We are currently giving Emma eight different supplements recommended by the naturopathic physician I have been taking her to. I am not a big pill taker, in fact I must be in extreme pain before I’ll think to take an aspirin and even then, Richard usually has to remind me. “Honey, why don’t you take some advil?” he’ll say. “Oh! Good idea. I hadn’t thought of that.” Then Richard will smile at me with a look usually reserved for a very young child.
My deep distrust in the medical community stems from my father’s horseback riding accident when he broke his back and lay hospitalized in a coma when I was just nine years old. The doctors were skeptical regarding his recovery, some even wondered whether he would come out of his coma at all, while others suggested he would remain paralyzed for the remainder of his life. When he came to and months later after grueling daily sessions of physical therapy began to walk and even start horseback riding again, I concluded it was all an inexact and questionable science. Actually my issues with medicine are more likely genetic and coded in during utero, but in any case, I don’t trust doctors. I view hospitals with the same degree of horror others view a sinkhole, it would probably not be an exaggeration to say I have a phobia toward them.
The fact that I am the driving force in giving Emma eight different supplements, while Richard (who pops aspirin like they’re chiclets) rolls his eyes and wanders off into another part of the house, is nothing short of ironic.
“I have a theory about all of this.” I made this announcement yesterday morning as I prepared to leave for my studio. I can’t be sure, but I think Richard muttered something derisive under his breath. I ignored him. “I think these supplements have healed the cracks on her heels. They’re almost all gone.”
“You don’t think all the lotion I rub into her feet every morning and night and making her wear socks has anything to do with that?” Richard asked, with what sounded to me like an unnecessarily aggressive tone.
“Well let’s stop doing that and see if her feet get worse,” I reasoned.
“No. We are not going to stop the thing that is probably helping her feet heal.” Richard countered.
“I’m just saying, if you want to know for sure, we would need to stop and see if the cracks come back,” I said.
“Look, if you want to stop, then go ahead after they’ve completely healed, but we’re not going to stop before that.”
And here’s the thing – Richard’s probably right. Every evening and morning before Emma gets dressed, Richard carefully rubs ointments and lotions into the cracks on her feet, then he painstakingly finds socks (in colors that match her shoes) and gives them to her to put on before she slips on her Uggs. Because that’s the kind of amazing guy he is – thoughtful, kind, caring and a devoted dad. He has been doing this for over a month now and sure enough the cracks on her feet have almost completely healed.
When I took Emma to the naturopath last week he looked at her feet and noticed how nicely the cracks were healing. I described how Richard was caring for them with lotions and insisting Emma wear socks. He nodded his head and said, “Well at least they’re healing.” But I could tell he thought it was from the supplements I’ve been giving her. I asked him if he thought the cracks could be healing from wearing socks and all the lotion we’ve been putting on. He shook his head and said, “Socks and lotion aren’t doing that.”
Maybe, but maybe not. In any case, I’m really glad I have a husband who’s on top of the whole lotion part and we’ll keep giving her supplements in the hope they are doing something positive too.
For more on Emma’s journey through a childhood of autism, go to: Emma’s Hope Book