Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Yogurt, take two!

You may remember that I gave Clark goat yogurt way back when, and it didn't go so well. Later I found out my thermometer was off on top of it, so that might have had something to do with it. Or it might not.

Anyway, I waited a long time to try it again. I meant to wait three months, but time slipped a bit past that mark.

I am happy to say that Clark handled the introduction of the goat yogurt MUCH better this time, and he is doing very well. Prior to the trial in late January, he had probably been entirely casein free for six months or so.

Remember that this is goat milk yogurt, which is entirely different from cow milk. Autistic kids cannot handle cow dairy. OK, maybe some can, but it's more the exception than the rule.

I also found out that cow dairy will make my arthritis flare. It's slow but I inevitably decline in my condition. Good to know.

So. Clark is up to about a teaspoon of the goat yogurt and he's doing great. When I increase, he does get a little stimmy for a couple days, but then he settles down. It's great!

Also, the last two nights, Clark has woken up at 5:30 a.m.! It's amazing. I am hoping the yogurt has something to do with that.

We have also had trouble getting out of stage 2. Clark doesn't tolerate many of the stage 2 veggies really well. But I thought I would try peas on stage 3. So far, no issues! I am really happy.

So, what's the lesson here? Everybody heals at their own pace. Just keep going. It's been six months on SCD and we're just barely getting into stage 3. A lot of people can move faster, but we just couldn't. So hang in there! :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Doctor update, part two

I wrote this back on May 6. I apologize for not posting it sooner!

Last night was my first appointment with Dr. Franco, who is the head of the Arthritis Center in Riverside, California. I had been to the center six weeks before and I had seen Dr. Franco's partner doctor, Dr. Lallande, who took lots of blood and asked lots of questions. This was my follow up.

I was of course nervous, as I always am. I was first scheduled for x-rays. They took about 20 of my neck, elbows, hands, wrists, and feet in varying poses. I then became extremely nervous and wished I had called my insurance company ahead of time to get assurance that they'd pay for all of these. And I hadn't met Dr. Franco before. I had a great appointment with Dr. Lallande last time, but who was to say Dr. Franco would be as cool as Dr. Lallande?

Then, sitting on the table while the tech was messing with the x-rays, I had a brief moment where I imagined the doctor saying something like, "Madam, I do not AT ALL agree with my colleague's methods or theories about diet or vaccines; however, I tolerate him because he is an excellent physician. You will not find a sympathetic ear for your hippie theories in this office!" This made me smile in an entirely goofy way.

Next was blood work. I complained that I had blood work last time to no avail, naturally.

Then FINALLY I saw the doctor, an hour after my original appointment time. Apparently he had gotten hung up by another patient. At least one of the assistants came in to apologize while I was waiting.

Dr. Franco was rather exclamatory. He exclaimed about everything. He told me I had an extraordinary capacity to make red blood cells! He told me my adrenal glands were quite amazing, and that he had never seen anyone with such naturally strong adrenals!He also exclaimed on the softness of my skin! Amazing! He saw the x-ray of me bending my head back as far as it could go, and he raised an eyebrow and said I was more flexible than most. He then asked if I had ever been a dancer. Um, NO.

He asked me about the diet changes I'd made. I told him I and my son were on SCD. He asked me to explain SCD, and I started to, and he instantly understood the purpose and the implications. He asked me to bring the book for next time and said, "I think I should read more about this diet."

He spent a few minutes lambasting the insurance companies, and how the pharmaceutical companies are in the business of keeping people sick, and he works to make people well, and if his patients are in pain he can't sleep at night.

He thoroughly explained all of the x-rays and showed me the bone damage that was apparent within my right wrist (a couple of eroded spots and holes). My earliest joints affected showed compression, so you could see that there wasn't really much space between the bones. He showed me a joint in my foot that was also severely affected and I was honestly surprised, and told him it didn't cause me any discomfort at all. He said that was great.

Apparently though I have muscle spasms through my neck, which has caused those vertebrae to curve out of place a little bit. He then exclaimed on my vertebrae, that I had "amazing windows" where the nerves exit the spine.

He then examined me, and pointed out to the assistant that my rib cage has an interesting shape, which makes me a natural variant of...something. The assistant
feigned polite interest.

And then...the verdict. "I want you to take S. boulardii," he said.

I blinked. "Actually, I have some in my fridge, I just haven't started taking it yet."

He told me they have one that is put together specifically for the Arthritis Center. I asked if I could read the label. It had potato starch and I told him I couldn't have that, and he was fine with me using what I had. He said he didn't want to mess up what I was already doing. He figured out a dosage for me from what I told him about my bottle.

Then he asked if I took glucosamine/chondroitin. I told him I had wanted to, but they contain shellfish, and I tested allergic as a child, so I was a little leery. He thought about this at length,and then said I should try a small amount and work up to the appropriate dosage. I checked the ingredients on the supplement bottle and it looked OK, so I agreed that I would buy that particular one.

Next he suggested a supplement to relax the muscles in my neck, but that one also contained SCD illegal ingredients. I told him I would look for something similar.

And then I asked about drugs. "Do you think I need meds?"

He waved his hand. "I don't think so."

I looked at him, and I started to smile, and the grin eventually took up all of the real estate on my face. He then looked at me curiously. "What?" he said.

I said, "I like you very much right now."

He said, "Oh, thank you."

He then told me he thought I was a great mom (they are both very interested in what I am doing for my autistic son), and a straighforward and honest person, and the world needed more people like me.

So! That was my appointment.

A doctor told me I don't need meds.


Now it's Clark's turn. I've got more work to do.

P.S. And I need to find my copy of BTVC! It's been missing for months now! >_<