Monday, July 30, 2012

Marking Time---#NaPoBloMo

I suppose the usual way to keep track of the day is by the clock.

Here in this house, life operates around medicine doses. I wonder if people understand that about autism? If autism is defined as a delay in speech development and social skills, why all the medicine?

Oh, you know, just a few conditions that co-exist with autism, conditions such as ADHD, Tourette's Syndrome, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, anxiety, depression, seizure disorder, epilepsy and gastrointestinal issues. You know, just a thing or two more.

I don't know one child with "just" autism, with "just" a social delay and/or speech delay and no sensory issues or anxiety or stomach problems. I'm sure there is some such person out there, and, for that I am thankful.

That didn't happen in this house. We have more issues than I can readily bring to mind.

In the early days after our first son's autism diagnosis, I treated his health issues with nothing but natural supplements and homeopathic medicine. We enlisted the help of a nurse who specialized in homeopathy, which was a huge step for my husband and me.

We're traditional people, after all. If it weren't for our kids, I'm not sure we would have learned to think much outside of the box.

Autism is all about thinking outside of the box.

Back in those days, there was nobody in our area who practiced homeopathy, which is what I had decided our son needed to ease his pain and distress. In no time, I found myself having regular phone consultations with this nurse. She lived near an Indian reservation somewhere out West. I can't remember where.

Our sessions started with the two of us picturing a white light around our older son. A light of healing. With a country stretched between us, we sat on the phone in silent visualization.

Hey, I was game. If that white light sucked that kid's autism and health issues right out of him, so be it! I closed my eyes and concentrated, which was often difficult to do with the chaos of in-home therapy happening around me.

White light. White light. Where the bleep was that white light?

She'd send remedies to me to try on him, things to correct unrest in his body and spirit. Game on. I was in. I used them for him. I used them for our younger son. I used them for myself. (Husband was agreeable but abstained. lol.)

For longer than a year, I kept up the effort, but doubts eventually surfaced. If he had a sore throat, was it burning or aching? Was the pain more on the right side or the left? The answers determined the kind of remedy given. Well, heck, our son was nonverbal. I had no idea.

A good deal of the remedies were little pellets usually based in a lactose sugar. But, our son is casein intolerant, I pointed out. Don't worry, I was told. There isn't enough milk in there to bother him.

So, why did the remedies give him diarrhea? Where was that white light when I needed it?

I'm all for natural healing, and I'll be the first to say that I didn't stick with homeopathy as I was told I should. Go ahead and call me a quitter, because one day, I gave up on the life of rain sticks, remedies and that blasted white light, and I ran screaming toward western medicine with my equally screaming grade schooler.

I ran from the approach to natural medicine that I was taking in search of answers for our child. That search took us to hospitals, out-of-state specialists, gastric procedures and medicine. Medicine. Lots and lots of medicine.

Six years later, we've learned so much, most notably that he had so many gastric issues that he did not know what it was like to live life without pain.

Without the help of medication, we couldn't begin to heal some of his problems and manage the pain...which caused his anxiety...that led to his depression...that was standing in the way of his learning.

Healing had to start somewhere, and we knew it was going to be a long road.

Today, our older son takes roughly twenty doses of medications a day. Some can be combined with others, which helps. Many are timed away from food and each other. I get out of bed thinking of when to start the first dose, which must then be times from the second dose which is then timed away from his breakfast. The day progresses in a similar fashion from there.

My husband I have have reduced our pleasantries to one another to what doses have or have not been given. We plug dosing schedules into our telephones or place notes in the car. Every outing requires a traveling pharmacy, which we've set up in a back pack complete with soft coolers, dose cups, syringes and the appropriate medications.

It's a way of life.

Do I think that we are any better than when we were fully immersed into natural medicine? I will concede that the same lack of balance is present, and I hope that a life of medication is not in our son's future.

However, for the most part he is out of pain. He is happy, and he is learning. For now, I will take that.

NoBloPoMo July 2012 Challenge. You only have one more day left of this, friends.


  1. Amy, I'm so happy you and R have found a solution, or combination of solutions, that works for T. I remember those early days of food and supplement packages arriving at your house. Happpy that you have a happy boy!

    1. We had all kinds of things coming in the mail during those days, didn't we? Autism was/is an enigma. We were all struggling to figure out the cause and treatment.

      That said, we do still order some natural foods and supplements for him. So thankful that he is finally happy! Hope it lasts!

  2. i understand--my children were on numerous meds--it was just how it had to be <3

    1. Yes. It is just how it has to be. Well said.I remember doctors suggesting meds to me in the early years. The suggestion made me bristle. The idea was that our children have compromised systems that need to be built back up by vitamins and supplements....not patched or stripped by meds. In reality, we needed the meds to treat conditions vitamins could not touch.

  3. Meds can be a wonderful thing and also a total pain. Like you didn't know that! HA I am glad things are settling somewhat on the gastric upset path and that Mr. T is finding some peace. All good things start with feeling good, I would think.