The week from hell

Posted August 16th, 2005 by Penny Wise

I wish we didn't have a car to run, maintain, insure, fill with gas and all the other stuff that goes with it, but the harsh reality is that most of the time it is indeed necessary to get ourselves from A to B as we go about our daily lives. In the last week, I have come to realise how essential it is for our family to have a car, in what I none-too-affectionately term 'the week from hell'. For more than a week I was not allowed to use my car for anything; even something as insignificant as popping out for a bottle of milk or returning library books, and it was really hard! It wouldn't have been so bad, normally I would have been keen for a challenge, but on this occasion the reason I was unable to use my car was my son Liam.

You may remember the car accident that the boys and I were involved in a couple of months ago. At the time, I thought we coped pretty well under the circumstances. I felt that the boys needed some sort of closure to the event; after all, we knew how lucky we were to still be here, so we wrote a letter to God, the angels and all the people we knew in heaven, to say thank you for watching over us and looking after us. Then we put it in the fire, so all our messages would blow out of the chimney and across the sky to heaven. The boys were quite happy and I thought we had done a great job of dealing with the situation. Unfortunately, not all of us had.

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed a change in nine year old Liam. He became withdrawn, tearful, moody and had trouble sleeping. He no longer played outside, preferring to just sit in front of the TV, not even watching it. All his wackiness and zany sense of humour had disappeared and he became increasingly worried about everything - and I mean everything, from coping at high school (two years away), to not knowing how to use an EFTPOS machine or credit card! His friends and their parents also noticed how he had withdrawn inside himself; the normally popular sporty boy no longer played outside at school, instead he sat in the classroom alone, drawing and reading. I couldn't put my finger on what the problem was, until a friend pointed out that Liam never sat in the front seat of the car since the accident (he and Ali always used to fight over who would sit in the front!) and it began to dawn on me.

Things gradually got worse each time we traveled in the car - first he would have his head literally stuck in a book for the entire journey so he didn't have to look where he was going. Then he began lying down in the back of the car with his eyes closed the whole time. Things continued to worsen until by last week he was on the verge of being agoraphobic. He would do absolutely anything to avoid having to leave the house (for example, when his grandma offered to take him to see the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie, Liam declined and said he would have to wait until it came out on video). When he did leave the house, it was with a blanket over his head. My poor boy was absolutely terrified of going anywhere in case we had another accident, but his fears had now gone way beyond the car accident alone; it was affecting every aspect of his life. The fact he knew he was worrying too much only worried him even more!

I made an appointment with Fran Sheffield, the homeopath last week and we had a long phone conversation. Fran prescribed what she felt to be a suitable remedy to help with his anxiety. Last Thursday, Liam was still traveling incognito with the blanket over his head. Friday morning his remedy from Fran arrived and I gave him a single dose in the morning. Friday evening we travelled an hour in the car to the city and ate out at a restaurant before going to a rugby game. Liam looked out of the window for most of the journey and was clowning around in a way he hadn't done for weeks. He continued to improve over the weekend, and get this - he has actually volunteered to sit in the front of my car on the way to school every day this week! He is also happily playing outside with his friends again. I could have taken him to a doctor, a counsellor or psychiatrist as I was advised, but I didn't think any of those were right for Liam. It would have cost me 20 sessions with any of those to even get him to talk! Fran set him on the right track with a single homeopathic dose. He still has a little way to go, but I'm so grateful that Simple Savings opened my eyes to the benefits of homeopathic medicine - and we didn't even have to leave the house! I hope sharing my experience can benefit someone else in the future. I would have done absolutely anything to get my happy easy-going boy back, and all it took was a $90 phone consultation!

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