Monday, April 26, 2010

Continued meal success and homeopathy





Meals have been extremely successful. Jack loves salmon, steak, roast chicken, sweet potato fries, bone broth rice and buckwheat noodles. He has come a long way from eating a hot dog every night. It's not as though he's never seen these foods, he's watched us eat them, and we've tried every method to get him to eat - reverse psychology, bribery, force feeding - nothing worked. The difference (I believe) is the healing of Jack's leaky gut. His discomfort is gone, he's hungry, food doesn't make him hurt, and his anxiety is gone. He's now eager to engage in what we're eating and excited about trying new things. You don't know how happy this makes me (SOOO HAPPY).

This same participation is of course present in other areas of our lives, he's becoming much more social and comfortable in his own skin. It blows my mind that leaky gut isn't recognized by mainstream medicine. Allergists don't test for IgG allergies and no doctor ever mentioned to me that Jack might benefit from any type of further testing or supplemention like digestive enzymes. Oh digestive enzymes how I love thee!

We are five days into sequential homeopathy. What you see in the photos of my last post are two dropper formulations that we give daily. One is to support Jack and the other is supporting kidney function, liver funtion etc. Stimulating detox pathways. The envelopes are our first two clearing packets. We completed the first which consisted of inserting a little wafer into Jack's mouth at bedtime for three nights. We cleared a round of antibiotics that he took after busting his chin open and developing a high fever. I'm pretty sure he picked up a nasty virus while in the waiting room of Children's Hospital for five hours with an open wound on his face. BUT, they didn't want to mess around because of staph infections and his fever was over 104. The next clear will be the chin injury itself (the chincident or Jaccident as we like to call it). We'll start that in a couple of weeks to give his body some recovery time between clears. Then we'll have another phone consult and they will ship us our next two clearing packets! I can't wait to clear strep throat which will be in the next round. I've read that speech can be stifled by strep. The only side affect of the antibiotic clear was a few night wakings which he never has normally. And last night he slept through the night so it only lasted on the days that the homeopathic remedy was administered.

We had a really nice weekend, beautiful weather and no obligations. Justin took Jack to Legoland and the beach on Saturday. Harvey took a long nap and I was able to relax a bit, at one point I thought "am I bored??" and then I mentally slapped myself. Last night we had some friends over, grilled and ate outside, I see a summer full of THAT, so nice!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dinner report

Things started out a little dicey. Jack was demanding french fries and Harvey would NOT sit in his high chair. Once the plates were on the table and I had mashed Harvey into his seat we started singing this song from Yo Gabba Gabba "I tried it, and then I liked it" and by golly he tried it. And he liked it! He didn't eat his carrots but ate the chicken down to the bone. Then used the bone to pretend he was a dog. It was one of the most enjoyable meals we've had in a while! I loved not handling any allergens, I didn't have to wash my hands over and over or worry about keeping an eye on everyone, we were able to share food and just relax. Ah!


Extreme Makeover

For our kitchen that is! We're trying something that we should have done three and half years ago, removing Jack's allergens from the house. It will be a challenge for sure but I've been getting better at making meals we can (and will) all eat so now it's just a matter of bulking up on the Jack friendly stuff and ditching the rest. It was weighing on me really heavily this weekend and then Sunday afternoon I was making a bagel and Jack came up and asked "why are you eating a donut mama?" and I replied "this is called a bagel" and he says "Jack wants a bagel!". Broke my heart...and I totally did not enjoy my bagel. Someday Jack might be able to eat an egg free/dairy free bagel but right now most grains just don't agree with him and I don't want him to feel different or left out, not here in our home at least!

So here's what a Jack friendly kitchen looks like except for a few allergens we have yet to consume, like the bagels and soy milk. The soy milk is Justin's and I'm not sure if he'll want to give that up or not. The safe milks for Jack are rice and hemp and even I don't drink those.




I'm sure I'll be posting our meal succeses but this weeks menu will look something like this.

Day 1:
Roast free range organic whole chicken (I'll make bone broth from the leftovers)
Roasted carrots
Micro greens salad with avocado and baby heirloom tomatoes

Day 2:
Leftover chicken
Soba (buckwheat) noodles
Organic broccoli

Day 3:
Grilled filet mignon
Homemade organic sweet potato fries
Baby greens salad with avocado

Day 4:
Alaskan salmon
Rice or quinoa cooked in bone broth
Baby greens salad with avocado

Day 5:
Burgers on iceburg lettuce instead of a bun with tomato, pickles, ketchup, mustard
Sweet potato fries

Day 6:
Rice Penne w/grass fed beef, artichoke hearts, and fresh tomatoes
Organic broccoli

Lunches will be leftovers, canned soup, hot dogs, alphabet fries.
Snacks will be bananas, organic apple slices and carrot sticks dipped in sunflower seed butter, veggie chips.
Breakfast will be smoothies, rice cereal, bananas, sunflower seed butter and honey rice bread sandwiches.

Not bad eh??? I'm excited. Hopefully the gluten withdrawals aren't bad. And hopefully we'll all feel amazing due to the change. I know the reward will be including Jack in all our meals and knowing our kitchen is a safe place for him. I'm still flying high from yesterdays test results, I'm thinking about having them framed. You think I'm kidding...

Monday, April 19, 2010

IGG Results

I wish I had his previous results online so that I could post them to compare but this is HUGE progress. Will meet with our naturopath this week and have more to add about what this indicates but I think we can assume that his gut inflammation is down and that he's healing.




Want to also add a little shout out to my little brother Sam who left for Afghanistan today. We are SO incredibly proud of his courageous spirit and will be praying every day for his safe return. We LOVE you Sam!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Picture Day

This dragon is Jack's current favorite toy.....try sleeping with that little dude in your back!


Harvey had a blueberry breakfast. Below is his new "smile" for the camera, cheese!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Homeopathy Consultation

Had our initial consultation with Rudi Verspoor from the Hahnemann Clinic today. I couldn't have asked for a more calming and confident voice on the other end of the line. He went over all of Jack's information and explained to me how sequential homeopathy heals trauma to the body's life energy. I love how the philosophy of homeopathy shifts my focus from symptoms and back to causes at an even deeper level. Even Jack's allergies are a symptom of an immune system that has been sensitized. Genetics are considered but often times even genetic predispositions are triggered by our environment.

Rudi also explained that there can be more of a reason for heavy metal toxicity than just poor detoxification of the body. The body can create or hold on to specific metals for different reasons. For example, mercury keeps candida and yeast issues at bay in the body so sometimes the body will create mercury or hold on to exposed mercury to fight candida. Jack had yeast issues early on. I was able to connect it with wheat in my diet and once my breastmilk was free of wheat the yeast rash went away. But again, the rash was a symptom of yeast and the yeast was a symptom of something deeper so as we unlayer the traumas to Jack's system we'll be able to reveal and remedy the issues that surface. I've also read that a lot of children who are going through chelation will have yeast issues errupt in the process. Rudi said that often times people will chelate (key-late)and the metals will reaccumulate so it's important to address why the body is holding onto the metals in lieu of pushing them out of the body. This line of thinking is really sitting well with me and confirms our decision not to chelate Jack.

He's happy with where we are with supplementation which I can thank our naturopathic doctor for. He's working on our remedies now and will send them in the mail. We'll be receiving a daily remedy that will support Jack through the process, it's tailored to Jack's constitution, also a dropper that will support kidney function, liver function etc, as well as our first two specific trauma remedies! I can't wait to get started and to be able to document and share our results. Each specific trauma clearing remedy can present symptoms that last two hours to two days but when the symptoms clear so does the trauma!

I hope that this made some sense to anyone reading about sequential homeopathy for the first time, I want to do it justice. If I lost you please stay with me, I'm sure I'll have more explaining later with examples. And I'm happy to answer questions.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

IgE Results



The fact that this t-shirt exists should make me feel better, maybe it will. Maybe we should buy it.

Had Jack skin prick tested for IgE allergies today. His most severe allergy is peanut. The wheal size for peanut a little less than a year ago was 24/70. Well, the good news is that it came down to 20/30. This is still quite large and we still need an epipen handy. The crap news is that his egg and milk allergies both doubled in size and are now as large as peanut. Milk is 18/35 and egg is now 20/40 which is actually larger than peanut. Not sure how to feel about this. Defeated, disappointed, even a little depressed.

Other interesting news is that corn came back negetive, soy was still the same positive result. Almond came back positive this time whereas it was negetive last time and the opposite is true for cashew so she thinks they got mixed up last time. We avoid all nuts anyways so it doesn't really matter. I will not be feeding Jack corn any time soon, maybe when we see more signs of a more balanced immune system.

IgG results come in next week. If we don't see improvement there I will probably need medication.

It's my 30th birthday today....we're sick and I'm now realizing that an allergy appointment on my birthday was a stupid idea. Focusing on the positive though, I had a nice morning with Justin, Jack is doing great even with a virus, and with all these little earthquakes happening here I really am grateful we're all safe! Yesterday my beautiful aunt Jodie came by and brought me more wonderful things to plant in my garden, an apple pie (breakfast this morning!), and a bottle of Bohemian Merlot which I'm saving for the weekend. Justin's gift to me is a solo shopping trip this weekend, ahhhh! Perspective really is everything and I love my beautiful family, allergies and all. Now that I've documented (vented) our results I do plan on having a great birthday. Might even sneak out for a massage this afternoon!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

'O Canada'



We decided to move forward with Sequential Homeopathy! Through lots of exploring we discovered the Hahnemann Clinic for Heilkunst in Ontario Canada.

http://www.homeopathy.com/clinic/

Sequential Homeopathy, Sequential Therapy, Sequential Treatment

These terms refer essentially to the treatment of specific shocks and traumas (mainly drugs, vaccines, surgeries, but also emotional traumas) in a person's life using energetic (often called "homeopathic") remedies. The traumas are identified by creating a "timeline" and then are treated in the reverse order (backwards from the present, to birth/conception and into the inherited predispositions).

Sequential treatment (or ST, as it is often referred to) was first developed by Dr. J.F. Elmiger MD of Switzerland, and was brought to North America and the homeopathic community and developed further in the early 1990's, by Patty Smith and Rudi Verspoor of the Hahnemann College and Clinic for Heilkunst.

ST is only part, as is homeopathy, of the full medical system developed by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann some 200 years ago. The full potential for cure is realized only when all aspects of health, as laid out by Dr. Hahnemann, are taken into consideration and applied in every case on an individual basis.

The Hahnemann College for Heilkunst is the only school in the world to teach Dr. Hahnemann's complete medical system, including the use of ST and homeopathy, plus much else to prepare professionals to deal effectively, consistently and successfully with chronic, complex cases.

We have our first appointment (by phone) with Rudi Verspoor next Wednesday. We are going to retest Jack this Thursday for his IgE allergies and retested him last week for his IgG allergies. We'll get the IgE results immediately, the IgG resuls will be in soon. Looking forward to see some pogress in those areas. I don't expect to see a big change in his peanut allergy but would be thilled to see a change in dairy, egg, soy, and corn. Just an indication that he's begining to outgrow (heal) would give me wings! The IgG results (all the intolerances) will give us an indication of whether or not his gut is healed/healing.

The clinic was thrilled when I told them that Jack has never had a vaccine which was so refreshing. That said, there are many things in Jack's history to "timeline". Two rounds of antibiotics, antifungals (from wheat exposure), benadryl, tylenol, motrin, stitches from busting his chin, chemical and heavy metal exposure, etc. To say I'm excited about this treatment would be lack luster. I am ready to begin, ready to dedicate, ready to learn and grow and watch Jack flourish even more!

Friday, April 2, 2010

5 Gifts Of Being Highly Sensitive

Via Huffington Post:

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Douglas Eby, M.A./Psychology, who is a writer and researcher on the psychology of creative expression, high ability and personal growth. He is creator of the Talent Development Resources series of sites, including HighlySensitive.org at TalentDevelop.com. I know many of you are "highly sensitive" and enjoy articles on that topic, so I am excited to pique his highly sensitive brain today!

Question: If you had to name the top five gifts of being highly sensitive, what would they be?

Douglas:

1. Sensory detail

One of the prominent "virtues" of high sensitivity is the richness of sensory detail that life provides. The subtle shades of texture in clothing, and foods when cooking, the sounds of music or even traffic or people talking, fragrances and colors of nature. All of these may be more intense for highly sensitive people.

Of course, people are not simply "sensitive" or "not sensitive" -- like other qualities and traits, it's a matter of degree.

Years ago, I took a color discrimination test to work as a photographic technician, making color prints. The manager said I'd scored better, with more subtle distinctions between hues in the test charts, than anyone he had evaluated.

That kind of response to color makes visual experience rich and exciting, and can help visual artists and designers be even more excellent.

2. Nuances in meaning

The trait of high sensitivity also includes a strong tendency to be aware of nuances in meaning, and to be more cautious about taking action, and to more carefully consider options and possible outcomes.

3. Emotional awareness

We also tend to be more aware of our inner emotional states, which can make for richer and more profound creative work as writers, musicians, actors or other artists.

A greater response to pain, discomfort, and physical experience can mean sensitive people have the potential, at least, to take better care of their health.

4. Creativity

Psychologist Elaine Aron, author of The Highly Sensitive Person, estimates about twenty percent of people are highly sensitive, and 70 percent of those are introverted, which is a trait that can also encourage creativity.

As examples, there are many actors who say they are shy, and director Kathryn Bigelow, who recently won an Academy Award, has said, "I'm kind of very shy by nature." The star of her movie The Hurt Locker, Jeremy Renner (who was reportedly shy as a child) has commented that "in social situations she can be painfully shy."

5. Greater empathy

High sensitivity to other people's emotions can be a powerful asset for teachers, managers, therapists and others.

Question: And, if you had to name five curses, what would they be? And how best do we overcome them or co-exist with them?

Douglas:

1. Easily overwhelmed, overstimulated

The biggest challenge in high sensitivity is probably being vulnerable to sensory or emotional overwhelm. Taking in and processing so much information from both inner and outer worlds can be "too much" at times and result in more pain, fatigue, stress, anxiety and other reactions.

An intriguing neuroscience research study I came across that may explain some of this said people with nervous systems having decreased latent inhibition are more open to incoming stimuli. Which can be a good thing, or not so good.

Actor Amy Brenneman once commented, "I'm too sensitive to watch most of the reality shows. It's so painful for me."

That kind of pain or discomfort can mean we don't choose to experience some things that might actually be fun or enriching. Though I don't mean reality shows.

2. Affected by emotions of others

Another aspect of sensitivity can be reacting to the emotions - and perhaps thoughts - of others. Being in the vicinity of angry people, for example, can be more distressing.

As actor Scarlett Johansson once put it, "Sometimes that awareness is good, and sometimes I wish I wasn't so sensitive."

3. Need lots of space and time to ourselves

We may need to "retreat" and emotionally "refresh" ourselves at times that are not always best for our goals or personal growth. For example, being at a professional development conference, it may not be the most helpful thing to leave a long presentation or workshop in order to recuperate from the emotional intensity of the crowd.

4. Unhealthy perfectionism

There can also be qualities of thinking or analyzing that lead to unhealthy perfectionism, or stressful responses to objects, people or situations that are "too much" or "wrong" for our sensitivities.

5. Living out of sync with our culture

Living in a culture that devalues sensitivity and introversion as much as the U.S. means there are many pressures to be "normal" -- meaning extroverted, sociable and outgoing.

Dr. Ted Zeff, author of The Highly Sensitive Person's Survival Guide, points out that other cultures, such as Thailand, have different attitudes, with a strong appreciation of sensitive or introverted people.

Jenna Avery, a "life coach for sensitive souls," counsels people to accept or even pursue being "out of sync" with mainstream society, and be aware of other's judgments of people as too sensitive, too emotional, or too dramatic.

And if we are sensitive, we may use those kinds of judgments against ourselves, and think, as Winona Ryder said she did at one time, "Maybe I'm too sensitive for this world."

Certainly there are extremes of emotions that are considered mood disorders, for example, and should be dealt with as a health challenge.

But "too emotional" or "too sensitive" are usually criticisms based on majority behavior and standards.

Overall, I think being highly sensitive is a trait we can embrace and use to be more creative and aware. But it demands taking care to live strategically, even outside popular values, to avoid overwhelm so we can better nurture our abilities and creative talents.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

At a crossroads..


Well, as you may have noticed in my previous post, we just discovered that Jack has toxic levels of heavy metals in his body. I suspected some toxicity, like the antimony for instance, because it's so heavy in our environment (flame retardants, etc) but the high levels of aluminum, copper, etc were a scary surprise. In addition to that it's usually assumed that if that kind of toxicity is present that mercury is hiding within the body as well. Great. As the reality of it sinks in the shock is wearing off. I already knew in my heart that Jack's body has trouble detoxifying and I know that our environment is full of toxins. One plus one equals two.

So now we're at a crossroads. There's chelation therapy which is the process of removing heavy metals from the body using a chelator (drugs). This scares me because as metals are mobilized they can move around and resettle which can reinjure. The other option that we're looking into is sequential homeopathy which detoxifies the body naturally while supporting the body's ability to recover. Perhaps not as tried and true a method (aka mainstream) but sounds a HECK OF A LOT safer and gentler. Both routes are costly (homeopathy more so) and take time.

So just as I was begining to feel that we had reached our balance, a new chapter is written. I'm suiting up and preparing for this leg of the journey and am excited for it's healthy ending.