Hello everyone. Sorry, no fancy pics or graphic for this post. So much has happened in this past year, since starting Gracie’s Autism blog. Between Kristine’s cancer, Gracie’s illnesses, and Gabrielle’s ear surgery and subsequent battle fighting off ear infections, I really didn’t have the desire to share our issues with the world. And then there’s life, all the other little problems that come along with it, like having to replace a roof, worrying about my job and the economy, etc., etc.
I cope by trying not to think about the bad things and focusing on what I need to do to get through each day (hence my absence for so long on this blog). Almost everyday, too, I’m reminded of how others have it so much worse than I. Not that I take any satisfaction from knowing others who are unfortunate. I read and hear about other peoples’ tragic stories, and I find myself wishing I had it within my power to help them. But I can really only help my family, as I think I have enough on my plate.
Anyway, maybe two months ago, my mother and I took Gracie to Dr. Brian Udell in Davie, Florida. Dr. Udell specializes in treating people with autism. We left Dr. Udell’s office with instructions to have samples of Gracie’s blood taken, and to collect urine and stool samples. These are not simple tasks. After 2-3 trips to medical labs to have Gracie’s blood drawn (not to mention juggling our work and school schedules to accommodate these trips), spooning poop into collection vials (so gross!), and numerous attempts to collect urine, I was so relieved when we were done with all that.
Yesterday we got to learn the results of all the above mentioned labs we had done. The results didn’t really surprise me, although I was hoping some of my fears wouldn’t be confirmed. But at least now we know, and can begin addressing these known issues.
Gracie is allergic to gluten (wheat), casein (dairy), soy, and peanuts. The peanut allergy is not the kind that causes respiratory distress, though. The level of good bacteria that resides in our gastro-instestinal (GI) tract is low in Gracie, and she has a high amount of yeast (bad). As a result, her GI tract is moderately to severely inflammed. Gracie’s vitamin D and cholesterol levels are also very low, keeping her brain and nervous system from functioning properly.
So begins a new phase in our lives, a new dietary, medicine, supplement regimen for Gracie. We’ll be switching Gracie to a gluten/casein free (GFCF) diet, and giving to her a prescription strength pro-biotic, Diflucan (an anti-fungal for the yeast), and vitamin D (in addition to the glutathione/GSH we already give to Gracie).
By the way, the changes we’ved noted since visiting with Dr. Udell the first time (and being on the new probiotic and the GSH)? Gracie’s bowel movements aren’t as frequent (from daily, sometimes twice a day, to every other day), and they are smaller and more dense. She also has been a lot more vocal, humming and making other noises. It may not sound like much, but believe me when I say improving the BM situation has been a plus. Also, her keratosis pilaris (a.k.a. chicken skin) has improved greatly with the almost daily application of Amlactin, an OTC lotion recommended by Dr. Udell.
Well, that’s it folks. Until the next time…