Thursday, April 22, 2010

Two steps forward, one back

This is just the story of our lives, isn't it?  We think we are moving right along and then something has to remind you how easily things can change with the wind.  We went home (my hometown in Connecticut) to celebrate my little sister's baby shower and the onslaught of 70+ guests has us reeling in the aftermath of careless illness somewhere from that crowd....along with my sister's fiance.  It amazes me how many people think it's ok to attend functions when they are "under the weather", she's pregnant for crying out loud!!   Sorry, one of my soapboxes!

So upon our return from our fabulous celebratory weekend, Grayson began vomiting all night, fever the next day, sure enough, he contracted strep throat.  He was actually perfectly fine the by the time I brought him into the walk-in clinic and everyone there thought I was nuts, but the nurse even said, "Your intuition was right, mom!" as she was signing our discharge paperwork with us.  I had the baby tested too, just to be sure, but amazingly, he came back negative, even after sharing cups with Grayson all weekend!!  There was one major difference in our maintenance ritual with the two boys before the husband stopped giving Grayson his Olive Leaf Extract (OLE), but continued it with his younger brother.  He was afraid the yeast flares it can cause would be troublesome on our trip, so he backed off the usual 200mg we were giving.  OLE fights strep, it's one of the few natural remedies that does!  It's a wonderful anti-bacterial in addition to being an anti-viral!!  So when we determined we were dealing with strep, I began increasing the baby's OLE by at least triple.  He was getting about 50-75mg two to three times a day, for maintenance, I upped it to 300-400mg three times a day.  He is doing GREAT still!!  Unfortunately, Grayson required worst nightmare!  There are too many long term risks associated with the strep bacteria so I bit the bullet and went with the rx meds, afterall, this is why we should be avoiding them at all costs, unless they are NECESSARY....he is doing fabulous already on day two.  Bloating is the worst of his symptoms of this illness so far!  I have increased his yeast protocol to address the overgrowth caused by antibiotics and I am doubling his already massive amounts of probiotics at bedtime, so he is getting over 500 billion CFUs of probiotics!!  In order to comprehend that, most generic brands of probiotics offer you about 10 billion CFUs per capsule.  We brought out the big guns for the event!!  I want to be SURE that we will not undo all the hard work we have put into balancing that precious little gut of his.  We have come too far to let one round of antibiotics throw it all down the drain. 

This has also sparked some thought, because I once thought he could have PANDAS (AKA - Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections)
 which often manifests as a form of OCD accompanying this autoimmune disorder.  It happens when the same bacteria that causes strep throat and scarlet fever confuses the immune system, causing it to attack an area of the brain called the basal ganglia.  Abnormalities in the basal ganglia have been associated with OCD.  25% of kids with OCD are effected by PANDAS.  It's is often linked with kids on the spectrum, as well.  The symptoms were so closely related to Grayson's symptoms that I thought a bout of scarlet fever he had after his vaccinations at a year might have been related.  The kicker though is that anytime someone with PANDAS is exposed to strep, they have a severe attack of symptoms with aggression, OCD, sleep disturbances, fine motor problems, increased anxiety and tics.  This happened when he contracted strep at the start of his first year in preschool, almost two years ago now.  He was sweet as pie throughout this illness!!  Does this mean he doesn't have PANDAS at all?  Very possible.  Does that make me feel relieved?  You bet it does!!  PANDAS requires kids to be prophylactically treated with low dose antibiotics continuously, not good for a child who struggles with an imbalance in gut flora!!  The alternative is risky and expensive plasma exchange treatments.   So while I am sad that Grayson had to experience strep, that he had to be out of school for a week, and is on antibiotics, I am THRILLED to see that he didn't have the reaction to strep that I would have thought possible.  Another possibility is that our journey through biomedicine has brought us far enough over the hump that he is onto looking back!!  Round 26 of chelation is right around the corner, moving on, happily!!

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