Such an adequately entitled post - you'll see why in a moment.
First of all, Week One of project "rid child of all dairy/casein" has been completed. I actually did pretty well - there was no incidence of sneaky cheese, covert-op milk or surprise attack whey. And for the most part, I didn't get much of a fuss from Kierra. Then again, she hasn't drank milk since I took her bottles away, and she doesn't like cheese unless it's melted. It really never was the casein part that worried me (although it's surprisingly in a lot of stuff), it's more the gluten/wheat. Which brings me to the next topic...
I decided to search the web for a GFCF (gluten free/casein free) cookie recipe. I found one in bloggerland actually, from a mom that is also doing the same diet for her child. I went to the whole foods store, stocked up on all the stuff I needed.... came home and disaster struck!! Now I don't know what to tell you. Yes I do - that person is on crack if she thinks THAT is a good recipe!! I mean it was bad enough the dough had the texture of chewing gum... and it was worse when the girls started to giggle gleefully when the cookies started to "boil" on the baking pan. I'm not exaggerating people - those "cookies" were bubbling. I took them out of the oven and it looked like a gremlin exploaded on my Farberware. The smell probably wasn't all that better. Of course I took pictures because:
ok a picture because honestly
A) who would believe me and B) It's almost Halloween and I thought it was scary as hell those cookies. To add insult to injury, Jarrett backed into a wall with the car, trying to avoid another guy who was backing into him. In short, car messed up and we pay 100% for the damages. Jenna summed it up well at the end of the day:
"Mommy.... your cookies were just horrible and daddy crashed our car. This isn't a good day for our family."
And before you start to wonder why I entitled the post "a pirate's life for me".... as my husband was crashing my car, I took Kierra out for a mommy-daughter outing to Michael's Crafts, so I could get little orange boxes for the hand-made treats for the Kindergarten class. No I don't give out candy like normal people. I buy orange "Chinese take-out" boxes, make foam Halloween finger puppets that have each kids' name on it, plus stuff in candy and stickers, and then seal them shut with candy corn stickers and top off with a "pumpkin patch" ribbon. Yes I am strange, and yes I realize the bag of Wal-mart candy was the cheaper way to go. But in the clearance isle (because you know, Halloween isn't over but make way for Christmas!), Kierra found a delightful pirate foam hat. Huge and tacky - and of course she loved it. She smiled her big smile at me, and of course I caved (it was $2.00 too). She was so excited at the register, she was jumping and squealing in her special way... which drew the attention of all the nearby customers. I could tell people were staring at her, and not in an endearing way. More of a "what's wrong with that kid" way. I actually was going to hold her hand to stop her skipping around and tell her to hush and then thought WHY??????????? What do we have to be embarrassed about? So instead I smiled into her happy face and announced loud enough for all to hear, "You know what Kierra? Mommy is happy it's the pirate's life for her!" That turned all heads back around and eyes facing shoes.
I may make horrible cookies, I may have in-home therapy for my child every week day, and I may even have to chase her around the playground in sub-zero weather because she won't wear her jacket... but me hearty's it is a good life.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
So I finally have the results back from Kierra's blood tests on the digestive allergies. I actually got them on Saturday, but things have been crazy-busy, plus I had to do the other up-dates in sequential order (trip and then anniversary). And I'll be honest, I've been so over-whelmed with the findings of it all - I've been trying to get things figured out. So without much adieu - here they are.
To recap: I did some looking into finding a doctor in Calgary that specializes in DAN. They do tests to determine A) whether the child has any high levels of metals toxicity in their system, B) whether the child has digestive allergies and C) whether the child has deficiencies in minerals/vitamins, has yeast overgrowth in their digestive tract, and whether their liver's are functioning properly. It has been shown in a lot of cases of Autism, that all three are factors in these kids. It is theorized that once you eliminate the allergies; the child can function much better. Essentially the allergy is causing an adrenaline high all the time and is compared to your child tripping out on LSD all the time. This is why she might tantrum a lot, hard to concentrate, spacing out etc.... We did the food diaries and were amazed at what we were seeing. Days with certain foods were definitely showing bouts of bad behaviors.
We visited Dr. Klassen, who was very informative. He explained the DAN testing and told us where we should begin. To start off, he did the blood allergy test for Kierra to test her for digestive allergies. He also did a dip to test for the metals toxicity. The results from Kierra's allergy tests were somewhat staggering. Kierra is highly allergic to all dairy or casein (a protein found in dairy). She is allergic to everything that would possibly come from a milk or milk product. Even goat's milk (which is highly unusual). She also is highly allergic in areas of nuts, grains and legumes. Essentially gluten and gliadin; which are primarily found in wheats. So she is allergic to wheat, gluten, rye, sesame, splet, and whole wheat, plus peanuts. She is also highly allergic to eggs (yolks and whites) and blueberries. The only good news is she's not allergic to any vegetables, oats, soy, fruits, or seafood. We basically are starting a 10 week plan to eliminate ALL of the allergens out of her system. It's going to essentially compare to de-tox - she's not going to be very fun. The dairy should be ok, since she's not really a big dairy person. But the gluten is a big one, since it's in any refined product like pizzas, pastas, waffles, cookies, crackers..... oh pretty much everything. In replacement, we can use amaranth flour, egg beaters, soy milk and cheeses, rice, anything sunflower based and some oats. We will have to start shopping at Whole Foods stores now, and most meals will now require me to plan ahead extensively and be pretty much a label reader extraordinaire! I have already ordered some cookbooks for kids on GFCF (gluten free/casein free) diets. I also have to go through all the cleaning products, her bathing and daily care products and check them all for things. Big major production.
The metals test came back pretty good. No major levels of lead and mercury were found (this is good). She had one elevated level but it's nothing that is concerning. We'll just keep an eye out on that one.
The fecal test is still needed to be done - which will determine the yeast and the liver, plus all the minerals/vitamins. She's now on a special supplement that is totally dye free. She may or may not have to have series of vitamin B12 shots depending on the results. This may also be the reason as to why her hair and nails don't grow or are very brittle, as well as the paleness of her skin tone. We'll see what the tests say on that one. Hopefully we'll have that back sometime in November.
So this week I started "Stage One" of the new GFCF diet. This means eliminating ALL the dairy in her diet. Harder than it sounds. I almost boned the first day at breakfast. After that, I decided I needed to go to a whole foods store and start looking around. I did this, and was completely overwhelmed by it all. Just because something doesn't have gluten in it, it doesn't mean it's casein or egg free. In fact, most of it still had one or the other. Looking for cookies and bread was especially hard - however I did manage to find some cookies that we could buy. The bread... that's a different story. I actually was on the bread recipe quest this week (and I found one) for gluten free bread without the eggs in it. So far so good: Kierra is eating what I'm preparing. Unfortunately the other two girls are getting it as well (because you can't give two kids a cupcake and say, "here you have an apple". I rationalize it's healthier for them. So I rounded up all the stuff in the pantry Kierra can't eat and either gave it to the neighbors or donating it to charity (what wasn't opened that is). I don't know if I've noticed in change in Kierra at all. I'm waiting for this horrible backlash from no dairy - but haven't really seen it. I have a feeling the gluten will be the worst one to eliminate (did I mention that starts NEXT Monday?).
So that's it!!! Hopefully this transition goes well, and I survive it with at least 40% of my sanity. Wish us luck!
Musings by Elle at 8:16 AM
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Today marks our nine year wedding anniversary!!! Can't believe it's been this long. But as funny as it sounds, I honestly can't remember life without Jarrett being a part of it (we've been together of 14 years now). And I can't imagine being without him.
So happy anniversary babe!! Love you always.
Musings by Elle at 10:32 AM
Monday, October 22, 2007
I'm back!! Did you miss me? Our vacation was great!
I have to start off by saying our plane trip there kinda sucked. We flew with this airline and the plane was older than the hills, and EXTREMELY uncomfortable to sit in for 3 hours. We were wondering exactly why there were no cushions on the seat (it felt like a plank), and why the overhead bins were called that... they should've been called mid-torso bins because you had to be bloody contortionist to get into your seat. I was scared to go to the bathroom; might just be a hole cut in the bottom of the plane. But once we got to San Diego, it was fine. It was fine because I swore to ride a camel all the way back to Canada before I ever sat in another one of their air crafts!
The next day was embarkation!!! We got in front of everyone else (elite status is glorious!) When we boarded the ship, we realized that was pretty much all your elite status involved. They screwed up our dinner reservations. In fact they screwed up a lot since there was a huge line already! At first we weren't even sitting with our friends, and they had us sitting down at 8:00pm. We were like WTF?? We were supposed to eat at 5:45. So in order to sit with our friends, we had to sit at 8:30pm every night (which kinda sucked). We asked about the elite service to which the maitre D told us "old people and children get preferential treatment". OKAY so why did they even ask when we wanted to eat? Did I pay the extra grand fo a mint and a towel made into an animal on my bed every night? However, the room was really nice - Jarrett splurged and got us the Penthouse Suite. However, the first night I was awakened to hear the people above us having very loud, angry sex. The guy kept yelling "C'mon you fucking bitch!" Ummm yeah - I was hiding under the covers. Scary sex.
We got to Ensenada the next day and it was pretty. Me and J went on a 1 1/2 hour horse ride in the hills overlooking the ocean. I had a horse named Jose Cuervo and Jarret - Bud Light. He had the slowest horse in all of Mexico. The ride was very peaceful. Sore asses later but you know, it was worth it. We were completely covered head to toe in red dust - since they had a drought. I was kinda scary and dirty. We went shopping in town afterwards - which was an experience. LOL apparently Mexican Viagra is a big seller. Some Mexican offered to get me some "illegal" drugs. I high-tailed it out of there! So I bought some nice things for my mom and the girls.
That same day was my birthday, so they had a cake for me and everything. It was also the formal night. Introducing skank mom and daughter team. OMG - that's all I have to say. They were such super-sluts it was almost ridiculous. To see a mom and daughter on a cruise, dressed so horridly. The daughter had a long gown on, and the front of it had a panel of see-threw lace, so you could see her panties. It was horribly tacky! Of course they got stuck with these other two parties at this table, who were not happy to sit with them. We sat beside them in the next table. Skank DD was so drunk. I went to the bathroom, opened a door and she was sitting NAKED on the can. Saw her sprayed fake tanned tits and all! I have no clue where her dress was!!! Funny story, the last night on, my friend Alana had the EXACT SAME thing happen to her with the same person!! She opened the bathroom door and AGAIN she was naked!! WTF?
The day at sea was really nice AND HOT!! Sat around the pool and baked. Watched skank dd and mom dance like strippers, by themselves, to their ipods. Very strange. They were totally blasted. We had our massage for 75 minutes (bliss!). Later, me and Alana got the worst manicures of our lives!! I mean torture of the cuticles!! HORRIBLE. The Spa accidentally booked us the wrong day, we were originally supposed to have it the night before on formal night. They were supposed to comp us some off, then they lied and said we were comped - turned out they didn't. Alana got all lawyer on them.
The third day, we were in Cabo San Lucas. GORGEOUS!! Me and J went to the Dolphin Swim - and it was AWESOME. We swam with them, layed on them and they pulled us around, it was sooooooooo cool!!! Got the girls some stuffed dolphins of course! After we met up with our friends, had lunch. The guys went to do that sea helmet adventure thing, so me and Alana went shopping down the boardwalk. Again, I was asked if I wanted to buy drugs (do I look like a stoner or something?). I bartered like a pro for a bracelette LOL. I couldn't believe how awesome it was there. They had this super huge nice mall, and Jarrett bought me a Coach handbag - because I'm a huge purse whore. After, we got back on the boat, totally broke and heat stroked.
The last day, we sat in the sun and just relaxed. Had to do the token water slide - which by the way - wasn't the greatest idea Alana ever came up with. She went first, and I learned quick to "brake" - I literally used my hands to slow down so I didn't have to plunge into the cold water. People applauded my efforts. I think my nipples are at the bottom of that pool as ice cubes. Skank dd and mom were trying to pick up all these guys but didn't do too well. After getting a closer look I can see why - she ain't pretty and she even look that way. They were super pissed drunk. The last night at dinner, they said good-bye, and after they left, all the people at their table toasted LOL. I had to add in there a brief "YIPPEE!" and about five surrounding tables applauded. So all in all, the fun was good. I mean we saw some comedians and some shows. But the boat itself I give a 2 out of 5 only cause I'm comparing it to the Celebrity Cruise I took three years ago. Honestly, never would book with Carnival again. The Maitre D actually had the balls to ask us for a tip, that was conveniently put in a nice little envelope on our bed. We gave him a tip alright - but not monetary. "Tip: The next time you book times for sit down dinners, try to honor them. And when someone buys a ticket that is supposed to get them preferential treatment - try to honor that as well". I know - we are jerks! But in spite of it, we did have a great time on our on-shore excursions.
Of course I had a million pictures but I'm not posting them all. I'll leave you with a few of them!
Musings by Elle at 10:25 AM
Friday, October 12, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Hey all. It's taken me a long time to recuperate from the Thanksgiving fiasco that I hosted on Sunday. First things first, I didn't even realize that I missed my one-year blogging anniversary. Happy Anniversary to me!!
Sunday I got down and dirty, cooking like a mad woman. Cleaning the house. All those neurotic things you do when you are expecting a houseful of people. At 2:00, my husband puts the turkey in the rotisserie. We held our breathes in anticipation hoping this bird would fit. It does (narrowly), and it starts spinning away in it's succulence. About an hour later, I hear this forlorn wailing from downstairs, practically stabbing myself in the eye with my mascara wand "CRAPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP!"
I run downstairs and see Jarrett pulling the turkey out of the rotisserie. Parts of the skin were starting to burn because it was so fat, it was too close to the elements. Only 3:00 - no where near done turkey. I panic and call Cook 911 (my mother) who advises us to cover it with foil, throw it in the oven, and baste the hell out of it. We think crisis averted (or is it?)
Guests all file in an hour later, the turkey is cooking away in the oven now. Dinner is still on for 5:30. So at 5:15, I start to pull potatoes off to mash them, I honey-glaze carrots, fluff stuffing, and do all that to get the meal out. And at 5:30 my husband takes the turkey out and the little popper thing is still firmly down. We take the internal temperature and it's 170 (shit we need 180). Back in the oven it goes; and I turn on the elements to keep the dinner (which was already on the counter for buffet) warm. Over the course of the next hour, I'm continually swearing at the dead poultry in my oven. My idle threats do not make the physics of cooking a turkey go any faster. It takes it's sweet time. Everyone is noticeably hungry, and being polite not to say anything. Major tip-off is people stuffing olives, pickles and buns into their mouths when they think I'm not looking.
Finally we just feed the kids (minus turkey), and I thank God I made meatballs. Kids are eating, we are still violently stabbing the turkey with a meat thermometer, hoping ticking it with the fingernails will make the dial go up to 180 (this doesn't work by the way). Finally at 6:30 the turkey is done. We all sit down and stuff our faces full. Everyone was happy with delirium to be eating, mumbling "good dinner" between mouthfuls of stuffing and cranberries. I was just happy to be sitting down. All in all I'd say success!!!
The only sad part came after everyone left and I spied the counter full of pots and pans that I needed to wash. You can accurately guess I just filled them with cold, soapy water - and left them for my husband to wash the next morning while I slept in until 10:30. After all, too many cooks in the kitchen; kiss the chef; and thou who spent two days cooking deserves a reprieve.
Musings by Elle at 8:23 AM
Thursday, October 04, 2007
In light of the up-coming vacation, it got us to thinking...
We haven't up-dated a Will since we left the States. Now for those of you unfamiliar with Wills, jurisdictions and such - our Will is invalid. It wouldn't be upheld by any court in Canada. And funny fact: the LAST time we made a Will (which was actually our first) was when we went on our last vacation 3 years ago.
So as I was saying, in light of our up-coming vacation, we figured it was high time to get that Will re-done, signed, sealed and put in a firebox or something. For those of you that think lawyers are a waste of money - we conquer. In fact, there is nothing a lawyer can do for you that you can't do for yourself if you buy the proper Will kit. It also helps that back in the day, I used to work for a lawyer and made out I dunno how many Last Will and Testaments. A lot. I also helped go after people who were in arrears from their student loans. You'd be shocked of all the lame-ass excuses I got from people who didn't think they should re-pay them (people... just pay them back will ya?).
Today I went on the quest to find the proper documents I needed to get my Will on. I tried two registry offices to no avail. Seems everyone in the Northwest side of Calgary is looking to take care of their affairs. Can't blame em. I could have registered my own trademark though (if I only had one). I need one of those stupid catch phrases like Paris Hilton's "that's hot" or Donald's "you're fired". Yes ingenious of them both. Finally, I find a place that has them, and I notice that they also offer the Power of Attorney document, with the bonus of $10.00 off if I buy the Will kit at the same time! LOL - seems like a funny offer but hey, ten bucks is ten bucks.
It gets me thinking of how many people won't do a Will. And usually the answer is because if they make a Will, that means they might die. How illogical is that? People paper doesn't determine whether you live or die. Jumping off a building, swimming with your toaster - those do. I think maybe it's just the fear of untimely demise. If you have your shit together, the cosmic forces might say, "Eh you've had a good run". I don't buy into that. I mean I have three kids, and if I go without the proper documentation, Lord only knows what happens to them custody-wise. Plus, I don't want them fighting over all my jewelry. And you know, you have to delegate trust funds. Jarrett's grandpa wasn't so thought-out. He put fifteen grand in a coffee can on the top of his fridge. Apparently he was saving up to buy a new pick-up truck. Honestly, $15G in a can of Folgers. My great grandmother hid her money in magazines. Like between the pages. For years she insisted that the staff in the nursing home was stealing from her. After she died, and they started to burn all the useless stuff she accumulated (she was 101 years old), they dropped a magazine and two fifties and a ten fell out on the ground. They looked at each other and went through all the books and magazines.... .and found something like $7,000.00 - plus whatever they just burned in a barrel. WHOOPS!!!
Really, it's amazing all the work you have to put in just to pass on. All the little details, in which Jarrett and I look at each other and think "I dunno". He has one request. He wants his infamous catch phrase on his headstone. I told him it was highly inappropriate to have the words "This is bullshit" on his grave marker. He thought it would be funny to the passersby and really, summed up his life in three words. You'd think "beloved husband and father" would be more reasonable. Mine should read "come back later - I'm busy".
So here it is... how many of you still haven't gotten your Will done? And if not, why haven't you? I'm interested. Let's call it a sociological study.
Musings by Elle at 6:14 PM
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Ever bite off more than you can chew? Yeah? Well how about when someone hands you another helping even though you didn’t ask?
It has been past tradition (can you call two years in a row tradition?) I have hosted Thanksgiving dinner at my house. Usually I have over our next door neighbors. Let’s call them J&A. This year was no exception. We extended the invitation, they happily accepted. Honestly, who wouldn’t? Who in their right mind wants to spend all day stuffing bread up the arse of a dead bird? Oh, just so some of you don’t think I sure like to plan festivities really early - Canadian Thanksgiving is October 8th (or Columbus Day to you Yank’s).
There is a catch my friends Why else would I make a point of writing a post about it? I was standing in the cul de sac with neighbor and friend (let’s call her S) while our kids rode bikes. J of J&A came strolling out of his house with his kiddos. We stand there for a moment or two exchanging pleasantries and he asked if they should bring anything to dinner. D’oh S doesn’t say anything, just looks at the ground. First off, don’t give your computer screen that look. They have a lot of family here and they are usually busy. I stopped asking because they are always doing the family thing. But you know, I figured I’d better ask anyways. So I say , “S, do you guys have any plans this Thanksgiving?” Actually no they don’t. She’s nine months pregnant, and refused to host this year (don’t blame her), so there really isn’t a big shindig this year. So my dinner of 9just became dinner of 13. No biggie - I can just buy a bigger bird. I like A&S.
I tell Jarrett our dinner just got livelier, to which he replies, “Did I tell you H of C&H invited me, and the other two guys over this week-end for a guy’s night?” Do you see where this is heading. C&H are actually good family friend’s of Jarrett’s family. Coincidentally, they don’t’ have any family that lives here. I hypothesize them all sitting around H’s talking about dinner the next night, to which C&H haven’t been extended an invitation. So I sigh, and say we should invite them too (it is the nice thing to do), and then start to calculate just how many pounds of fowl I’ll be needing. So party of 13 becomes possible party of 15. D’oh again
Now I realize that since I’m used to cooking for a smaller crowd, I actually don’t have the stuff I need to prepare the actual dinner. Not the munchies, but rather the cookware to prepare them. I could use three tiny casserole dishes or just go buy one huge one. So the mission yesterday, that I dared to accept, involved my going to Wal-Mart and getting a “few” items. My few items cost me a total of $200.00 - which included (amongst other things) a huge casserole dish, a gravy boat with tray, a big-ass punch bowl, and some other junk I probably didn’t actually need. But the first few yes I did. Today involves me going out and buying groceries. I don’t do anything from a can. I make my own cranberry sauce, I make my own stuffing, I make my own gravy and pies. The only thing commercialized is the green bean casserole because I don’t feel like making my own breaded fried onions. My house would stink for weeks. So in the end, I’ll probably have a bigger debt due to Thanksgiving than Canada’s National Debt.
In spite of it all, I do give thanks for this. I have good friends who want to spend a day with my family. How can you argue with that? At the end of it all, when we are all in a coma-like state from the triptofan in the turkey, I will be thinking not of the pile of dishes ready to be washed, or why I didn’t find a pair of old maternity jeans to wear to dinner simply for the expanding panel - I’ll be thinking that I really do have a lot to be thankful for.
Musings by Elle at 8:29 AM
Monday, October 01, 2007
Sorry to those of you who have been waiting to hear about Kierra's appointment with the new doctor. I fully intended on writing about it on Saturday, but as it was, we spent most of Saturday pulling flowers and plants out of the flowerbeds, then watched as two cop cars and an ambulance sat two doors down because the teenage son was hopped up on drugs and beating up his mom (he no longer lives there). Then to top off the evening, Karis starts to bark like a seal (YUP YOU GUESSED IT!) and it was an ER run for the steroid to treat croup. Believe it or not, it wasn't Jenna for once - the Croup Queen of Canada. So we fully anticipated taking Jenna last night, which wasn't the case miraciously. KNOCK ON WOOD, KNOCK ON WOOD!!!! Karis is doing much better, but she was pretty cranky yesterday. They got there around midnight, didn't get seen until 2:30 and got home around 3am - so tired. Then Kierra started to scream because Sunday is daddy-daughter breakfast day (daddy makes waffles, bacon, egg wraps... mommy sleeps in), but daddy was sleeping. After 20 minutes of tantruming, poor Jarrett woke up and came downstairs tired. It wasn't a fun Sunday. We spent it sleeping on and off on the couches while the kids watched Miss Spider's Sunny Patch. Finally we went to the park and let the kids ride bikes outside for 2 hours. Holy crap, shouldn't I get back to my initial point?
OK so Saturday, my neighbor was nice enough to watch the other two girls so Jarrett and I could take Kierra to see Dr. K. It's across the City, so we trucked down there, and I ogled the massive houses as my husband told me "No way! Do you know what traffic is like on the South side?" Fine! We get to the office, and right away he comes out and smiles and talks to Kierra. You can tell instantly that Kierra likes him. She's smiling away, shows him her puzzle she brought. Fellow moms, you know how golden it is when your kid LIKES the doctor.
So we sat in the room, and we talked a bit about Kierra's health in the past and presently. He asked us a lot of questions about her diagnosis process, her eating habits, her pooping habits and her behaviors. He marvelled how she put her puzzle together in no time flat (typical Kierra - she has amazing memory and spatial abilities). He kept commenting on how wonderful she was. Then we talked about her current therapies she's undergoing. He was very impressed by the work we've put into her (sorry to make her sound like a car restoration).
After that, he started to talk about his theory about Autism. Basically that it wasn't just a neurological disorder. This is when I infamously whip out the article I clipped out of the newspaper the night before from a Harvard University study done on Autism. It stated they've figured out it's not only a neurological disorder - rather it's a whole body disorder. Their findings have been that people with autism are showing a wide range of problems in their organ systems, primarily the immune system. They aren't sure what is causing it, but it's a recurrent theme. This is where Dr. K came in. He was delighted to see the article and said, "This is why I take this specific approach to Autism". He did confirm that it was DNA based, but that it was exaggerated by environmental factors. He also stated that vaccines didn't CAUSE autism, but suspects that it acts like a catalyst for it. Mainly, if you are predisposed to autism, and you have an unheatlhy immune system, that vaccines aren't being handled properly by the body systems. So rather than boosting the immune system, it is causing the body to attack it's own immunities - which causes adverse reactions that can also cause neurological problems. It is his belief that if you look at the immune system, and what other problems are coming from that, you can start taking care of them and decreasing the symptoms of the autism. Dr. K firmly told us you can never "CURE" autism (which we knew), but compared it to diabetes. You always have it, but sometimes with proper lifestyle changes, you can make a positive impact on your symptoms.
I did tell Dr. K that I had hear about the DAN approach about three years ago, but that my pediatrician didn't recognize it and told me it was a bunch of garbage. He said it's typical and not everyone believes it can work. He stated that unfortunately it doesn't work as well in some children as others. Mostly children who were high functioning had the best results; especially when it was a younger child. He also stated that it is always good to see the whole picture because you just never know. Just alleviating some of Kierra's body problems could help with her concentration and overcoming some of her hurdles. Of course we don't expect miracles - but we are willing to see just what, if any, changes can be made for positive advancement for her.
He immediately asked us about food allergies, and then replied he thought it was very probable she had some because she had "allergy shiners". This is the dark circles under her eyes that we have noticed for years now. He said it's a typical reaction to food allergies. He thought we should have a food allergy panel done. Then he noted her skin coloring, which tends to be on the yellowish-side. He said that could be a good indication that her liver functioning isn't quite what it should be and that she's not producing enough bile, so her billirubin is higher than normal. She's not jaundiced - but this means she's not digesting all her nutrients properly. This would possibly be why her hair doesn't really grown and is brittle. Also why her nails never really grow. Also her poop tells him this is probable because it is so light in color. Her body isn't absorbing like it should. He said this could be because of high levels of yeast in her digestive tract, and the lack of the proper bacteria that add in digestion and absorption. So they will be conducting a stool test to look for the yeast, and other issues related to this.
He also talked to us about how children with autism have higher levels of metal toxicity in their systems. Mainly, lead, mercury and tin. They aren't quite sure why, but a urine dip is accurate enough to tell us if she does have high levels. If she does, there is a more advanced test to have it move through her system more to tell us just how much there is. If so, there are some procedures that can be down with involve taking an oral or IV medication to flush her system of these toxins. But he'd rather do the less invasive tests first. He thought she probably had some mineral and vitamin deficiencies, which we'll check for. And he gave her a more organic children's vitamin to take which doesn't contain dyes.
Of course we discussed foods she eats, and the possible allergies. Gluten and casein - which is wheat and dairy allergies. He thought it was odd how she decided to no longer drink milk. We are going to wait to see what the allergy tests say first. Until then, we are keeping a diet journal and noting her skin colors, poops and behaviors that day. He wants to see how her body reacts to certain foods. He said a lot of the time, people with allergies to foods really crave to eat them, because their body's get this high from the shock it produces to the system. Essentially, this is why we develop cravings to certain foods. He said her cravings for carbs like pastas and breads could be allergy related.
We get some results back in about three weeks. He sends it off to a special lab in Seattle that deals specifically in testing for these types of things. We are feeling optimistic that there is something to be said for all of this. Of course we won't know more until those tests come back. Dr. K did seem very open-minded and willing to look at all the possible angles with us, which was great. And he definitely wasn't pushy or presumptuous with us. He just thought that looking at the whole picture was the best approach - which we are finding is probably true.
So that about wraps it up. If you are still reading - wow, you must really like me LOL. Hopefully you've learnt a lot with me. As I've said, I'm not 100% sold on anything at this point but I don't think it hurts to know all options, and to explore them - especially if they don't hurt anyone. In light of recent scientific findings - I'm hopefully optimistic that there are more answers out there waiting to be discovered!
Musings by Elle at 8:11 AM