Gryffin's Tail has moved!

Gryffin's Tail has a new home. It got too hard to mirror to this site. I don't maintain this site anymore.

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To all my email followers, I've transferred the Feedburner address to the new site so you should start receiving emails again. I didn't know this page stopped mirroring until a day or so ago. I'm sorry you've missed out for the last few months but the good news is that I don't post much so it'll be easy to catch up!



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Friday, April 15, 2011

Some personal thoughts on ADHD and stimulant meds

I've been doing things all these years to try to alleviate the ADHD with little success. Things are only marginally better with biomed. I haven't tried everything - I'm calling my doc to see if we can try hydergine (he's already on 2 other non-Rx nootropics but I've read that hydergine in combo with other nootropics is like night and day). I've been doing biomed for over 4 years and haven't made any headway with it so I've decided that if I can't take care of it without stimulants then I will try them when he gets to the grade where grades matter which is, I think the 4th grade. I have a couple years still to work on it.

In many ways, I feel like autism masked his ADHD.  As he recovered from autism, his ADHD just got worse. Like we had been able to blame the autism for so much until the autism wasn't there to blame anymore.

I admit to sometimes wondering if I'm just doing him a disservice by continuing to wait. If you know anything about ADHD, language issues are quite common and his pragmatics just aren't great - something I used to attribute to autism until I learned how prevalent it is in ADHD and realized that is the last of his autism I needed to get out that is just a toughy. Getting him to speak was easy.  Getting him to speak and comprehend at least somewhat close to typical, totally different...  I often wonder if these would solve his problem and he wouldn't have to play catch up so hard.

Speaking to others with ADHD and having them tell me that the first time they started their ADHD med they finally felt normal really makes an impact. Hearing them tell me how the world finally righted itself and everything made sense because of their meds does give me great pause.

I dunno what the answer is. Part of me is just too chicken to even give the meds after doing biomed for so long. I don't want to put something like stimulants into him not knowing what the long term effects are.  Another part of me feels like I'd just be a huge hypocrite if I gave them, I used to be one of those people that thought stimulants were a crutch of bad parenting. If I just find the right biomed combination, the right key, find the root of what's happening...  And then another part of me feels like I could be giving him something right now that could potentially make it all go away and I'm not; and wondering just how bad of a mom that makes me.

It's a daily struggle to know what the right thing is. I do feel like he's just too young to be taking stimulants and that's my main driving force behind doing everything I can before going to meds.  I don't have a lot of confidence that I can avoid that, though.  From my answers on the Connors test, wow.  He's got it bad.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

From autism to ADHD

My son's triennial assessment is going on right now and I just filled out an interesting parent form. One I haven't seen before but knew instantly what it was when I read the questions. ADHD questionnaire. I searched for the name of the test and found it on the side margin, Connors 3.

In so many ways, this is good news (so far). It looks like it means they no longer think he has autism (yay, me! I worked hard to get it that way!) but now they want to assess for ADHD.

To be honest, they could've just asked me and saved us all the time. Yes. There ya go, no need for a questionnaire. In everything I've done, I've managed to deal with the autism but the ADHD is still such a huge problem. I'm not sure what more I can do.

Gryffin had a diagnosis of moderate to severe autism and to see the autism fade has been more than I could've ever dreamed but sometimes I look at the ADHD issues and think it's harder to crack than autism ever thought it could be.

Who knows, maybe we'll have our IEP and instead of saying they don't think he has autism, they'll say they think he has autism and ADHD. That ought to be a riot since the autism diagnosis specifically excludes any other diagnosis as part of the condition.

But I don't think that'll happen. When I see Gryffin, I see ADHD, not autism.

Sheesh. It's hard to even think about it right now.

New page for the biomed book!

I didn't upload a page for the biomed book by accident.  What was I thinking?

Here it is.  It's specifically for when you add new supps/med or therapies to keep track of what's going on.  It's very basic but it works.

I'll also update the original post with the new page.

Dr. Helen V. Ratajczak and vaccines

There's an article in The Journal of Immunotoxicology causing quite a stir, to which I say, good.  We need a stir.  Dr. Helen V. Ratajczak wrote a compelling article that I hope you will give a good read to, it's worth the time.

You can download the full article here.  Just one more study we can point to that everyone will likely ignore, unfortunately.  I know, it's rather cynical but I've been on this road too long to wait for miracles.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Toxic baby food: is anyone really surprised?

Seriously, I'll never understand why this is okay?  It's one thing to get toxins naturally from food - some foods contain toxins - but this is baby food.  BABY FOOD.  We're not talking about getting amounts of cyanide from eating bamboo shoots because it's naturally present in bamboo.

These are toxins introduced to our foods - and our babies.  I'll never understand it.

Arsenic and toxic metals found in baby food

Baby foods used to wean infants off milk have been found to contain "alarming" levels of toxic contaminants including arsenic, lead and cadmium.

Read the rest here.

XMRV and autism

I've been of the opinion that XMRV is going to be hugely important since we found out about it. Kent Heckenlively does a fantastic job of breaking it down.

The Potential Importance of the XMRV Retrovirus to Autism
XMRVBy Kent Heckenlively, Esq.

Although I’ve been a science teacher for the past five years I find that when I’m confronted with new information I want to explain to people I fall back on the strategies I used during the fifteen years I was a lawyer. I hope you'll consider this article in that light, as essentially an opening statement.
Read the rest here on AoA.

Friday, April 8, 2011

New way to subscribe!

If you look to the right, you'll see that there is now a way to subscribe via e-mail.  Hope that helps those that haven't been able to subscribe before!

The biomed book and how to make one.

As a biomed parent, you have to be organized. If you aren't organized, you don't know what's going on. And if there's one thing you want to know, it's what's going on.

You must take notes. Copious notes. I've mentioned this before here. Let me say it again - take lots and lots of notes. Know what's doing what, what is doing nothing and what it interacts or works well with.  Know what your kids symptoms are for yeast, bacteria, ammonia, phenols, etc.

You don't know these things without notes.

I keep a Biomed Book. It's got dividers and tabs and all the great things that will keep your information where you want it, at your fingertips.

Here's a picture.
Doesn't look like much does it? I didn't really put any effort into making it look pretty but hey, it's not decoration, right?

Here are all the pages for my biomed book so you don't even have to make them. I created a Google docs page for this blog so all you need to do is click, go to file, download as, pick one and it's all yours to modify to your needs.  I left an example on some of the pages so you know how I used it but I'm not sure if I did that for all of them.

UPDATE:  I had a bit of a snafu.  I apologize to everyone that tried to download and had to ask permission for the files.  I've changed them all to public so you should not have to ask for anything anymore and you definitely shouldn't need to sign up for anything.  If there are any problems, please comment me.

Cover and divider pages - self explanatory

Dosing schedule - I use this as a daily reference for anyone that needs to know what to give.  Just flip to it and everything is there.

Medicine chart - This is to keep track of all the meds/supplements, costs, why, when, how, etc.  What was stopped, why it was stopped, what you plan to start soon and so on. This also has a lab quick check sheet.  There are certain labs I keep close track of and I don't want to have to go to my labs section and flip through all the labs.  It's now right there for me to scan anytime.  If I'm tracking HHV6 titers, I can just look here and see what they were for the last year and how they moved.

Phone log - Always keep track of your communications with practitioners.

UPDATE #2:  A page I neglected to upload below!

Behavior - adding/removing - Use this to keep track of behavior/changes that occur when you are adding or removing a new supp, med or therapy.

I also use sheet protectors for the dividers and in the front, I have all of our doctor's info.

Whenever you need more lines or want to delete unused lines, it's easy to do so.  If your needs are slightly different or you just think you can do it better - go for it.  The important thing is that it works for you and now you have an idea of how to do it if you didn't already.

Having a book like this will be able to help your spouse in case you're not there and will also be the how-to guide for family members should anything happen to you or your spouse.  Everything anyone needs to know about your biomed protocol is right there.

You can also keep track of all those other things I keep pestering on about, like knowing your child's symptoms, keeping track of what's doing what, what's not doing anything, what needs something else to work and so on.  You get the idea.

If you have any questions, if something doesn't make sense or you just want to know how I filled something out, drop me a comment.

Got Yeast?

I'm repeatedly asked, "How do I know if my child has yeast?"

Well, the short answer is... you don't. At least not until you've learned the signs in your child. Even testing, while recommended, isn't nearly as reliable or cost effective as simply recognizing. But even then, you might be wrong. I know, sad to hear, right?

Let me start by telling you how I learned my son's signs of yeast. I read many accounts of what people said were yeast signs so I was already feeling like my son probably had yeast but I certainly couldn't identify it. Let's face it, it's not like it's going to come out and introduce itself to you in a polite voice that belies the hidden danger it encompasses.

I learned what yeast looks like by watching it die. When you start antifungals, you may see die off symptoms and those die off symptoms are generally the same as the actual symptoms only more extreme. In my son's case, die off was sticking his hands in his mouth, inability to go to sleep, inability to stay asleep, hyperactivity, inattentiveness, inability to focus, slight increase in aggression and whininess. But surprise! Not all of these symptoms are exclusive to yeast. And since die off isn't the most comfortable thing to go through, it's not surprising that you would see some of these symptoms. So now you really need to watch your child and simply learn. I learned that as soon as his hands start going in his mouth, it means yeast. This is something that simply doesn't happen any other time with him so I've easily been able to use it to identify yeast issues. When combined with waking up in the middle of the night for several hours, I then know yeast is really bad.

Night waking sucks.

My biggest suggestion in learning your child's signs is to keep a journal if you can't keep it straight in your head. And you'll also find that I use this suggestion a lot when it comes to learning about your child. Keep a journal of everything from what you have started, when you started it, foods eaten, foods removed, behaviors you see and behaviors you don't. Log everything from "nothing happened" to "the earth shook as s/he said his/her first word". Journals will also help you keep a timeline so when you see something odd creep up, you can go back and see if you or your child did something different, forgot to do something, etc.

I'm veering off course, here, though so let's get back on track. Yeast. Here is a collection of symptoms I've picked up over the years from other parents. Not all children have the same symptoms so just know that these are just possibilities. As with all things biomed, there are rarely any definitive answers for everyone.

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