Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Writer's block, but so much to report

I think when a lot is going on at once, I lose the insight it takes to write from my heart and soul.  I am so overwhelmed with the flurries around me that I just keep putting writing off until I have something specific to focus on.  So for now, I am going to attempt to push myself for fear of forgetting to report something going on in our biomedical world.  And so much of it is important.

The hot topics for today are mold repairs, a 504 plan for Grayson at school, IgG food panels for both boys and camel milk!

So I will start with the oldest news, the mold.  We are still eyeball deep in trying to figure out how bad the problem is.  The location where the leak occurred is the most obnoxious place to reach, it's directly behind where the deck is attached to the house.  You guessed it, the deck has had to be loosened (today in fact) to provide access to the wet wood.  Yesterday the contractor working on providing the mold company with access to the mold, pulled up the tiles for the sub floor that was wet, and he removed ALL of the siding on the backside of the house under the deck, plus some from above the deck to be sure that they follow protocol which is to remove anything within a foot of the damage.

You can see from the pictures how they are trying to access the side of the house where the deck connects to it!The picture to the left shows the mudroom door above the deck and our window in the basement, below.  To the right is the siding removed where the mold is, which is around and to the right of the window.  The worst of it all is located just to the right of the mudroom door (picture below) so today he actually removed more siding and deck towards the slider (this picture is from yesterday). He also loosened the lag bolts that connect the deck to the house!

 The way the water was traveling was starting at the bottom right of the mudroom door where the threshold and trim met.  It would pour down to the right and settled in the subfloor and under the threshold as well as overflowing down the basement wall.  So RIGHT where the deck meets the house, to the right of the door is the bulk of the problem.  Two panels of wood between studs in the basement have to be completely removed, so tomorrow, this view will look right clear into my basement!

We haven't even begun to address the rotted structural wood that was left in the front of the house by the previous mold remediation company!  The mold contractor thinks that is where the stachybotrys is coming from too.  We have a completely different contractor involved with that repair, since it involves the structure of the home.  I am still waiting to hear from him on an estimate.  He advised us that he will need to have a structural engineer sign off on the job.  Not sure, if that was a warning on how that changes the price....and we can't clean the air or get the post work air testing done until this is ALL done.  In the meantime, the boys have been sneezing, coughing and have runny noses.  Of course, adding insult to injury, it's also allergy season.  They've never reacted like this to allergy season though, so I am inclined to think they are reacting to the mold.  We do have huge hospital grade hepa filters in the house running at all times so that must alleviate some of this nastiness.

Gimme the 504
Something interesting came about from Grayson's food infractions on the bus....a 504 plan stems from the Americans with Disabilities Act.  A 504 plan spells out the modifications and accommodations that will be needed for students who have: physical impairments; illnesses or injuries; communicable diseases; chronic conditions like asthma, allergies and diabetes; and learning problems.  They make accommodations to offer them the opportunity to perform at the same level as their peers, and might include such things as wheelchair ramps, blood sugar monitoring, an extra set of textbooks, a peanut-free lunch environment, home instruction, or a tape recorder or keyboard for taking notes.

For Grayson, this specifically addresses the bus situation as well as handwriting.  And let me just say briefly, the bus situation is a God-send.  He's been driven to and from school by a mini van (like a personal chauffeur) with one other child, a friend's child actually!  And how does handwriting come into play?  Well, when Grayson was having the food infractions his handwriting went down the tubes, he was complaining of being too tired to write, he was uninterested and his writing was atrocious! His teacher and I spoke about this (keep in mind we didn't know about the food infractions at the time) and I mentioned how in the past he had he had been diagnosed as having delayed fine motor skills.  I wasn't sure this was our problem, but we both thought it was possible and decided on having an evaluation done, to be sure.  In the time between having the evaluation done and receiving the results, we discovered that he was eating gluten and casein among many other things he can't have, all resulting in personality changes as well as physical changes.  Once we got his diet cleaned back up, his writing soared!!  His mood improved, his interest skyrocketed and even his teacher said, "He can't be stopped!".  His evaluation identified a few areas to target, besides his fine motor skills which are actually pretty on target with other kids his age (yeay!), it didn't used to be!!  But his sensory issues came up, visual and auditory processing as well as muscular (tone) problems that can effect his ability to participate in school.  So the 504 plan allows him to have 30 minutes of occupational therapy once a week, the "private" bus, and a sensory "diet" at school which is anything he needs to be able to function without distraction, this could mean therapeutic brushing, weighted blankets, joint compression, which all help with prioprioception.

You might wonder why I didn't stop the process when we noticed the food infraction was our cause when even the teacher noticed how he has made a considerable change since resolving the issue....this is because I feel like OT can offer him some other solutions to things that might still need addressing while we go through the process of healing him from the inside out.  Having the additional coping mechanisms at his fingertips is a benefit many kids don't have and I want to take advantage of anything that can help him stay in the playing field.  He's been doing exceptionally well since the "incidents" and even the teacher has commented on his remarkable composure, maturity and interest lately.  This is a testament to the things we do....and why.  I love the opportunity for those around me to see what value there is in dietary changes.  It's a big problem in our Nation and it needs awareness.  This is the best way to create awareness, real life situations.  No one can deny the changes they have witnessed in this situation and every person involved has voiced that opinion.  During our meeting with the school and therapists, it was clear that they believe in the power of healing through foods.  They supported my efforts and plan to continue to do so.  I am so thankful for this school every single day!

Culprit foods
On that note, when he was clearly exposed to both gluten and dairy at minimum, we decided to take advantage of the timing and order an IgG food panel update to see, if he was/is still sensitive to these foods.  I have also wondered, if there were any other foods that could be causing some inconsistencies in his moods.  They have been bearable and nowhere near the way things were in the past, but it still appeared as though he lacked control of them and felt considerable remorse afterwards, as if he didn't even know himself anymore.  Gavin on the other hand, has never had an IgG panel done so we still needed the baseline on him.

Want the good or the bad news first?

The good news is that neither of them is sensitive to the many foods we use repeatedly in their diet (we still rotate them) and their gut permeability is good.  Gavin's intestinal barrier assessment was negative at well below half of what it would take to be considered mildly effected and Grayson was just 8 points over the threshold!!  So what we are doing IS most definitely working, yippee!!! 

The bad news is that BOTH boys are effected by egg whites and yolks, grrrrr!!  This is a hard one to avoid, but with Gavin moderately effected by them and Grayson in the high category for sensitivity, it's one food we have to remove indefinitely.  Ironically, they are both moderately effected by kidney beans, not even a food we give them.  For Gavin the only other foods that came up in the low range were kale and oranges.  Grayson had just about every food in the dairy category plus gluten and yogurt in the moderate range.  His low foods were baker's yeast, chicken (just barely over the threshold), soy, peanut, tofu, pineapple (this was high in his previous test), tuna (odd, he's never even had it), kale, pork, wheat, oranges and shrimp.  This is MUCH better than the 23 foods that came up in his last IgG panel!  I also wonder about the genetic factors involved, because both boys had almost identical reactions to foods that weren't even considered positive.  The test shows a bar for each food that was tested and even though a reaction may not be high enough to warrant fitting into the low category, it may still show a slight reaction.  Both boys reacted to a lot of the same things, for example cinnamon and green peas.  It is certainly interesting looking at these tests side by side.  Very telling of the big picture in our genes.

One thing that is clear for sure is that everything we are doing in the face of prevention with Gavin is working.  He only reacted to 4 foods and none were high!  This is considered in the very low range of normal.  It's wonderful news and had us floating on cloud nine!!

But isn't camel milk still milk?
Yes, camel milk is milk, BUT it's very different from cow's milk!  It has medicinal properties that have been healing people at record speeds, people with diabetes, allergies, cancer and autism.  Studies are confirming these findings at rapid rates.  There is still about 4-5% lactose in camel milk, but the lactose is even different and much easier to digest than cow's milk lactose.  The proteins of camel milk are the decisive components for preventing and curing food allergies because camel milk contain no beta-lactoglobulin and a different beta-casein – the two components in cow milk that are responsible for allergies. Camel milk contains a number of immunoglobulins that are compatible with human ones. Camel milk is also rich in vitamin C (three times as much as cow's), calcium and iron (TEN times as much as cow's milk!).  How do you like them apples? The healing properties are numerous, from the amino acid profile to the enzymes and minerals!

We found a farmer about an hour and fifteen minutes away and my husband just happened to have an opportunity to be down there yesterday so he went by and grabbed some frozen bottles for us and a friend.  I really expected the kids to fight it since we don't do milk at all, but they took to it immediately, even Gavin who has never enjoyed a dairy product in his life even when I tried!  They both sucked down the first cups I offered them of the fresh raw milk and promptly asked for more....and more.  We went through about 14 ounces in one sitting with both boys!  Then this morning, they both had cups of milk with breakfast and again at dinner, they will have more.  I'm not really even sure what I am looking for or what I expect out of this, but it seems to be doing a lot of good for those with similar health problems so I had to give it a try.  So onward with our newest adventure.

Read more about camel milk and autism here from a clinical Toxicologist!

This is a link to a study confirming that camel milk can heal liver disease!

And below are the kids with their first camel milk mustaches!!


Anne said...

Hahaha, laughing at the mustache-pics - beautiful kids, but you know that ;-). I never heard of camel's milk, seriously - obviously I know they must produce milk, but... Goats milk is supposed to be good too, but it doesn't work for me. Plus I heard horse's milk(!) - poor cows, they'll be out of business soon! Hehe.

The school sounds great, I'm happy for you that you have something like that on your side! And best of luck with the mold, I hope that clears up asap.

Jessica said...

Horse milk? HAHAHA Camel milk probably sounds funnier, since we don't even typically have camels here in the US. Camel milk is more like human milk than any other, even more so than goat's. And it tastes better than goat milk, I thought goat milk and yogurt was GROSS! Didn't work for us either. So far no eczema with our two year old!! That is saying a lot.