It was a warm, sunny day in August 2017. My husband and I were enjoying a cup of tea and basking in the moment of sheer silence in our home. We were commenting on how all six of our children were getting along so well. Before we could finish the thought, we heard a loud, blood-curdling cry coming from the basement. It was the kind of cry where one person runs down to grab the child while the other one grabs the keys. We knew we were off to the emergency room.
We barely had a moment to assess the situation. There was blood everywhere and the painful scream from our son pierced our hearts. We quickly found the source of blood and worked together to get our son in a safe, comfortable position in the car. On the way to the ER, I sat in the back seat of the car adding gentle pressure to my 4-year old son’s thumb. I can’t even begin to describe in words what his thumb looked like. I knew I had to hold myself together. Panic was the last thing my son needed to see on my face. I prayed so hard as I tried to console him with my voice. With my free hand, I reached for my Young Living Lavendula Angustifolia (Lavender)1 and began using it aromatically to help calm both of us. That marked the beginning of a long road to healing.
When we arrived at the ER, we were rushed back to the pediatric emergency department. My son’s thumb was nearly amputated. When the medical team wheeled him away for emergency surgery, I was devastated. I could feel the stress and anxiety building up in my body. My mind was going through a million “what if” scenarios. I took a moment to pray using Young Living Mentha piperita (Peppermint)2 and Lavendula Angustifolia (Lavender) aromatically to help me stay focused and to calm my anxiety. The moments after seemed like years as my husband and I waited to hear the prognosis. When his surgeon came in he said he did the best he could do considering the circumstances. My son’s thumb was “bag of crushed bones,” his growth plate was damaged, and he was at high risk for infection. When a surgeon says “Our prayers are with you” you know you are hoping for a miracle.
We were not sure what to expect. What I did know was that I wanted to provide the best healing option for my son. For us that included a comprehensive approach to healing by integrating natural, holistic care and medical interventions. As a certified clinical aromatherapist, my focus is not only on the application of authentic plant-derived essential oils for enhancing the physical, emotional, and mental health of the individual, but also on identifying the nature of the issue within the context of the whole person including diet, lifestyle, and stress levels. For my son, my primary focus was healing his physical thumb which included stabilizing his mental and emotional health and nourishing his body so he could heal quickly.
First, I identified the specific essential oils to use for supporting muscle and skeletal health and the brain, including frequency of use and the stage of the healing process for implementation. Next, I gathered resources for medicinal foods that can be used to support the healing of bones, ligaments, tissue, and muscles. Last, I connected with our functional medicine doctor to identify what supplements could be used to support rapid healing. In addition to his medical care, I used Young Living essential oils aromatically and topically at a therapeutic level, incorporated a rainbow of plant-based whole foods rich in nutrients, and supplements recommended by our functional medicine doctor including calcium, omegas, and additional greens.
It is important to note that healing from trauma is not only important for the patient, but also for the family and caregivers. I used specific essential oils aromatically to support the emotional health of our family to help us recover from the trauma and also to provide a space for love, healing, and support. As a caregiver, I was on high alert for self-care so I could continue to provide long-term support to my son and my family. I focused on implementing daily wellness priorities including the therapeutic application of essential oils specifically for immune stimulation and relaxation, exercise, prayer, hydration, consumption of healthy foods, and adequate rest.
How does the story end? My son recovered exceptionally well both physically and emotionally, which was noted by his surgeon. It will be a while longer before we know if his thumb will grow, but this incidence resulted in discussions for consideration of integrative care options to support trauma patients combining medical and aromatherapy care to support healing. As for my son, this traumatic event has not hindered him from being an amazing and influential 6-year old boy. He is writing and drawing, wrestling, playing the piano, and touching lives as he proudly shows off his “special thumb” with the “smiley face” scar on it.
When we give the body what it needs to heal, the body can do some amazing things. While this was a traumatic event for our family, I realized how much I can handle in the midst of a crisis, how reaching out to help others helps us heal ourselves, and that there is always something good that can come out of any challenge if we are willing to CHOOSE JOY through it.
You can find additional information on Lavendula Angustifolia and Mentha piperita aka lavender and peppermint here: Life Science Essential Oils Desk reference
Dr. Letticia Callies (a.k.a. Dr. Joy) is on a mission to spread joy around the world. She helps people who are stuck or overwhelmed get results they need to live out their joyful purpose. She uses a combination of evidence-based strategies coupled with drops of joy to help build resilience, deepen faith, improve overall wellness, and help people discover more time to do what they love. Her joyful demeanor and compassionate communication help motivate her clients to make lifestyle changes that simply become second nature.
Dr. Callies is the wife of her best friend for over 20 years; she is a mom to four boys and two girls. She is the founder of JOYFull Inspirations, LLC, an author, homeschool educator, worship dancer, and joy-lettering journalist. She enjoys spending time with her family, sampling tea, leading joy-handlettering Bible studies, and creating healthy recipes in the kitchen.