Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
With hard chambers, the main reason for breaks is to let the capillary growth continue. It will continue for up to 90 days and then if you can do another 40, it will trigger the growth of more new capillaries.The number one reason for doing HBOT to begin with is because of the lack of oxygen getting to the damaged areas. New capillaries provide a new avenue of delivery for the red blood cells which is the delivery mechanism for oxygen. In order to get that capillary development, a certain amount of oxygen saturation is needed. When the saturation goes away within 2 hours after a session, it begins to signal the brain that the oxygen is needed and the brain signals new growth. It requires repetitive signals every day to begin this growth.With a soft chamber, this level of saturation does not occur. There is benefit but it slowly leaves when you discontinue the use of the soft chamber. The reason for the regression is there is not enough new capillary development to continue that oxygen delivery with red blood cells. There is no avenue of delivery.Although most people are convinced I am totally against soft shells, they are wrong. The combination of soft and hard chamber use is the best therapy a brain injured child, whether autism, cp or for whatever reason, can ever recieve. I have always advocated to use both.Unfortunately, the only training a DAN doctor recieves in hbot is from the soft chamber industry, mainly the IHA which was set up to promote soft chambers. Therefore, they base their advice on this training and info which is totally one-sided.There was a DAN doctor in TN who bought a soft chamber for his own child with autism. They used it every day. The hospital he worked with had a hard chamber and they allowed him to use it for 17 treatments. The difference in results was large. He brought his son to us and we did 80 sessions and the improvements were major and permanent. That MD is now working with the Univ. of Alabama in studying hbot. He now advises the use of hard hbot. He uses his soft chamber for maintenance with his son.It is the oxygen and not the pressure that makes the real difference and when you fine tune it with higher pressures the results improve dramatically. But the 100% oxygen is the first and foremost requirement. HBOT simply means delivering oxygen under pressure.Robert Hartsoe www.miraclemountain
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Friday, June 04, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
~Max Ehrmann's Desiderata
I first came across this humble bit of prose on the occasion of my graduation from university. My mom gave me this beautiful card with this piece of wisdom as an Illuminated Illustration. I've found it to be endlessly comforting and meaningful. I think I've quoted it to myself during times of stress more than anything, even Shakespeare.
I bring it up because I've found myself to be under a bit of stress and upset over the past few days. I find myself watching the boys, carefully studying their behavior for signs of change, and I tend to get upset when I don't see as much progress as I want.
We are smack in the middle of our 40 HBOT treatments for the boys, so I feel like I should be seeing some things, and we are, but probably not as much as I would like. The truth of the matter is, I believe that their autism wasn't caused by any one thing. So it makes sense to me that no ONE THING is going to be the defining moment of change for them. It's many things, including but not limited to experience.
This is a Marathon, and not a sprint.
And, as I've also quoted to myself (and others) probably hundreds of times in the past 8 years or so--"The point of parenting is not to raise perfect children."
There is no race to be won.
There is no prize to earn when your child reaches the age of consent, or graduates from high school or college.
There is no one watching and grading you as you go along...well except for maybe your In-laws (but that's another post for another day...).
The only persons whose happiness you can influence, and should therefore worry about, are yours and your children's.
And when I truly realize this and digest it, I feel a weight lifted off my shoulders. Hey, as long as we are happy and enjoying the ride, what does it matter if my kid is a little (okay, a lot) quirky? What does it matter if he enjoys spinning and lining up his toys and laying in the grass, staring up at the clouds, instead of playing with the kids around him?
And there really is so much freedom and relief in that realization.
But it doesn't last, that epiphany of relief and release. After a while, my expectations and desires creep back up again, kind of like a vine that has to be pruned back under control after a rainy month. It's me and my expectations that are the problem.
My kiddos are just fine, being who they are. It's their parent that has the problem.
Monday, May 17, 2010
It all started with being around other kids with the boys.
And it's been very successful...for the other boys.
Now, I know sometimes people feel sorry for me, particularly when they first meet us, because of the fact that we have not one, but two little boys with autism. But it's funny. I very rarely feel sorry for myself or our family. And the only times I do is when the Outside World intrudes.
Like when the Canadian Government at first refused to allow us to move temporarily to Canada for my husband's job because the of the boys' autism. Or the time Kiki got "asked to leave" (please read kicked out) on the first day of preschool because he wanted to play with the new toys and not go to Circle time (and so he screamed for 15 minutes when they took away all the cool toys). Or when I see both the boys with their typically developing peers and realize just how different, and how far behind, they are from those NT kids.
So here I was, last Sunday, sitting under a shady tree with Kiki, trying to get him to want to play with the other children, and feeling more than a tad sorry for myself. And, as I looked over at the other moms (who, let me just say here, are all incredibly nice and supportive people), I'm thinking, "These ladies don't work anywhere near as hard as I do to parent their children! Although their kids are in the social skills group alongside Kiki, their kids are doing soooo much better than mine."
It just doesn't seem fair sometimes.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
I remember thinking to myself, as I looked at this big bottle of capsules, "How in the hell am I supposed to get this into my children's bodies? I can't even get steamed carrots into them!"
It occurred to me then that I could just open the capsules and mix the contents in some sort of strong flavored juice. So, that's what I did. And I used the 2 teaspoon oral syringe that I got from the drugstore.
But I have to admit, it was time consuming. In order to make some the the stronger stuff more palatable, and frankly potable, I needed to dilute it in more juice, like a 1/4 cup (which equals 3 tablespoons, if you will remember from that cooking class you took back in your early twenties). Which means, you are giving them this dose of juice 5 or 6 times. Not fun.
But then, one day, I came across this miracle
It's huge! It holds more than 35ml of liquid. That's over 7 teaspoons! So, I mixed those nasty tasting supplements into an ounce or so of pomegranate juice (super tart and it kinda grows on you after a while) and away we were. I've also used them to get freshly squeezed juice down them, but that's another post for another day.
I've learned some other lessons the hard way. Things like, never give your kids supplements on an empty stomach (or else you will be seeing them again very soon, probably all over your floor after your child throws them up). Or how to space the different supplements out by 20 or 30 minutes (I learned to set the oven timer to help me remember to give the next dose).
And not to give up.
As a wise doctor once told me, first you do what you can. Then you do what's possible. And before you know it...you're doing the impossible.
My only regret about biomedical intervention for my boys autism is that I didn't start it years ago.
Don't bother asking your local pharmacist for the oral syringes btw. They won't know what you are talking about, or at least they had not a clue what I was talking about when I asked them. I got them here. But if you don't want to buy 25 or 50 of them at a time, you can buy them in smaller packs on eBay.
Saturday, May 01, 2010
40 dives over the next 8 weeks. With two different kiddos, two times a day. It's going to be a busy two months :(
So, how did I come to this place. Well, I think it's a case of that old saying--When the student is ready, the teacher appears. As anyone who knows me knows, over the past couple of a year or so, I have become a big believer in biomedical treatment of autism. I've used it with both my boys, with some success.
Don't get me wrong, there's a fair amount of science behind HBOT, but basically he talked me into it. He's very passionate about HBOT and recovering kids from autism. Did I mention he's a surgeon? That was my first question to him, btw..."How on earth do you deal with all the negative press and outright hostility towards biomedical intervention with autism?"
Thursday, April 08, 2010
You have to understand, my son doesn't eat a variety of things. In fact, most of his diet is beige in color: pasta, bananas, white rice, chicken nuggets, cheerios, etc. There are no bright colors in his diet, with the exception of things with red or blue 40 artificial food coloring (Icees are included in this group, along with candy and potato chips). He just won't eat. Anything. Else.
Well, about a month ago, with the support of my Behavior Specialist, I went ahead and did just that. It wasn't pretty and in a lot of ways in felt wrong. I didn't force the small, dice-sized square of pizza in his mouth, but I made it clear he wasn't going anywhere until he chewed it and swallowed it. I think it took 45 minutes from when we started to when we finished, and he threw up five times before he managed to keep it down. Bare in mind this is only pizza I'm talking about: not liver, not arsenic, not anything even particularly nasty.
But it worked, and since then we've kept at it, adding new foods every week or so. Strawberries are the newest and because they are a natural food source, rich in antioxidents and flavor, I have embraced them. Okay, so until the fresh ones from the farm down the street come ripe, I do add a teaspoon of sugar to make them a little less sharp-tasting. But believe me, it's so much better than some of the other things he prefers to consume.
Today it's strawberries. This summer it will hopefully be cherries and peaches. And who knows, maybe by winter I'll get him to eat a real live vegetable--wouldn't that be something?!?