Next stop on the road to healing: Genesville

  
Things are never dull in our house.  This week we’ve launched into an entirely new realm, something I know very little about. It’s genetics. On recommendation from our doctor, we had our son do a saliva DNA test.  The reason was because the supplements we were giving were causing more adverse reactions rather than improving things.  When we already walk on eggshells because of my son’s aggression and abuse, having this get worse not better, is frightening.

The results of the test have blown us away.  It’s confirmed his diagnosis and also our suspicions of histamine and Oxalates intolerance.  I’m so impressed with the test. It’s painted a clearer picture of why the aggression is happening too.  Those unhelpful people who believe ODD and ADHD are result of bad parenting can really just go and stick it. This test has revealed otherwise. Hopefully knowing this, seeing the results for myself, will help calm my farm on days when I feel like a failure as a parent. This defiance is because of his wiring, not all because of me. Phew!

What’s next?  These results have shown the doctor what genes are muted. She now knows which Enzymes he needs and which supplements will better support his body. Can you fix muted genes? Many of them are treatable, some will remain weaknesses but with supplements they’ll be barely noticeable.  This gives me hope.

I’ve recently been working my way through a wonderful Youtube presentation by Dr Russell Barkley (here). He believes in a few years time, when someone enters the doctors office with suspected ADHD, the doctors first step will be to do DNA testing.  If this test comes back positive for ADHD, the doctor will be able to better choose medication that targets the particular gene that needs supporting. I just find this idea fascinating and AMAZING. 

If you’ve been sick for a long time and not sure why, or your current treatments aren’t effective, see a Biomed doctor (so they can help you interpret it) and get your DNA test.  If you’re nervous about having your information out there, you can give them false names etc. I guess we will have to see if the supplements and treatment work, but for now this has given me a clearer picture of my son and his needs, and most importantly, the hope that I need right now.

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The vaccination debate…in my head!

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There comes a time when you’ve read WAY too much in life. 8yrs ago when we had our first child, giving vaccinations was something we felt needed barely any consideration. Of course you give them, why on earth wouldn’t you?!

8yrs down the track, all of a sudden on vaccination day, I’m questioning, feeling guilty and relief all in one.  Many parents have testified that vaccinations changed their child. It gave them Autism. Parents know their kids so well that I can believe that statement. For some, genetically Autism was already there, but maybe hadn’t become apparent yet, so perhaps a coincidence. For some, maybe not. For some, the vaccinations absolutely caused their child to change. Vaccinations are full of heavy metals etc that can do that. Now through extensive treatment with a Biomed doctor, some are slowly getting their child back, some are not.  All these testimonies and arguments, I can believe for sure. I have a child on the spectrum, I understand the grief, stress, and sadness these parents can experience.

On the other hand, vaccinations save lives. That’s the reason they were made. Simple. My world came crashing down in 2015 when my 7 week old got Whooping Cough. It was a devastating time seeing my little person struggle so much.  Thankfully she had a milder case, so didn’t need hospitalization.  Turns out part of the reason it was milder was probably because I had been vaccinated prior to the pregnancy, so I was passing antibodies through my breast milk.  THANK GOODNESS!

Can you see why I sit on the fence and feel guilty and relief at the same time on vaccination day? Do I choose Autism, particularly when severe, can rob someone of their life? Or, do I choose to vaccinate and prevent life threatening illnesses? Whooping Cough or Autism? Whooping Cough or Autism. It’s not an easy choice, especially when you’ve experienced both!

Shout it from the rooftops, the introvert is lonely!!!

Interestingly, I haven’t been too phased by the relocation.  I guess in many ways, it is fun.  Exploring a new place, trying new foods and setting up home are fun and stimulating to all the senses.  It’s the day to day stuff I’m finding very tough.  The everyday walk with four small kids, special needs thrown in there, homeschooling to help us through the summer, much single parenting, increase of food intolerances, fairly housebound working around baby naps to ensure we don’t have horrible nights,  and to be honest, bitter, bitter loneliness.  You know it’s a problem when the introvert screams out, I’M LONELY, I need people.  That’s a problem.  A problem that I know isn’t going to last long, it’s a season, I know.  But like being in the middle of a bitter cold winter, aknowledgement helps in knowing why you are cold, but it doesn’t make the cold go away, or make it bearable.  I’m trying to find a casual babysitter to help out and give me some respite, but I haven’t got one yet.  I do know I will sort out this problem soon and this will help somewhat, but having a break will mean me going off by myself in a different location.  Hmmm, not solving the loneliness problem here.

As I sat to write I had so many things to write, including a huge desire to share, but there’s  a massive brain fog in the way.  My food intolerances to Amines and Salicylates have been at their worse since Laila’s birth, getting lots of tummy upsets and other physiological things happening.  Laila is also very sensitive which has meant many a night has been spent having her wake 1-2hrly.  Trying to cope with this on top of the other stuff made life extra tricky and grumpy… Something had to change…

I read about the GAPS diet, particularly the GAPS intro diet as a way of healing the gut and helping it to be able to handle foods again.  Great idea right? In theory, yes. Being the impatient person I am, I jumped in and decided to give it a shot.  I should’ve read more before starting that’s for sure.  It’s basically only having easily digestible foods.  For the first few days, stocks and soup and if you are awesome at that, you can add an egg yolk. Yipppeeee, freakin yippee.  So, if you imagine, I’ve got all the stuff happening that I explained above, but put a mum and Bub in picture on a detox diet.  Lack of sleep and desperation makes us do interesting things.  The good news is, while on this diet, I’ve learnt I’m way more intolerant to Amines than I first originally thought and this is the cause of my chronic sinusitis.  I’ve been trying to be super careful seeing I’m breastfeeding, keeping up my nutrients, but it’s super hard when you can’t have a lot of foods allowed in this diet.  More healing has to take place first.  That’s all good and well, but I have a cranky baby covered in detox rash, and a mum trying not to, but losing weight too quickly (hello, premarriage weight, seriously!), and coping with a detox brain, fatigue and emotions.  It’s no wonder two weeks in, I cracked and had pizza with the kids last night.  I’ve realised, I was expecting too much from myself and now was not the right time to do this diet (it’s soo hard working out what Bub is reacting to when they are eating solids and breastfeeding, way too hard!).  I’m not enjoying the reversal stomach cramps and sinusitis that has come back 6hrs later and I’m not sure yet what’s in store for Laila, but it was all just too much!! 

This little burnt out and lonely introvert must soldier on, find some more time to pray (I’m very thankful we’ve found a great church and look forward to the interactions every week), and try to sleep (thank you sinuses for sleeplessness at 4am, I haven’t missed you!), knowing that next month we have a holiday coming up. I can’t wait and I wish it could come sooner.

Navigating the hurdles 

We are settling in and loving this place, Amman.  It amuses me everyday.  There is so much chaos on the roads, but it works.  Most roads there aren’t lines to mark the lanes, but it doesn’t seem to matter.  They make their own lanes and rules, and somehow it works.  

Life is easy so far.  We are happy in our house.  There is something about it that just feels like home.  It helps we have space and the kids intensity levels have dropped heaps. We are going on daily adventures exploring our surroundings and getting to know the friendliest people on the planet.  People are just so friendly in Jordan.  Always happy to help or share a smile. And the amount of times people want selfies with or want to kiss Laila is impressive.

Our only hurdle now is schooling.  The international schools charge a fortune for so little. When asked if they offer financial assistance for families, they respond with ‘of course, you can pay the fees in three payments!’.  So can everybody else, how is that a discount? and you want to teach my child..I don’t think so, not until you’ve improved your maths skills. The other hurtful thing is having your child knocked back from a school because of their learning difficulty, when on the scheme of things is incredibly mild (I used to teach a class of 12 kids with needs that were way more challenging than that.  You can adapt things for one, surely!). Anyway, at this stage I may have to homeschool Maxi, which would suit him perfectly.  The other two have a space at school that we really like.  School isn’t the right place for Max, especially the academic/textbook style of teaching.  Navigating the school system is certainly a challenge.  It will be nice when we have successfully navigated the system and have a plan.

Until then, we shall continue to spend our days exploring the parks and classes.  The only problem is, I’m just a little bit over having to use a map everywhere we go, without a navigator and four loud kids in the back.  Needless to say, I’m exhausted by the end of the day, everyday.

Whirlwind year

Apologies. A very long time, no post scenario happening here.

I think it’s safe to say it has been an incredibly busy, emotionally challenging year.

I’m about two weeks away from delivering our fourth baby. Much excitement and anxiety is building in the house as we prepare to welcome our first girl to the family. I’m not really sure how to do girls. Hope she can teach me.

This year I’ve spent mostly pregnant, gagging, whilst at the same time raising our Golden Retriever pup, Matilda. Hectic is one word to describe it. We had already said to the kids we were getting Matilda before we found out I was expecting. I definitely wouldn’t recommend doing pregnancy and toilet training a pup at the same time. There was much dry reaching to be had for many, many months. The good news is, our main goal for getting a pup was as a therapy dog. Although she won’t be trained as one, she is doing a mighty fine job of helping our boy to smile on the days that he normally wouldn’t have smiled. To have Max walk in from school all tense and angry, and then just smile and laugh because Matilda adores him and instantly gives him cuddles, makes all the dry reaching and poop cleaning worth it.

In among the craziness of raising a puppy, being pregnant, working through issues with schools and struggling kids, we survived yet another Gaza war and riots. It was a tense time in Jerusalem, very little sleep was had, and really it still is intense. I’m definitely grateful for great security people, sending warnings of places and situations to avoid. Whilst I no longer feel vulnerable, I still need to remain alert to all that is going on around me. No time for relaxing. I will say again, this place has changed me.

It turns out, Joel’s position won’t be extended, so as of next March he will no longer be working in his position, and we more than likely won’t be living here in Jerusalem. Whilst there are positions available in Jerusalem, I feel like I’m done with this place, ready for a new set of challenges, preferably at a more relaxed, less intense pace. We will wait and see where we end up. This of course will bring a whole new challenge to navigating life. Learning how to prepare and transition the family and myself from one country to another again, but with older, more aware kids this time. Stay tuned….

A rocky river

I’m thinking I may be feeling slightly like a rushing river, unable to keep up with the flow.  I’m getting swirled around and around, getting very disoriented.  The rain is getting heavier, the river rushing at a faster speed. That’s my week so far, and it’s only Wednesday.  Oh boy!

The possibility of an upcoming surgery has been confirmed. Looks like for xmas I’m getting some new and improved ureters (classy!).  I’ll be in over Christmas getting this reflux business under control so I hopefully won’t cause further scarring on my kidneys.  This has been interesting.  Every time I’ve tried calling and emailing to confirm the surgery, nobody has been getting back to me, until today.  That’s right, the day before my pre admission day of tests etc.  The day before! Thank you again Israel for your magical customer service.  It was really hard trying to prepare for a surgery that I didn’t even know I was actually going to happen. Thankfully, I have confidence in the actual surgeon!  Whilst I feel peaceful about the surgery, my teariness today may have something to do with.  I then, had to put the teariness aside (hence, the river getting faster and faster, ready to explode ), inform the kids of the upcoming events of surgery, an early Christmas ‘party’, and then mummy’s 4 day stay in hospital.  Jimmo was impressed that I’ll be where all the ambulances go.  At least someone is excited!

My other part of my teariness, oh my other part! The parent teacher interviews that we all look forward to….not really.  Well, even though I’m a teacher and know what to expect, I still get pretty tense going in.  There’s good reason why.  When you are a parent of a child with special needs, it all becomes so much more.  I know he is a genius, we generally skip over academics, it always goes straight to his ‘struggles’.  I also thought that when my kid’s teacher started to say she see’s the struggles that I see in my child, it would be a relief, but it wasn’t, in fact I almost cried in the interview.  Ever since Maxi was 2, I have had my suspicions of what was happening with him.  Some people agreed, a psychologist gave a different diagnosis, but I still thought he was experiencing difficulties in other ways the psychologist didn’t see.  I guess I’m glad his teacher is now seeing what I see in him because Maxi can get the extra help he needs.  All very important stuff, but why am I still sad? I guess no mother wants to see their kid struggle, and he does!  I’ve also been warned that he will struggle even more next year when he has a teacher with a totally different teaching style.  Oh, I hope not!

And that ladies and gentlemen are the reasons for my rushing, unstable river.  I need to go and get on my knees in prayer, then soak in a nice hot bath and enjoy some water that is calm and supportive.