’til I ran out. It may have been the colostrum in the freshened milk. I’ve not researched this further but it sounds reasonable to me.
I haven’t had any raw goat milk in years, but have heard that one can get it there in CR. Might be worth a try, though when I’m down there I don’t ever have the problem. Due to the smaller size of the fat molecules in goat’s milk it is supposed to be better for you as it is much easier to digest than cow’s milk.
Sorry but there are chemtrails here and there has been since their start in 2003. The planes leave from the airport in San Jose and I have pictures that I took of the planes with the sprayers attached after landing at the airport. Where I live here on a mountain in C.R. I see them spraying daily. Sorry to tell you because I moved here in hopes of none as well. They are spraying everywhere not just in the states. Do your homework and educate yourself. Have you suffered from the cold or flu here and it lingers for weeks and months? Study up because I think you like to know the truth. There is a major study going on here involving HARP as well. Google chemtrails and Costa Rica. They did not exist here before 2003. Have you not noticed them at all? Especially for example at the beaches on a pretty sunny day and the sky is gray? I know it is easier to be stupid but you do not seem to the type to bury your head in the sand. There is an herb called Paul D Arco which would be great for you son. Look into it. Also some people do believe the trails cause problems with breathing etc. because of the fungus in it. There is a device called the terminator which you can google and is inexpensive. My son had the same problems and does not now after using this for over 2 years. Remember the President of C.R. is friends with Bush and the dome at the airport with NASA written on it is there with permission. That is where you can request a tour for your blog and you will not get in. Answer is they explore the volcanos and air to make maps for C.R. and this is not true. Check for yourself but please do not say there are no trails here when I have studied these and I know for a fact there is. I know you mean well but it simply is not true. Ask any tico that is in farming or has worked outside and they will tell you that they see them as well and that the sky used to be all blue etc. Please check out all the information and know the truth………
Forgot to also mention accupunture will also help your son. And most importantly I am sure you are aware that in Key West during the years of 2000 to 2003 this area was sprayed massively. I know I lived there and was invited by the military to watch the experiments. I would love to talk to you sometime. I lived in Key West for 6 years before moving here. I was the one that called the press and department of defence and wrote for the newspapers there with my pics. Also gluten is a very common food allergy that many people do not know they have. A gluten free diet will also help your son. I know how special he is to you because I had a miracle son at 40 and was told I would never have a child. I set upon a mission of natural products etc. and 6 months later I was pregnant. My son is my life so I know what you mean. He will be fine. Just be careful and believe. Also an indoor air filtration system will help him breathe easier as well. Keep us informed on your angel……
Sally – my wife is a water chick. Always has, always will be. We’ll start off in the Central Valley (thinking Atenas) and then eventually head out to the coast.
Hey, John, I’ve heard the cravings theory also. Makes sense in an odd way. And Ryan does crave the sugar. Has anyone ever craved something good for you???? Like water? Why couldn’t I crave water? Sigh.
Cindy, you must have some incredible patience. Learned it in Costa Rica, did you??? Ha ha… is it funny yet? But like eliminating allergies, it must be nice to know: scratch one off the list! I’ll be curious to know how your search goes. Do you really not eat anything, then add a food at a time, see what it does? I loved my liver cleanse, btw. Doing it again in two weeks, also doing some other stuff. The cleanse was great!
Paul, isn’t that interesting you would have such different physical stuff here and in the U.S. No wonder you’d want to move here! Ryan is doing good, I wonder if the different weather here is a factor – I feel the same, but I don’t have his allergies.
Debora, you are a cheery sort!!! Oh well, the U.S. is bringing all it’s most impressive crap here, why not chemtrails. I don’t like having my head in the sand, but I don’t like dwelling on what I can’t control either. There is so much bad stuff in the world now, I have my sticky wickets… chem trails is going to have to be at the bottom of the list for me for awhile. Is there anyplace withOUT chemtrails????
I have heard of the gluten thing also and have a note to ask the doctors. I think that might be the basis of the wheat allergy. I’m ready to change the whole diet plan.
Some friends told me that – and I’m probably the last to know – when they make hamburger, they use the ENTIRE cow: bones, lips… you know, all the rest. I’m never having hamburger in my house again.
Arp, Atenas sounds like a perfect area. Or Puriscal – lots of homeschoolers in Puriscal and the highway is actually getting done there. An hour from San Jose, an hour from the beach…
We got a couple of recommendations for Puriscal. It was on the to-do list that we knew wouldn’t get done at the rate we were going (2 little kids = one activity/outing per day ;-)). I can’t wait to get back and keep exploring.
I have heard there are no chemtrails in China. I am cheery and I just wanted to set the record straight. It is not exactly on the top of my list either. The thing that bothers me is that more and more people I know here are getting sick. I love Costa Rica and the nature, so it is sad. And…. yes one person or a group can make change. Will keep you informed as I am going to do something soon to bring it out with the Ticos and will keep you informed. I am also aware of the worlds problems and trying to put food on the table which leaves little time for activism but will do it anyway.
CHINA??? Yikes. Thank you for setting the record straight. We have been pretty sick off and on, air quality problems, all cough and throat stuff, so… Please DO keep me informed when you learn more. No sense sticking my head in the sand!