Monday, December 31, 2012

Top Post of 2012

My top post of 2012.....

is on enemas! 

That's right. According to my blogging stats...the most googled, read, and talked about post is enemas. 

OH enemas, how we spent months and months using you during the GAPS constipation protocol. You were so helpful, and still are when the situation arises. 

If you would like to read the enema post click HERE!  As for GAPS and enemas....Don't forget there is an entire chapter on it! Please use that for guidance and not my post :)

Onward with 2013! Bring on the hope!

In health,

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Mourning: A Reflection on Social Media and the Events in Connecticut

Blog posts reflecting on the horrible recent events in Connecticut are many, and I had absolutely no intention of adding my own to the list. However, as the funerals are now underway, I am still seeing a whole lot of ridiculous blame and bashing in the news and social media. I am tired of looking at it. And have a hard time staying off my soap box sometimes. So I wrote my own. 

Beware of soapbox.


On a cool, autumn morning, an angry young man was working on the family farm with his brother. Anger swelled within him. He felt unloved, treated unfairly, and cheated. An argument ensued between him and his brother, and his anger consumed him. Quickly, swiftly, coldly, and before anyone could stop him, he grabbed his own brother and murdered him. His name was Cain. And his parents grieved over the death of his brother, Abel, and the devastation these actions brought upon their home.

Cain was not diagnosed with mental illness, he did not skip out on counseling or miss seeing his psychologist.  He was not on pharmaceuticals, off pharmaceuticals, taking the wrong pharmaceutical, or using an illegal pharmaceutical.

Cain could not fill your ear with stories of abuse from his childhood, blame arrested development, or journal about how he wished his mother held him more.

Cain did not get shuffled through a crowded school system, have an IEP, or endure bullying by his peers.  

Cain did not eat GMOs, he was not generations removed from a healthy diet, and he did not regularly enjoy a mind-altering diet of McDonald's and Twinkies.

Cain did not have a license to carry a concealed weapon, or purchase his weapon from a black market weapons dealer.

Cain did not receive vaccinations.

He did not suffer from a genetic disease.

He could not say he had no sense of morals, that his parents never took him to church, or that he couldn't remember the last time He talked with God.

And he could not blame the absence of prayer in his home, his school, or his government. (Seriously? This one really chaps me. I don't believe anyone told this to the Amish community who had the school shooting a few years back.)

And yet Cain (and Moses) (and Paul) (and others) all committed murder.

Please don't misunderstand me. I am certainly not saying that these things are of no influence.  I am not denying the fact that mental illness is on the rise, or saying that we are not setting our children up for failure. What I am saying is that everything could be done right, and things can still go wrong, because the world is made up of people who are responsible for their own choices. 

It is human nature for us to try and search out the answer to why something like this occurred, and try to find a solution that will keep it from ever happening again. But while sorting through it in our heads and hearts we must not forget one simple truth: the world is full of evil. 

Evil is there because He loves us.  It is there because we are given choice. Without it we would be mere robots unable to express true emotion - true love. Without choice there would be no evil.

Thankfully, because He does love us so, He promises to use those things in some way for His glory and good. The pain is still there.  The grieving must be done. But in this knowledge we find hope.

As we move forward in an effort to heal, let us choose carefully where to put our efforts and focus less on blame.  Let's focus on comforting those who are grieving, providing help when we can through financial means, and showing the evil in this world that it will not prevail because we have already completed countless acts of kindness in response.  Let's be thankful we live in a country where these incidents are not the every day news, and circle close around each other to make sure that it never is. Certainly let's examine what the events teach us about how to improve individually, in our families, and as a society. Please, let us teach our children that their choices reach eternity. But let's also step back to remember that there is nothing new under the sun.

Let us grieve for our loss and for the heaven that we all need. Let us extend grace to each other as we try to do better. Let us find comfort in the mercy that is new every morning. And let us watch to see what He will bring out of these ashes.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

How Well Do You Know Your Cinnamon?

I recently became aware of this great and informative blog post from an amazing GAPS mama friend. I am on the learning curve of the importance of good quality herbs and spices. This article caught me by surprise! If you use cinnamon, especially medicinally, you will want to read this!

Hop on over to Healing Jake to get the scoop. 

                                                     Happy learning!


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Speech, Feeding, and Occupational Therapy

Ellie received her first feeding evaluation when she was around a year old.  She began refusing a spoon at 10 months of age, and had several other sensory and milestone issues by 12 months. Since we were also in the limited foods, and FPIES what-should-we-feed-now guessing game, the feeding evaluation seemed to go nicely with the nutritionist recommendations. We had a great evaluation and she recommended follow up, but insurance didn't pay.  She had given me several things to work on and it took months to come close to conquering those, so I had no desire to go back for more of the same. 

Her second feeding evaluation came around the time she turned 2.  This evaluation was focused a lot more on her increased sensory processing issues, and what the therapist called being 'hyper aware'.  Ellie still had lock jaw and would not let me feed her a spoon or brush her teeth at this point.  Of course she was still on primarily broth at the time, so I think we became a feeding therapist worst nightmare.  Instead of suggesting foods, she focused on introducing us to skin brushing to help Ellie begin to process exterior input a little better.  Insurance didn't cover this either so we did not go back.  At home Ellie did not tolerate the skin brushing at all, and some very knowledgeable friends suggested trying pressure therapy so I did.  This worked for quite a while, especially during her sensory melt downs.  

We have better insurance now, and so I asked for Ellie to be referred for evaluation again.  Her neurologist felt she needed to begin with an extensive neuro-psych evaluation to eliminate Autism first (whatever?!).  I figured that would get us in the door to finding an appropriate therapy team for Ellie. So we went. Four hours later and a team of doctors and interns staring at us through a one way glass, we were told she does not have Autism (duh), and that she is on par for an average preschooler. In fact the doctor said it was quite remarkable the growth and adjustment that had been made in the last 12-18 months, to which I gladly explained was due to her change in treatment (we started GAPS).  We were then referred for speech evaluation, feeding evaluation, and occupational therapy evaluation, and told she appeared neuro-typical aside from controlled, food-induced seizures.

In addition to still being on a bottle, Ellie has been hugely attached to the pacifier (which we call a soother and she calls a soo-soo).  We told her that she could get a prize when she threw them all in the garbage. The conversation went something like this:  

Me:  Big girls don't have soo-soos.  
Ellie: I not big girl. I Ellie.
Me:  Are you a baby? You are not a baby! Baby's have soo-soos.
Ellie: I not a baby. I Ellie.
bear, soo-soo, blanket

So I figured we would be toting that stubborn girl's pacifiers around until she went to college. Alas, on the one day of the year I said I would never leave the house (Black Friday) Ellie walked over to the garbage, tossed them all in, looked at me, and said "What my prize?" Off to the store we went for her heart's desire - a stuffed tiger like her sisters.  It made this mommy sad that she simultaneously gave up her bear, which she has used for sensory soothing since she was an infant. Bear, soo-soo, and blanket were the must have trio for sleeping, and woe were we if we went out and left any of them at home.  She is hanging on to the blanket still, occasionally asks for a pacifier, but poor bear doesn't even get a glance.  Sad, sad day.

Last week we headed off for her fourth feeding evaluation, and arrived to find we were working with a speech therapist. Hmm.  I went with it.  She was very warm and put a lot of effort and energy into helping it be a productive appointment.  She had reviewed Ellie's super thick file and was more aware than most of the doctors we have encountered.  I did not have to go through her medical history much at all, which was incredible.  In fact, I think I might fill out one of those nice 'star reports' that they have in the office the next time we go in.  She admitted she did not have many specific foods to suggest, but gave me great ideas instead.  She suggested dipping activities, and to not focus on Ellie actually eating but to just get her to the table by making it desirable and fun.  My biggest hang up was that all of her MD approved handouts recommended ridiculous things for therapy.  Cheez Whiz? Seriously? But Ellie warmed up to her nicely and we went home armed and ready to cut up pancakes with knives, and play basketball with toothpicks and meatballs.  This all seemed quite ridiculous to me, but within a couple days Ellie was asking to feed me and joining us more at the table.

chair outside drying....
She has also always sat in the same chair eating her bottle the same way for 2 years now. The house is filled with tragedy whenever the chair must be washed and temporarily unavailable.  Now she has been eating her bottle in various places around the house! 

Overall we are making progress. It seems like a crawl but we are still moving in a forward motion.  I have been convinced her lack of chewing is due to her lip tie, but a friend's daughter (same age, same diagnosis, same lip tie) just began chewing away, so I am no long so convinced.  My absolute biggest hope is that we can get some solids into her and that might trigger a full night sleep.  At this point in the game my body is dragging from waking up multiple times every night. Thank goodness Daddy helps with that!