The naturopath told me it was safe to use the oil anywhere I had pain. I was tender along the mastoid bone behind the ear. My husband suggested I swipe it with oil. We turned out the lights to go to sleep. Almost immediately, I felt as though I were in an Indiana Jones movie with tiny “worms” crawling right through my skin, similar to the first experience with oil on my spine, but much more intense. It was completely freaky. I asked my husband to turn on the light to make sure he didn't see anything. It’s amazing he didn’t just pack up at that point. I never had that intensity of a reaction again. Just days later, I developed the massive ear infection. Did it contribute? I don’t know. The timing was coincidenta, yet what physician would have believed me? I was having a hard enough time with just the medical facts.
Olivia had developed sleep apnea. She would wake, hypoxic and terrified. We were scared, too. Chris wondered if low oxygen levels were waking her? He was right and the apnea severe. She had her tonsils and adenoids removed with little improvement, than developed one ear infection after another, five in six months or perhaps one that never completely went away. Each new round of antibiotics, she would wake, screaming in agony, “Owie, owie, owie,” over and over again, grabbing her tailbone and base of her neck. We had no answers.
Then one night, Olivia rubbed my back after a particulary itchy session to make me feel better. She woke in the night screaming, just as she had with the antibiotics.
I took her to the pediatrician, only to learn that though her ears were red, she did not have an infection that warranted treatment. The pain had another source. It was on the way home the answer struck. My oils had caused Olivia to experience a Herx reaction. The realization that Olivia had Lyme disease, too, hit hard. She needed help, but where should we turn?
On the heals of so many doctors refusing to listen, the answer came easily to my husband, toward the one person who was helping me, my naturopath.
I called and explained what had happened and we were in her office the next day. She believed Olivia also had Lyme disease and wanted to begin a milder mixture of essential oils. Instead of her spine, we were to place it around the soles of her feet.
That night, Olivia lay on the bed while I applied the oil. She sat up and began looking around, saying there were bugs in the bed that were biting her. They were on her legs, her back and finally her neck and back of head. I told her it was okay and it would only last for about ten minutes. We did a crazy dance we called the itchy dance and giggled until the itching stopped. She lay back in bed and turned to us with a surprised look on her face and said, “I can hear!”
Then she lay down and fell into a peaceful deep sleep, the first we had ever observed.
My husband turned to me and an expletive slipped from his lips. It wasn’t that he hadn’t believe me. It is just that with an adult, how much was psychological? There was always the argument that I was getting better because I wanted it to work, though that argument certainly had not held up with my previous treatments. Olivia had no preconceived notions of what to expect or what would happen as a result of her treatment. She knew only that we had rubbed something on her feet. It was simply amazing!
My husband has encouraged me to write a blog for years while I worked on a book about our experiences with Lyme disease. Inspired by "Julie and Julia", I have finally listened. Lyme is real is our family's story.