Thursday, July 31, 2008


Just logged on to Hubby's company's health website to check on the insurance situation with Hutton's ABA, to see if I need to resend any forms for reimbursement (yes, that's long and hard to follow!) and saw this:

News for You

New Children's Vaccines Added

A CDC panel has approved a new two-dose rotavirus vaccine for infants, a five-disease vaccine for infants, and a four-disease booster vaccine for children.

Oh, wow. How did they know I was so into the latest in children's vaccines? Wow! A five-disease vaccine for infants! Sounds sooo safe. Too bad I don't have any infants anymore. But, sign me up for that four-disease booster! Taking both the boys in for it...when hell freezes over.

And just what went into this CDC panel's approval process? Did Paul Offit, a patent holder on the Rotatec vaccine play any part? I'm sure that wouldn't be the case. No conflicts of interest in our beautiful, happy world of pharmaceuticals!


Well, I'm home. More on that, and the title of my post, later.

We went to California last Thursday for a wedding. The boys were great on the plane, we enjoyed some lovely weather in Aptos, California, and stayed in a hotel at the beach for three nights. Friday, Hubby took the boys to the Monterrey Aquarium while I had lunch with the bride-to-be and my other college friends, followed by manicures and pedicures. Friday night, the boys had fun playing an impromptu game of "octopus tag" with the other little boys at the rehearsal dinner. Octopus tag: One boy had a toy octopus from the aquarium gift shop, and the boys took turns chasing whoever had the octopus. It kept the little guys entertained for a long time.

Saturday, Hubby and I drove the boys to San Jose to spend the day with my stepsister's family. Her son was having his first birthday party, and my stepmother offered to watch the boys at the party, then bring them home with her Saturday night while Hubby and I were at the wedding. That was great, as Hubby and I could relax, and drink, at the wedding, and at a pub afterwards.

Sunday, Hubby and I got to sleep in (real sleeping in, meaning there weren't little boys waking us up every 30 minutes to ask for breakfast, or more breakfast, or wanting to know when we were getting up). We drove across to my stepmother's house in Morgan Hill, and spent the day in the sun. My stepsister and her son drove down, and the boys all enjoyed the slip and slide, though none of them actually did any sliding. They mostly just sat and splashed.

Monday, Hubby, the boys and I drove over to Santa Cruz for the day, and had lunch on the pier, after watching the sea lions for a while. Hubby weaseled out of taking the boys on any rides at the boardwalk by telling Harrison he wasn't tall enough, though I wasn't really feeling up to riding on a roller coaster anyway (more on that below). Afterwards, we drove to the World Famous Mystery Spot. The boys and I had a great time, though Hubby was at his most skeptical. Still, fun was had, and we now have four beautiful Mystery Spot bumper stickers.

We picked lemons from the lemon tree in stepmom's front yard and made lemonade, and Monday night she made a lemon meringue pie which was delicious. I brought home a bag of lemons, and am almost tempted to attempt the pie myself, but am being too lazy.

Tuesday, we came home, and I've been feeling my "depression lite" since. I hate coming home from vacation. The house was fine. The dogs and cats were well-tended by the pet-sitter, as was Finn, the fish. Our, uh, beautiful Triops pet Harrison got for his birthday (well, he got lots of eggs, but only one hatched) was still alive. (It died yesterday, so our petsitter lucked out, as she was very worried about it dying on her watch.) I don't know. I just hate going from enjoying myself, having someone else do most of the cooking, to being back to the old grind. I'm sure others feel this way, too! I did lots of laundry yesterday. It was raining Tuesday when we got off the plane, was gray most of yesterday, and is raining again now. Blech. I've been feeling very slothful. My skin is broken out. I've been feeling "nausea lite" for two freaking weeks. Wait, longer than that. Three weeks. I'm sick of it. I went so far as to take a pregnancy test, but it was negative, and my not-so-faithful Aunt Flo arrived five days late, soon after the negative pregnancy test. That sort of explained the nausea, but then after AF came and went, the nausea stayed. It made the drives on winding California roads lots of fun. And was a reason I didn't insist on taking the boys on the carnival rides at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.

I really want to go to a doctor, but need to find one. I usually get the most nauseated when I'm taking a shower in the morning, and afterwards, I'll occasionally get these weird spells, where I feel like my brain is completely gone. I can't think of words. It happened today after I showered, and Hutton came in the room, and I tried to tell him something, but couldn't. It's bizarre, and I don't know what to do about it. It only lasts about a minute, but that's long enough. But, considering I don't even have a doctor, that's makes it hard. I think I went to a general practitioner ten years ago, and see a gynecologist every year or so. If anyone knows any good open-minded, naturopathic leaning doctors in the Seattle area, let me know! Oh yeah, and they need to take insurance. As you other mothers may know, it's all about the kids. Especially when you have a child with autism. You spend all your time dealing with autism and trying different things to "heal" your child, and it's very easy to put your own problems on the back burner.

So, blech. That explains how I feel today.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Michael Savage is a Dirty So and So

Read here for a very nice wrap-up, by the wonderful Kim Stagliano, of what I've spent way too many hours reading about over the past few days.

The quick run down (TL;DR): Michael Savage, who apparently is a radio shock jock who I, as a good liberal, had never heard of before last week, said on his show that autism is a fake diagnosis "99% of the time" and that if we parents just sat our little "brats" down and gave them some good old-fashioned discipline, they'd be fine!

Damn! I've wasted so much time with all this therapy hogwash! A good yelling and spanking were all Hutton needed! End sarcasm.

And the fraud thing: Yes, my autism parent friends and I have quite the racket going on. We meet monthly for dinner, not to relax and talk to like-minded parents who understand the stresses of raising children with autism and discuss new therapies and see what's working for each other's kids, but to find out new ways to defraud the government! I mean, gosh, we get sooo much free stuff from our golden ticket Autism diagnosis. Let's see...there's the early intervention preschool, provided you get a diagnosis early enough. Hutton went there for about a month, as he wasn't diagnosed until he was nearly 3. And then there's the special ed preschool, with busing (in the short buses, of course!) provided. And let's Hutton is in elementary school, so we're not really getting anything we wouldn't get if he were typical. Oh, we get a couple of hours a week of speech and occupational therapy from the school, but that's it. Whew! Are all you parents of typical children totally jealous of this awesome racket we've got going? We also can get speech therapy outside of school, because we have good insurance. If you don't have good insurance, you're SOL. And, we have some of the ABA therapy covered, again because we have good insurance. But, we get to pay a lot out of pocket for what insurance doesn't cover.

Now, Savage claims he was just trying to draw attention to the fact that autism is overdiagnosed. Hmm. You know what? All of the kids in Hutton's class with autism diagnoses are just as "quirky" as he is, in different ways. My friends' kids, as well. I have never met a child who has an autism diagnosis that I've thought, "Wow, that kid is totally neurotypical! He's just a brat and his parents are bilking the system!" If I ever see a child with autism showing strong social skills, I don't think, "Fraud!" No, I think, "Wow! He must have been working really hard in school and with his parents and therapists to learn those skills! I wonder if they're trying a new therapy we should try, because I hope Hutton will someday have those skills." And, why in the world would you want your neurotypical child to be in a special ed class if he didn't need it? Does that really appeal to people? Oh boy! My child has autism! I can get him in those awesome overcrowded special ed classes now! I suppose it's possible, but I always thought parents pushed for their kids to be in the class that will challenge them, so they will learn more. Hey, that's how I will be when Harrison is in elementary school!

Anyway, go read Kim's article. I'm too tired to write more, and I need to shower! I played back to back soccer games, and probably don't smell very good.

Oh yeah, and I completely forgot about those pansies at Autism Speaks, who released a statement about how we need to pity poor Michael Savage. No, Autism Speaks, we need to let all of Michael Savage's sponsors know how we in the autism community feel, and that we will not support them if they support this ignorant clown.

Click here for a good laugh. Well, if you find autism humor funny.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Harrison Quotes

Right now, before bed, Harrison is telling me all the things he can do when he's big, a kick he's been on recently. "Play marble track." (He can do this now, as well as, "Eat grilled cheese!") "I'll have to use your computer. I'll make you coffee."

I don't know about using my computer, but I'm really looking forward to the coffee thing. I love that the boys are both big enough to do things like let the dogs in and out, or hand me the phone. Yes, I'm lazy.

And, a great Harrison quote from yesterday:

As I made the boys their breakfast (GFCF cereal with almond milk, so "making breakfast" is a stretch), I said, "Here are two bowls of cereal for my two beautiful boys!" Harrison said, "We're not too beautiful, Mommy. We're just a little beautiful."

I just had to write that down before I forgot it!

Monday, July 14, 2008

That Was a Long Bath!

As Stacy pointed out, in her comment on my last post, in er, June, I had taken a mighty long bath. Yeah, er. I did take a long bath. It didn't actually last over a month, though. I did some other things, too!

Let's see. School ended. The boys and I flew to Orlando to meet up with Hubby, who was at a conference there, and the in-laws drove down. We spent a week at Disney World, which was fun, but tiring. The hotel pool was great, and after spending the morning and early afternoon at various parks, we'd head to the pool. Hutton didn't nap, but the rest of us took turns taking naps, or we wouldn't have survived! Back at home, it took my over six hours to upload all of my 300 pictures. And my MIL has another 500 or so from her and FIL's camera to send me. Whew!

The boys are now in swim lessons every morning for two weeks. I don't know if they're actually learning anything, but at least they both like going! Hubby finally finished our deck -- he started it last summer, and just had "finishing" work to do on it when he put all the tools away last September. Now, I just have to plant some things around the edges to cover the more "craptacular" areas, as Hubby called them. There's lots of scrap wood, too, that's taunting me, saying things like, "You really want to turn us into something, but you know that won't happen! Just suck it up and throw us away! You're not going to make planters! You're way to scared of power tools!" The scrap wood is right. Well, I have no fear of the power drill/screwdriver, but saws...nope, not happening. Hubby is probably done with all projects for the rest of time. Our washer and dryer were both acting up, so he had to fix those for me, too.

Let's see. What else has happened? Four of my college friends are or were pregnant this year. I am finishing the third knitted blanket, for unborn baby #3, and have a ring sling 90% finished for already born baby #2. (I finished one sling for baby #2 already, but for some reason, was feeling industrious at the fabric store. You know how that goes -- my eyes are bigger than the room on my dining room sewing table. We're having a baby shower in two weeks for baby #4, the same weekend most of us will get together for a wedding. Jen, no pressure to start getting pregnant immediately or anything! The wedding is in Aptos, CA, about an hour from my late father and stepmother's house, so the family and I will go visit with stepmom and stepsister and meet the stepnephew (is that even a word?) who was born just a few days after my last visit last summer.

Two of the baby-mamas have solicited me for vaccination advice, too, which is nice, that they actually look to me for advice. Apparently, they think my study habits have changed since college, and believe I've actually researched these things! Kidding! I have spent so many hours reading about vaccines in the past three years, I feel I should have a degree.

And speaking of vaccines, Amanda Peet, the, er, actress, recently said in "Cookie" magazine that parents who don't vaccinate their children are parasites. Aww! So sweet! Mandy did her research, see. Or rather, was reassured by Paul Offit. The same Paul Offit is a co-patent holder for RotaTeq, the rotavirus vaccine manufactured by Merck. Hmm, no conflict of interest there! Don't bother reading about the cons of vaccines, Mandy! We parents of vaccine-injured children, er, I mean, parasites, are all just crazies who didn't really see our children regress before our eyes after vaccines. Don't look behind the curtain.

It seems whenever I'm ready to move on, get past "the whole vaccine thing" something like this comes up. But, I think it has helped me. Today I grieved for a bit. Something I have kept bottled for a while, so it was good to get it out. I was lying in bed, thinking of all the signs Hutton showed me his first two years of life, clues that his vaccines were harming him, but I was too ignorant to see. New mom syndrome. Believe the doctor. First came the colic. In hindsight, I see it as food allergies to my milk, probably brought on by his first vaccines, at birth and at two months. If I had known then, I would have tried eliminating various things from my diet to see if it helped (most notably cow's milk, which Hutton still reacts to). But, I didn't. I trusted my doctor that colic was just "one of those things" that happens to some babies. Nothing much happened for a while. Then came the ear infections. Again, these were when I started introducing food into Hutton's diet, and were his way of saying, "hey slow down!" I didn't listen. Again, just one of those things some kids get. Of course, he also got more vaccines at the time.

The one that really haunts me though, is the appointment at 15 months. Hutton was due for shots at his "well baby checkup." But he wasn't really well at his appointment. He had an ear infection, plus eczema all over his face, thanks to the cow's milk he had started drinking because I'd just weaned him. It didn't take me long to figure out the cow's milk was the cause of the eczema, and eliminate it from his diet, but it took me longer to figure out that eczema is an autoimmune issue, and I never, in a gazillion years, should have let the pediatrician give Hutton his vaccines that day, when he was sick. But, again, I didn't know these things at the time, and apparently neither did Hutton's pediatrician, or at least, he didn't believe they could harm Hutton. I will give the guy the benefit of the doubt. I really hope he wouldn't knowingly give my child vaccines if he thought they'd harm him.

But, just googling "eczema" right now, the first page I clicked on mentioned halfway down: "Eczema is an auto-immune response to a perceived invader. And there is more and more evidence that food intolerance (as well as food allergy) effects the immune system. Gluten intolerance, Yeast and milk protein (casein) in particular are all strongly linked to auto-immune reactions like skin irritation." Today, Hutton is on a gluten- and milk-free diet and is taking yeast medications, as he's had chronic yeast since the antibiotics he took so many years ago for those ear infections. It makes me want to scream. I would, but Harrison is sitting next to me on the couch. I so wish I had not been so trusting and carefree, but had actually read some differing opinions. Ignorance is bliss. But what do I know? I'm just a parasite. Man, I'm hungry. My host needs to eat.

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