Friday, October 17, 2008

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

I fully believe things come to you when you are ready. I had heard about hbo therapy (hyperbaric oxygen) about two or three years ago. At that time I was overwhelmed with all the other biomedical things we were doing and working with the school, so I didn't really do a lot of looking into it. Recently I started to feel like there was something out there that was "calling" me. After ready Jenny McCarthy's latest book "Mother Warriors" I realized what it was. Several of the parents in her book mentioned HBO therapy and how much it helped their kids. I knew I needed to find out more about why it works and what the protocol entailed.

I know in my gut that this is right for Connor. There is a definite protocol in place and the safety rate is outstanding. So I started calling local HBOT centers. I heard from all of them that autism is not something they treat and that no one in Colorado would risk treating my son because it would be considered "off label". When I finally talked with the last HBOT center that I had a number for in Denver, a technician heard my sh peel and then, as all the other centers had done, he denied my plea. I then kinda lost my cool and began to rant about the ridiculousness of the bureaucracy of these clinics and how my son could be really helped but because of these stupid rules he wont have the chance. He then asked if he could put me on hold, so I figured he was just dishing me off to someone else, but instead he got back on the phone and began to whisper. He said if it were him he would find a "stand alone" center that was not connected to a hospital. He warned to find a reputable clinic that had trained personnel and not be fooled by people pawning off their equipment. He talked about the risks of renting one and that out of state would probably be my best option. It was a relief to actually have someone talk (or in this case whisper) to me fairly openly instead of just another "no". I felt reinvigorated that this was the right path for me and for Connor.

I found a clinic in Denver (about two hours away) that treats autistic children. It is a stand alone clinic, meaning it isn't connected to a hospital. The problem with this particular clinic is that they know they have a monopoly for desperate parents like me, therefore they charge three times what they should charge. I made it clear to them that I would not be paying that price and they said, "Good luck out of state then".

I had almost given up hope that I would find a clinic that I could afford to go to and that would work with us "off-label" people.

I found an amazing clinic in the LA area that have some pretty amazing and famous autism professionals working at the clinic. One of the doctors is Dr. Kartzinel, Jenny McCarthy's son Evan's doctor. This clinic looks amazing and the price is the lowest of all I have found. Please look into it if you have the chance.

In our case we are actually going to go to a clinic in Fresno, California. The reason I decided to do this is because I have lots of family and friends in Fresno and this clinic looks wonderful. The owners opened this clinic because of their own journey with their autistic child. They traveled all around California, and the country doing biomedical treatments for him. They wanted to spare other parents and children the financial hardship of having to travel all around the country to get hbot and other biomedical treatments. This clinic is also associated with the Ronald McDonald house. Please check out this clinic also if you are in the area. HOPE Hyperbaric Treatment Center

We are planning on trying HBOT this spring break. I don't want Connor to miss too much school and we will be there three weeks. The protocol is forty sessions with most people seeing some improvement around twenty sessions. Most clinics will do two sessions a day with four hours separation between sessions. Please look into this treatment later in your biomedical protocols. I think things like this do so much more after the gut and "bugs" are addressed. In fact, the doctor we use, Dr. Amy Yasko advises doing it in her stage three. Basically after addressing methylation and gut issues.

More info: Hyperbaric Healing Institute
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a method of administering pure oxygen at greater than atmospheric pressure to a patient in order to improve or correct conditions. By providing pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber we are able to deliver 10-15 times more oxygen then if delivered at sea level or at normal atmospheric levels. Some of the effects this has are to promote the growth of new blood vessels, decreases swelling and inflammation, deactivates toxins, increase the body’s ability to fight infections, clears out toxins and metabolic waste products, and improve the rate of healing. HBOT should be used to compliment conventional therapies and treatments.

Wish us luck...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

From the Archives... Chocolate Molten Cake

I made this chocolate dessert a few months ago and thought it would be a good addition to Jill's blog. It is great as an elegant dessert but it can also be a great dessert for kids. I served it with vanilla flavored rice milk ice cream and the kids loved it. Very, very simple.

Just a note regarding the non-hydrogenated shortening. The only one that we have found that is soy free is made from palm oil (Spectrum sells a good one). However, if soy is not a concern, I recommend you use the butter flavored non hydrogenated shortenings that is sold usually in the refrigerated isle, next to butter. If dietary restrictions allow it, this is my preference.

Gluten, Dairy and Soy Free Chocolate Molten Cakes

4 oz non-hydrogenated shortening
6 oz gluten, dairy and soy free chocolate chips
2 organic eggs
2 organic egg yolks
2 oz sugar
3/4 oz organic white rice flour
pinch of sea salt

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the whole eggs, egg yolks and sugar and whip until very thick and pale. In the meantime, melt the shortening and the chocolate chips together over a double boiler.

Add the shortening and chocolate mixture to the whipped eggs while the mixer is on low speed. Once all the chocolate is added, turn mixer back to high for about 10 seconds so it's all well mixed.

Fold in the rice flour and the sea salt. Pour batter into 4-oz greased molds and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. The outside of the cake will be baked but the center will stay slightly soft and gooey.

Let the cakes rest in the molds for a few minutes until they cool down enough to handle and then flip them onto a plate. These are best served warm with ice cream.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


by Erma Bombeck

Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressures, and a couple by habit. This year, nearly 100,000 women will become mothers of handicapped children. Did you ever wonder how mothers of handicapped children are chosen?

Somehow I visualize God hovering over Earth selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As he observes, he instructs his angels to make notes in a giant ledger. 'Armstrong, Beth, son, patron saint Matthew. Forrest, Marjorie, daughter, patron saint Cecelia. Rudledge, Carrie, twins, patron saint...give her Gerard. He's used to profanity.' Finally he passes a name to an angel and smiles, 'Give her a handicapped child.'

The angel is curious, 'Why this one, God? She's so happy.'

'Exactly,' says God. 'Could I give a handicapped child a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel.'

'But has she patience?' asks the angel.

'I don't want her to have too much patience, or she will drown in a sea of self pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off, she'll handle it. She has that feeling of self and independence that is so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I'm going to give her has his own world. She has to make him live in her world, and that's not going to be easy.'

'But, Lord, I don't think that she even believes in you.'

God smiles, 'No matter. I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness.'

The angel gasps, 'Selfishness? Is that a virtue?'

God nods, 'If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally, she'll never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn't realize it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a spoken word. She will never consider a step ordinary. When her child says Momma for the first time, she will be present at a miracle and know it! When she describes a tree or a sunset to her blind child, she will see it as few people ever see my creations.'

'I will permit her to see clearly the things I see...ignorance, cruelty, prejudice...and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life, because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side.'

'And what about her patron saint?' asks the angel, pen poised in midair.

God smiles, 'A mirror will suffice.'

Monday, October 6, 2008

Preparing For Disney

Every year for the past four years we have taken Connor to Disney World for his birthday. I know this seems a bit extreme but after we went the first time we fell in love with the experience. Connor is a bit of an adrenaline junky. He loves roller coasters. He loves rides in general. He loves rides most adults cringe at going on. Luckily for him though his mama loves those rides too. Also while visiting Disney World the first time, we found out how easy it is to eat in the Disney owned restaurants. They take food allergies seriously and try to have fun kid friendly food that is safe for all kinds of allergies. We kinda feel like a rock star because the chef always comes out to talk to us and walk us through what is safe and what they can make especially for us to fit our allergies. They even have ice cream and brownies for dessert! They have dinner rolls at almost all of their restaurants. Connor NEVER gets to have bread at a restaurant so this is especially cool for him.

Our friends (and blog contributor) Aran and her family live in Florida so it is nice to meet them also and enjoy a few days with them. It is a nice break from the cold Colorado winter.

As most of you probably already know, Disney also has a pass for special needs that allows you to basically skip the lines. This is an amazing thing to have! I would trade standing in the long lines any day of the week to take away Connor's autism, but since that isn't an option right now, I will take the no wait at Disney World. It is like having a "fast pass" for every line, so it doesn't really mean no wait, but a significantly shorter wait.

We have it planned to go not only during Connor's birthday, but also Halloween. Halloween has never been a great "holiday" for us since the entire day revolves around candy. Connor has never been able to eat any of the candy he gets from trick or treating or the party at his school. One year the town we live in gave out apples for Halloween from the grocery store. Connor was thrilled since he knew he could have apples. At Disney World they have an even for Halloween called the "Not So Scary Halloween Party". It is a fun way to experience the dressing up part of Halloween and not worrying as much about the candy part of it. We let the boys get candy at the designated areas just for fun, but we trade them for non candy treats later.

Having said all of that, I will tell you that planning this trip every year is an event for me. You can't just walk into the restaurants at Disney World without a reservation. You have to call sometimes up to six months ahead of time to get into some of the more popular places. If there are characters involved, you need to plan at least six months out for it. Also, every year Connor fixates on the next thing we are going to do. He isn't even off of the ride and he is asking what we are going to do next. This is very frustrating since he can't even enjoy the ride we are on. This year I hope I have solved that dilemma by making a schedule on an index card so he can always know what is next. Having a schedule at school has worked really well, so I thought it made perfect sense to try it at Disney World. For some people this might take away the fun and spontaneity of the experience, but for us it is just another way we can take away Connor's anxiety and give him some reassurances.

I am looking forward to our trip and will post pictures and a few stories about how everyone liked the trip in a few weeks. I recommend going to anyone looking for a fun, kid friendly, allergy free vacation, with minimal waiting in line too!

Friday, October 3, 2008

I can have yogurt?!!

Yes, it is true, they have come out with a dairy free, soy free, gluten free yogurt. I was picking up a couple of things with the baby today at Safeway and saw a new yogurt in the organic food section. When I read the ingredients I couldn't believe what I was reading. The milk that was used was coconut milk. It clearly states on the label that it is soy and dairy free. Gluten free was missing on the label so I figured it was too good to be true. Once I looked it up on-line, it explains why they don't include the verbiage "gluten free". It is in fact gluten free though.

Connor was skeptical that he wasn't allergic. He said he was afraid that it had gluten. He didn't want to taste it yet. I am not a big fan of yogurt myself, but I tasted it and it was pretty darn good. It doesn't have any coconut taste. I would be surprised if anyone could tell the difference between this and cow milk yogurt.

So Delicious® Coconut Milk Yogurt
Dairy Free Lactose Free
Soy Free
Rich in Medium Chain Fatty Acids
Excellent source of Vitamin B12 (vegetarian friendly)
Formulated for maximum calcium absorption
Contains Pre- and Probiotics for enhanced intestinal health
Cholesterol Free
No Trans Fats
Certified Vegan

Live Active Cultures include: L. Bulgaricus, S. Thermophilus, L. Plantarum, L. Rhamnosus, L. Paracasei and Bif. Lactus