Autism Watch: 2007

Posts Tagged ‘flu

Swine flu. It kicks your butt, and that of your entire family. No more than any other flu, and certainly not worth the vaccine, but nonetheless, it not only kicks your butt but it kicks it to the curb four houses down, into the gutter, through the sewer and out into the ocean 67 miles away. Four weeks later and I am still sporting a mild cough.

So there you have reason number one that I’ve not been blogging. My eyes were spinning at the end of the day, as I still worked during my bout (except for one day where even blinking and breathing was painful), and I was caring for Barnacle Boy, who scared us for a couple of days when the fever continued to hover around 103. Both the girls ended up with it, then the husband. Other son ended up with some cough and congestion last week, but that’s as far as it’s gotten. He’s oh so lucky.

I love Christmas. Why do I say that, you wonder? Because I love it more than Halloween..yet Halloween turns out to be this huge busy deal and before you know it, October’s gone and I’m wondering how to spend Veteran’s day with the kids who are out of school, yet I’m not because I have the Monday before off. Halloween this year consisted of two major parties, a few smaller events, and then the Trick or Treat Fest of the year at our house. We have this ginormous maze constructed in the front yard, from the curb I’d previously been kicked to through the yard, the driveway and out the side of the yard to the other street, complete with roaming monsters of the Freddie Krueger and zombie-type, scary movie music, and screaming … adults. A lot of the kids collected candy at the end of the driveway and backed away hoping Freddie didn’t see them.

Yet, I am <quietly> glad Halloween is over. I’m still tired. We went off-roading the weekend before Halloween and had, let’s just say, a little accident. Wear your seatbelts no matter how slow you are going, even if you are driving over a rut in a driveway. (No, that’s not what happened, I am just making a point. Heed my point, really.) Rollbars make nasty, ugly, sore and painful indentations on your eyeballs, eyelids, cheekbones, foreheads and noses. Trust me on this. Once you get the blood out of your clothes (and the off-road vehicle’s seats), you will not want it there again. I’m still sporting a crescent under the eye and eyeshadow is one of those things I have to really, really consider before I apply.

This past weekend was another huge Halloween party, this time adults only. (Unless you count the 20-somethings…my two oldest kids and their friends…who crashed it around 11:30pm just to see why Mom and Dad looked forward to the party all year.) Good thing my costume came with sunglasses to cover most of the bruise. I was Trinity, and husband was Neo. We were simply awesome.

So, how is Barnacle Boy doing after all this? Well, a few days before Halloween, he had to have an emergency baby root canal. (This was the, hmmm, 4th, I think?) He was not happy. Dh met me at the dentist and said he did great in the procedure. I drove him home, with him being the quietest (and creepiest) I’ve ever seen him while awake. He went to school the next day and recuperated impressively fast. Then the week got more and more chaotic during pumpkin hunting, then carving, cookie decorating and guests. Come Monday night, he was DONE. We got through the evening of clean-up and declared yesterday and today guest-free days. The cell phones were turned down and tv choices were BB’s. I even made a mad rush to Target to get Stratego, the game he had to have after playing it the last night of his two-year program he completed last week. (WAY TO GO, DUDE.) He came home from school, opened it, and declared it THE WRONG STRATEGO. (There really is one Stratego though. I know this because I researched it.) Pieces went flying, mad words were said (by him…not me…I stood there in amazement thinking “Don’t ruin The Wrong Stratego, I can return it!”) and an hour later, he was calmly eating an Oreo as we prepared to leave for his parent-teacher conference, where we proudly learned he’s academically more than a grade ahead but in need of more help for social skills, classroom participation and appropriate conversation. Always something, right?

That’s pretty much a uber-fast version of the last month and I know I’ve left things out, but I guess I need something else to blog about on a slow day in the future, yes? I know it will happen, and the fact I’ve admitted that is step 1 in my Blogger Improvement program. Admitting you have a problem is key. I admit it. My name is Dee and I am not the best blogger lately.

But that will change. With autism, there’s always something to whine about, complain about, or just sigh about. And with an awesome beautiful kid, there’s always things to brag about, be proud of, and happily share. I just need to find the time.

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Tomorrow’s Barnacle Boy’s MRI appointment. We’ve done the social story, we’ve talked about how he’ll be at school late, and we’ve burned the CD for him to listen to during. I think we’re set, except for the one thing I can’t plan for or prevent: a meltdown.

The last couple of weeks, bb’s been having a lot of ‘short fuse’ moments. Out of nowhere, he blows up, usually over pretty small things. No clue when it’s going to happen, it just does. In addition to the verbal assault, his weapon of choice is a swift sharp kick to the shin. Ouch.

I have no idea what’s causing it. Meds not strong enough since he’s had a weight gain? Aggressive phase? Not feeling well?

Right now, I’m leaning towards not feeling well, though we have no real idea as to why he doesn’t feel well. He’s getting the headaches still, but they’re not 24/7. Residual feeling from headaches?

I picked him up early from school (again) yesterday. Fever of 101.7, though my thermometer here at home showed 98.7.  Looks like I may need to consider a new thermometer while we’re at it. He went to the nurse a few times again today, no fever but not feeling well. He’s going to take a pain reliever and see if he can make it the rest of the day. The message we’re trying to send is that coming home from school is only for when you really don’t feel good. None of us think he’s faking, at this point; you can see his eyes seem not quite right, and we can tell he’s not feeling well when he says he has a headache, but he also is not the best at communicating his physical feelings.

So what now? We’ve tried to get him to explain his feelings to us, but we get a lot of “I just want to be left alone.” We can’t read his mind, and that apparently irks him. (It irks me, too, but I can’t let him know.) He says he feels his friends are ignoring him. He says that we don’t let him do the things he wants to do. He says a lot of things, but where are we, really?

I’ll be glad when tomorrow’s MRI is over. The doctor can then read the results of everything (bloodwork, too) and see if there’s any physical reason. Then we’re looking at how to treat the headaches/migraines.

Meanwhile, I wore my Green Our Vaccines t-shirt yesterday. What better opportunity than St. Patrick’s day, for a non-green/non-Irish person? I’m still reading, with interest, the back-and-forth between everyone on vaccines, and I still believe that we need to re-do our vaccine schedule along with removing the garbage in them. Did you know they pulled mercury from dog vaccines because it’s a neurotoxin? Apparently dogs are more important than kids, pregnant people, and the elderly who are supposed to get the flu shot. Who knew.

I’ll update after the MRI. I’m coming back to work right after, so it won’t be an immediate update…I’ve been so bad at updating anything lately, this is nothing different. We are going camping this weekend, and bb’s really looking forward to it. Being outdoors seems to really help him, though there’s always arguments because he feels other kids leave him out. What’s new.

I’ve got some strong feelings on vaccines — I’m one of “those” people, you know, the people who don’t want anti-freeze components, formaldehyde (yes, the stuff used to preserve dead bodies) and thimerasol (a form of mercury, known to cause mercury poisoning symptoms) injected into my body or my children’s bodies. I also feel that, hold onto your seats, we parents know our children best, and — still sitting down? — should have the right to determine what our children are exposed to, taught, administered, fed, etc. Silly me, I know, I live in a ‘free’ society, yet I expect that freedom to extend to my parental rights when the government insists that it knows better about vaccines. For now, I still have the freedom to say yes or no to vaccines, so I use that right. I also educate myself about all vaccines, not just the ‘mandatory’ (not) school vaccines, but those that continue to crop in and make big money for pharmaceutical companies. The HPV vaccine won’t come near my girls (unless they decide when they’re adults that they want it, and so far, my 19 year old daughter has read enough of the fine print to know that possible death or severe illness is less preferable than being smart with her body) and no one in my house has gotten the flu vaccine in years.

Interesting thing about the flu shot that many people don’t know is that it only protects against the strain(s) of flu that the manufacturer thinks will be the strain(s) to worry about that season. Check out this article (2007-2008 Flu Vaccine a Failure, Worst Flu Season in 4 Years, WiredPRNews.com) for some details on what an awesome (cough) job this most recent flu vaccine did. Was it really worth the dose of thimerasol that came along with it?

While thimerasol may have been taken out of regular childhood vaccines, there’s a common misconception that children stopped getting vaccines containing thimerasol back in 2000 or so, when in reality, manufacturers stopped putting it into newly manufactured vaccines, but the vaccines that had thimerasol were still used until they expired. In some cases, they were used years later. So if you think your child wasn’t exposed, you still might want to review their records. Lot numbers on vaccines are tracked, and you can research to find out exactly how much mercury your child was exposed to. It’s rather scary, and honestly, I have yet to research it on either my autistic son  born in 2000 or my epileptic (but no brain damage/injury — in other words, no reason found) daughter born in 1995. I already know I should have said no to vaccines. Maybe one day I’ll do the math.

However, let me be clear. I am not anti-vaccine. I am pro-vaccine. However, I am pro-SAFE-vaccine. The unnecessary garbage in the current vaccines needs to be removed before they are safe though. Sure, it might cost a little more to manufacture safe vaccines, but aren’t our kids worth it? Current vaccine schedules expose our children to something like 36 vaccines in the first three or so years.

I believe autism is caused by a child being genetically pre-disposed to autism, and when they are exposed to some toxin, they then have autism. (This would be why not all children who get vaccinated get autism, a common question I get.) Obviously, I’ve simplified that but you get my drift. For some kids, this could show from birth onwards. I know people who feel that their child’s autism wasn’t caused by any toxin or environmental issue because they were ‘different’ from birth. (And I’m there with you, my son was different from birth.) However, a lot of those people forget that their child is given a bunch of shots there in the hospital, and within days of birth, then weeks, and then months. In our case, my son was easily irritated, wanted to be tightly wrapped, stared at ceiling fans, didn’t look at us much, and flailed at startling sounds from birth, but at around 18 mths or so, things worsened. Does that mean the autism ‘began’ at 18 mths, or just that his developmental delays started to become more evident? Hard to say, but I fully believe that had I not given him the vaccinations that I did (and we didn’t even do them all) that he wouldn’t be in the same situation he is today. Who knows, maybe some other toxin or medicine or whatnot would have contributed towards autism, but we’ll never know, and therefore I can’t rule out the vaccines.

I run into more and more people questioning vaccines. I respect those who don’t agree, but that doesn’t mean that vaccines can’t be improved upon to make everyone happy. The weird thing is that most of the people I know who believe vaccines are innocent don’t have a child on the spectrum. Hmmmmmm.

And for people that think that an unvaccinated child could endanger their life or that of their child’s? If your or your child’s vaccines work, an unvaccinated person poses no threat. Another hmmmmmm.

With 1 in 150 children being diagnosed with some form of autism, people need to realize this is an epidemic, and there’s no such thing as a genetic epidemic. Something out there is causing it, and we need to figure out what it is. It’s Autism Awareness Month. Wherever you are on the topic of vaccines and autism, public awareness is key to getting the funding out there for the so-needed education and advocacy. My mantra? “Educate, advocate, and love.”

 

 


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