hugo-soccerI have to say, I’m absolutely gutted today. I am overwhelmed almost to the point of despair about how I am supposed to raise healthy children in a world where millions of people do not care about the ways we are polluting our soil, groundwater, food supply, electromagnetic environment, etc. etc.

I really just have one primary driver: I don’t want any of my family to develop a serious illness. The cancer rate is now 1 in 2. That’s right, out of every single person you know, half of them will have cancer at some point in their lives.

Why doesn’t that stat live with people and permeate their lives? When you go to buy your groceries, “1 in 2” should be playing in your head, when you spray your lawn, when you reach for your cell phone, “1 in 2” should be repeating over and over. When you buy your kid – with their still-developing, thinner skull, a cell phone (for pete’s sake!) and a wireless computer, “1 in 2” should be positively booming in your head.

What exactly is going on? Does every mother at my kids’ school think that her child is going to be the disease-free half of the population, so she doesn’t have to change anything? Uh….hmmm, let’s just do the math for one millisecond and we realize how ludicrous that is. Or do they just not care?

Or are they like the school board, who bases all of it’s decisions upon information put out by industry-influenced sources? Are people really that naive? Has no one learned anything from the cigarette/smoking issue? Or the swine flu fiasco?

Do I sound a tad irate? Do I sound like I just can’t take it anymore? Because you know what, I’ve already healed myself of serious, chronic illness (largely inflicted upon me by the well-meaning ignorance of my parents). And I am NOT going through that again.

People who have never had a serious illness, don’t realize that you will spend almost every minute in misery for YEARS. They don’t understand that nothing is worth that. But I do.

And that’s why I’m so beside myself at having to live in a community where everyone around me is continually making disease-producing choices and I’m the only one pushing in another direction.

And yes, I’m “pushing.” I spend every day pushing against the choices made by other parents when they give my children chemical and sugar-laden foods at playdates and birthday parties. When the school installs wireless computers and allows children to bring cell phones to school and the teachers provide sugary, chemical-laden “treats” at every holiday. When other parents send sugar/chemical “treats” to school for everyone when it’s their child’s birthday, valentine’s day, halloween, etc. And what about all the after-soccer, birthday party, post-performance celebrations at McDonald’s and Dairy Queen?

Oh yes, thank you, that’s so nice of you! Cause you know, I was having a hard time getting my kids to eat enough sugar and artificial crap without your help.

And what does that turn me into? The big, bad, nagging meanie. When I’m really a fun-loving, adventurous, dynamic person who has always lived life in the “flow”. Now every single day, I’m “pushing”. I hate it. I hate living this way.

But I hate illness even more.

When I think, I should just give up, let the kids be like everyone around them, and remove a huge stressor from my life, then I also think: Yeah, and for how long? Because one thing you learn when you have to heal yourself from a serious, supposedly “incurable” illness, is what produces disease and what produces health.

So I don’t have the benefit of ignorance. I KNOW that if I let my kids do what everyone else is doing and we live the way everyone else is living…”1 in 2″. And that’s just cancer. That doesn’t even include MS, Lupus, diabetes, Crohn’s, colitis (which is approaching epidemic levels), CFS, etc etc.

What’s the solution? Do we have to go completely “off the grid” and buy 150 acres somewhere and grow our own food, have our own water supply, homeschool our children, etc. Oy vey, and how would I have the time/energy to do all that and still run my business? And where exactly would we do that?

Or are there places where there are communities of people who are already aware of the toxicity of “normal” lifestyles and a bunch of people doing something different? I’ve heard about a development in Vilcabamba, Ecuador – but you may have to be a vegetarian, raw foodist to live there and personally the crime and the bugs don’t appeal to me.

And then if you join any kind of “community” aren’t you going to get all the whacky people and bureaucrats who just want to control everyone – kind of like a strata council (or condo owner’s association) that never stops?

You see what I mean? Now you know why I’m feeling totally gutted, trapped, exhausted, etc. I don’t actually want to move anywhere, or become a farmer.

But I don’t want my kids to develop a serious, chronic illness, even more.

A friend of mine is convinced the solution is to move to New Zealand. Who knows??

Raising Healthy Children
12 Comments

12 thoughts on “Raising Healthy Children

  • I really identify with what you’re expressing here.

    Your words conjure a sense of admiration for me like no one else’s, and many of the topics you’re bringing here right now are daily points of conversation between Caitlin and I.

    It’s unbelievable that people in every type of community there is in our world are not coming together in a unified effort to prevent all of this suffering to continue. I’ve felt this way for as long as I can remember, I’ll never understand why seeing me go through my serious illness wasn’t the “canary call” for everyone who saw it. The friends and family were more content to plan a funeral than to make so much as the slightest effort to intervene in the process of illness.

    Eventually the work you’ve done came to my attention, and with it all of the others who were as willing to heal as I had been. Healing like this is something that only sick people seem to be able to understand how to do. I don’t know how the masses can see people wasting away and not feel like they’re next in line, but at least I know I’m not alone.

    I’m 25 and Caitlin’s 22, and we’ve made every effort possible to minimize our risk from the modern environment. Day in and day out we are overburdened by the weight of being the only people we know anywhere willing to do this for ourselves. There’s only so much that two pairs of hands can comfortably do, and while we’ve got to the point that growing most of our produce isn’t a problem there’s no time left to make for any kind of ranching.

    Balancing the amount of effort that it takes to live with minimal harm to ourselves with the amount of effort it takes to earn a substantial enough income to do so in the first place is a never ending tug-o-war.

    Reading a blog like this is comforting. At least there’s other people who are as aware of the dilemmas we’re all facing. 150 acres in south america probably isn’t the answer..

  • Yeah Jini, I hear you. So much to think (and worry) about. EMF’s, GMO’s, Pesticides. Good that you took the opportunity to vent. And somehow, it’s imperative that we carve out an existence where we connect with the love and joy that’s available – if we think about this stuff 7×24, we’ll go nuts.

  • My sentiments ——- EXACTLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why is health now something we have to fight for and are made to feel like aliens because we are trying to do what is best for our kids? Love the article…..don’t tell too many people about New Zealand ;0)

  • I’m answering more generally…not just about food & environmental choices, but about any life choice.

    I think it’s the age-old question when you want to follow a different path than most people are…and you don’t want your children squeezed into the “most people” mold. How do you accomplish that?

    I do think, in the end, kids have to have their own “why” for following the path less-travelled…especially if the highway everyone else is on looks like it’s more “free” and more fun. I think that means reaching their hearts and minds…I think that can’t happen if our children don’t respect us. I think you earn respect, among other ways, by walking your talk and by being in charge in a fair way.

    Not that I’m saying I know how to accomplish all this in any kind of foolproof way. I’m figuring it out, too…and it remains to be seen how my own kids will “turn out”. Also, no one’s perfect, so you can come up with great ideas that you’re incapable of executing perfectly. Still, those are the tracks my thoughts are running in.

    I love hearing from older people, who’ve successfully raised families, about parenting…so I’m hoping you’ll get some comments like that here, too.

  • you try and control what is within your control, everything else is beyond your reach. If you keep and enjoy a happy mind you will have a happy body to enjoy. If you are screwed up mentally – then so will your body!! Only Salmon can swim upstream and when it reaches the destination, it dies anyway….. so why are you trying to swim upstream. You have one life, live it well, enjoy it and do your best. How many diseases are genetically controlled and how can you change your genes – worrying will surely not help the cause. Next you will be wishing for all cars and planes be banned as they create pollution, all medical diagnostic equipment be banned as the produce radiation..etc….Is it time again for horse and buggy!!!!!!!

  • Hi Jini – yes, everything you say I have had days and days where I feel exactly the same. It is even worse now that my children are older and I truly can’t keep them from playing at the friends house loaded with wireless gadgets, or going to UBC which is swimming in Wi-Max. I am actually looking for a large acreage out of EMR range to start a nature school/retreat as I can’t just sit here and feel that there is nothing I can do. My nature is also fun, alive, joyful and adventurous. Since I have been contemplating these issues, most specifically the one I can control the least, which is the all pervasive microwave radiation from wireless technologies, I have become sad, worried and suffer from nights of worrying in the dark about all our futures. Where we have choices, we must exercise those choices and speak up. I am committed to persevering in spreading information about the harm from microwave radiation, specifically in all the places that children congregate. That is my area of deepest concern, and I do a bit every day. To give up trying to make the world better is to accept death, not just of body but spirit. Keep speaking out – it is people like you that create change.

  • Ok, take off the tinfoil hat for a moment and realize that you don’t have solid proof to back any of this up. “1 in 2 will get cancer”. Complete and utter bullshit. I searched all over and could not find a single bit of evidence that supported that statement. You’re a crazy hypochondriac making herself feel better with antioxidants and snake oil. Also remember, everyone on the planet develops cancer, we are all cancer survivors.

  • Jini, I, like 99% of your readers and fans, support you 100% in everything you are saying here – and bravo for not being afraid to be publicly angry in a positive way.

    May I make one suggestions? Why don’t you go the whole hog, and pull your kids out of school and home school them. You are not a person to do things by halves, Jini, after all! : )

    Will it be difficult? Yes. Will you have days when you wonder why on earth you made that decision? Yes. Many of them. Will you feel a failure? Yes. Often. Will you be persecuted for your decision, even by those you love best? Yes. Often. Might you experience rebellion with at least one of your children? Yes.

    But will it eventually prove to have been worth it? Yes, yes, and yes – just as worth it as your decision to make your IBD story public, create your website, persevere every day with research, and leave no stones unturned to provide the help for those whom the medical / public health system has so badly let down.

    Out of our five kids, whom we home-schooled for many reasons, including those you are (rightly) fuming about, two have now graduated from university, one with a Masters degree, one is about to complete her Bachelor’s degree, one has just started his, and the other you already know about: we are trying to save his life and your books and newsletters are helping us keep our courage up. And we have one very beloved and not-yet-returned prodigal.

    But we know we made the only possible right decision, and when our youngest flew the nest all the way to Barcelona, Spain, to start his B. Mus. this Fall, the feeling of gratitude that we had been given the grace to persevere through it all was overwhelmingly wonderful, despite all the tough times. : )

    You would be surprised at the incredible support network there is for home-schooling in Canada and the U.S. – very much akin to the network of people helping each other out with health information over the Internet. Also the almost overwhelming wealth of richness and choice of curriculum. In fact, here’s another challenge: why don’t you team up with your kids and create some of your own curriculum in the Health Sciences?

    Material from somebody with your breadth and extensive personal experience (not to mention anecdotes from your readers) would be enormously valuable, and the home school movement is growing significantly as more and more parents find themselves, just like you, fuming at the hard-hearted blindness and uncaringness of ‘the system’. You are well-educated, well-organized, and hungry to keep learning yourself; you taught your kids everything during their pre-school years, so why on earth would you not continue, especially given the tremendous resources available for the job nowadays?

    Bless you… and don’t forget to follow you own excellent advice: “listen to your gut”!!

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