Monday, September 30, 2013

I did decide to go ahead with it.

Dr. Debra Gilliam, the naturopaths protocol, that is. Some of it anyway. Right after our appointment I had started Stuart on the liver tonic she gave him, but he had an episode of vomiting and diarrhea after four doses, so I ended up just discontinuing it even though I didn't know for sure if it was related. The following week I was thinking how I have completely wasted money taking Stuart to see her if I don't give anything a real try, so on the 18th I went ahead and started him on the adrenal desiccated stuff and I started him back on the liver tonic. I figured I would do my best to stick to those two things as suggested and add in some of the other stuff over time.
Before I took Stuart to see her I was already giving him the same amount of Vitamin C (2000mg) and Vitamin D (5000iu) that she said he needed, but I had been splitting the vitamin C dose over three or maybe even four times a day, so I changed it to twice a day as she suggested. With the Vitamin D she wanted me to give it with dinner instead of breakfast. I was a little hesitant to change it because there have been a few times in the past that I gave it to him in the evening and it appeared to disrupt his sleep, but I did it and the first night he had trouble sleeping. I gave it to him it in the evening 4 times and he had trouble sleeping all 4 nights, so I switched back to giving it in the morning and the sleeping issues quickly resolved.
After over a week of him taking the adrenal and liver stuff along with him back to sleeping, I started giving him B6. Dr. Debra suggested 100 mg around breakfast and dinner, but I have read some people may not tolerate it well, so we started lower around 50 mg at breakfast and dinner. Within 2 days I saw a major increase in him running back and forth, flapping his hands, and humming even with him taking magnesium along with it, so I decided to just back off that for now. I have read that certain vitamins are needed by certain types of bacteria in order to survive and grow stronger, but I haven't came across too much in regard to B6 besides one called H. Pylori which I'm pretty sure was one of the things that last stool test he did looked for. My next move will be trying the Alkadophilus. I may start with it tomorrow night. Then I'll move on to the cod liver oil maybe next week which seemed to make him stimmy last time we tried it. That's been a while ago though.
Anyway, aside from the negatives with the B6 and the vitamin D in the evening the only change I have seen in him is he's been pooping more regular which is a good thing and I assume is from the carrot root in the adrenal stuff. Maybe I will see something positive from the other part of it and the liver stuff. I figure I will at least give it until the containers are empty to decide if we will go to our next appointment.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Doctors.

Over the last few months, I compiled a list of different blood tests that I had seen different people on autism and PANDAS message boards mention a lot. Mainly tests that they were saying their children had abnormal readings for or tested positive for because I was curious what the findings would be with Stuart. I don't have the list in front of me at the moment, but there were several things the immunologist wouldn't order when we went in for an appointment. I remember cytokine profile, virus serology, brain autoantibodies, staphylococcus, mycoplasma pneumanaie, and herpes simplex being a few. He had said he wasn't sure he could interpret the results, so he didn't feel comfortable ordering the tests. At least he was honest, you know. The ones he did order were Stuart's complete blood count, antinuclear antibodies, EBV, lyme, lymphocyte subset panels, and immunoglobulin subclasses.
The only things that actually came back abnormal were Stuart's absolute CD3+ cells and absolute CD19+ cells. Both of those were elevated, but he had many things that were right on the edge of the reference range. Like the CD16+CD56 natural killer cells were a 3 and the reference range is 3-19, igG subclass 4 was a 4 and the reference range is 2-95, absolute CD4 cells were 1428 and the reference range is 520-1440.  There are several more that were close to the edge of the reference range like that which just had me wondering how the hell they come up with these ranges and how do they know if it falls in between those ranges that it is normal for every person. I asked the doctor and he said they look at the patterns within them more than the actual numbers. I still don't really know what that means, but ok, I guess. He said he didn't really see any signs that anything extreme is going on, only that Stuart's body is actively fighting off infection. What type of infection? Well, who the fuck knows? I guess we need more testing to find that out..
I sometimes wonder... is it really worth it for me to put Stuart through seeing different doctors to try and find answers? I mean most of the time I leave not gaining a thing, so every time we get around to visiting a doctor, I think, please don't let this be a waste of time. Autism is a mystery and PANDAS is a mystery and there's apparently no one interested in either in Alabama. Stuart's doctor is the one who first mentioned PANDAS to me, but I have yet to find any other person in the medical community in this state who has even heard of it, so if we see someone and they find abnormalities in the tests they conduct, it's not like they're going to know how to fix it because it can be like "ok, this came out abnormal, but it doesn't appear to be for the usual reasons, so we don't really know why or where to go from here." So is it worth it? I don't know..Maybe between something showing normal or abnormal I can read, read, and read more and know what to look at and what not to look at and then try different things because chances are if anyone is going to figure stuff out it's going to be someone who has personally went through something and who has become obsessed with finding the answer not someone that gets paid to look at things who may or may not really give a fuck.
Anyway, back to seeing the immunologist. Stuart also had stool, ova, and parasite testing done. I'm not sure what all that tests for, but Stuart tested positive for Blastocystis Hominis infection. The immunologist said that's not a parasite he has actually dealt with before and from what he has read about the parasite there's a lot of controversy over it, so he doesn't feel comfortable treating him for it, so Stuart's pediatrician plans to set him up with a infectious disease specialist sometime soon. I guess it's not an urgent matter since it's been about two weeks. I'm really not caring though because what are they really going to do besides run more tests and prescribe him antibiotics? I'm not giving him any more of that shit.
I did a lot of reading on Blastocystis Hominis when the doctor first called me with the results and here's what I gathered from it in short. It is a microscopic intestinal parasite that was once thought to be a type of yeast. It is considered to be one of the most common intestinal parasites among humans especially in the US. There have not been enough studies to determine it's pathogenicity, but it appears that it may not cause many if any issues in healthy people. It could be the cause of several in those with compromised immune systems though. Symptoms may include diarrhea, nausea, abdominal cramps, bloating, excessive gas, anal itching, loss of appetite, weight loss, and fatigue. Some people may also have headaches, dizziness, and brain fog. The symptoms could just depend on how long a person has had it and how many colonies there are. I couldn't find anything linking symptoms any more severe than those listed. There are some doctors out there who do not believe it can be pathogenic, so they will not treat a person for it because they think it will go away on it's own and there are others who do believe it is pathogenic and they mainly treat it with various antibiotics. There is not a FDA approved drug that is proven to get rid of it, but Flagyl is commonly prescribed and it is said to have had some success (which I will never personally know about). Of course, I have read about many people taking flagyl and testing clear, then months later testing positive again. I have read a lot of great things about Saccharomyces Bouldardii (a yeast with probiotic properties) getting rid of it, so I bought some right after I found out, but I haven't started him on it yet.
I did start Stuart on a papaya enzyme by NOW Foods at each meal a few days before I got the parasite result because I thought it might help with stomach issues he was having. Papaya is suppose to be real helpful in getting rid of parasites too, but since I have been giving the enzymes to Stuart when he eats it's probably mainly just breaking down his food which he needs since he does tend to have undigested food in his stool. I guess anything else it does is just an added bonus.
I also wanted to mention that we did see a Naturopathic Doctor in Huntsville. It was Tuesday, I believe. The appointment was interesting in a way, but I still have something in me that tells me it will not get us anywhere. Don't get me wrong the testing the lady did revealed stuff that seemed relevant like that Stuart had 4 types of strep bacteria and this one parasite and another (pin worms) and a fungus (trichosporon beigelii). She didn't mention candida albicans or clostridium difficile which surprised me a bit. It also showed something with the left adrenal gland, the liver, lymphocytes, and ligament issues. She mentioned his elbow? She told me to give him Bioactive homeopathic Liver 1 tonic (breakfast and bedtime), Adrenal dessicated (breakfast), DHA (breakfast and dinner), B6 (breakfast and dinner), Alkadophilus (bedtime), Iodine at 4 drops 2x a week, Valarian (bedtime), Magnesium (dinner), Selenium (dinner), papaya enzymes (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and Vit D3 (dinner). I already had all of those things besides the alkadophilus, adrenal dessicated, and liver tonic which she gave me. As far as the papaya enzymes she suggested one without mint by American Health with chlorophyl which is not nearly as potent as the NOW brand, so I don't understand. I haven't really done anything yet besides give him the the liver tonic and he puked and had diarrhea not long after his 4th dose. Coincidence or not, I don't know. I did read that if the liver is detoxed too fast it can cause such issues, who knows though? I do know that I don't feel comfortable giving so many things at once and really I don't know that I feel comfortable giving him the adrenal dessicated because it comes from bovine adrenals. Should that creep me out? We spent so long at the appointment that by the time I got the list of what he should take and read over it there wasn't really anyone there to answer my questions which bothers me, so I don't really know where I'm going from here.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Been a while..

Well..I was pretty bummed out for a while, but I'm feeling better now and I thought I should do an update.
Ok so.. The day Stuart's last school year ended which was also the same day we started moving into our new place, the shit hit the fan and it lasted through a good bit of the summer. I'm not going to talk about every shitty detail, probably, so I'll just start by saying we got back to a point where Stuart was screaming and hitting himself all the freaking time and I would spend hours a day restraining him until I would just give up from exhaustion. He also wasn't sleeping much and when he did get to sleep he would wake up screaming after a short time.
A few weeks into summer break, I figured out that in addition to him having these flare ups when he gets sick, he also has them every time he loses a tooth and they typically last up to a few weeks. He doesn't ever complain of pain or anything when he loses a tooth or when a new tooth is coming in. On a few different occasions I have given him different things to help with inflammation just thinking maybe he couldn't tell me he was in pain, nothing ever helped though, so I'm now pretty convinced it has more to do with the bacteria in his mouth after losing a tooth. It could also have some to do with his body and mind not being developed enough to deal with it all because he is getting teeth most kids don't get until they are a teenager? I guess..I don't know.. He just turned 9 years old in July and he has lost all of his teeth besides 1 canine and 1 molar both of which are loose now. After these two there are just wisdom teeth to go and no he's not pulling them early because all the new teeth were visible when the old teeth came out or just a short time after.
I  did a lot of experimenting over the summer with different supplements to try and find something that would help him, but nothing did, so I broke down and did what I said I wouldn't do. I took him to the psychiatrist and let them prescribe him clonidine. We started out with the smallest dosage which is 0.1 mg and I gave him a quarter of a tablet in the morning and half a tablet in the evening. After about two weeks I noticed a few improvements and really no side effects other than him being a little sluggish every now and then and some eczema popping up. At the time, I felt the eczema was more related to him visiting Jeff's house since they have a dog and Stuart is allergic. The dog stays outside, but I still think it gets in the house occasionally and that could be enough. Anyway, I let the psychiatrist increase his dosage to more of a therapeutic level. We eased up to him taking a whole 0.1 tablet in the morning and in the evening. It was really working well. I mean he was sleeping, his ocd was pretty much gone,  and he wasn't hitting himself or screaming, but his skin was increasingly getting worse and he had an ear infection. Not only did he have eczema on the insides of his arms and back of his legs, but it was also on his face and neck. I thought maybe it was a reaction to the red dye in the pill even though the few times I recalled him having something with red dye it never seemed to affect his skin, just his behavior. I was really confused about the ear infection though because the only time he has had them was when he had something with dairy in it, so I questioned Jeff about what he ate when he visited him and he assured me he did not have anything milk related, so I looked online for more info on the pill and I noticed the one I had looked at when they decided to originally prescribe had different ingredients than the one he had actually been taking. I didn't even think about there being all the different manufacturers who can put pretty much anything in the medication as a filler just so they can call it their own. With clonidine the active ingredient is so concentrated that the tablets are mostly filler and the one that he had been taking had freaking lactose in it. In fact, it had like 98% lactose. I feel like such a dumbass for not double checking everything and making sure I knew all the details before hand, but at least I did figure it out before things got any worse.
After figuring out about the lactose I called the psychiatrist and got them to call in another pill to a different pharmacy. It was made by Mylan. It was dye and dairy free, so I thought maybe things would be good. He took the new pill for 3 days and complained of head and eye pain the whole time, so I called the psychiatrist again and just had them send a new prescription to a compounding pharmacy to be compounded because I decided it was all the damn inactive ingredients causing the reaction and for the past 3 weeks Stuart has been taking a liquid that consists of nothing more than clonidine hydrocloride (the active ingredient), simple syrup, and natural orange flavor. His skin and ears are all better and he's also just been taking just half the dosage he was taking and it seems to work about as well as the 0.1. Although I'm thinking we may end up having to up the dosage a little soon.
I think the clonidine is definitely making a difference overall, but I'm just looking at it as being a temporary thing because I'm still going to do everything I can to get to the bottom of what is wrong and what I can do to make it all better.
We did a lot of blood, urine, and poop testing over the summer and some more a few weeks ago which I just got results for last week. We also got a appointment with a naturopathic doctor tomorrow afternoon, so I will post about the results and the appointment next time.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

One step behind..

The beginning of this year was really rough because of everything that was going on with Stuart. Between him missing 20 something days of school, me checking him out several times, and me being stressed out, my income dropped a good bit. I thought that I could get caught up when he got back to his normal self, but about 3 weeks ago I realized that catching up wasn't going to happen, at least not any time soon since the school year is over next week, so I applied for us to get an apartment back in the projects.
We have been living in Cullman for 5 years. The first 2 years we lived in the projects and I really hated it, but I think it will be a lot better this time and hopefully the move will be just temporary as well. Last time we lived in a split level and there was a building directly behind and in front of ours which was fucking annoying because I couldn't hardly go out the door without someone talking to me, not even the back door. I had that problem at our last apartment as well. I don't always like to talk to people. Maybe I'm an asshole or even stuck up, but I don't really wanna do the, "hey, how are you?" thing every time I walk out my door with various people I don't care to be around in the first place and in the morning it's pretty likely that I don't even want to look at my neighbors because they might smile at me and expect me to smile back or something. Sure I will probably participate in such gestures and greetings because I'm not a complete ass, but I don't like it and I really want to cover my head or say don't look at me or talk to me. Haha.. Another thing that was bothersome there was every fucking loud disrespectful crazy person that lived next door to me. Parking sucked too. Many times I would have to park a few buildings away because my rude ass neighbors guests would take up all the parking spaces.
Anyway, I don't think there will be any of that bullshit with the new apartment which we should be moving into in a little over a week. If some things do end up sucking there are several that make it automatically awesome like it is less than 500 ft from Stuart's school and about the same distance from a gas station. It's also a single level which has only 2 apartments per building, so I wont have many neighbors. I will have my own parking space. There are no buildings across the street only the side of a house which is actually on another road and there is a large courtyard separating the back of the building from the back of another building. Oh and we're getting a 3 bedroom because they didn't have any 2 bedrooms available, so I will have room for all the extra stuff I have accumulated in the past 3 years.
Yeah, maybe I'm not really taking one step behind with all that, plus rent will be cheaper, I wont be paying water, sewer, or dumpster, and I can use the city's free wifi. It really sounds good.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

2 left..

Well, after next week I will have just 2 classes to take before finally getting a 2 year degree which has pretty much taken me 4 years since I kept changing my mind and I have taken most of the courses that have been available to me. One of the classes I have left is a prerequisite for the other and I apparently can't take them at the same time which would probably be confusing anyway, so I will take one in the summer and one in fall. I figure after that I will transfer to a 4 year school. I really wish I could make myself like math that way I could get better at it and go into a chemistry program and have the possibility of one day working in biomedical research or something. That's not gonna happen though, so I think I will go for a BA in Psychology because it seems to be an easy area for me and I already have all the prerequisites for the school I'm looking at attending. I know there's really a need for child psychologists here, so that should be something pretty easy to get into providing I ever get to work outside my home again. My availability is very limited since I don't have anyone within 60 miles to help with Stuart. I am hoping it will get easier as he gets older though. Otherwise I'll just be looking at being a career student so I don't have to pay student loans back.

Friday, April 19, 2013

MRI?

A while back I talked about Stuart being scheduled to have a MRI in March, but I never mentioned it again because it didn't end up happening. One of the sedation nurses called me a few days before the appointment to ask some background questions and she decided he really needed be scheduled for the main hospital because of his history with behavior. That appointment was scheduled at the Children's South outpatient center. Fine whatever. I really didn't wanna drive that extra 30 minutes there anyway. We got it rescheduled at the main hospital the next week or so, but a nurse from the hospital called the evening before he was scheduled to go in and told me he would have to be rescheduled again because she noticed the last physical he had completed by his primary physician was like 40 days before and they couldn't do it unless it was under 30 days. It's ridiculous that they didn't decide that before, but whatever.
I took Stuart in for the physical yesterday and his doctor said everything looks good. He weighed 65 lbs before the PANDAS and he ended up down to 62 lbs in February, but now he is up to 66 lbs which is awesome. He is also a little over 56" tall.
His EEG came back normal and all of the most recent blood work came back normal besides two things. His triglycerides were high and his ammonia levels were low. His doctor didn't think either were a cause for concern. She said his triglycerides were probably high since he had blood drawn not long after eating and his ammonia was most likely low since I had been giving him a probiotic.
The doctor told me they would call me with the new appointment for the MRI as soon as they can get one scheduled. I have heard that since the last appointment was canceled though. I know one thing.. the longer it takes to get in there and have the thing done the longer I have to think about it and the more I tell myself I don't want to do it. Things have just been great lately and I keep thinking, what if whatever they use to sedate him ends up fucking his behavior up? I wish I didn't have to think about shit so much.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Valerian

It looks like I may have found the answer to getting Stuart to go to sleep at a reasonable time every night. The last three days I have been giving him about 300 mg of valerian root after dinner and each night he has fallen asleep before 10:00 p.m. and since a day or two after I started him on the stress plus supplement his stimming and ocd has decreased a whole lot. He hasn't lined up a single thing or worried about anything being in a certain spot in the past week which is pretty shocking really. He also hasn't been repeating much. Another thing.. He has been communicating way better than he ever has before. He has been asking all kinds of questions and he has been responding when he is spoken to without anyone having to repeat anything to him and he has been responding appropriately using complete sentences most of the time. This week has been so awesome and I'm really hoping all of it is not just a coincidence and it continues.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sleep

Stuart has still been having trouble going to sleep almost every night, so at the beginning of last week, I decided to start giving him melatonin to see if it would help. I started him off with 1 mg about an hour before bedtime which didn't appear to do a thing, so I increased the dosage by 1/2 mg each night until we ended up getting some results with 3 mg. With 2 and 2 1/2 mg Stuart appeared a little tired within an hour and fifteen minutes of taking it, he really fought sleep though. With 3 mg he didn't fight sleep and many days this week he even put himself to bed before it was even bedtime. There is a downside to it though. He starts tossing and turning a good bit about 3 or 4 hours after he falls asleep and over half of this week he woke up in the middle of the night screaming usually saying he had a bad dream which is common in people taking too much. 3 mg isn't really much compared to what other people I know take, so I don't know, he probably just isn't very deficient in melatonin if he is at all, so I didn't give him any tonight and I probably wont give him anymore. I mean it's nice that I can use it to get him to fall asleep, but if he's going to have nightmares and wake before the sun comes up it just isn't worth it.
I've given him epsom salt baths before bed, read to him until my throat was raw, given him massages, had him do lots of physical activity during the day, played soothing music, and I've given him a magnesium supplement which I am still doing, but I don't think any of it really helps because he goes to sleep easy one or maybe 2 days a week on average these days.
I had planned to give him valerian root late last year, but didn't get around to it and the bottle still sits in my cabinet. I may end up giving it a try soon. Wednesday I did start him on a supplement by Now Foods called Stress Plus that has valerian in it. It has a pretty large amount of b vitamins, 500 mg vitamin c, 200 mg valerian root, and a little bit of magnesium. I don't expect it will help him sleep since he will be taking it in the morning. Plus 200 mg of valerian probably isn't enough to help with sleep, but I'm hoping it will at least help him be relaxed during the daytime hours.
Well, it appears Stuart is asleep, so I'm gonna try to watch Game of Thrones now :)

Monday, April 1, 2013

iPad

At the beginning of the school year all of the classrooms at Stuart's school got iPads and over the past few months Stuart has been using the one in his class at certain times to take down notes from the whiteboard. His teacher and one of the special ed teachers think it has really helped him do better on on class assignments and tests. They told me he has done amazing things with it and because of that the school board approved him to get his very own which was already at the school when I went to visit this morning. He will be able to use it as home as well. I'm just waiting for the school board to send a release form for me to sign. At home I will definitely be making sure it is only used for educational purposes and not him playing games, watching youtube, and playing with the camera like he does with all the other gadgets he already has. This is gonna be pretty cool, I think.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Spring Break

Stuart and I both had spring break this week and since I didn't really have money for us to take a trip to the beach or anything we visited Stuart's granny from last Saturday until yesterday.We didn't do anything exciting while we were there, but it was nice to get away from our apartment for a while. We slept till at least 9 am everyday and just watched movies, played games, and played outside when it wasn't raining which was half of the week. Stuart had a few moments with screaming and hitting, but overall he had a good week. He was suppose to go over over Jeff's Friday evening, but not long before we planned to leave he got into something outside (pine straw?) which caused him to be covered in welts and hives for several hours, so I just decided to wait until yesterday afternoon to send him over there. I came home after I dropped him off listened to music for a while, then drank a bottle of Pinot Noir while I watched the movie Argo which was pretty disappointing. I don't know what time I went to sleep, but I slept till almost 1 o'clock today. Stuart is back home now and I'm just waiting for his bedtime so I can watch The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. I really need a life.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

UAB Psychiatry

Last time I got on here, I forgot to mention.... We met with the nurse practitioner at UAB Psychiatry Friday. She asked me a bunch of questions regarding Stuart's background and she asked about my biggest concern. She also told me she may possibly be able to find someone he can meet with for some type of behavior intervention and she talked to me about common medications used for autism, in case I choose to medicate him. Oh and she gave me some adhd forms to have two teachers at Stuart's school fill out. He doesn't have adhd of course, but I guess since adhd and autism do have their similarities and many people with autism exhibit adhd behaviors they want to use it to gauge those behaviors, probably for prescribing medication.
Self injurious behavior is my biggest concern with Stuart which has not been an issue the past few weeks, thankfully. I'm afraid every time he gets sick it will be an issue though. As far as medication, I really don't wanna think about it after that 4 day thing with the Adderall last month which wasn't long, I know, but it was long enough for me. I just don't see myself giving him anything again, but if I should change my mind I will have some of the Cytochrome P450 testing done to see what is more likely to cause a problem. I have read a little about the testing and it's all way over my head, so I will have to read more.We are going to have more blood testing on Thursday when Stuart has an EEG and some of the tests his doctor ordered sound like they may be part of the same testing. I'll will ask then.
Anyway, we have another appointment at UAB Psychiatry to complete the evaluation process on April 5 which will probably involve more interaction with Stuart.That's about all I got to say right now :)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Parasites, autoimmunity, and antibiotics

I gave Stuart his first dose of Humaworm on the evening of February 17th, so that means he only has 3 doses left. The first several days he was taking it I just gave it to him in loose powder form, but a week or so in, I started putting it into capsules to make it easier since he can swallow them. When Stuart went over to Jeff's Friday I told him how and when to give it to Stuart and I also texted the info to him, so hopefully he did it like that. If he didn't at least we were almost at the end of the 30 days when Stuart went over there.
I haven't really talked much about the Humaworm since Stuart started on it, but it's not because it hasn't done anything. I've just been thinking about other things when I've been in front of the computer or I just haven't felt like talking poop details. So yeah poop, Stuart has really had some outrageous looking stuff come out of him since he started taking it. It hasn't happened every time he has pooped, but there have been several occasions where I was like, what the hell is that? I'm pretty sure I have now seen every sort of texture, shape, and color of poop there has ever been. I have seen it mixed with white specks, mucus, and actual worms. Last Sunday, I clearly saw 3 dead worms in there. They were around 3 and 4 inches long. I first thought they were some kind of roundworm judging by some pictures I saw online, but I don't really know because people post their pictures as one thing and other people say they are something else. I wish I had it in me to really examine it or scoop it out of the toilet and take it to a doctor, so I could find out, but I doubt I will ever do that. I had a gag attack just trying to kind of move stuff around in the toilet using the end of a big wad of tissue to figure out what I was seeing. So yes, worms. It seems pretty goddamn gross, but many supposed experts say we all have parasites of some kind even if they're microscopic and don't appear to cause major issues and many people have some type of worms at some point in their lives and they often live out their whole lives without knowing of them because testing can only identify a few and they may not be in every sample. It's crazy to think many of the health problems people have could be caused by parasites. I think they could be though.
When I bought the Humaworm, I didn't realize that the adult formula and the children's formula were different. The adult formula has 25 ingredients and the children's only has 13 ingredients. I guess it's because some ingredients may be too strong for children, makes sense, but it also tells me the children's formula may not be strong enough to get rid of everything Stuart has, at least in this one round. Maybe it will be enough though because he has really been improving the past month and especially since he passed worms last Sunday since he hasn't had a yellow tone to his skin like he has had for a long time and the dark circles around his eyes have pretty much went away. He also has not had any kind of sneezing, sniffling, or congestion since about a week after he started taking it. Sunshine could have played a role in this week as well since it has actually been out most of the week. It seems like there were only about 15 days in past 4 or 5 months that it wasn't raining or completely cloudy.
So with the parasite thing on my mind, I wanted to mention all the talk recently about scientists conducting studies to show that it may be possible to treat certain autoimmune disorders and improve autism by having individuals ingest whipworm eggs. The scientists conducting studies on this shit think that these harmful organisms may be what's protecting our immune systems and that people with autoimmune disorders and autism just don't have as many as they need since such conditions aren't often seen in less developed portions of the globe. Crazy bunch of bullshit, I'll say. Hearing that immediately made me think about how antibiotics aren't used as much in many of those countries and the ones that are used are said to often be diluted. Antibiotics probably don't end up in the majority of the food the people consume in less developed countries either. A few weeks ago I saw a bunch of news stories talking about organic apples and pears in this stupid country being sprayed with antibiotics (streptomycin and tetracycline) which is fucked. Perhaps I have been understanding the definition of organic wrong for years.... Anyway, less antibiotic use is very likely to be the reason most people in less developed countries don't develop autoimmune disorders, at least in my opinion.
On the topic of antibiotics.. They are taken to reduce infection in the body. They do not completely get rid of infection. It is the immune system's job to complete the process. Antibiotics can not distinguish between good and bad bacteria, so they reduce both and by getting rid of too much good bacteria, the body's natural immune response is cut off which allows the release of toxins in the body causing an autoimmune response. That's what I think now and I really believe that is how autism, PANDAS, and all those other autoimmune disorders come about. Yeah, I know autism isn't listed as an autoimmune disorder, but I bet it will be eventually.
Stuart and antibiotics... He started taking antibiotics not long after I started supplementing with formula when he was around 6 months old and by the time he was a year old he had taken amoxicillin, omnicef, zithromax, and augmentin. Looking back through his baby book I didn't write down any thing different going on with him such as quirks until he was around 9 months old which was around the same time he had a reaction to omnicef, but he was still developing typically until he was about a year old. For years I was pretty convinced vaccines or even me giving him tylenol with the vaccines was what triggered the autism.While both of those things definitely could have played a role in weakening his immune system they weren't the only things. Around his one year mark he had also just completed a round of augmentin for another ear infection. Stuart started receiving early intervention services from UAB Sparks when he was 17 months old and he continued with ear infections and antibiotics off and on for a few more months. After starting early intervention it didn't take me long to decide we were definitely dealing with autism, so I started focusing on it and what I could do to make everything better. I found so much information online, but I kept seeing autism and gluten/casein free diet popping up everywhere, so I started focusing there. There were all kinds of articles and people on message boards saying both could be an an issue in people with autism and some were even saying one or the other or both were the cause of autism. They all said doing a GF/CF diet could improve or even cure autism, so I thought it would be simple enough to take both out of his diet to see. I started taking dairy out of his diet when he was 20 or so months old, but I decided to wait a little longer to take the gluten out. With the dairy removed there weren't any notable changes in things such as speech, eye contact, or behavior. His eczema did clear up some though. He also did not get another ear infection. I was just amazed as that wasn't even one of the things I recalled people talking about it helping. Stuart has been dairy free for over 7 years and he has had a few ear infections over those 7 years, but they were always due to dairy infractions and they always went away on their own in just a few days. Anyway, back to my point.. He did not take any other antibiotics after me removing dairy from his diet and he had been making lots of progress until he got strep, took antibiotics, then the whole PANDAS thing came about, so I will not be giving him another antibiotic. If he gets strep or some other bacterial infection I will give him garlic cloves, colloidal silver, raw honey, grapefruit seed extract and whatever other natural remedies there are to get rid of bacteria. Fuck antibiotics...

Saturday, March 16, 2013

a break..

This week has been the best week Stuart has had since the whole downward spiral began in August. Monday and Tuesday were absolutely perfect days, bedtime included. He did have some unhappy moments on Wednesday, but they were all pretty mild and didn't last long. He had a little trouble getting to sleep Wednesday night as well. Thursday and Friday weren't perfect like Monday and Tuesday, but they were still really good. Stuart hadn't been to Jeff's house in a month, but because he has been doing so much better lately, I decided it was really time for us to have a break from each other for a couple of days. He went over there yesterday and I have just been chilling at home. In a way, I wanted to get out of the house this weekend, but I'm kinda broke and it really is nice to just spend some time all alone, so last night I had a few beers and watched Seven Psychopaths which was good. I thought all the actors played their roles well, especially Sam Rockwell. I have always liked him and I really think he gave his best performance in it. Today I slept until 11 which hasn't happened in a while. It was pretty awesome. I haven't done shit today and I feel great. I'll probably stay home again tonight and attempt to work on some Physical Science and Diagnostic & Pharmacology homework I need to finish. Then maybe I'll watch the Hobbit since I finally have the time to spare 3 hours on a movie.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Things are still looking up.

The last several days have been good overall. We are still having some issues at bedtime and sometimes in the mornings, but the daytime and evenings have been going well enough that I have had time to recover and calmly deal with those issues.
I bought Stuart one of those foam like boxing helmets on Amazon last week. I haven't had to make him wear it since he hasn't tried to hit himself in the head in several days, but I did make him try it on and I told him to try hitting it, so he balled up his fists and hit it a few times and his knuckles just bounced off of it which is pretty cool. When I started looking for a helmet, I went on a few special needs type websites and was just blown away by how much of a rip off shit is. They had helmets that were pretty much identical (with a different logo) to the one I paid $25 for on Amazon, but they were all charging around $150. It really makes me sick that people are so goddamn greedy and it's not even just of the general public which is horrible enough, but they start companies to prey specifically on people who are probably already struggling financially and in other ways because they are taking care of someone with special needs. Disgusting...
When Stuart was younger we would sometimes use a weighted vest at Speech and OT and over the past year he has worn ankle weights when using exercise equipment and it has really seemed to have a calming effect on him, so I thought I would look for some weighted stuff to use at home. Ankle weights aren't too expensive, but I couldn't really find anything else that wasn't outrageously priced, so I decided I should make stuff myself since I actually enjoy sewing.
I made him a 1 lb lap pad using some old fabric I had laying around and a 1 lb bag of dried beans that I would have never used.

I split the beans into 6 equal portions and put them in rectangular bags. Then I measured and cut the material, sewed three of the corners up, added the bags in 2 rows of 3 and sewed around around each bag, so they would stay put. Then I sewed the last corner up. It's pretty small, around 14" x 10". I'm not sure 1 lb. will help very much, but he has been putting it on his lap, legs, chest, and head throughout the day at home which tells me he likes it, at least. I'm going to work on making something heavier this week after I get caught up on all the homework and housework I need to do.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Appointments

Finally got some appointments scheduled for Stuart. He will be having a MRI and EEG later this month. I'm kinda scared of the MRI because they will have to sedate him. Plus, that radiation factor, but I guess we have needed to do it for a while especially with all the stuff going on lately. I have suspected seizures for years because he has had behaviors that seem, whats the word?.. automatic... but when Children's did a 24 hour EEG on him in I think 2007 they didn't find anything abnormal. Anyway some of those behaviors have increased over time, so I wanna give it another go to see if anything looks different. I wanna see if there's any swelling on his basal ganglia which seems somewhat common in PANDAS. I'm not sure what to do if anything is abnormal, but damn I at least wanna know some stuff. His doctor scheduled the MRI and EEG appointments for Children's, but he wont actually have an appointment to see a neurologist there until June which is a little while from now, but not that bad, I guess compared to how long I have heard some people end up waiting to get in.
The other appointments are more complicated. He will be going to see a Nurse practitioner next week who will evaluate him and get him in to see a psychiatrist and then when we get in to see the psychiatrist they will be able to get him in with someone who does more stuff with behavior. I don't really understand, but yeah, it will work something like that. Stuart's doctor sent a lab slip to Children's for lipids, metabolic panel, serum creatinine, and some other things that I have no clue how to spell. I figure we will get it done when we go to see this nurse practitioner, so I can save about $20 on gas.

overcome..

Hopefully it's not just a fluke, but I'm really feeling like everything with Stuart is improving. Over the last while it seems much of the time his behavior has went from one extreme to the other, but the last few days the screaming and hitting has toned down a whole bunch and for the most part he hasn't gotten overly wound up or too mellow. Monday and Tuesday were pretty good days at school overall with just a few difficult times mainly between 8 and 10 am and he was great at home Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday evening. Of course, then came bedtime... About 5 minutes after he laid down in the bed he started to whine and let out a short loud squeals. The past 3 nights, I immediately went in his room to see what was wrong and he said, mom will lay down with me, so I did, but he continued to whine and squeal. He didn't hit himself any of the past 3 nights which is a complete improvement alone, but he swung his arms around in the air and pressed on his chin some. I have been asking him several questions trying to figure out if some part of his body was hurting or something and everything I ask is always a no. Last night after I was questioning him he said something about watching cartoon network and I said, yes, you can watch cartoon network tomorrow after school, now try to get some sleep. It's unbelievable how worried he is that he may not be able to have something he wants. How do I get him to quit worrying and trust that when I tell him he can have something he will get it? I'm seriously not a person full of broken promises. I mean, I have taken things away from him before, but it has always been after giving him tons of warnings and sure plans have fell through before, it's been very rare though because I don't plan to do shit until I'm pretty certain it's going to happen and when things haven't worked out I have always made sure to make it up to him as soon as possible.
Oh yeah, continuing with last night.. Stuart laid down a little after 9 and I laid down with him, but he was still up and fussy at almost 11, so I told him I had to get up because I needed to clean the kitchen, do homework, and get a shower. He continued whining, so I was like, dude, if you don't want to lay down, don't lay down, so he got up and turned the light on. He asked me for the iPod, piano, etc and I said, nope, not until tomorrow after school, then he went and laid down in his bed with the light on and fell asleep in like 2 minutes. It occurred to me recently that with the PANDAS he may have developed a fear of the dark, but I quickly found out that was not the problem. I have no clue what it is though.
This morning Stuart woke up in a really good mood. He ate breakfast and got ready, but as we were getting ready to walk out the door he got a little upset because he thought he needed to wear two shirts instead of just one. I tried to get him to forget about it, but after about 5 minutes I ended up just letting him put a hooded shirt on over the long sleeve shirt he was wearing, so we could get out the door. He was over it by the time we left, so hopefully today will be like the last few...

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Adderall?

If someone had asked me a year ago if I thought I would end up medicating my child, I would have said hell no, but I guess things change because I did let Stuart's doctor prescribe him some adderall last month and I got it filled. Of course I wasn't really sure if I would actually give it to him because the thought of giving a child a controlled substance has always freaked me out. This past Saturday morning I got desperate to calm him down though, so I went with someones suggestion and gave him some. I gave him 2.5 mg which is like the lowest dosage cut in half. The prescription is for the salts which are short acting and are suppose to have an effect for 4-6 hours. It seemed to help him some for close to 5 hours, then he was back to all the screaming and hitting himself in the head which ended up lasting off and on until a little after midnight. His doctor told me if I decided to try the adderall, I would need to do it for 2 weeks straight to see how it works and work out any side effects, so I decided since it seemed to help during that 4-6 hours the day before I would continue. I gave him the same dosage Sunday morning and he was pretty happy and calm even though he did get a little out of control a few times. About 6 hours later everything got pretty wild though. He became extremely hyper, his skin was flush, his pupils were big, he had a rapid heartbeat, he was breathing heavy, and grinding his teeth all evening and I don't even know how many times I had to restrain him to keep him from hitting himself. It all lasted till some time after 3 am with me falling asleep with one leg and one arm over him.
I called his doctor Monday and told her I didn't plan to give it to him again and she said she really thought I should give it more of a try. She said I should just give it to him around 7 am. I had been giving it around 9 or 10 since that's when we had gotten up over the weekend. She didn't really think the behavior and symptoms were related to the adderall because it should have been out of his system when everything occurred. The past few months I have noticed his pupils have been large which is a sign of pandas and he has a rapid heartbeat when he is upset which is most likely normal in people who are upset. I assume anyway. The heavy breathing and teeth grinding, I have never noticed before though. Stuart is often very hyper, but to me it was different than usual.
Anyway, I did end up giving him the adderall again Tuesday even though I didn't feel right about it. He was pretty much in a perfect mood until after lunch, I guess when the stuff would have worn off, but he had some really rough screaming and hitting moments throughout the evening with the weird rapid heartbeat, heavy breathing, teeth grinding, and such and he did not fall asleep until around midnight. He also woke up in the middle of the night screaming although he did go back to sleep pretty quick. I decided to give the adderall one more try like an idiot and I gave to him again yesterday when we woke up around 7 am and hell no I wont ever being giving Stuart any more. Last night was hell. He had all those same signs I had mentioned before and he was wide awake until after 2 am. I know we all have trouble sleeping sometimes, but midnight to 3 am isn't normal for him even with the recent PANDAS stuff. I know most of the self injurious behavior has to do more with the PANDAS, but all those other symptoms, nope had to have been the adderall. I think that medication stays in his system longer than it is suppose to. I almost took him to the ER last night, but I figured it would be a big waste of time, so I just called the after hours nurse line to ask their opinion and if it was possible he wasn't excreting the medication. I was told usually the only things that would prevent medications from being excreted would be kidney or liver abnormalities. I sure hope he has neither problem. I know long term use of antibiotics can cause problems with both and I guess I will just have to get him tested.
Since Stuart was up late and things were so rough last night, I decided to keep him home from school today. He has been happy and mostly calm besides one meltdown that lasted just a minute after lunch. Of course, I have been giving him his way most of the day and evening. I guess if that helps keep him calm that's what I'll be doing until I can figure out how to fix everything. It's really weird, sometimes when he gets upset I have no clue what caused it, but many times he will be repeating a phrase or sound over and over or he will keep talking about when he can have the 3ds, video camera, computer, galaxy player or whatever which kinda makes me think he may hit himself because he can't quit thinking about certain things or he can't quit worrying that he may not be able to have something when he wants it.
I think I'm gonna have to find a cabin or some place away from everyone and all technology to take him to visit for a little while, so I can attempt to detox? him from all the things he is obsessed with and addicted to. If that's possible. I do know I got to try something. For now I'm at least going to see about buying or making some kind of protective gear to keep him from hurting himself.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Guess I jinxed it.

Things are worse. Maybe it's like I have always heard and things get worse before they get better. If that's true I just wonder how much worse things will get. I'm trying to be strong, but the truth is I'm pretty much a wreck even if it isn't visible on the outside. I kinda think it is though. My family and a few other people I know wanna tell me to just relax and quit stressing over stuff I can't control or they wanna give me advice as if Stuart is just a typical kid without autism and this PANDAS thing or whatever the hell is just some common simple thing that every parent has to deal with. The main things I have heard the past few days were, when he starts freaking out just sit him down and try to reason with him, put him in time out, or just ignore him when he screams and hits himself because he will stop when he sees he isn't getting a reaction out of you. I would have to be really dumb to not have tried those things.
Sit down and reason with him....haha.When it was just the autism I will say I could sit down and talk to him about what he was doing and why he shouldn't do it and he got to where he would agree, sometimes it took positive reinforcements. Sometimes he would do whatever right after we talked, but a good amount of the time he wouldn't. I sure as shit can't do that now. I can't even get him to tell me how he is feeling or what made him do a certain thing. Hell, I can't get him to answer anything I ask him now. He usually just starts pressing on his chin with his knuckles and screaming at me when I try to sit down and talk to him when he's been upset. Well, I take that back sometimes he will do some kind of baby talk which I have no clue what he's saying. It too will turn into screaming though.
Time out... When it was just the autism time out worked really well. He hated it, so I could just threaten him with it and he would usually chill. If I had to put him in time out he would be fine afterwards, but now that doesn't work and I can't even get him in time out without physically carrying him and restraining him until his time is up and it only makes the problems worse and last longer, so I can't do that.
Ignoring him... When it was just autism, if I decided to ignore him because he was whining or screaming or repeating he would do it louder and point his finger close to my face. Once I ignored him repeating the same thing over and over in my face for close to 2 hours. He did get a bit better with the repeating over time, but it has came back strong here and there, especially lately. Since all of the recent stuff started, I tried to ignore him a couple of times and he gave off a scary I'm dying kind of scream and started punching himself in the head after less than a minute, so nope can't do that.
Oh yeah, the dumbest thing I have heard was maybe he just needs that ass whipped. hmm Sounds like a good idea for someone who is having a problem with self injurious behavior...
Anyway, some people are goddamn stupid and I hate when they try to give me advice on how to fix my kid when they have no experience dealing with anything remotely similar or they haven't even read about it. I think many people just think it's all about a spoiled bratty kid or something. I mean Stuart is spoiled in many ways, but that's just hard to avoid allowing it to happen sometimes.
About today or well yesterday now. I picked Stuart up from school early because he had to be restrained 7 times to prevent him from hurting himself which he still managed to do plenty of. When I got to the school his face was pretty red where he had recently been hitting himself and there were a few bruises on his forehead, a small scratch above his left eyebrow, and a pretty big bruise/scratch under his left eye. He looks a lot worse than this pic, I think.
When I got a call from the one of the special ed teachers I wasn't told I needed to come get Stuart or anything, just that she wanted to explain to me what was going on rather than just sending a note home to inform me. I decided it would just be best to pick him up hoping I could get him home and help him calm down. Did he calm down? Heck no. It was such a rough evening and night. I'm certain I sometimes make situations worse by running my mouth. I have always had big mouth and I've always had trouble controlling it, but I really do try to not to complain at him when he's upset. It's so hard... Of course he can just sense when I'm stressed without me saying a word and it makes him act worse too. How can I control how I feel inside though? Maybe I can at least learn to control my body language. I know I could really use some therapy of some kind, but well, no insurance and it appears the county mental health waiting list I'm on is like a year long. My apologies for being crazy 5 or so people I invited to my blog (if you ever look at it ) and those who accidentally land here.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Things are getting better?

Hmm hopefully.. Tuesday and Wednesday were the best days Stuart and I have had in months, seriously. Stuart had one meltdown at school Tuesday, but was great at school otherwise and when I picked him up from school he was calm and happy and it lasted all evening and night. After he had a bath and all, I started reading to him and he fell asleep within 5 minutes. I don't think that has ever happened before.Wednesday morning he woke up in a kind of bad mood though, but he was just whiny, there was no screaming and he didn't hit himself. He had a good day at school and a good evening, but was a little stimmy and whiny before bed. Woke up in a bad mood again today, but had a mostly good day at school and a pretty good evening and night. He did do some whining and a little screaming not long before bath time. He said he had an upset stomach, but after he pooped he was in a good mood again, so it could just be when he's gotten whiny the past few days it's because his stomach feels bad. In the morning I probably don't help by waking him up and making him take the humaworm. I've been just putting it on a spoon and having him wash it down with a glass of water at least 30 minutes before he eats. It is just powder form and it doesn't taste good. He hasn't complained about the taste, but maybe it being the first thing he tastes when he wakes up is a bad idea especially if his stomach doesn't feel well. I think I will try emptying out a capsule from one of the many supplements I have wasted money on and put the humaworm in there. Maybe that will help a little.
So about the humaworm, I can say Stuart has had more than regular bowel movements the past 3 days. He has always had some withholding issues and he has been going two or more times a day. His stool has been loose and just real weird looking. I don't know if what I have seen is just stringy mucus in his stool caused from bacteria or if it's worms. I don't really wanna stare at it or dissect it like some people apparently do posting pictures of their poop sitting on their dinner plates. Yuccckk. I just hope whatever isn't normal comes out of him and he feels better.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Update

I've been trying to get around to an update, but we had a rough last several days which left me a bit drained physically and mentally. So hmm lets see..We had a visit with Stuart's pediatrician Thursday the 14th. She checked him out again and talked about what she thought we should do next. On the outside he looks normal besides the fact that he has went from 65 lbs to 62 over a short time. He's so skinny anyway, so he really doesn't look healthy to me. His doctor is trying to get him in to see someone for behavior therapy which I don't really think will help with what's currently going on. I guess, I am open to trying it though. Also she wants to retest his titers in about a month to see if they have fallen any. She did give me the numbers for all the most recent tests ran. Besides the titers everything was considered normal, although once again several things were on the low or high end of the scale. Like if the iron and thyroid results had been just a few points different they would have been abnormal. Same goes for the immunoglobulins. With the ASO titers anything <150 is considered normal and his were 423 and with the Anti-DNase B titers anything <376 is considered normal and his were 640.
Last Monday the 11th, I started giving him the amoxicillin his doctor prescribed, but by Friday the 15th his behavior had gotten a ton worse, so I said screw it. I started thinking what if the antibiotics play a big role in all of this. They didn't treat his strep obviously and I'm sure they are causing more candida in his gut than he already had. Maybe that's the major thing that weakened his immune system. Ugh I don't know, I did decide what I'm going to do now though. I'm going to try clean him out. I started him on the humaworm Sunday. I would have actually liked to have gotten the humaworm candida and fungi cleanse to try first then treat for parasites, but I'm kinda broke at the moment and I don't want to wait till next month to do something. Anyway, the Humaworm does have ingredients that are candida and fungi killers as well, so hopefully this will work. I haven't seen anything happening yet, so I will type how it goes when I see something.
Stuart's teacher and aide came over yesterday to bring his Valentine's and see how he was doing. Things were a lot better yesterday, so I decided to go ahead and send him back to school today. I figured he needed to at least try going back to have some normalcy in his life. He had missed 6 days straight since yesterday ended up being a snow make up day. His aide texted me a little while ago and it seems to be going well, so hopefully we are over the bad stuff.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

All this stuff.

It appears Stuart's fever has pretty much subsided. He has still had a low grade one, but it hasn't gotten over 100.5 and it's now like 99.7 and that's without fever meds. Behavior has been so rough though. It has been really rough the past few months, but I think it's like tripled over the past few days. Some of his fits have lasted an hour straight, but most of them are about 5-10 minutes long and occur 10-15 minutes after the last one ends which really feels like it's non stop because by the time like my heart rate drops and I'm almost relaxed, it starts again.
I have started feeling like I may not be able to handle it all much longer and I hate that I have thought that. I would never ever think of hurting myself or Stuart, running away, or anything, but I just feel like my built up stress and anxiety could make me partially braindead and land me in a psych ward or some shit. I'm really trying to stay positive though and I'm especially trying to not let him know that anything is getting to me.
Just autism alone has been a real challenge at times, but with autism I came to a realization one day when Stuart was younger. I don't really know what happened, but I was thinking all this why me shit and I realized how fucking selfish I was being for complaining about how hard my life was when Stuart was the one who couldn't even express himself or his needs. Not being able to tell someone how you feel or what you need has to be beyond frustrating. I'm not perfect and it's not like I don't complain or even yell at him sometimes because I do, but realizing that some things are just hard for him and the things that I think are hard for me are really only that way because I make them that way has made me a much more patient and understanding person. I am still trying to keep that same mindset, but ohh the hitting, it's so hard to not let that get to me. For the obvious reason that he could hurt himself, you know. I'm not thinking why me when he does that, I'm thinking why him and what the hell can I do to make it all better, but the screaming on the other hand.... It's a why me sometimes. I mean, I know he has to be doing it because he is in some sort of pain or something else is going on inside him that he can't express, it still doesn't make my head hurt any less though. You know, I haven't had Valium or Xanax in many years, but damn I kinda wish someone would give me some of either so I could have them for certain days. I could really stand to smoke a big fat bowl as well which is something I haven't done on a long while. Mmm hmm.
I am still real close to Jeff's mom, so she has came over twice this week to help give me a mental break which has definitely helped.Writing is kinda therapeutic as well. I'm trying to get around to it more lately even if it comes out jumbled up and shit. ADD ahh..
Oh yeah, Stuart's doctor called today or well yesterday now and both his ASO titers and Anti DNase B titers results came back and both were high, so given that and all the other criteria used to diagnose PANDAS maybe we're at least a step closer to getting somewhere. His doctor went ahead and started him on antibiotics to see if we can bring the titers down. I have read about people being on antibiotics for a year straight and them not coming down, but the national institute of mental health says in many people short term use is effective. Maybe this will be the case with Stuart since his doctor prescribed 10 days. We will see.
When we went to do testing, I had asked for lyme testing as well, but they didn't want to do it. It seems to be another one of those things surrounded by controversy. I got this whole thing about how it isn't common here. That may or may not be true, but I do have family members with it and I'm sure it's more common than they know. I was also told it's hard to diagnose which I do believe, but I know it's still possible. Maybe it taking a little more effort to diagnose than common tests is the reason it's not common here. I have read a good bit about a possible link between autism and lyme over the last several years and I have always been curious and I'm even a bit more curious about lyme since I have read that some children diagnosed with PANDAS were later re-diagnosed with lyme and some were diagnosed with both. All this stuff is mind boggling really.
I haven't mentioned parasites in a while, so yeah, I am totally convinced they play a big role in everything. We have been doing the Para-Safe and as far as I can tell it hasn't done anything unless Stuart being sick was some sort of die off from it, although I really doubt it. I am still planning to start him on the Humaworm, but it looks like we may have to wait a bit later than the 20th since he is now taking antibiotics. Some of the ingredients in Humaworm have antibiotic properties, but the website recommends you not take it along with antibiotics, so just in case we will plan another time. Yawn..I'm exhausted.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Last few days..

As I mentioned in my last post, I picked Stuart up early from school on Friday. After we got home he laid around much of the day and evening. He also didn't eat very much. I gave him ibuprofen, but it wore off quicker than the usual 6-8 hours and his fever rose to 104.5, so I went and got something else. I hate to give him acetaminophen, but there really weren't that many options, so I got some little fevers, I figured it may be just a little better than tylenol, at least. I have tried some homeopathic sprays, tablets, and whatnot in the past and that shit is water and sugar pills from what I can tell. Plus, it's expensive. I know some homeopathic products work, but I really haven't had luck with the few fever reducers I have tried. Anyway, a little while after giving him the little fevers, I put him to bed and within a short time I went in there and he was soaking wet with no fever. I ended up sleeping in the bed with him so I could keep check in case the fever came back, but it didn't.
He went until Saturday afternoon fever free, then it came back and rose quickly. When I first noticed he was warm, I checked and his temp was a little over 100 and not even an hour later it had rose to 103. I gave him more ibuprofen and his temp was back to normal in like an hour. He was in a better mood than he had been, so I thought well, maybe he's getting better. I still kept check on him throughout the night just in case and at 6 am his temp was just a little over 100. I laid back down until about 8 am, then got up to check him and he was burning up. He was at 105.1, so I got him food and stuff ready and we went to Children's in Birmingham. We were there almost 6 hours and all they told me was he had a nonspecific viral infection. I had to act like an ass to get them to swab his freakin throat. He complained a lot about his head hurting when we were there and he even beat himself in the head, but they obviously weren't concerned about it. They just told me to keep giving him ibuprofen like I had been and if his fever rose or he became lethargic to bring him back. He was laying curled up in a ball at the the time. Anyway, fuck Children's ER. We will just go to the ER here or in Huntsville if I feel we need to do that again.
Stuart is doing a little better today fever wise than he was yesterday, but he's still been pretty miserable though. He woke up real congested and he has sneezed like 100 times so far and every time he does it a ton of snot comes pouring out. It's clear, so I guess that's a good thing. It still sucks though. Poor kid.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Blood work

We went to Children's in Birmingham yesterday, so Stuart could have some blood work done. We got a few of the results back today and the rest will be back next week. The ones we got today were ferritin, thyroid, and immunoglobulins. I'm told those were all normal. I don't know what the actual numbers were, but Stuart's doctor is going to send me a copy so I can read over them. I really gotta wonder how accurate any of the testing is though, especially with the immunoglobulins since I was told his immune system is doing what it's suppose to even though he is sick again and had 102.6 temperature when I picked him up from school this morning. I guess that type of testing only determines if there's a good amount of antibodies in your blood and not how well they fight off bacteria and viruses. I don't really know much about it though, at least not yet.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

What a day, week, month, etc..

Everything going on with Stuart lately has not only affected him, but it has me too. Mainly in that I've been so stressed and depressed because I can't fix it, especially when I don't know what the problem is, kind of way, but after visiting his pediatrician yesterday I think we may have some answers. I don't know about treatment yet, but discovery is the first step. So yeah, Stuart's pediatrician thinks he has PANDAS which stands for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infections. The main symptoms are rapid onset of OCD, ADHD symptoms, tics, mood changes, sleep disturbances, separation anxiety/wanting parent to sleep in bed with them, bed wetting or daytime urinary frequency, fine/gross motor changes, sensory issues, and joint pain.
It is caused when antibodies form following streptococcus (or possibly even some other type of infection), but instead of attacking the infection they attack the brain which is said to also cause inflammation in the brain which could explain kids banging their heads or hitting themselves in the head like mine does. Apparently PANDAS also affects the same part of the brain as autism, the basal ganglia and I have read many articles suggesting that over 30% of people with autism have it which could really be much higher since it's not usually something doctors look for. Really it looks like most children diagnosed with PANDAS also have a diagnosis of Autism, ADHD, Asperger’s syndrome, obsessive compulsive disorder, or tic disorder. Strange...
I have seen the acronym PANDAS many times over the last several years and I remember reading about it, but at the time, I obviously didn't think it was very relevant to Stuart, so I guess I forgot.
I always thought streptococcus was just strep throat. I had no idea it caused so many different infections. Group A strep can cause strep throat, scarlet fever, impetigo, toxic shock syndrome, cellulitis, and necrotizing fasciitis and Group B strep can cause blood infections, pneumonia and meningitis in newborns. There are other groups, but they rarely cause human disease and have not been mentioned in correlation to PANDAS.

Anyway, I'm thinking back...when Stuart was less than a year old he had impetigo. Then sometime later he had scarlet fever and most recently there was strep throat, so I'm thinking this could really go back to his first year. Also according to some people, PANDAS may even just be something that happens with some bacterial infections in general, not just streptococcus. Stuart had ear infections most of the time from when he was 6 months to almost 2 years of age.
Hmmm.. I'm kinda thinking something like vaccines can weaken the immune system which causes issues with white blood cells which can make the body a likely place for parasites which make the antibodies attack the brain leading to this condition or maybe it's all about parasites from the beginning. Of course, I don't really know shit yet since I've only been researching this since last night, so I don't have enough information to form a complete opinion about the subject.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Herbs

So I bought two different products to start treating those parasites Stuart most likely has. The product I wanted to get (Humaworm) is only available online from the company's website because it's supposedly made the day it's shipped so you get it fresh. It is in powder form and is made with all organic herbs which it has 25 of. They are black walnut, wormwood, cloves, thyme, garlic, fennel, cayenne, ginger, gentian, hyssop, milk thistle, marshmallow root, pau de' arco, berdock, elecampane, fenugreek, licorice, barberry, cascara sagrada, senna, sage, psyllium, yellow dock, cramp bark and peppermint. I have read a ton of reviews, some of which have kind of freaked me out, but from what I have read from most of the reviews the stuff starts working very noticeably in 2-3 days. I'm not expecting to receive it for a week or more since I just ordered a few nights ago, so I decided to go ahead and start doing something else in the meantime. I got a product called Para-Safe by Europharma which I'm not really expecting to do very much, although I could be wrong. I know it wont hurt and it will probably help digestion anyway. It is in softgel form and contains 5 essential oils and that's all. They are cinnamon, coriander, clove, oregano, and savory. There's only two stores in my area that sell natural foods and supplements and that looked like the best product. I couldn't find many reviews on it, but the few I did were good. We started on it yesterday, so I'm expecting if anything does start happening it will be tomorrow or Monday.
I have read that it is best to treat for parasites around the the full moon because that's when they're at their most active, so just in case I figure we will start the Humaworm around then, probably on the 20th.
Stuart is at Jeff's tonight even though I wanted to keep him home all weekend so I could monitor any changes that could possibly occur. Jeff really wanted him to come over though and he said he could handle it. Jeff also said he would log anything that happens for me when I brought Stuart to meet him today, so I'm just gonna go with what he said and take my mind away from it all by going to a show and getting drunk.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Forgot to add.

Stuart screamed and hit himself repeatedly in speech at school yesterday which caused him to have these tiny purple dots all over the sides of his face and on his head around his ears called petechiae. This whole parasite thing has me thinking about it because I read parasites can cause petechiae, although it is most commonly caused by hard coughing, crying, or vomiting which I'm sure he was crying. It is also a sign of low platelet which can also be caused by parasites. His platelets showed normal, but blood counts do change daily. I'm gonna be so obsessed with all this shit until I have answers.

Parasites?

When Stuart had his most recent allergy testing done they also did blood count testing and I now have some paper results. Everything was in what is considered the normal range, although many of them were on the low end of the normal range besides his eosinophil levels which were high. When I was asked what that meant, I was told it there was a chance it could mean parasites, so I may want to check into it further just to be sure, so I have been reading a lot today and damn not only can many of the things going on with Stuart lately be symptoms of parasites, but so many things about Stuart in general can be, even the autism part. I remember reading a little about how parasites could be the cause of autism back when Stuart was diagnosed, but I've read so many theories and I can only get into one at a time.
Anyway, Stuart's doctor is suppose to call me tomorrow with an appointment to get some further blood work done as well as parasite testing. I'm not expecting to get much out of the testing since only around 50 parasites are tested for out of millions, so I'm just gonna start him on a herbal treatment which I will go ahead and do for myself as well. Chances are if he has them, I do too. Maybe it would be good for me to start him on something before testing anyway because it could get things moving through his system and if there are parasites they would be more likely to show up in tests since the tests probably call for stool samples.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Under the weather and more..

Hey, it's been a while, but I've got some insomnia going on, so I thought I would discuss what I've been thinking about..
Stuart has been having a lot of health and behavior issues for a while. It all started after his second full week of school this past August. I took him to see his pediatrician the third Monday of school because he was complaining about his ears, he was sneezing a lot, and he had a lot of nasal congestion with drainage. They said he had a common cold and probably some seasonal allergies and his ears weren't infected although they were a little red. After a few days he had quit complaining about his ears, but he was still all sniffling and snotty which continued.
A few weeks later he started slapping his ears, complaining his head hurt and he also started coughing. I had been keeping an eye on his throat and ears, but his throat wasn't really red and his ears looked ok, so I just tried a few home remedies for allergies and sinus problems. A couple of days later his cough got worse though and I noticed a white bump in his throat, so I went ahead I took him to see an ENT in the area thinking they could easily diagnose him and it would save me from making a trip to Birmingham to see his pediatrician. I told the ENT I suspected it was either tonsillitis or strep. Of course, he didn't have a fever and often both conditions are accompanied by a fever. Plus, he was coughing. I know when I had strep I didn't cough. Anyway, the ENT said it was all just allergies and that I could just give him claritin or he could write up a script for something. I decided to go with claritin since I hate meds and it seems milder with less side effects than some of that prescription shit. I gave him the stuff for several days and it didn't do a thing. In fact, he got worse, so we ended up going to see his pediatrician and he had goddamn strep throat. I was so pissed that I wasted time with ENT Associates of Alabama (Dr. Morgan) who is suppose to be a fucking expert with the ear, nose, and throat shit when I could have had the poor kid feeling better several days earlier by taking him to see his own doctor. Anyway, he took the normal run of antibiotics and he got better. Well, besides the nasal congestion and drainage. I mean that got better some, but not completely.
Stuart was diagnosed with chronic rhinitis a few years back, but really he has never had a problem that lasted more than a few days at a time until this past August. We did move in July, so I have a lot of concerns there. Is there hidden mold? Were the old occupants cooking meth in here? Was there somehow animal hair or dander hair left behind? Who the hell knows? The weather has been so fucked here too and there's a field of ragweed beside our complex, but apparently he isn't allergic to ragweed according to recent testing. Not knowing is kinda driving me mad. Ah so anyway allergy testing yeah. Right after Stuart got over strep and was still having the congestion and all we did some allergy testing. We only did blood testing and it determined his only allergies are cats, dogs, and horses. I already knew about the dogs and cats. I'm allergic as well, so we've never had either and as far as horses we have done some therapeutic horseback riding in the past, but he never seemed to have an issue when we did it. The other stuff being clear I find crazy considering prior testing. He apparently doesn't even show signs of celiac which his levels were a little elevated in 2006. The doctor told me because he has been gluten free for so long it really is possible he could have recovered. I did reintroduce gluten a few times over a few weeks a few years ago and didn't see a problem, but who knows. I do know he has problems with food though. If not gluten there's still other things. Maybe they are just intolerances, but somethings wrong when a kid eats something and vomits or scratches their skin all up a few minutes later or has diarrhea or constipation when they eat  certain things or they end up with an ear infection a few days after they got a hold of something they never eat that caused the same reaction in the past. I hope I can get answers. I am working on eliminating one food out of his diet for a least two weeks at a time to see what happens and we have another appointment at the allergy doctor next month for skin prick testing and some other auto immune tests that weren't done last time. We actually had an appointment last week, but Stuart was in full meltdown mode, so we ended up leaving and I rescheduled for next month. This is his 6th year in school including 2 years of preschool and up until this year I don't think he has ever missed more than 2 days because he didn't feel well. This year he has missed several, I'm thinking almost 2 weeks total. I know some kids miss that much time, but he never has and I find it to be messed up.

Behavior..
Stuart has always had some behavior issues, but he used to act happy most of the time even if he didn't feel well. Most of his meltdowns would only last a short time, but now they go on and on and he is so dramatic at the time. He is obsessed with watching himself scream and whine in front of the mirror, so I have had to cover up the mirrors in our house. He also likes to record himself doing the same so he can replay it, so I have had to limit his time with all the gadgets he has that record video. He can be completely calm one second then out of nowhere he screams, whines, hits himself, and repeats over and over.
He started hitting himself in kindergarten, but it wasn't like it is now. Back when he started he would kind of tap each side of his head maybe like he was playing bongos lightly or something. I really think it started out as a sensory thing, but the hitting has gotten harder over time and turned into knuckles instead of palms. He really got to his worst with hitting himself this past December when he had two new molars break in and he started hitting himself in the jaws and cheeks too. I ended up taking him to the dentist when he lost the first one and again after the second one to see if everything was ok with his teeth. The dentist said everything looked good and Stuart would probably be having 10 more teeth making their way through soon since all of his previous teeth have came early and the timing was close together. He said that because Stuart has sensory issues it's very likely he can feel those teeth shifting around in his mouth more than most people do. That makes a lot of sense. What the hell can you do for sensory sensitivity issues like that though? Hell what do you do for any sensory issues? We do all kinds of sensory activities and have for years and I don't most of it helps. Well, maybe some of the heavy work does, but only for a short time. We continue to do a lot of it because he enjoys it. So back to the hitting.. he hasn't been hitting himself in the mouth as much the past few weeks, so I'm thinking his teeth have maybe settled for a minute. He has still been hitting himself in the head though and I'm so afraid he is going to hurt himself. He has left bruises on his chin and cheeks a few times over the past few months, so it's definitely possible.
More behavior..
Stuart has always repeated things. When he was little he would say a phrase over and over then he would want me to join in the repeating of the phrase. He quit caring if I did that, but he usually wants me to respond and if he doesn't like my response he will keep repeating hoping to change it. He has scripted tv shows, movies, and commercials for a really long time, but lately he some of his repeating hasn't even been full sentences like today he went on at least 100 times in a row "where is the" (kinda reminded me of the people in that movie Pontypool) after that point he got upset and started hitting himself.
Another thing, Stuart has always been pretty OCD which often seems to go along with autism, but the past few months it has gotten to a point where he is concerned about where every object in our home is placed and if it's not where he thinks it should be he freaks out before even looking for it. Example.. to him the tv remote belongs on the middle of the coffee table, not on the tv stand, sofa, end table, or even on a book on the edge of the coffee table. He gets mad when I wear certain colors. I have worn mostly black since I was a teenager, but every now and then I do like to wear some color which he has a fit over. You get the idea..
Sleep.. Things have been good the last 4 days, but I still want to mention this. We have always had a bedtime routine and Stuart has always followed it with no complaints. He has usually fell asleep within 5-10 minutes of being in bed and he has always stayed asleep well too. I mean there have been a few times he has woke in the middle of the night over the years. It couldn't have been more than 5 times ever though. So the past few months we started having issues. First he would be in bed and I would hear him humming and making noises for a while then sometimes an hour later he would walk into the livingroom to make sure something was sitting in a certain place or he would think of some stuffed animal he wanted and he would scream to me about it, but then it turned into him screaming a couple of minutes after I put him to bed not about wanting something, it was more like he sounded as if he were in pain or something. I would go in there to see what was wrong and he would say, Mom will lay down with me. He had never asked me to lay down with him until a few months ago. I tried asking him questions to figure out why, but never did and I did lay down with him for a while which did help him go to sleep pretty quick, but I started falling asleep too, so I decided I couldn't do that anymore. Plus, I didn't want him to start depending on me to lay down with him when he's 8 years old and has always slept in the bed by himself.  Well, there are so many other behaviors I could go into, but I wont at least not right now.

I have been trying to find a psychologist  or someone else who does behavior therapy that accepts his insurance and has experience with autism, but I have had shit for luck with that. We used to see Roger Plamondon sometimes, but he is now working with adults, so that doesn't look like an option. Stuart's pediatrician sent a referral to Children's for him to see a psychiatrist who is real knowledgeable about autism, but they started working for a private practice and the only other I know of isn't taking new patients. Services suck here. I'm doing what I can though and trying to stay positive. It's real hard sometimes. Life could always be worse though. 
 G'night.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Cullman County Fair

I took Stuart to a fair for the first time the other day. I have taken him to carnivals, fall festivals, and such several times in the past, but I never attempted a fair because it would have required me pay to get in and he would never wait in line to look at anything, play anything, or get on a ride and if there wasn't a line for some sort of ride I couldn't get him to get on it.
Lately he has been very patient as far as waiting in line goes and he has been talking about how he wants to ride roller coasters, so I decided to give the fair a try and he was such a good boy.
When we got there it crossed my mind to buy wrist bands since those allow you to ride unlimited rides, but I wasn't sure if he would actually ride anything and I thought, I don't want to waste money, so stupid me just bought 18 tickets for $25. When I bought those tickets, I didn't realize that the good rides cost 3 or 4 tickets a person. The first two rides (tilt-a-whirl and matterhorn, I think) were 4 tickets each, so with both of us riding it only left us with 2 tickets. I had only brought like $60 with me and I didn't have enough to buy the wrist bands after spending that $25, so I just ended up buying some more tickets. We got to ride 6 rides before I was broke. I wish I had just spent $44 for two wrist bands. I will definitely do that next time, so lesson learned. At least, he had fun while we were there though. I did too. In fact, it was one of the very few times we have went to do something and when it was time to go I actually wasn't ready to go.






Friday, September 7, 2012

expectations = disappointment

I usually don't depend on most things to work out because anything can happen any time and nothing is guaranteed, but there are a few things I have never thought that way about and well I have pretty much fucked myself because of it.
I have been attending Wallace State Community College in Hanceville, AL off and on for a while and every semester I have been going there, I have ALWAYS gotten my school money on the scheduled disbursement date, but this time it did not happen. Wallace decided to start using a new system this semester and they obviously didn't test the shit out first to make sure everything was going to work correctly. Financial aid and/or loans weren't showing up for the majority of students when classes started and several students financial aid and loans still haven't shown up almost a month later, so their classes were dropped because they couldn't get them paid for. Luckily my classes did get paid for a few days after the semester started, but when I went to get my check on August 29 it was not there. I stood in line several hours to be told the system hadn't authorized payment for some reason and that I needed to come back on the 31st to get my check. I went to the school then and was told something else had came up and it wouldn't be ready until Tuesday. I didn't want to go back up there Tuesday unless I knew I was getting it for sure, so I called over and over until I finally got through to a person and she told me that they were having all sorts of system issues and they hadn't been able to print any checks and that they didn't know how long it would be before everything was fixed. They also said that they would not be allowing students to come pick up their checks once they're ready that they would be mailed a day or two after they print. They say just keep checking the website to see if something shows under refund general. Still nothing today and well, they have closed for the week and because I counted on the school money and spent the other money I had, my rent, car payment, and insurance is now late. I can say that I have definitely learned not to expect shit even if it is something that has always worked out in the past. Of course, that doesn't do a thing for me now.

Gifted

Last year Stuart and the other 120 or so second graders that attended school with him were tested for the gifted program. I received a letter the first week of school telling me that Stuart qualified and it asked me to check yes or no if I wanted him to be a part of it and I said yes.
Stuart gets so bored and sometimes irritated with all the repetitive math, spelling, reading, etc school work he has to do because he usually memorizes stuff the first time he sees it. In second grade he was sent home with math sheets almost every day that had 25-50 addition, subtraction, or multiplication problems that were pretty much the same problems over and over and I had to give him some sort of prize every day to get him to complete them.
I'm thinking the gifted program will be good because maybe it will challenge him and maybe when he learns something in there and starts losing interest he can move on to something new. Surely they wouldn't want a kid to get bored in the gifted program. Last year at his IEP I asked if there was a way we could modify the lesson plan for him so he could move on to the next area of curriculum once he gets whatever they are doing down perfect because once he knows something it's all like doing 1+1=2 over and over and he never forgets. They said no, of course.
Anyhoo, I went to a meeting today for all of the parents to discuss how it's going to work. There were 12 children chosen from Stuart's grade, but only one other parent showed up besides myself. The lady talked to us about the GEP which is pretty similar to an IEP. Also she talked about when she would be pulling them out of class and what they were going to start with next week. It's only 2 hours 1 day a week, but I guess much more time for a younger kid might make it hard for them keep up the other stuff, so that makes sense. The boy loves learning, so hopefully this will be cool.

Monday, August 27, 2012

3rd grade.

Usually the first week of school is really hard for Stuart, but the first week of 3rd grade was wonderful. It may have had something to do with me buying him a 3DS and telling him if he had a good week he could have it Friday after school, but I really think he just felt comfortable right away.
When Stuart was in preschool he was in a half and half kind of class, but since then he has always been in a regular classroom with an aide to help him with transitions, sensory breaks, and anything else he has needed. Last year his school decided to start him off with 3 to 4 different aides working with him throughout the day. After a month he was not adjusting to the change and I don't think he would have, so I ended up telling the school that they were going to have to find just one person to work with him throughout the day. They agreed and picked someone. Things were a lot better after that. They did end up changing his aide a couple of times during the year, but I felt comfortable with everyone that worked with him and so did he. However, I thought the aide that worked with him the last 3 or so months of school did an exceptional job, so I asked if they could assign her to work with him again this year and they said yes. Stuart has had some pretty great people working with him since we moved to Cullman, but the aide he has now is just awesome and she communicates with me daily by text.
I haven't gotten to know his teacher well yet, but she's really nice and seems to be very organized so far. Stuart said he really likes her. Since we don't do wheat, dairy, and some other things I always ask that his teacher let me know ahead of time when they are having a special snack, so I can send the same type of snack with alternative ingredients. His teacher emailed me the other day to tell me they were having cupcakes for someone's birthday on Monday, so I'm up making cupcakes at 2 something in the morning. I'm so last minute sometimes especially when things such as this come on a Monday after I've had a kid free weekend. Ahh anyway, things are going well and hopefully they will continue.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Back in November..

Someone hit my parked car in the middle of the night doing over $2000 worth of damage to it. The driver left behind one of the side marker lights from their car, so I took it to a chevy dealership and was able to find out that a 2010-2012 chevy camaro hit me. There were less than a dozen registered in the county of the same color of the car that hit me, but the detective working the case didn't really care about finding who did it. She said that she wasn't going to drive to different parts of the county outside the city just to see if those cars had any damage. She told me she would instead call the people that had phone numbers listed in their car registration to ask if it was them. I said, "they hit my car and drove off. You don't really think they are going to say, yes, it was me, do you?" I told her if she gave me the names of the cities and streets I would go drive around and look, but she said she couldn't do that. I never really heard anything else from the detective besides sorry I couldn't find anything on my voicemail.
I did use my insurance to get my car fixed though and I figured I would never find out who hit my car, but then, something awesome happened.. A lady visiting my neighbor saw my car in the parking lot and recognized it from a description a girl at a party gave her about a car that she hit when she was out drunk one night, so she came and told me about it and gave me the girls name. I'm told my car isn't hard to miss since it's like a soccer mom car covered in stickers.
Yeah, so I looked the girl up on facebook and started looking through her pictures. She actually had pictures of her damaged car and the pictures look consistent with the damage to my car. There was even one picture of the back of her car with the tag number visible. I wanted to message her, but I just decided I would let my insurance company handle it. I gave them everything I saw on her page that might be helpful like her name, tag number, place of employment, and school. I saved the pictures of her car too just in case they need those. They told me they would run her tag and send her a letter letting her know they have reason to believe that she was involved in a hit and run with one of their policy holders and that she would have a certain amount of time to respond or her license would be suspended. I imagine they use certified mail to prove she actually gets the letter because the agent told me if she didn't respond they could also begin the process to garnish her wages. Anyway, that's frickin awesome. I guess I will see what happens soon. I know it would be great to get money for the deductible I didn't actually have to pay back when I got my car fixed.