Trouble with Focus and Attention
Travis, a 12-year-old boy, was initially brought to my office on March 1, 2014, for problems with attention and focus. His parents described him as very bright and doing well in school but having trouble with projects that were a bit bigger in scale. He tends to get distracted and to drift off in the classroom and has been told he is too chatty and social by the teachers.
Now in grade 7 the teachers are expecting the children to work more independently, which is challenging for Travis. Both parents have been hands-on, helping Travis to get school projects started and finished. If he falls behind he gets overwhelmed and has trouble catching up.
Busy places and too many people can be a bit much for him and he he also has some anxiety around trying new things.
I asked about sleeping and learned that he goes to bed at 9 pm and sleeps until 5-6:30 am. He can't really sleep in.
“And he sleepwalks two nights a week, dreams a lot and sometimes has nightmares. He wakes up drenched in sweat, his clothes and sheets are just soaked. This has been going on for at least three years.”
Big red flag for a homeopath of course.
The parents think the sleepwalking and night sweats started around age 7-8. He is not terrified during the sleepwalking episodes, but seems disturbed. He might be arguing with someone, saying that his sister is bothering him, or that something is there.
When he was around 10 years old, he often had nightmares about bears and dreams of falling.
As a baby he slept a lot, 10-12 hours straight and still had two naps a day until he was 5 years old.
History and Analysis
The pregnancy with Travis was good, his mother worked out five days a week, ate very well and took her prenatal vitamins. Labour and delivery were normal and natural and Travis was breast-fed for a year.
He had all regular vaccinations.
I was suspicious of the chronic night sweats, something unusual in a child which could point to a hidden, chronic infection. I used some applied kinesiology testing with him and found that he tested positive for a viral infection.
I thought that this in turn might possibly be related to a vaccine he might have had and tested for the MMR and chickenpox vaccines, reason being that they are live virus vaccines and he would have had a booster around age 5. He slept well and still napped during the day until age 5, it seemed that his conditions started after that time.
I was also concerned about his sensitivity to busy environments which can point to a vaccine injury from my experience.
The chickenpox vaccine tested positive.
Plan: Varicella (Chickenpox) vaccine, 30CH, 2 pellets on Mondays and Thursdays for two weeks, followed by Varicella 200CH in the same manner.
I also recommended he take a daily Multi, vitamin D 4000 IU a day, Vit A 20,000 IU a day, selenium 200 mcg a day and fish oil 1500 mg a day.
Follow-up April 17/14
“He has not had one single episode since he started the treatment, no sleepwalking or night sweats at all. Not even talking at night!"
“Also, he used to wake up at 5:30 – 6:00 am and not he can sleep longer, until 7 am.”
Assessment: Surprisingly good result from Varicella clearing.
Plan: Varicella 1M, 2 pellets twice a week for two weeks followed by Varicella 10M in the same way.
Follow-up May 17/14
“He has become much more open artistically and is drawing continuously. We’ve never seen something from him that was really him, he didn’t have real passions. He is catching himself now and processing things differently, not just lying about things."
“Now his self-confidence has sky-rocketed."
There have been no more episodes of sleep-walking or night sweats.
Assessment: Beautiful result, he is becoming more himself and expressing his creativity.
Follow-up June 4/14
Last week he had one night sweat and again two nights ago.
Plan: Varicella 10M 2 pellets twice a week for three weeks.
Email from parents on August 12/14
“Travis has had no more episodes since his last remedy and has had quite a growth spurt in the last month and a half. Thank you for doing what you do so well!”
Email from parents on Jan 20/15
“Travis is still doing well with no night sweats. His focus has improved and his artistic abilities are shining through. He recently won an art contest for his school which will be transferred to a large plaque to go on the wall of his school forever. We are so proud!!"
I recently (in 2017) saw his sister for a visit and learned that Travis is still doing very well and excelling both academically and socially. A truly remarkable case.
Discussion: What was most striking about this case was the unfolding of this young man's self confidence and artistic expression. The parents had commented that they had never seen something from him that was really 'him' before.
He would have had his Varicella shot at 12 months of age and again around age 5. In Travis' case this vaccine, being a live-virus vaccine, may have inadvertently caused a chronic, low-grade infection leading to the nightsweats and disturbed sleep as well as general lower vitality.
The remedy likely helped his immune system to fight off this infection once and for all. The supplements may have also helped in addition.
I have seen creativity, self expression and confidence bloom many times after vaccine clearings. It begs the question how many children and even adults are suffering from low-grade infections due to vaccines or even pathogens in general and how many of us would be more confident as well as creative if we were freed from these burdens. Fortunately, homeopathy can often help!
Dr. Anke Zimmermann, ND, FCAH, Naturopathic and homeopathic physician, Victoria, BC
Questions? I offer a free 15-minute consultation for any questions. Please call 250-590-5828 or book a spot online.
Dr. Anke Zimmermann, ND, FCAH is a naturopathic doctor with a special interest in developmental and behavioural disorders. Cases are all from her practice, names have been changed, they were published with permission and are intended for education only.
Dr. Anke Zimmermann, ND, FCAH
Naturopathic Physician and Classical Homeopath
6550 Throup Road
Sooke, BC, V9Z 0W6
Serving families in Sooke, Metchosin, Langford, Colwood, Victoria, Jordan River, Port Renfew, Greater Vancouver Island, BC
Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10-6 and alternating Saturdays from 10-4