Vrinda had a difficult childhood as she suffered from frequent asthma attacks. Hospitalization, frequent nebulization, fear of triggers from environment and certain foods kept her parents on their toes. Turning to Mother Nature and adopting Natural Foods brought in un-imaginable results.Today Vrinda is asthma-free; she lives a life of freedom and joy. Here is her heartwarming story.
13 years, Student
(Vrinda’s story as narrated by her mother Pooja Malhotra)
The never ending night
The night of 7th May, 2010, will remain etched in my memory forever , for all the wrong reasons – my little four year old daughter was struggling to breathe; her nails had turned blue, her rosy cheeks were pale, her pink lips had lost their colour and there were dark circles under her eyes. She had been suffering of asthma since she was 11 months old, but this seemed like her worst attack. We immediately took her to her pediatrician. He said that we must rush her to the hospital, without wasting a minute, because she was slipping into hypoxia - a condition wherein oxygen levels in the blood become very low causing tissue damage.
It seemed like a dark, long, endless night!
In the ICU doctors and nurses flung into action. Her tiny face was soon covered by an oxygen mask. Her little arms were punctured with syringes to inject intravenous steroids and I can never forget the blue catheter, plugged into her veins, bigger than the size of her tiny hand. She cried in pain and I cried even more, helplessly seeing my little angel suffer.
An hour passed. Her pO2 levels (oxygen level in the blood) were still very low. I sat by her bedside holding her little hand, my eyes glued to the beeping monitor above; tears in my eyes and a prayer on my lips.
By morning, things brightened up – she was out danger! And at the end of the week, we could finally take her home, though the nebulization and other medication continued for another 2 weeks.
Seasonal and food triggers
Seasonal changes triggered yet another asthma attack before the end of that summer and again required 3 weeks of hourly nebulization. I remember staring at clock, desperately waiting for that one hour (between doses) to lapse, because she was struggling to breathe – her chest badly congested, her nose completely blocked, her throat choking and wheezing. The only silver lining was that this time it did not require hospitalization. She dreaded hospitals! Soon she dreaded seasonal changes, sudden rain, dust, pollen grains and chilly winters, because all these triggers led to just one thing – asthma.
Over the years the list of triggers became longer – Diwali pollution, outside eatables, citrus fruits, packaged juices, potato chips, cheese, anything with preservatives, ice cream, cola drinks, curd- each item added to the list at the cost of an asthma attack. It always started with some allergen triggering a bout of continuous sneezing and itching on her limbs, followed by increased heart rate, nasal blockage, chest congestion and breathing difficulty, which finally escalated to wheezing, shortness of breath and a feeling of being choked. Surprisingly, she never had fever. This meant that her immunity was so low that her body wasn’t even trying to fight the infection.
Resisting temptations was not easy for a six year old, especially with an older sibling and cousins in the house who could afford to binge on any of these food items or all of them at the same time. However, the fear of enduring another attack, wheezing, struggling for breath, no school, no play time, staying in seclusion and being on the nebulizer, gave her strength to keep herself away from a few of her favourite things. A small price paid for breathing normally!
In spite of all these precautions and graduating from the nebulizer to an inhaler and from injectable steroids to tablets, her attacks were becoming more and more frequent; so frequent that her doctor recommended a daily puff of steroids first thing in the morning, even before she stepped out to go to school. Being a qualified pharmacologist, I knew that long term use of steroids could do more harm than good. I realized how easy it was to study and learn that patients suffer from the intense side effects due to these strong medications, but it's so difficult to see your loved ones undergo the same.However, I had no choice. Asthma being life threatening, the nebulizer/inhaler was her only refuge.
I was desperately looking for alternatives and we ended up trying everything from allopathic immunity boosters, ayurvedic cough syrups to homeopathic pills and an even an allergen test (to pin point the precise triggers), but to no avail.
An Angel rescued “My Little Angel”
Incidentally, I was dealing with my own health issues and had healed myself naturally, under the guidance of Dr Salila Tiwari. You can read my health journey here. Nature cure and its healing power had become my mantra for leading a healthy life.
In April, 2017, I visited Dr. Tiwari again for consultation regarding my hair fall. My daughter, who was 11 by then, happened to accompany me. She was sneezing and coughing. She pulled out her inhaler from her pocket, to take a puff.
Tiwari Aunty stopped her and lovingly asked, “Beta, have you ever thought of breathing normally without being dependant on inhalers and medicines?”
My daughter replied, “Aunty that would be like a dream come true. I’m willing to do anything you say.”
Dr. Tiwari quickly chalked out her diet plan comprising of fresh fruits, juices, soups and salad. She said milk, eggs, tea, coffee, sugar and salt were strictly not allowed. She also explained various kriyas such as jalneti, kunjal neti, tel neti, enema and pranayams etc. My daughter followed her advice diligently. However, after 3 days of treatment she developed high fever and a very bad skin rash all over her arms and legs. I was very worried and turned to Dr. Tiwari for guidance.
I could not comprehend Tiwari Aunty’s reaction; she was very happy to know about the rashes.
She said, “Beta, this is wonderful! The rashes are a good sign. Your daughter is in the process of healing and getting freedom from a disease that she has lived with ever since she was a baby!”
On hearing this I was overwhelmed! Tears of joy rolled down my cheeks!
She further explained that asthma and skin were closely connected and now the body was getting rid of all accumulated toxins, through the skin. She said that the treatment should be continued for another week or ten days.
Victory over Asthma
Children have tremendous vitality to recover from any ailment and so they respond to naturopathy much faster than adults. Thus, by the end of that month my daughter was liberated from the shackles of a disease that had snatched away her childhood, a disease that had curtailed her growth, a disease that had ruined many of our vacations and plans.
In the following months, whenever she had an occasional cough, cold or viral infection, she healed herself naturally - through fruits, warm water, amla honey concoction and therapies such as kunjal neti and jalneti.
Life has become a celebration
Today Vrinda continues to follow a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. We eat out occasionally and now she doesn’t have to think twice before gorging on her favourite dishes, though she still avoids consuming packaged juices, chole bhature, kurkure and chips. It’s good to see her enjoy her friends’ birthday parties, eat whatever is being served, without any fear. Relying on her own immunity and natural ways of healing has given her the confidence. In addition to the daily food choices, a monthly detoxification has become a way of life for her - a diet of fresh fruits, amla honey concoction, juices and therapies - for just one day every month.
In fact, Diwali 2017 was the first ever Diwali that my daughter celebrated with full fervor, free from the fear of being closeted in her room with the nebulizer. Seasons are now a welcome change and unexpected rain showers are a joyous celebration. Indeed, life itself has become a celebration – a celebration of victory over asthma!
(The above story is about Vrinda Malhotra as narrated by her mother Pooja Malhotra.Pooja, a mother of two, is a cyber safety counselor by profession and a writer by choice. She loves reading and is now avidly promoting natural living and wellness.)
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