“There is a saying in life that goes “one day we’ll look back at this and smile” and that very much applies to the story I’m about to tell you.
In 2015 at the tender age of 3, my oldest son, Colton, was diagnosed with “RSV” or restrictive airway disease. This diagnosis came after two long years of chronic sinus infections, coughs (which lasted months at a time) and restricted breathing, which, at it’s worst, landed us in the intensive care unit at a major hospital whose staff stood by – ready to perform an emergency throat trach as my son lie there, gasping for oxygen.
These are times that as a Mom are incredibly hard to relive. Even as I write the words of my story, the rush of fear, uncertainty and helplessness that I felt then come rushing back like taunting bullies that they are. It is one of the many reasons I will tell our story, so that a family in my shoes, in our shoes, can find the hope that I so desperately sought back then.
After Colton’s 2015 hospital stay and subsequent discharge, we took the RSV diagnoses and left feeling very defeated. It felt like a permanent label that would require supervision and intervention but all without true resolution. We were referred to a pulmonologist for a “management plan” which, after a 30 minute intake, he sent us on our way with daily doses of an oral steroid, an at home nebulizer and an emergency inhaler. “Call the office if he gets worse.” His parting words plagued me all the way home. Why would he get worse? Is that a possibility? Isn’t that what we are trying to avoid? In that moment, I remember thinking “is this right, God? Is this the only way to manage this condition?” I felt a nudge to dig further.
I took the pile of medications and protocols to our pediatrician at the time and while she agreed that in an emergency situation they could prove useful, she implored me to think more critically. “What’s his diet like? His environment? Any allergies? Let’s run a full blood, food & environmental panel to rule some things out,” she said. This medicinal approach led us to our first big breakthrough. Colton came back highly reactive to dairy and eggs. These things, being consumed regularly, were keeping his body in a highly inflamed, reactive state. We changed his diet and we watched the incidence of breathing episodes decrease in both frequency and severity. Albeit grateful for progress, I was still desperate for his full and complete healing. [I’m a root cause – get me to the “why” – kind of gal].
Colton’s restricted breathing episodes continued from 2016 -2019. About 3-4 times a year, we found ourselves in an emergency room seeking intervention. Between nebulizers, inhalers and oral steroids, I was resigned to the fact that this may be the only way we could manage (read: suppress symptoms) going forward. Well meaning friends and family would tell me things like “It’s only a little medication here and there” or “he’ll grow out of it, mine did…”. I know their intentions were good, but looking back, I think so many accept certain things as a way to avoid that horrible defeating feeling of not having hope (and the grave importance of always having hope, which we’ll get to later).
Fast forward to August 2019, Colton developed yet another gunky cold which always preceded breathing restriction. The familiar sinus symptoms, plugged up ears and persistent cough emerged. We dug into our usual bag of tricks but I could tell that his breathing was turning dangerously laborious. The nebulizer didn’t help, the inhaler didn’t help and knowing we didn’t have time on our side, we rushed, yet again, to the ER.
Colton was treated (as he always was) with a combination of oxygen, back to back breathing treatments and finally a steroid. As we were being discharged, the supervising doctor said to me, “it’s odd… his chest is so tight – almost as if it can’t open up fully to breathe.” In the mental notepad in my mind, I scribbled the word structural, which ended up being a critical piece of our puzzle later.
When we arrived home, I told my husband to head to bed and that I wanted to lie with Colton all night. I checked his oximeter incessantly and while his oxygen was sluggishly climbing, it was still lower than desired. He was maxed out on breathing treatments but finally comfortable and asleep, so I let him be and just put his little hand in mine and started sobbing. Four tedious years of frustration, guilt, helplessness, worry, grief and pain poured down my face. As I wept, I started pleaded with God. “You have to help me heal him. I am not asking you to do the work. I will do the work. But please – PLEASE – guide my footsteps. I’m trusting you to show me what to do.”
There is a scripture in the Bible, Matthew 7:7 that says “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”
Right when I had just started to doze off, my phone, next to Colton’s beside, pinged loudly with an alert I had never heard before. I grabbed my phone and it was an event notification push from Facebook about an event “I might be interested in…”
The event was at PWC Chiropractic (which I had never heard of) and it was called “Kick the Sick”. I will never forget reading the description of the event which in lesser words said something like “is your child stuck in an endless loop of chronic illness? Come learn why. There was that word…. WHY! Show me the why, baby!!! PS: Are you kidding me God? That was quick.
I could barely wait the four days until the event took place and that day, drove to Crystal Lake with a mixture of uncertainty and excitement. At the Kick the Sick event, I took a seat with a room full of other parents, some with kids in tow, and over some delicious appetizers, I listened intently to the story of a boy named Axton and how his mother had done everything she knew to do in conjunction with their family’s doctors to manage his chronic ear infections, breathing issues and overall persistent loops of illness. It was my story. It was Colton’s story. Axton’s family found him relief in chiropractic and ended up averting ear tubes and adenoid/tonsil removal. Among the many interesting things I learned that evening, I learned that those little adenoids and tonsils are critical detox stopping points in the body and while they can become overburdened, they’re just trying to send the alarm that something is amiss. They aren’t intended to be removed and they weren’t put there by mistake.
I felt like those PX Docs were speaking directly to me that night. I felt like they saw me and most importantly, I felt like they heard me. I signed both my boys up for consultations and Insight Scans that night.
After our initial consultations, we committed to a care plan that sought to allow the boy’s nervous systems to achieve a more balanced state. Colton was in fact structurally “stuck” in his upper neck area making it impossible for any drainage from a simple cold to leave the body normally, so it would pool, become infected and then restrict his breathing (ding ding ding!!!)
My son Knox, also experienced major gains in areas we hadn’t even identified as problematic. He began having more regular bowel movements, his emotions balanced out and his growth exploded.
By the grace of God and because of the amazing PX Docs – my son is healed. It has been ONE YEAR under their care and we have not experienced a single breathing episode. Colton is happy, healthy and thriving. (Remember that part about being able to look back and smile?)
We are eternally grateful for being led to Pediatric Chiropractic and led to regain our HOPE.”