Saturday, April 20, 2013

I'm So Sorry Sweet Ella {neurotransmitter results}

I'm so sorry sweet Ella that your world feels so out of control!  We received Ella's neurotransmitter results this week and they don't look good at all.

See all the red?  All of these are high, really high.  She is overproducing serotonin, glycine, glutamate, dopamine, and norepinephrine.  Basically she feels really stressed, in fight or flight mode, all of the time.  What an awful feeling!
We are going to try 3 new supplements to help balance things out.  The first supplement, Calm PRT, helps reduce stress and restore communication between her hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.  Another supplement, Calm G TheaNAQ, is designed to modulate glutamate and reduce oxidative stress and includes NAC, L-theanine, and CoQ10.  The last supplement, Kavinase, supports GABA function and helps reduce anxiety.  (I think my entire family needs this!) 
I will let you know how and if these supplements help our princess. 
It will be okay Ella, I promise.  I will fight for you.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Putting the Pieces Together

I'm sorry it has taken me two months to blog again but life is crazy!  About a month ago we had Haiden, Ella, and Mason take the NutraEval test through Rhonda Marsh at Integrative Health Specialist. It is a blood and urine tests.  We had this done on Haiden when he was three and it gave us so many answers to what was going on inside his little body.  At that time his "autism" was actually food sensitivities, yeast overgrowth, bacteria overgrowth, parasites, vitamin deficiencies, inflammation, and malabsorption.  When we started treating those problems his "autism" diminished.  I wanted to test Haiden again to see what all has changed.

Out of all of the kids, Haiden's results looked the best.  He has low magnesium, B2, zinc, and vitamin D levels which can all contribute to ADHD symptoms.  So we are going to increase those supplements.  We are also going to do a Neurotransmitter test to see if we can help with his anxiety.

For the past two years I've have been told by a developmental pediatrician, neurologist, and psychologist that Ella's "issues" were due to my parenting.  Now, I know I'm not the best parent in the world but I also know that the behavior's we were seeing in Ella were something more. I also know she was a formula fed, vaccine injured baby whose been damaged.  I've also learned to listen to my instinct more than the "specialist" and it pays off.  I also am aware of some of my weaknesses and my husband's weaknesses which have contributed to all of this as well.  It is not normal for a child to be sick all the time, it is not normal to have low tone, it is not normal to have speech delays, it is not normal to have chronic skin issues, it is not normal to have memory problems at age 5, it is not normal to cry all the time and have anxiety at such a young age.  Yes, I could put band aids on all of these issues with medicine but I know her body isn't functioning like it should.  The NutraEval gave me the answers!  In a nut shell, Ella's body isn't able to detox toxins.  So anytime she comes into contact with chemicals, whether it be in vaccines or cleaning products, her body absorbs these.  Her system is broken so we are adding some supplements to make this system work.  She is also low in her B vitamins, zinc, vitamin D, and her omegas.  Ella also has some mitochondrial dysfunction which can be helped with supplements but explains a lot of what we have seen.  Remember the Hannah Poling case? That would have been Ella if we continued vaccines.  We are now waiting the results of her Neurotransmitter test for more answers to her anxiety and find out ways we can help her naturally. 

Mason's test also showed mitochondrial dysfunction and low B vitamins, zinc, vitamin D, and a-lipoic acid.  We are going to improve these with supplements as well. 

If I were to do what the doctor's tell most of their patients then I would have 4 autistic children.  Autism isn't always a brain disorder, it is a body disorder.  Why can't every child be tested for these things when they are born?  I know it would save a lot of families heartache and the financial burden of raising a child with special needs. 

So as I fix all of these organic gluten/casein free meals, use non toxic cleaning materials, use non toxic body care products, wonder if I've lost my mind, and feel the harsh judgement from others, I remind myself that what I am doing is helping my children.  What I am doing has saved them.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Back at it

I'm blogging again!  Gavin just turned 16 months this week and I feel like the last 16 months have been a blur.  We have been going through the motions everyday, just maintaining.  I've come to the realization that all my kids have issues because of me.  A lot of autism parents feel this way.  Check out this blog entry from Thinking Moms. We don't want sympathy or "It's not your fault."  No, we just want to do something about it.  And that doing something is us letting everyone else know our mistakes so you don't make them. 
So what lit the fire in me?  Thanks to another autism mom on FB, she posted this blog entry from Regarding Caroline.  After reading it I was in tears and instantly knew that I needed to do more to help my children.  I read her blog from top to bottom and was inspired.  Yes, Haiden is doing awesome and has come a long, long way but he still has some learning issues and difficulty getting his words out. 

Yes, Ella had an evaluation and everything was "normal" but the girl is a hot, emotional mess, beyond the typical way a 5 year old girl should be. 

Yes, we were so hopeful with our sweet Mason because he has been so healthy and was meeting milestones, until we realized his speech wasn't quite what is should be. 

The same with Gavin, he was so healthy the first year of life but now he has a constant runny nose, sensory issues out the wazoo, and some very concerning speech issues. 
So, all of that, has lead me to stop being okay with how things are and make them better.  We are getting back on being strict with diet (we let things slip, a lot) and adding in some new supplements.  Haiden will take Super Nu Thera, vitamin D, vitamin C, B complex, Pro Bio Gold, cod liver oil, Goldenseal, Grapeseed extract, adrenal fatigue extract, and DMG.  Ella will take the same except Goldenseal.  Mason and Gavin will take Hero Nutritional multivitamin (still looking for a better multi for them), cod liver oil, and Pro Bio Gold.  There are some other supplements I want to add but I am taking baby steps.  I also know chelation needs to be in our future but that freaks me. 
I want this blog to be my little place in the world to document our journey, share information, and inspire others.  I hope other parents will join me! :-)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Truth is...

Truth is...
The truth is, I'm exhausted, worn out, tired.  Soccer season and school have started back up which means homework every night and soccer practice 3 nights a week along with the usual mommy/wife duties of cooking, cleaning, and laundry  Add that on top of running my photograhy business and a baby who is still up 2-3 times a night, my body is drained! 
This usual health nut has turned to Dr. Pepper to keep me going during the day. (Gasp!)  My muffin top is growing to about a 5 month pregnancy belly and I don't even really care at this point. 
With school starting, this means more anxiety for Haiden, which means more stuttering, which means more frustration, making for such a fun environment. 
Miss Ella has an appointment with St. Vincent Neuroscience Institute in September which has me all up in a mess of anxiety.  Poor girl, breaks my heart to see her struggle with so many things. 
Mr. Mason is still pretty pissed that he has a baby brother and will do just about anything for attention, usually negative attention.  He loves to make his sister mad and I'm certain he makes this his goal everyday. 
Then there is Gavin.  Just when I thought having 4 kids was crazy, Gavin learned to crawl.  He loves to tip over the house plants, eat the dog food, pull everything off the craft table, climb the stairs, lick the bottom of shoes, pull himself to stand then give an ear piercing scream because he can't get down, and bite you, mainly when he is nursing. 
So as I sat hear this afternoon after an embarassing trip to the library, all 3 kids left screaming, I just wanted to cry.  Cry because I feel overwhelmed by life right now.  Then I came to my senses and realized just how blessed I am.  I am incredibly blessed because I have an amazing family.  An amazing family who would do anything for each other.  I have a beautiful home, my health, a husband who is beyond amazing, wonderful friends who I couldn't live without, and 4 of the most adorable children who call me mom.

Friday, June 1, 2012

I'm Back!!!!

Wow!  The last 7 months have been nothing short of pure craziness!  My photography business has really taken off and my four precious kids have been keeping me very busy! 
In the last 7 months we finished up Haiden's first basketball season, celebrated Haiden's 8th birthday (how did that happen?), had Haiden's ear surgery, Ella's first soccer season, Haiden's 6th soccer season, watched Mason go from a toddler to a little boy, watched Gavin go from a newborn to a very engaged baby, Ella's dance recital (cutest thing ever), got Mason's orthodics for his little feet, redid our dining room, enclosed our loft to make a 4th bedroom (my hubby is so handy), and had a fun trip to Southern Indiana to see family!
I'm not going to sugar coat it, life had been challenging but when I look at the big picture I realize I am so blessed.  Haiden is doing awesome and I am so proud of him but he still has his ASD moments.  Ella has big, HUGE emotions that pretty much run this house but she has the sweetest heart.  Mason is still pretty upset about not being the baby anymore and lets us know about it, daily.  He still loves to snuggle, says the funniest things, and tells me he loves me about 20 times a day.  Sweet Gavin loves his mommy so much that he wants to be next to me 24/7, and I'm just fine with that. :-)
The past 7 months have been a balancing act but Brian and I are a great team.  He takes such good care of me and our family!  I'm constantly growing as a mother and wife and love this crazy journey we are on!

We also had our family pictures taken by SB Childs Photography.  I love them and wanted to share!

 Haiden, Gavin, Ella, and Mason

 Love him so much!
 He loves his daddy so much!

 He melts my heart!
 My sweet, sweet princess! 

And this one makes me cry...My oh my...Haiden, you are such an amazing little boy who is growing way too fast!
One thing I've learned is that I need to slow down.  Take each day in.  Enjoy the fact that they need me so much right now because it will not be long before they want to be with their friends instead of their mom.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Welcome Gavin Johann McKinney

And baby makes 6!  We welcomed Gavin Johann on October 19th.  He surprised us only weighing 7 lbs. 14 oz. and 21 inches long.  The last 3 weeks have been a roller coaster of emotions as he spent the first week of his life in the NICU and IU Children's Hospital. 
As many of you know, I spent this pregnancy a little obsessive about what went in my body and what I exposed my body to.  I ate mainly organic clean foods, used nontoxic body care products, and chemical free cleaning products.  I took "clean" vitamins and worked out regularly until my 5th month of pregnancy.  I was determined to make another healthy baby!
At my 37 week OB appointment an ultrasound was scheduled to check the size of our little guy.  I have a history of large babies (9.5 lbs.) and Ella had shoulder dystosia (where the baby gets stuck).  My OB, who I love, knew from the beginning that I didn't want to be induced but she also expressed her concerns with letting me go to 40 weeks.  The ultrasound estimated that at 37 weeks, the baby was about 8lbs. 6oz. After listening to my doctors concerns, I swallowed my pride, ignored my intuition, and agreed to be induced at 39 weeks.
The days leading up to the induction I was an anxious mess.  I had a horrible feeling but couldn't tell you why or what it was.  I thought I was just nervous about having a 4th child.
The day of the induction I had my hypnobirthing music all ready, had the mindset that I was going to do this natural, and was ready to go.  Little did I know that in only 9 hours and 2 pushes (totally not natural) we would have another little boy!  As soon as Gavin was born I knew right away that he wasn't ready to come out.  He looked so, so small and had trouble breathing.  He also had that white stuff all over him, something I had never seen with my other children.  As the nurses worked on him my heart just pounded out of my chest.  They finally got him more stable and weighed him, that is when my heart went into my stomach.  7lbs. 14 oz.  What the hell!!!!  I was mad!  My baby was not suppose to come out yet, he wasn't ready!  I have big kids, someone got something very wrong!  Why didn't I listen to my God given instinct that I so strongly believed in?!
The next 5 days felt like a nightmare.  Gavin had to go to the NICU, have 2 x-rays (which absolutely devastated me), blood work, IV antibiotics, and an echocardiagram. 
I'm still angry but trying each day to get over it.  Being angry isn't going to change anything, it isn't going to make anything better.  As soon as we got home, Teresa, our Craniosacral therapist came over and treated
Gavin.  Since then he has had yet another treatment.  I just pray (and if you know me, I'm not good at that) he doesn't have any long lasting effects from all the trauma he went through those first 5 days. 
With each child, I never think I'm going to be able to love them as much as the others but my heart just grows every time!  I'm a very protective mom but with Gavin, it's even more.  All I want to do is hold him, protect him.  He is so special to me and holds such a special place in my heart.  

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Happy 4th Birthday Ella

Dear Ella,
I can't believe you are 4 years old!  The last 4 years sure have been a roller coaster ride!  Some days, you talk and act like a teenager.  You have grown so much this past year!  You love to help me out at home by doing laundry, setting the table, putting clothes away, folding diapers, sweeping, and taking care of Mason.  You love to be read to and look at books.  Some of your favorite books are Fancy Nancy, Pinkalicious, and anything that has to do with a princess.  You love shoes just like your momma and you love dresses!  Right now you are in tap, ballet, and gymnastic and I think your favorite thing is picking out which leotard you are going to wear to class.  You are so strong willed and spirited!  Even though this can make things extremely hard right now I keep telling myself that one day those characteristics are going to make you very successful! :-) 
Even though you love dress up, wearing lip gloss, painting your fingernails, and all things fashion, you also love to be outside and get dirty.  Daddy built a large sandbox that you spend hours in just digging and building.  You loved helping Daddy with the garden this year and didn't mind getting dirt under your fingernails.  Haiden is a soccer star and you really look up to him.  You love playing soccer and baseball yourself and are really good at it! 
You are getting ready to be a big sister again and watching your excitement is so much fun!  Before we told you that Mommy was going to have a baby you came up to me one day and said, "Mommy, there's a baby girl in your belly!"  I can't wait to see if it is a boy or a girl and I know you are going to be a great big sister!
Mommy and Daddy love you so much Miss Ella!