Sunday, November 23, 2008

Generic Man! (or Joe, not the friggin’ plumber, Everyone)

Look! Up in the sky! It's. . . It's. . . Oh, just an airplane. I don't have a cape. I can barely lift my spirits, let alone a train, but I keep plugging away.

As a line from one of my favorite animated movies says, “When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade. Then, after a few days, the lemonade goes bad and turns to pig swill.”

I’m not a plumber, or a carpenter, or an accountant, (obviously, by looking at our home finances). Just a little bit of all of the above as a home owner, and a computer geek.

Losing my job sucks. Just another indicator that our economy has been run into the ground. I’m just as guilty as the next guy in that saving sucks compared to instant gratification, and/or in our case, paying for the latest therapy or supplement, trying to find the right combination of therapies/supplements to get our son a little closer to recovered.

On the bright side, the new administration is coming. Hopefully that means the chances for science and rational thought are looking up. Maybe. . .

At this point a little hope seems to have to go a long way.

Short post this time. Too busy trying to keep money in the pipeline, but wanted to post something.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I got to see a movie at a theater this past weekend. It's the first movie I've seen in a theater since I was on travel last year. Of course I wasn't with my wife. That would be too much like being married. No, the wife offered to take our son swimming so that I could go watch a show. Normally, when we volunteer like that, it's so the other can get something accomplished at the house. Fix a leaky faucet, mow the yard, try to get plants in the garden so we don't spend as much on groceries, laundry. . .

You see, our son has the best nutrition we can give him, organic food, vitamin supplements that I didn't even know existed before he was diagnosed. The off-shoot of that is that he looks like a little Olympian, with the stamina of a marathoner. Swimming is one of the only activities he likes that will tire him out. Of course we have to be with him at the pool, so one of us is out of action while he swims. The other has a few set hours before the return to try and make some progress on projects at the house. We still haven't finished unpacking from our move two years ago!
We have spent so much time getting him to this level of health and still have miles to go before we finish. That's why going to see a movie was such a big deal in one way and a reminder that we still aren't there yet in another.

I miss going out on dates with my wife! I miss being able to talk about things we want to do. I miss being able to call a sitter on Friday night and going out to dinner. My wife misses being able to ride horses! My wife hasn't been to see a movie on the big screen since the second Lord of the Rings movie! We could go out after our son was asleep and see something. Made for a really easy job for the sitter. . .
Getting out to see a movie was awesome. No, I didn't see the new Indy Movie, I went to see Iron Man, but if I get a chance, I will go see the new Indy, yeah, maybe next weekend. . . Hey honey. . .

Anyway, the whole problem in a nutshell is to imagine what it would be like to have your skin scrubbed off with a dry loofah, and then decide that life could be worse. Like, you could be married to someone who believes in the "Trickle-down" theory of economics, or that fossil fuels don't contribute to global warming, or that vaccine benefits are a proven scientific fact. Heck, at least my son didn't get voted off the island! What a sick thing to do.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Spin Baby Spin!

Okay, in the greater Washington DC area, people accept certain, "Laws of Elected Officials".

An example, "Congressman/Senator/Representative/Mayor so-and-so ran over 3 latino children yesterday afternoon, after a 12 martini lunch with Big Pharma lobbyist." (I made this up, honest)

The story that comes out is, "Congressman/Senator/Representative/Mayor so-and-so took steps yesterday to reduce illegal immigration and is pushing for more vaccines against bumper poisoning!"

The problem is that no one wants to take a good look at our current medical practices and then ask some hard questions. On the way to work this morning, there was a news item that more than HALF the population of the United States is now taking prescription medication for chronic conditions!


Pharmaceutical companies are laughing all the way to the bank, and the country club, and at you, the drug-taking public. We are so wedded to the magic pill idea that nothing else matters. We don't need to eat right, exercise, sleep. We've got pills!

Can't get it up? Take this pill!

Can't get pregnant? Take this pill!

Why am I not able to conceive? Don't look at the ingredients of that diet soda you're drinking. . .

I now hear more adds for IVF treatments than I hear for auto sales adds!

Don't pay any attention to the explosion of autistic children, or the fact that there are now more children on meds for ADD, ADHD, and a host of other learning disabilities than ever before in our history.

What do you think happens when you feed your children nothing but
high fructose corn syrup,  and expect them to act normally?

There are several people that are now coming forward to proclaim that maybe, just maybe, we should actually study the causal link between mercury and autism. It's a cautious claim mainly because everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE is afraid to piss off Big Pharma. If they get even mildly upset with us, the stock market drops, oil prices go up and Democrats start looking for more seats in Congress.

I'm not saying there's an easy fix. Hell, I'd be surprised to find out there even was a fix. Most people are too short-sighted, (myself included) to even understand what might happen if we:

1. Put a known neuro-toxin into a substance with other toxins like formaldehyde and aluminum and cultures of germs and shoot them into infants before they have a chance to establish their immune system, this from

"... A concentrated level of antibodies is reached and maintained by seven to eight years of age." (my emphasis added, go to the link above to read the whole description)

2. Start adding things like titanium dioxide and aluminum salts into foods to make them "whiter" so that consumers will buy more, and MSG to make the consumer even MORE addicted, and

3. Created laws that forbids the use of raw, unprocessed foods because someone might get hurt.

We're painting ourselves into a corner, and then breathing the fumes so that we think it's funny!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Taking the Long Road (with detours and roadblocks)

After massive amounts of trial and error, piles of experiments, and truckloads of money, we're still working on recovering our son. He has made a lot of progress, and is as healthy as we can keep him, so I guess we're on the right track.

The problem is that my son isn't just a case of thimerosal poisoning. His case is a little more involved. Since it has been established that the mother now passes toxins, including heavy metals, to the fetus in utero and through breast milk, my wife's old college job doing materials analysis has come back to haunt us. She did mercury porosimetry and in the course of working that job, she ended up with a lot of mercury in her system. What she didn't know, (and no one told her) was that getting rid of mercury is much harder than taking it in.

This goes for any heavy metal that's taken in by our bodies. What my wife didn't know is that even after 20 years, (give or take) she still had a load of mercury in her system that would pass to our unborn son.

It also didn't help that I had a full series of vaccinations when I joined the Army, or that I had taken preventative medication for malaria for a field problem in Egypt while on active duty, or that while on active duty I handled depleted uranium ammunition, and that being a tank crewman, I worked with lots of petroleum products all the time, or that I was, (and still am) a fan of competition pistol shooting, even if I can no longer compete.

I loaded my own ammunition using the cheapest materials I could find. An unjacketed bullet is straight lead cast into the bullet shape with no copper jacket. Lead is used because it is easy to work with, (relatively). I didn't actually cast my own bullets, but I bought unjacketed rounds from a local in my town. Manually handling thousands of rounds meant at least some bodily uptake. Primers have mercury fulminate in them, but come pre-made ready to load into a cartridge. On the other hand, when processing the spent brass, one step is removing the old primer. Any residual mercury fulminate could have/would have been absorbed through the skin of my hands.

What all of this means is that our son has had an exposure to toxins since his conception, or, to put it another way, his mercury/toxin poisoning was/is at a MOLECULAR level.

Then we ran into a problem with pesticides. We moved to Florida so I could go to school, into a nice apartment complex with a roomy 3 bedrooms and the sheer novelty of living in Florida. About a month into school, a bunch of religious fanatics rammed planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and let's not forget the one that ran into the ground in Pennsylvania.

Orlando became a ghost town almost overnight! People lost their jobs as shops that catered to tourists started to close. People moved out of the apartments around us and the management decided to lower their standards and allow large pets into the complex. But first, we need to spray pesticide all over the complex to keep unwanted critters away! Meanwhile, my wife was working on some plantings outside our apartment while I was at work, and our son was playing with the garden hose in the mud at her feet. She ended up at the pediatrician's office with my son being non-responsive and having his first seizure.

Take a step forward, then take about 10 steps backwards.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Insanity Plea, or How to Deny Everything

So, we have the CDC, AAP, FDA, AMA, and SCA (Society for Creative Analysis, otherwise known as mainstream media) marketing the hell out of the genetics/better diagnosis angle for the cause of autism. Where are these people getting these ideas?

First, there has to be money to allow for the 'studies' being touted that assure the public that autism isn't also caused by the one thing that makes BILLIONS of dollars each year for a certain private sector industry. Then there has to be a way to keep mouths shut, more money to keep the talkers quiet. Oh yeah, if all the experts work for us, then they can't really speak against us. Problem is, we need people who are experts running the alphabet soup agencies.

Hmm, so what we do is rotate our employees through the government positions, get them to approve funding for the things we want, (like getting the government to purchase billions of dollars worth of medicines that aren't tested for safety or if they actually solve a particular problem) deny any possible negligence, and get the other branches of the government to approve laws that keep the public from suing us. Then rotate them back into the corporate fold, give them raises based on how well they did keeping the business working. Rinse and repeat.

Along comes the Patriot Act! Yay Patriot Act! Yay! We can sneak a BUNCH of legislation into that whopper of a bill and no one will look twice since we all want to be safe from terrorists, and anyone who actually wants to read the bill must be anti-american or a terrorist, so there. . .

Can you sense the sarcasm here!? The folks over at Naked Authors are all about sarcasm too.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Follow the Money

Okay, we've established the fact that my son regressed into autism. We've established that the recovery of my son is very expensive. Hmm, I guess we haven't established that yet.

My wife and I are both educated professionals. She has an MBA and I have been working in IT and graphic arts for more than 10 years and have an AAB and a Occupational Associates Degree, (which is basically a trade certificate). Right now, I'm working, (we've swapped off every few years to allow each other a break) and I make a fair amount of money. With what we spend on my son's treatments, supplements, and therapies, we're barely making ends meet. Can't give more specifics, but we don't have a retirement plan, only have emergency insurance for my son, (haven't found an insurance plan that covers ANY of our therapies, treatments, or supplements), basic insurance for me, (free with the company I'm with, but again doesn't cover most of the things we do to stay healthy), and my wife is flying without insurance at ALL! No 401K, no IRAs, about $500 in savings, give or take, we live paycheck to paycheck.

Now, as my son gets better, we've been able to give up some of his supplements, but most of the time, we just end up having to get something new that replaces the last thing, or we have to have some other therapy or procedure that costs thousands of dollars, (he's got to have dental work done now because his teeth are having problems, which will cost us around $3000).

Okay, so we're not completely broke, but this is expensive. I've also been reading "The Chelation Kid" a comic about a family with a boy on the spectrum. They've got the same issues we've got, but are having even worse problems paying the bills!

So let's move on to the whole Biomedical vs. Genetic issue. Follow the money!

First, for those in the cheap seats, here's the issue:

On the Biomedical side there are parents that believe the Autism has a biomedical cause, namely mercury, but I'm going to expand that to general environmental toxicity or in easy words, I think we're pooping in our own drinking water. This includes mercury in ANY form, which spews from coal-fired power plants, gets used in vaccinations via Thimerisol, (hence the vaccine issue), is in all of those new efficient light bulbs, and is used in the creation of munitions for our military, (mercury fulminate). Aluminum, which is used to 'whiten' all your white foods, like cream cheese, white american cheese they use at Subway, etc. If the food needs whitened, it has aluminum or titanium, (or both) in it.


Let's see. . . oh yeah. . . antimony, used in fire retardant for furniture, including baby mattresses. . . yep yours too. Look it up. It's right next to Arsenic on the periodic table. Hell, pull out an old chemistry book, flip to that periodic table and start reading off the elements, if you can read it, it's being used somewhere in the average household. Oh yeah, arsenic, used in treated lumber to keep bugs out. I'm not lying!

If you don't believe me, start reading labels!

On the other side is the CDC, FDA, (insert lots of acronym agencies here) and Legislative and Executive Branch of our government, (they get their own mention because they have been creating laws based on information from the other agencies). The official stance of our government is that Autism is caused genetically, and that the increase in diagnosis of cases in Autism is the wider definition of Autism and a wider recognition of the symptoms.


So, another way for the government to say this is that we are experiencing a genetic epidemic. We'll look at the numbers for the epidemic in a minute.

If it's that the recognition has gone up, why not tell us where all of the 30 to 50 year old Autistic people that should exist are hidden if it's just better diagnosis. . .

Okay, the numbers for the genetic epidemic. . . hmm. . . wait, aren't those the same numbers collected by the CDC? Can we take a peek at those numbers? No? Why not?

Most of the key people working at the CDC have come from Pharmaceutical Companies! That's like making the executives from tobacco companies pay for their own research into the causes of cancer! Wait. . . didn't we do that already?

What about putting auto manufacturers in charge of safety testing their own vehicles! Wait. . .

I know. . . how about putting the inmates in charge of the mental hospital? Wait. . .

Saturday, March 8, 2008

David Kirby's Article on Huffington Post

I had to interject this so that the few people that read this blog can check out some news from our world.

Posted March 7, 2008 01:33 PM (EST)
A big autism bomb went off yesterday, about how US medical personnel had determined that vaccines had aggravated a little girl's mitochondrial disorder, resulting in autism. Now, the American people are left to interpret what it all means.
Here is a handy guide. You can:

A) Blindly trust what government officials are saying (or not saying)


B) Invest 30 minutes in the future of your nation's young people (do it now, over a nice, warm latte!) and go Google for yourself.


Yesterday, Dr Paul E. Jarris, Executive Director of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) sent an email to his colleague, Anna DeBlois, on how officials should respond to the glaring headlines emanating from Atlanta.

"You may have seen the recent media interest in a vaccine-autism lawsuit which was settled by the federal government," he wrote. Apparently, someone in the federal government had reached Dr. Jarris and told him to pass on the following (internal) explanation:

The case was settled because the vaccine worsened the child's underlying and previously undiagnosed disorder, causing impaired brain function. These symptoms of impaired brain function then led to an autism spectrum disorder. The federal government maintains that vaccines do not cause autism, and that this case does not indicate any change in their position on the issue.

TRANSLATION (An Anti-Syllogism): "Vaccines cause brain impairment, and brain impairments cause autism. Therefore vaccines do not cause autism."

Meanwhile yesterday, back in Washington, Bush administration officials would not comment on the case, saying they needed permission, "from the person who submitted the information" to the court.

TRANSLATION (Auto-Censorship): "We really, really want to explain WHY we folded like a tent without so much as a whisper of a defense, but that would require asking permission from our lawyer (the DOJ), which we are unwilling to do.

And most recently, CDC Director Julie Gerberding told the media that the American people need to "set aside this very isolated, unusual situation," even though "the court apparently made the decision that it is fair to say that vaccinations may have been one of the precipitators."

TRANSLATION: (Middlebrow Bureaucratese) "I am either an exceedingly ignorant, untruthful or misleading Director, because there is no evidence at all that this situation is 'isolated and unusual' (indeed, the evidence points to the opposite), and because the court 'decision' was not made by the court at all, but rather by medical doctors who work for the US Secretary of Health and Human Services," otherwise known as Dr. Gerberding's boss.


Google "autism and mitochondria," (96,900 hits) and then Google "mercury and mitochondria," (169,000 hits) and draw your own, informed conclusions.

Now, enjoy your coffee (and your good citizenship).

PS: The next time someone tells you that this girl does not have autism, but only the "symptoms" of autism, you tell them that the definition of autism is having the symptoms of autism. Period. Hannah Poling has autism as defined by every medical book, on every shelf, in every library -- including at the colleges where all these government officials received their degrees.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

No Hope!

That's what we were told by most of the medical establishment. The Web, on the other hand, was telling us that if we spent our money with X person or X treatment, our child would be spouting poetry within days of beginning treatment.

Ya gotta love snake oil salesmen. . .

Then you've got the groups and individuals who believe that uncontrollable bowels, fits of screaming, smacking your head against the wall for hours on end, biting yourself, biting someone else, or seizures are supposed to be acceptable? Maybe the message is a little
too obscure for me, but I'd like my son to be integrated into society.

It's okay, and encouraged to be different in our house, but when you can't function in this society, (is there another society out there?) then maybe we should be working on that integration thing.

I know my son is smart, he's got a really great sense of humor, and he's got an ear for music, (just watch him shush Mommy, who tries hard but doesn't carry a tune well). I believe that my son is an individual who is a person separate from his ASD. I'd like to meet that person.

We've spent Tens of Thousands of dollars on supplements, therapies, and treatments for our son. Some have worked for a while, some not so much, but we'll keep trying. I've seen my son's frustration when trying to communicate with us. I've seen him get embarrassed because
someone points out his liquid diet, or his nearly constant humming.

When I see children, (or sometimes adults) staring, I try to ask them if they have questions. Sometimes they do, and I answer them as best I can, in as few words as possible, (general lack of attention these days). Most of the time, they shake their heads and go back to whatever they were doing. Doesn't matter, they've still embarrassed my son. He sees and understands, but can't quite act/react to his environment.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Treatment/Services Conundrum

"What can we do about this?"

Hmmm, just like everyone else, we hit the web. The wife throwing in hundreds, (I mean that literally) of hours researching what to do with a child with Autism. (They weren't calling it a spectrum disorder yet, but we'll get there.)

ABA? (applied behavior analysis) That sounds good, let's see if we can find someone in, (insert major city here) that can do that. Oops. The only center in town has a waiting list, and the at-home therapy people apparently think they poop gold, because they charge $50 to $150 per hour! Okay, we'll put that on the back burner for when we win the lottery.

CFGF? What the hell? Casein Free, Gluten Free diet. Seems that this 'genetic disorder' allows these kids to have massive problems with digestion, inflammed bowel, leaky gut, (what?) and a host of other digestive problems, including food allergies.

Seriously, after numerous treatments with antibiotics, the child's stomach and upper intestine walls have sores or lesions that allow hard-to-digest foods to pass directly into the blood stream. What's
hard to digest? Glad you asked! Casein, which is a protein found in Cow's Milk, and Gluten, a protein found in Wheat. Both of these proteins will pass into the blood stream and head directly for the brain. Once in the brain, they act as opiates, (like opium. . . yep, a potent narcotic pain killer/addictive drug.) Have you ever tried to find food that didn't have one or both of these? Double Shit! (Lot's of poop references in this post, which is appropriate, because from then on, we spent more time talking about poop than we did about work, TV shows, chores, bills, you name it! Poop, poop, poop!) This is the one thing we pursued first. My son was still young enough to be eating baby food, so switching to brands that he could eat should be relatively easy, (relative to finding other therapies, that is.) My wife took the withdrawals on the chin since I was in school for the morning screaming marathons. My son was too tired to keep going by the time I got home, but still wanted to go out to a park/playground. Yep, you heard right, my son went into withdrawals for about two weeks. Almost constant crying, diarrhea, (there's poop again), runny nose, shakes, then constipation, (no poop!) all symptoms of withdrawal. After two weeks he showed some real progress on his cognition, but unless you're with him all the time, (or have gone through it) it's tough to explain this. Each gain is like a VERY slight difference in a shade of grey. We see it, but others might not even notice.

Speech Therapy? Apply for med-waiver. Here's the form. Be prepared to wait until hell freezes over to get a response.

Occupational Therapy? Apply for med-waiver. Here's the form. Be prepared to wait until hell freezes over to get a response.

Physical Therapy? Apply for med-waiver. Here's the form. Be prepared to wait until hell freezes over to get a response.

Respite? Don't make me spew soda out my nose! Oh, that was a good one! Stop! You're too funny! Didn't anyone tell you there's a 'Genetic Epidemic' going on? Where are we supposed to get trained people for all of this? Go on, really. . . no really, go away.

Your son needs supplements! Buy this supplement, no wait, that one has the wrong kind of vitamin C, buy this one, no wait, this one has lead from China! Keep buying! We know you've got money somewhere.

Will insurance pay for any of this? (Wait a few minutes for the insurance rep to stop laughing, then give him/her a raspberry, or something more inventive, and hang up.)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Insult to Injury

So, we'd moved, put our house on the market, I'd started school, we were learning about a new area of the country, trying to find a daycare so that the wife could work while I went to school, and now, we had to learn about autism.

The first thing we found out is that no daycare will accept children with autism. Oops.

Um, we've already taken out loans for my schooling, and we're past the refund period, school is during the day, and now my wife can't get a day job to pay for our living expenses because our son can't be in a daycare program? How's that supposed to work?

Let's heap a little more on to that! Our son no longer responds to his name, doesn't want to wear clothing, thinks feces is the greatest paint on earth, will sit and watch water pour from a garden hose for hours on end, likes to sit in the middle of the parking lot and drop rocks down the drain grate, won't eat table food, and will 'melt down' if we try to get him to do anything he doesn't want to do.

Hmm, let's also add a little dash of constant stares because our son still drinks from a bottle at age 3, slap in a little embarrassment in because he can't stand solid foods, (he will throw up at the drop of a hat) and so he only eats baby food.

Mix in a little of the snide comments from people standing in line behind us at the grocery store who have no fucking idea what it's like not to sleep for days on end while he escapes from his crib and moans or comes to us silently demanding a bottle refill by pressing the empty into our sleeping faces.

Dumps every building block he owns out on the floor, tears every piece of tissue from the box to leave them covering the blocks. Try walking on that in the dark and not making a sound because his hyper-sensitive hearing would wake him up.

Oh yeah, I also love it when he climbs into a laundry basket with his blanket and just sits. Too tired to do anything, including walk, for hours during the day, but then can disappear at any moment unless we keep the door barricaded.

Did I mention how much I hate cleaning feces from walls, cribs, mattresses, sheets, children's hair, fingernails, and carpets?

Oh yeah, then have the facilities people at our apartment complex bring in a service to spray pesticide around the entrances to our apartments, bury more in the area where my wife is trying to plant flowers, while my son plays endlessly with the water hose in the dirt, so that they can start allowing large dogs on the property. Can't have empty apartments because they're too expensive now can we? We got our first seizure from that one. . .

Then, my wife and I get called hysterical and that we are desperate to find someone or something to blame for our son's autism. Are you kidding me?!

A River in Egypt - Denial

Let's see, how many ways can you think of to come up with excuses as to why your son doesn't talk, won't make eye contact, and spends hours, (like 3 hours or more at a time) rolling a ball down a tilted box?

My wife started to worry about him way before I did. She's smart, even if she does bite every now and again. . .

We got the usual comments,

"Einstein didn't talk until he was [insert some absurd number here]!"

"Children who are really smart develop slower."

"Don't worry, all kids are different!"

"He's such a quiet child."

Both of us were new at parenting, but being a new parent had a side effect. I couldn't answer a simple question: "Is this normal compared to other children?"

I don't mean the stimming, I knew that wasn't right, but again, I was desperately paddling upstream on that river in Egypt, but the speech and lack of interaction with anyone was starting to penetrate the foot-thick armor surrounding my senses.

I kinda remembered what I was like growing up, and being the oldest, I remember a little of what younger siblings were like, but not clear memories. More like the flashes you get when visiting an elementary school after not being in one for years.

Looking back, I can see that his behavior wasn't normal, and the warning signs were all there, but hindsight is always 20/20.

We were also right in the middle of a major change in our lives, moving a thousand miles for a change in my career. While not an excuse, (nothing is) I know it was a distraction for both of us.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Still Hangin' in There

Our son was making progress. Learning to walk, making gestures, brightening, and piles of other hints that all was well. He was trying new foods, we were starting to potty train. . . I was in hog heaven. Living the dream. A beautiful wife, an even more beautiful child. . . The only thing missing would be some uplifting elevator music playing in the background!

The wife had convinced me that we should be very careful with vaccinations, because she had been doing some reading on the Net. She also told me that her father/uncle, (don't get me started on the family tree here, think about a wiring diagram of New York City as envisioned by Dali) had been allergic to Penicillin, so we should be careful with any medications that might be prescribed for our son.

This still wasn't enough of a warning, and the Net was still just becoming a popular way to post information. I mean really, the wife was using the Alta Vista Search Engine! Flashback!

(If this seems like watching a train wreck, just wait, it gets better or worse, depending on your point of view.)

The wife wanted to avoid vaccinations all together. I was still "The great dupe" and thought that vaccinating was the ONLY way to keep my child safe from all those bad bugs. Anyway, our pediatrician told us we should wait several months before getting his first vaccine, pushing off the decision to vaccinate or not. My favorite, procrastinate!

We waited until our son was 7 months old before we got his only vaccine. The Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine. Here is a link to an
article describing the vaccine and the disease it causes, er, um. . . prevents.

I was at work and got the call from my wife.

"He hasn't woke up since his shot! He's been asleep for more than 2 hours. What do you think? Maybe I should call the doctor's office."

I agreed, although for some reason this still didn't raise a big, bright, red flag for me.

She called the office, and got a nurse who told her to, "Relax and enjoy it honey."

Our son slept for 8 hours after that shot. The wife couldn't get him to wake up for 8 hours.

I'm now convinced that that one incident was the straw that broke the camel's back. He had been struggling before that with the usual rounds of antibiotics for colds, and an eye infection that didn't want to go away, but this was too much. I had forgotten how much this part still pisses me off.

The Early Years - B.A. (Before Autism)

We did the usual things that parents, especially new parents, did. We went and got family photos, picked a pediatrician that was, mostly, aligned with our way of thinking, and constantly read about how to keep our child safe. Meanwhile, we had purchased a house, (70s era place) and bought new furniture to go into the house. We were still working out the single to married things, (translation: she was getting rid of anything of mine that had no taste or looked juvenile).

Another land mine! Due to regulations in this country, it's illegal to sell furniture that doesn't have some kind of fire retardant, including mattresses. Let's do a Google, shall we? I did a search for "Furniture Fire Retardant late 1990s" on Google while I'm writing this. I've got 6 tabs open to different articles on the dangers of fire retardant.

Here are a couple of hits:

"Brominated flame retardants are chemicals that reduce the spread of fire in a variety of common products from fabrics to plastic. First introduced 30 years ago, they are now widely used despite minimal health testing, and they are rapidly building up inside our bodies. The testing that has been done indicates that brominated flame retardants are toxic to development and the levels found in some mothers and fetuses are rapidly approaching the levels shown to impair learning and behavior in laboratory experiments." - SF Chronicle, 11 June 2003

Wahoo! Let the Autism Diva figure that one out!

Here's a link from Science Daily to a study of household cats getting thyroid disease:

If chemicals do that to cats, what about infants?

This one from Sightline Institute:

Check out my entry on breast feeding for this one. . .

Then we're back to metals. Another nasty one is antimony. Google to the rescue!

This stuff is still in furniture that is passed down through families that can't afford to buy newer safer stuff. Think of all the baby cribs and mattresses out there still creating problems.

What amazes me is how gullible I've been! I always thought of myself as an intelligent person, but after my son was diagnosed, I found out what a babe-in-the-woods I'd been.

Monday, February 18, 2008

A Little About the Author

Okay, by now, you've got this image of a tree-huggin', vegetarian, sandal-wearin', liberal arts kind of metrosexual guy. (I had to explain metrosexual to the wife, which is really funny if you know us).


Not really. I'm not a sandal fan, haven't hugged a tree in recent memory, (not sure about a few years in there. . .)
I believe that if we weren't supposed to eat animals, they shouldn't have been made out of meat.
I am an artist though, just don't have a liberal arts degree. . .yet. . . must resist. . .
I'm ex-military, and I like to think of myself as a middle-of-the-road kind of guy, and no, I'm not a metrosexual in any tangible way (I'm not getting waxed or pedicures or whatever, so there.)

Anyway, back to the story. After barely making their escape from the secret underground lair of the AMA establishment. . . wait. . . where was I?
Oh yeah. . . after leaving the hospital where my son was born, we went to see an acupuncturist, (didn't think I had it in me did you?). She helped my wife start breast feeding. Yep, straight from the source. What more goodness can you give? Did I mention what it was? Once again, the common wisdom at the time was that the child only gets the good stuff, colostrum that carries a mother's immunity to the baby, then sustenance for baby that also helps mom get back into fighting trim. What could be better? In hindsight, the wife should've done saunas for at least a year before even considering getting pregnant. We've now figured out that breast feeding is yet another way for the mother to get rid of toxins. That's right, mercury, cadmium, you name it, the whole shebang. Again, we didn't know this at the time. The wife thought she might be in trouble, but no one would listen, including me!

"Oh honey, that was a long time ago, surely it's out of your system by now. . ."

I've since learned not to say that.

If you have some background in biochemistry, (I sure as hell didn't before my son was diagnosed) you might be starting to see the problem. Here's the deal. Once you have heavy metals in your system, the problems begin. Heavy metals do not pass through the body like most things. In fact, heavy metals are only in the blood stream for VERY short periods of time, making blood tests pretty much useless. Heavy metals tend to settle in soft tissue, and on or around nerves. Where they settle, damage happens. Nerves start to misfire, cellular communication becomes difficult or impossible (that's the messages sent back and forth between cells of the body, not being out of monopole range), empires crumble, financial systems crash, you get the idea. If the person has an intact system, the toxic material slowly gets pulled out using up glutathione, a natural system cleanser, (kinda like the human bodies comet). More on glutathione later. Another good way to get rid of toxins is, drum roll. . . sweating! That's right! Nasty, smelly sweat. So working out, saunas, gettin' busy, running, worrying about bills. . . things that will make you sweat help the body to get rid of ALL toxins, not just metals.

Wow, I didn't mean to end on a high note, but there you are. More later.

Toe the Line - You must follow the herd!

"Don't be silly! Of course you need to vaccinate your child for Hepatitis B right after birth. It says so right here in the schedule."
You wouldn't want your son to catch a disease transmitted from the dirty needles of drug abusers would you? [sarcasm] 'Cause I was thinking that right after we get out of the hospital would be a good time to show him how to mainline crack! [/sarcasm]

I really like that one, but here's another:

"You should circumcise your newborn while he can't feel it!"

Stop! It's too funny! I mean it, you're killing me here! You're making my sides hurt! So nerve endings don't function for, what, a few hours after birth? Then what's the deal with the Apgar test? Has the human penis become such an object of revulsion that we should cut part of it off just to make it a little easier to clean?

Wait, here's another one:

"Don't you want what's best for the baby?"

I heard that one about 20 times in the first 2 days of my son's life. The condescending manner in which it was said just made me angrier. It's as if no one can possibly know anything that the nurse or doctor hasn't already considered and rejected as complete nonsense. Last time I checked, medical personnel put their pants on one leg at a time just like the rest of us. They get tired, bored, angry at spouses, have bills to pay. Mistakes happen all the time. Why do you think malpractice insurance premiums have gone up so much? Believing EVERYTHING a nurse or doctor or any medical practitioner says is a great way to get yourself or a loved one into deep doo-doo with a quickness.

Hell, I'm guilty of it too! I used to believe that if you attended medical school, your feces stopped stinking and you automatically knew the answers to life, the universe, and everything. Really! If I hadn't believed that, I might have paid more attention to my wife when she told me about her mercury poisoning. We both fell for the 3rd one up above when we allowed the doctor to administer Pitocin because the wife's water had broken, but she hadn't started contractions.

Looking back, I believe that the doctor was more concerned with her own situation and wanted to get our pregnancy out of the way. As I recall, her mother was having some kind of problem, so she didn't want to be helping us, she wanted to be with her mother. Can't say I blame her, but I sure would've liked to have had someone else handle the wife's labor who WASN'T in such a hurry!

We had to rotate guards on my son so he wouldn't 'accidentally' get vaccinated before leaving the hospital. Me, my sister-in-law, then my wife, rinse and repeat. Once, my wife had to tell a staff pediatrician to let go of my son's foreskin! She, (the pediatrician) was trying to demonstrate that it, (the foreskin) should be removed. You don't retract the foreskin on a newborn! Look it up! Google it! Get away from my child! Drop the penis, take 2 steps back and no one will get hurt!

And still I thought we'd dodged the bullet after our stay in the hospital. . .

Storm Clouds on the Horizon

My son did the usual things for his first year, year and a half. He started walking at almost exactly one year. Put on weight like he should, his blond hair was too pretty to cut, so his hair was getting long and driving his Great Grandma nuts, (She used to be a Beautician, back when people actually went to school to learn their trade).

The storm was coming.

My wife REALLY took to the Internet. She has a masters degree in marketing and LOVES to research. Once she figured out search engines, (back in the late '90s) she was off and running. After we found out she was pregnant, she REALLY started to research health and safety information for children. To her credit, she tried to explain her misgivings to me, hell, she tried to explain to her regular doctor, the OB, even her chiropractor, but I was blissfully ignorant of any possible problems, and so were her doctors, every one of them. She looked healthy and attractive, what could be the problem?

You see, my wife knew some things that I didn't, (obviously). She had worked in a job while she was in college doing mercury porosimetry, (it's materials analysis, but it's easier for you to Google it than for me to explain). The company she worked with didn't/wouldn't install fume hoods, so everyone there got dosed with industrial grade mercury.

How can someone get away with that you ask. Well, when you're friends with the OSHA inspector, it's easy to 'accidentally' find out about surprise inspections so that you can close down areas that might, (read that, would) violate OSHA regulations. Keeps the safety records nice and clean, and since the employees are making the only decent wage to be found in a small southern town, they're pretty desperate to keep working and not rock the boat.

[sarcasm] On the other hand, when her hair started to fall out and her gums started to bleed, my wife decided a toxicity test was in order [/sarcasm]. Submitted a hair test and found out she was nearly lethally toxic with mercury, which was enough impetus to get her to quit the job. Unfortunately, back then, no one really understood the problems she was going to have nearly 20 years later.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Little History

3229 Days.
77496 Hours.
8 years, 10 months or so.
That's how long I've lived with a child on the Autistic Spectrum as of this post.
I've been married for more than 10 years, we have a dog, a nice house, 2 cars, in-laws, and the mortgage.
I was so happy when my son was born. See, my wife is a little older than I am, and the doc told us she only had a 15 percent chance of getting pregnant due to her age, but we had decided that if she did get pregnant we'd be happy, and if she didn't, we wouldn't worry about it.
Several months later, (after a mostly disasterous anniversary trip and a slightly less-than-energetic vacation) she showed me the little dipstick pregnancy test thingie with the pink plus sign showing.
The usual amount of time later, our son was born. A wailing 6 pound, 15 ounce baby boy, with 10 beautiful long fingers and 10 little toes, and a tuft of hair that had given Mommy heartburn for several weeks prior to his arrival. He scored an 8.5 or 9 on his Apgar test and we were on our way as new parents.
More on the hospital stay later.
Holy Shit! Why is it that no one tells you that you'll never sleep again? I guess it's to keep prospective parents from veering away from having children. If we actually knew how much work being a parent is before becoming one, no one in their right mind would volunteer to put themselves through that!
Feed the baby, change the baby, hold the baby just so, see how nicely they nap during the day? Oh, that's because they have their days and nights mixed up!
Baby's crying, okay 3 things, hungry, sleepy, or in discomfort. Just ate, check. Right after getting up from nap, check. Diaper? No, still clean from the change right after getting up from nap, check. Still crying. What now? Pick him up and he quiets some, but is still whimpering.
Find a passage in one of the baby books about relieving gas pain. Basically, fold the child up on your lap and (always very gently) squeeze the gas out. Wife and husband watch in awe as husband does this maneuver over and over for several minutes while the child continues to fart. Both are now laughing so hard tears are running, and the farts continue. Squeeze, fart, squeeze, fart. Finally, after what seemed like 20 minutes, baby quiets and his mood improves. Score another win for the exhausted, but happy parents.
Enough for now. . .