Searching for her remedy was my full time job for the first 3 years of Ellie’s life.  As a nurse-midwife, I have always gravitated toward combining the best of both worlds, meaning western medicine and alternative healing.  My approach has been no different with my daughter’s diagnosis.  If there was a way to miraculously encourage my daughter’s brain to catch up on the growth curve I was going to find it and if I could not find it, I was going to create it my self.

Every morning after dropping Amelia off at her Montessori preschool at the episcopal church on 57th, Elle and I would venture to therapy.  Most mornings were spent in traditional therapies such as the Spokane Guild School and Milestones Speech Therapy.  We spent countless hours just trying to encourage Elle to say words like “please” or “I want”.   People often say I am very patient, well I would like to do a shout out to the speech and occupational therapists of the world.  These people are serious GD warriors of patience and healing.  Hands down to you, especially Chanda Davis Neu.

As with anything in life, one size fits is not really a thing.  What works for one child is never a guarantee for the next.  I found this out the hard way.  We had heard through the “moms of kids with special needs club” grapevine of a place that was offering healing at the natal level.  They claimed they could take the wounded mind and body back into it’s embryonic state to encourage regrowth or new growth of neuropathways between the brain, the spinal cord and the extremities.  Dark rooms and cocoon like hammocks were some of their tools for restoring the human body to it’s intended state. We had been down the path of cranial sacral work, special diets, play therapy, you name it…   But this place was offering to just basically rewire Elle’s neurological pathways for only $350.00 bucks for the first few visits.  This is the point in which we should have known better.

Tim, Elle and I went to our initial visit, met with the director and listed to him claim that he strongly believed his healing center would cure my daughter.  He gave us an abbreviated description of their healing practices, a quick tour of the facility and we scheduled her first appointment for the following Monday morning.  Hopeful and naïve.  The following Monday after dropping Amelia at Montessori Elle and I made our way down the hill to the healing oasis.   I checked her in and we were led back to a private room with a few therapist.  I had an uneasy feeling because I really was not clear about what exactly they were going to be doing with my luminous blue eyed baby girl that morning.   But the therapist reassured me that they would take good care of Elle and to come back in one hour.  So I left my little girl alone.

I managed to make it to the Starbucks drive through before I broke down… again.  It probably was not helping matters either that I was obsessed with Nora Jones’s newest album at the time, Come Away With Me.  Her music has a way of going deep as I am sure you all can relate.  Just as I was making my way back to the parking lot to wait for Elle, the 2nd song titled Seven Years began to play.  I had never truly listened to the words before, mostly just infatuated with her melodies, until this moment.

Spinning, laughing, dancing to
Her favorite song
A little girl with nothing wrong and
She Is all alone
Eyes wide open
Always hoping for the sun
And she’ll sing her song to anyone
That comes along
Fragile as a leaf in autumn
Just fallin’ to the ground
Without a sound
Crooked little smile on her face
Tells a tale of grace
That’s all her own

 

Thoughts began flooding my mind and making direct connections to my heart.  How could I have left this little girl, this little girl with nothing “wrong” … I am the one there is something wrong with … for handing my daughter over to complete strangers in a place I have no fucking idea what they are doing to her.  Wiping the tears off of my cheek, I shut my car door firmly and walked into the waiting room and asked to have my daughter back right then.  “Now ?  She just has 15 minutes left of her service are you sure…” the receptionist asked.  “Yes, I really am not comfortable with this.”  She led me to the back room and they brought Elle back to my arms.  I could tell she had been crying by her splotchy cheeks and wet lashes. She was in her cotton onesie and diaper and had massage oil all over her body.  I dressed her quickly, through my bag over my shoulder and exited the building, never to return.

The next morning I received a phone call from the medical director.  “I just want to follow up with you and see if everything is ok ? ” he said.  And then he went on to ask how Elle was doing this morning which I thought was odd.  “She is fine.” I said.  “Why do you ask ?”.  He went on to tell me that they did have a little incident yesterday that was just brought to his attention by one of his therapists.  “During your daughter’s therapy yesterday, one of the assistance dropped her and she fell off the table and on to the floor.  We are really sorry this happened.”

I hung up.  I did not even respond to his confession.  Fuck You. And Fuck Me for abandoning my baby girl.  Never Again.

We skipped therapies all together for a few weeks after that.  I stopped signing her up for non evidenced based medicine as well.  I usually like to avoid mainstream but from here on out I was all in for standard therapies when it comes to Elle.  Safe and predictable.

I am not really sure how to wrap this one up.  I have to get ready for work and Elle wants my attention right now.  But if you ever hear seven years by Nora Jones, I hope you will think of Elle and I, and what that song has meant to me.

Spinning, laughing, dancing to
Her favorite song
A little girl with nothing wrong
Is all alone
Eyes wide open
Always hoping for the sun
And she’ll sing her song to anyone
That comes along
Fragile as a leaf in autumn
Just fallin’ to the ground
Without a sound
Crooked little smile on her face
Tells a tale of grace
That’s all her own
Fragile as a leaf in autumn
Just fallin’ to the ground
Without a sound
Spinning, laughing, dancing to her
Favorite song
Well, she’s a little girl with nothing wrong
And she’s all alone
A little girl with nothing wrong
And she’s all alone

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