Monday, May 21, 2012

The one that will more than likely be erased.

What happens when you remove dairy from your diet and then have a dairy binge?  Brain fog.  I really shouldn't be allowed to type right now.  It's that foggy.  But, the house is quiet.  The kids are at my mom's because it's that time of year again.  Time to get to Chicago and meet with old friends and gain new friends.  Hundreds of parents walking similar yet different paths.  We all get each other....nobody thinks we're crazy.  Annnnd there are so many medical lectures and advocacy lectures.  Real doctors, trail blazing doctors ready share information with us.  Autism One.

 I want to learn everything I can about PANDAS.  That is my goal for this year's conference.  Compared to other kiddos with PANDAS, I think B is doing very well, extremely well.  However, his tics have become more prevalent and an issue that we have been dealing with for quite some time has gotten worse.  I'm just going to lay it out in hopes that another parent going through the same might have an answer or may need to realize it is a PANDAS symptom.  And, when B gets a little older, I'll erase this post for his privacy.....or when this dairy high wears off and I realize that maybe this wasn't a good idea.

B has been having some problems with bladder control.   He's been toilet trained for almost 4 years, so it's kind of a bummer for him.  Bed wetting has always been an issue, but instead of small accidents, we've been having to change the sheets often.  He's been soaking through 2 layers of nighttime pull ups.  It's not uncommon for kids his age to wet the bed, so we just thought we'd wait it out.  However, now incontinence is affecting him during the day.  Strong urgency and frequency.  He's not happy about wearing a pull-up  when we travel, but just 40 minutes in the car has resulted in accidents...and this after stopping at the restrooms multiple times.  Accidents have been happening at home, too.  I posed this question on a PANDAS forum and I received a few responses.  One is that it is a bladder tic.  That would make sense considering his tics are frequent now.  The second was PANDAS attacking the nerves.  This theory scares me a little.  A few parents commented that their children were losing hearing function and diminished sight, as well.  I'm not going to dwell on that until I can talk to his doctor.  Another parent mentioned food allergies.  Well, goodness knows we've got a few of those!  I might ask his doc if he will retest B.  It's been 2 and a half years, maybe some things have changed.  Anyway, I'm really hoping this topic will come up at one of the sessions at Autism One.

We also may look for a second opinion.  A1 is a great place to meet the docs and get a feel for how they treat their patients.  While we love Dr. B and everything he's done for us, it may be good to get another perspective as far as treatment.  I feel like there is something we are missing or overlooking with B.  A new set of eyes may help.  Prayer would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you!

Now, I'm off to take some activated charcoal to counteract the effects of my dairy consumption.  I don't think I'll be doing that again anytime soon.  It makes me loooopy.  Kind of the way B would zone out after consuming milk.

Saturday, May 19, 2012



Words that have been used to describe me for ceasing vaccinations for my children.

Unfit parents.
Not based on science.
Can't accept their children for who they are.  Unloving.
Munchausen moms.

Phrases used to describe biomedical treatments and the parents who choose them for their children.

These words stick.  As much as I'd like them to roll off my back, they sting.  Mostly because the people saying them cannot see my heart, or my child.  My child is nothing to them.  Just an anecdote...that's another one.  My child's life is summed up as 'anecdotal' as in "That's just anecdotal  you should trust in the science."  To me, he is my world.  We live the anecdote.  And we do have the science to back us up if people would take the time to read it.  But that is not what this post is about.  I just wanted to give you, dear readers, a glimpse of the weight I have been carrying on my shoulders.  All those heavy judgments.

B needed a new primary care doctor.  I have been hesitant to take him back to a strictly allopathic practice.  To place that trust in somebody again...I can't even tell you how hard that is.  I dragged the weight of those judgments into a family practice last week.  I wanted to interview a physician to see if she was the right fit for our family...especially for B.  I don't know why, but to get this interview, I had to fill out my health history and get weighed and all that other preliminary stuff.

The nurse and I started off on the wrong foot almost immediately.  She asked me to step on the scale and I was perplexed.  "Is this necessary?  I'm only here to speak with the physician to discuss the possibility of primary care."  She looked unamused and said, "Yes. You have to do it."  Then we went into an exam room.  She asked for my health history and asked for any medications and I didn't know the exact doses of my supplements because I didn't think I needed them for the interview.  She was short with me about that.  Then she asked if I was up to date on my vaccinations and I replied that I wasn't sure.  "You aren't sure???"  She was irritated.  I told her I wasn't going to be vaccinated further.  She paused and stared through me.  A look that threw those heavy stones of judgement all over again.  When she asked for family health history, I couldn't even concentrate anymore.  I finally said, "I just spent 15 minutes writing all of this out on the 7 pages the receptionist asked me to fill out.  Would it be easier to look there?"  I was done.  Mentally exhausted and super nervous about talking to the doctor.  The nurse took my blood pressure.  It was high.  It has never been high.  I told her it's always been low...sometimes a little too low.  She said some people get high blood pressure when they are nervous.  Ding! Ding! Ding!  I asked for a drink of water.  I knew I was about to lose it.  When she brought me the water, tears were already stinging my eyes.  I didn't know if I could face more judgement.  How was I going to talk to this doctor knowing she would disagree with the very way I'm raising my children?  Would I have to sit through a lecture on my bad parenting?

I waited...and waited...and prayed.  Prayed for God to open the heart of the physician.  Prayed that she could see my love for B and know that I have his best interest at heart.  Prayed that God would sooth my nerves enough for me to get through it.

In came the physician.  I was so nervous, I didn't know where to start, so I pulled out my phone.  On it, I saved a video of B having a tic episode.  I turned it on and said, "I would like you to see my son."  She watched the video quietly.  When it was over, I said, "That is so you know I am not a Munchausen mom."  I then shared B's medical history with her.  From vomiting after his six month vaccines, to the full body rash from the MMR.  A rash that I didn't even report because it is so drilled into us that vaccines are safe that I didn't think it was serious.  To his waking up around 18 months with the light gone from his eyes.  His whole countenance had changed.  I'd forgotten to mention his reaction to the HepB vaccine at birth.  I told her we will not be vaccinating further and our daughter will not be vaccinated either.  She listened.  She believed me.   She said that while she believes in and promotes vaccination, they do carry a risk and not every child can handle them.  She said that I am doing the right thing by protecting my children.  I am not selfish.  And nobody has the right to make me feel bad about that decision.

 I told her about the sensory issues.  How they'd practically disappeared with biomed.  I told her our biomed physician is a medical doctor with a PhD in biophysics.  That we trust him and what he has done for B.  That he is not a quack.   She listened and did not interrupt.  I explained B's health before and after biomedicine and she was not dismissive.  She said, "That is amazing."  In fact, she told me the story of one of her patients.  A mother swore her child's seizures were being caused by his amalgam fillings.  Doctors would not believe this mom.  They poo pooed the idea.  The fillings were removed and the child is seizure free. He was able to cease his seizure medication.  She told me that parents know more about their children than their doctors do.  I could not believe my ears.  Sweet music to my very soul.

I was upfront about B's supplement list.  It is long.  I told her my husband is a pharmacist and we've researched every supplement and is she okay with that.  Could we feel comfortable sharing that list with her?  She said her clinic is open to alternative treatments.  She even went on to ask me if we'd tried treating PANDAS with silver because it is a natural antibiotic.  She is open and even somewhat knowledgeable about natural medicine!   I told her my son is very thin and that it is not due to the diet.  She said, "Well, you're not big, yourself."  She went on to tell me about her grandsons.  The eldest is a skinny little thing and the younger one  almost outweighs him.

She told me that she blocked off a good chunk of time for our appointment.  She said they will continue that practice until insurance companies step in.  She said she could conduct a physical in 15 minutes, but it takes a lot longer to find out what is going on in the life of a patient.

We shook hands and as she walked out the door, she paused with a warm smile and said, "You are welcome here."

I felt the weight of the judgment I have been carrying for 2 and a half years slide off.  All the worry, the anger, the frustration.  You are selfish-----gone.  Dangerous-----gone.  Crazy-----gone.  Ignorant-----gone.

You are welcome here.

Friday, May 18, 2012

A Cherry on Top

Last night, I dreamed we were at an ice cream shop.  I walked up to the counter and ordered a gigantic chocolate sundae for B.  He looked at me with pure elation on his face and said, "Is it okay?  Can I really have this?"  I told him, "Yes."  But in the back of my mind, I was thinking, "Something is not right."  An internal panic took over.  I was torn between that delightful anticipation on his face and the sudden realization that he is allergic to that sundae.  Not just a little bit allergic, but throwing up, itchy hives, and who knows what else allergic.  Yet in my dream I was going to let him eat it.  Toss caution to the wind and let him enjoy the taste of the cold sweetness.  As if letting him eat that ice cream would be the end of the allergies.  A big "Take That!"  One act of rebellion to put the food allergies in their place.  I woke up feeling so many things: fear/happiness then empowered/defeated.  Crazy dreams.

B is getting older and we are getting a lot of questions as to the necessity of the diet, the validity of the allergens, if just one wouldn't hurt, is he thin because of the foods he eats or can not eat.  Please know that we have researched everything extensively.  We don't follow advice blindly.  We pray daily.  We've seen the positive changes in his health.  And we make sure B gets a balanced array of foods that contain fats and vitamins and minerals and calcium and iron and......

We would give B that ice cream, cake, chips, pizza, etc. if we could.  We do not follow this protocol for sympathy, attention, be pain in the tush helicopter parents.  Believe me when I say that if an ice cream sundae would paint that beautiful smile on his face without causing bodily harm, I'd be the first in line asking for two scoops, whipped cream, and a cherry on top.  That ice cream represents a big dose of normalcy.  And my wouldn't normalcy taste good!

Monday, May 7, 2012

PANDAS Awareness

Too tired to update tonight, but I did want to share an excellent PANS, PANDAS, PITAND awareness video.    Please watch.  Thank you.