I have spent a few weeks going through many items pertaining to Integrative Medicine and change overall. I wrote just a few weeks back about changing routines, and tips on how to get your child to take any supplements or prescribed medications. But there is still one more thing I wanted to make sure I hit on while we are on the subject of making changes, especially pertaining to the biomedical implementations: Don’t do everything at once!
In a sense, it would be much easier to just make a list of all the changes that you want to make, and then choose a day to integrate them all, instead of having to make constant changes over a longer period of time. The reason why we do NOT want to do this, is because there is no real way to track which items actually were beneficial, neutral, or even potentially harmful. Especially in the realm of medications and supplements. It’s just like when you first started feeding your child food for the first time, and your doctor probably recommended that you introduce one, and then wait three days before introducing another. This is primarily meant to help determine if your child is allergic to anything specific, and yes safety first at all times is important. But for our purposes, it actually works both to track good and bad.
For a real-life example of all this, I’ll tell you about the recent checkup with my son’s intervention specialist. This visit, just like each visit before, we got a list of recommendations on how to proceed with Damion’s treatment. What supplements we can stop, a couple of new things we can add in, and some other integrative treatments we can look at implementing. Even though I have the list and could theoretically start doing everything new that he recommended by tomorrow, it will actually take me a few weeks, possibly even a couple of months to make all the changes. Attempting to determine what is helpful requires that short “buffer” period (generally about 3 days) to track the changes. Sometimes the doctor will actually recommend even more time, especially on supplements where we are instructed to “work up to” the full amount.
I would also suggest more than just a mental note on progress. Our lives can be crazy and if you are making multiple changes over a few months’ time, remembering them off hand is not easy. At least it isn’t for this scatterbrained mom here. My best suggestion is to keep a calendar, specifically for your child. You can do this in a very basic way and just make a couple of notes when new things are added or changes are made, and anything positive or negative you saw in the allotted time period after. Or you can get really fancy with things like this and make it color coded. If you color code positive changes in one color and negative in another it makes it really easy to look back over a long time period and find what is helpful and what wasn’t.
Although a lot of the tracking that I am referring to is in the terms of a new supplement or medication, this system is also useful when adding in a new therapy or even a new system at home for change. The only difference with a therapy, is it will likely take a lot more than 3 days to measure the change. I plan to dive into specific diets and eating more in length at another time but this tracking system is also very helpful for tracking diet changes as well.
As a busy mom, making an effort to track changes can sometimes feel like just another thing to add to an already overwhelming day. It basically requires you as the mom to implement a new change yourself, get the new supplies, carve out time for writing what you have seen and even remembering to request input from the other parities in your child’s life, such as sitters or aids or teachers to ask what changes they may be seeing. It is definitely another thing to do. But for those mommas trying so hard to implement those positive changes to your kiddo’s life, give those changes time to show through without other factors weighing in, and make sure your tracking effort on the back-end is being done too. I promise, you will see the value in all the extra work.