Friday August 31, 2012
A mother’s intuition
A DIFFERENT SPIN
By JO-JO STRUYS
WHEN any mother in this world has a bad feeling that something is “wrong”, it is not something that can easily be quantified or explained.
Yet, there are so many incredible cases of mothers acting on their intuition and they were right to pay attention to their natural instincts and feelings.
Especially, when it comes to their children. It is said a mother’s bond is so strong that she can sense if her children are in danger.
Since I’m not a mother myself, I find it hard to grasp this concept. Having said that, I could not deny the uncanny timing of my mother’s disturbing dreams about me when I was a college student living in another part of the world. Her ‘bad’ dreams always seemed to coincide with the lowest, most emotionally challenging moments of my student life.
What made me an almost outright believer that a mother’s intuition is a very real thing indeed was when I heard about what happened to my childhood friend in Australia.
Matt told me how he went rock-climbing one day with his brother when they were teenagers and they were so exhausted that night, that they fell asleep not realizing that one of their backpacks had been left on the floor heater. The backpack slowly started to burn producing toxic fumes in their bedroom, which can cause damage to the lungs, seizures, and even death.
At the time, Matt’s mother was on her way to the theatre. When she arrived, she had a nagging sense that something was wrong. She tried calling her children but they were not picking up their phones. Alarm bells went off in her head and she cancelled the theatre and decided to drive straight back home. She found her sons sleeping in their bedroom, unaware that the room was already starting to fill up with poisonous fumes. They were saved in the nick of time from any permanent damage. My friend, Matt still suffers from mild asthma from the incident but he counts his blessings that he could have lost his brother and his own life if his mother didn’t suddenly return home.
A mother’s intuition can come up in a myriad of situations, not just life threatening ones.
According to research published in The Lancet medical journal, it advises doctors to add parents’ instincts to a list of signs that they should look for when treating sick children (Source: UK Daily Mail).
For instance, in Physicians Primary Care in the US, a senior doctor there, Dr Berget said, “If a mother believes her child should be seen, she should always get an appointment, even if her child doesn’t exhibit any obvious signs of illness.”
However, so many mothers still struggle with their gut feelings being dismissed as paranoia or just ignored altogether.
In an article I came across on Redbookmag.com, a mother from New York had a two-year old called Lily, who was so sensitive that the smallest things would upset her and make her completely hysterical.
At the time, people said Lily was just a spoilt or manipulative child but her mother strongly sensed this was not the case. By the time Lily was eight years old, a psychiatrist diagnosed her with bipolar disorder due to her extreme mood swings but she was not responding to any medication. By the following year with no improvement in her condition, she was simply told by the doctor that some patients don’t respond to treatments so Lily was probably one of them.
However, Lily’s mother doubted the diagnosis was correct but everyone, including her husband was saying the expert must be right so she must be wrong but something just did not feel “right to her”. She began to believe the real problem was noise because she noticed that noise usually set off her daughter’s hysterical episodes.
When she discovered on her own, that there was actually a condition called the Sensory Processing Disorder, she knew immediately that it was exactly what her daughter suffered from.
It can best be described by pioneering occupational therapist and neuroscientist A. Jean Ayres as a neurological “traffic jam” that prevents certain parts of the brain from receiving the information needed to interpret sensory information correctly. (Source: Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation).
Her daughter finally started to respond to different kinds of therapy, once diagnosed properly and is now able to live a normal life as a teenager. If her mother did not pay attention to her intuition in this unusual case, her daughter would likely still be having hysterical fits every week.
When I was studying psychology, I was personally surprised to discover Albert Einstein’s take on intuition. He said, “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift.”
Though intuition remains difficult to quantify, I am compelled to pay closer attention to mothers who seem guided by a radar I can neither see nor explain but have a newfound respect for, nevertheless.
Jojo Struys is a TV host/producer who’s positive and empowerment messages can be heard daily on Lite FM.