After a long hiatus, I’m back…and so is my son – to dancing that is. I admit I got waylaid from writing this blog (I write another blog at www.purespiritcreations.com), and then my son got sick. Yes, first injured, then sick. He went off to camp, something he loves as much as dance, and six days later came down with a fever. Well, to make a really long story shorter, the fever kept coming back along with red eyes, and he had pain, first, in his hip and later behind his knees. The hip pain put us in the hospital over night and almost caused him to have hip surgery for what they thought was an infection in the joint, which could have been eating away at the joint. (OMG! Were we scared or what?!) The pain behind his knees and recurrent fever, which lasted for a month, along with the still-red eyes and peeling hands and feet put him back in the hospital for a weekend stay and tons of tests. They thought briefly that he had Kawasaki Disease, and treated him for that with an IVIG, and said he might not dance for a while (if ever) because of heart issues (not to mention the inflammation in his body and the pain behind his knees that made it impossible for him to stand for even a minute at a time. He could walk….)
But about three weeks later – after the pain behind his knees was gone and the fever had dissipated – one lone test result came back positive that seemed to indicate that he was bitten by a mouse tick. No, not a deer tick. (No Lyme Disease.) A mouse tick that cause him to get something called Relapsing Fever. The only problem was that we couldn’t retest him, because he had been given the IVIG, so we have no way to be certain that’s what he had. That’s what we think he had. We go to the cardiologist this week, however, for one last set of tests – blood work, echo cardiogram, spleen ultrasound – and hopefully he will then be given a clean bill of health. The rhumatologist already cleared him. The cardiologist has to check his heart to make sure there is no sign of Kawasaki Disease having caused any problems, which is the only real way we know that he had that particular illness. (He does have lines on his fingernails that could indicate Kawasaki, but it could just be from the prolonged fever as well.) Hopefully his heart will be fine, and we can stick with the Relapsing Fever diagnosis and move on.
And, in the meantime, move on Julian has. Actually, we had a long summer of waiting this illness out. We finally went to a Chinese doctor who helped tremendously with teas and acupuncture. The latter was the best medicine, not surprisingly. We saw that even at the Olympics this year acupuncture was being offered to the athletes. I’m not sure if the antibiotics Julian took worked or the illness just ran its course and he got better; I’m positive, however, that the acupuncture made it possible for him to take a week-long intensive at and audition for Teen Dance Company just two weeks after his fever broke. (And I think the treatments brought the fever to an end.) So, he is now dancing up a storm at TDC, which is where Katee Shean, the final female contestant on So You Think You Can Dance got much of her dance training. And he’s also rehearsing for the San Jose Dance Theater’s production of The Nutcracker, in which he will be Fritz and perform the Russian dance with a former TDC member.
Oh, I might mention that one of the ways we got Julian back on track to dance after his illness was with huge doses of herbs. I took him to our herbalist (not the Chinese doctor, who is a herbalist – but we were afraid that his herbs were causing Julian to have allergic reactions) who tested him for a variety of things and then put him on specific herbs to boost his immune system and his adrenal glands primarily. She also was concerned with helping his lymphatic system and his liver cleans themselves. Anyway, he’s still taking herbs (large numbers of pills), and that really helped get him through and continues to keep his system boosted nicely. (We use herbs by Nature’s Sunshine, by the way.)
In addition, I put him back on his vitamins and supplements, a great brand called Usana that are now being taken by numerous Olympic athletes and were independently tested and shown to have the highest absorption level over any other supplements on the market. Julian used to get sick with some sort of infection – sinus, upper respiratory, pneumonia, etc. – at least six times a year and end up on an antibiotic. Since putting him on the Usana supplements, he gets sick maybe once a year – if that. They are amazing! (If anyone is interested in purchasing or selling Usana vitamins, please contact me directly at Namir@purespiritcreations.com. I would love to tell you more or help you or your dancing son get started taking these awesome supplements. My whole family takes them and stays so healthy! Actually, if you are interested, I’ll put you in contact with a former Olympic athlete and medical doctor who is involved in Usana as well and who can answer any of your questions and tell you how awesome these supplements are for athletes in general. By the way, I bought Julian a Usana business center; he plans on one day making some extra money with it himself by selling these products that keep him so healthy to other dancers!)
In the meantime, I’ve written several articles on dance. You can find an article about Jason Samuels Smith’s “Charlie’s Angels” in the September issue of Dance Spirit, an article on how to keep a dancer’s feet healthy in the September issue of Dance Teacher (Sorry…they don’t make their available on line), and a profile on how Denise Wall (mother of Travis Wall and Danny Tidwell of SYTYCD fame) turns out such fabulous dancers in the current (October) issue of Dance Teacher. I’m still working on the dance book, but I’ve had to slow down a bit – obviously. I’ll get back to it soon.
I’ll try to share some of what I learned from Denise Wall here. There was way too much to include in the article, and I’ll share a few tid bits from my interviews with other male dancers as well.
In the meantime, now that I’ve caught you up to date, suffice it to say, we are on a hectice dance and rehearsal schedule – back to dancing pretty much 6-7 days a week. We’re not sure we are in the right studio, but it will do for now. It’s turning out great dancers – two boys went to Juliard two years ago, and they only take 12 boys from across the nation per year. But it’s not perfect. Is any studio perfect? Maybe that’s what I’ll mull over next time.
Until then, keep those dancin’ boys dancin!