Goodness and Floods

Written by Jody K. Shevins, ND

Dr. Shevins is a naturopathic physician practicing in Boulder, Colorado since 1984.  Completing her pre-medical studies at Cornell University, she graduated from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland and maintains her license as a Naturopathic Doctor in the state of Oregon. Along with practical effective nutritional, herbal and lifestyle tools, Dr. Shevins' central expertise is homeopathy and a sharp ability to evaluate all the data and get to the heart of the matter.  Gently guiding people to make salient lifestyle changes where needed, each person's treatment plan is individualized according their situation, ability and goals.  Detailed histories and lab work are utilized as needed.

I spent Sunday with a dear older friend of mine who lives alone and whose home had taken on water in the floods. In the previous few days, a veritable army of people had come by her home to build trenches, sand bag and clean up the muddy mess.

As we sat and talked the rains began yet again. We saw water filling up the yard and creeping across the patio toward the house. The rain came harder. And then, seemingly out of nowhere, an angel in rain clothes and big boots showed up in the muck with a shovel. “Okay, this is what we are going to do,” he said. He dug a hole, sunk a large flower pot in the muck, instructed me to get a hose and a pump from his van and within minutes the rising water was diverted from the house into the trench dug by the previous day's angels. He told me about how he and his wife were coordinating help efforts all over the neighborhood, “Doing what we can.” Then he was gone.

Over the next few hours, a stream of people showed up, bringing food, checking in, asking for hugs. Out in the street, a couple carrying large white bags shouted up to us, “Do you need help sandbagging? We heard some people up here needed help!”

This is the humanity I know. Decent people, good people, people with strengths, people with flaws, but people who care, who want to help, who show up. I am grateful to the brave, committed rescue workers and I am grateful to the masses of ‘regular' folk showing up for their neighbors near and far. Negative news, the vile actions of a few, the sorrows and freakish information we hear regularly in the media, bumps up against the fundamental goodness that I experience in many, really most people I have ever met. It moves my heart and makes me want to do better and to share it with you.

On a practical level after all these years, I continue to be impressed by the action of homeopathic medicines. Some of the problems we might be seeing in this crisis include physical injuries, sprains and strains, exhaustion, grief and anxiety, mosquitoes, mold responses and gut infections from the nasty contents of the water around us. Of course, the best homeopathic prescriptions are individualized but here are a few of many possibilities:
• Arnica montana: for blunt trauma
• Rhus toxicodendron: for stiffness and strains that feel better with warmth and the loosening up that comes with motion. People needing Rhus toxicodendron are often restless and worried.
• Ignatia amara: for grief and loss that is experienced in a tense and spasmodic fashion
• Arsenicum album: anxiety and restlessness, fears around security and safety, cold, often accompanied by diarrhea and sleeplessness
• Natrum muriaticum: for an inward type of grief, dwelling on the negative with increased thirst and cravings for salt
• Natrum sulphuricum: for symptoms aggravated by rain and humidity like asthma and rashes

This is not meant to be a treatment guide. Rather this is a reminder for those of you who use the homeopathic medicines that they can be excellent tools for acute and emergency problems when used properly.

Also, least in my neighborhood, there are so many people tromping around in the flooded creek areas. That nasty water gets on shoes and clothes and comes back into our houses. Click here for a bleach concentration chart for disinfection. Although we want good diversity of bacteria in our guts, we don't want rank sewage residue in our homes and bodies. Make sure to ventilate any area where you are using bleach.

I wish all my fellow Coloradoans strength and solace in this difficult time as we pull together to fix and rebuild and recover.