Sunday, September 26, 2010

Mold Case Part 2

Previously on Mold Case...... 

So we last figured out that I have an allergy to mold, now there is a difference between just having a plain allergy to mold, this is where you will get common allergy type reaction or symptoms when exposed to mold, or having a toxic reaction to mold. Now 25% of the population because of genetic differences will experience more than just your average mold type allergy symptoms, but will experience the toxic effects of toxic mold. Symptoms ranging from runny nose, cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness, itchy eyes, nosebleeds, urinary problems, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, nervous system problems such as dizziness, anxiety, weakness, restless legs, metalic taste in mouth, low blood pressure, headaches, memory loss and shaking. Memory loss, nosebleeds, anxiety, shaking, nausea and vomiting are not typical allergy symptoms, all the symptoms that are in blue above where symptoms experienced by one or the other of my family.

My son Matthew, since we moved to California has had nose bleeds, we always thought they were due to the dry air in So Cal (it doesn't rain much here in So Cal) we tried everything, saline spray, creams, gels, vitamin k, they all would help for a certain time, then the nose bleeds would come back full force sometimes 3-4 nosebleeds a day. When I first started to read about mold toxicity I read one of the symptoms were nosebleeds this was what set alarm bells ringing in my head.

I can't remember exactly when but I think round about March or April of this year Annabelle started vomiting, the therapist at vitalstim thought possibly I should feed her smaller pieces at a time and that I should go slower (gees sometimes it would take an hour to get a small bowl of food down her if I went any slower I may as well not have fed her, then sometimes she would still puke it all up again) we would get so desperate at times because she wasn't gaining any weight, we even considered that Annabelle would need to get a g tube so that she could get in enough nutrients. I discovered that she would feed better in her car seat so I made a point of not even feeding her breakfast at home,  I would go to our therapy appointments then afterward feed her in the car she seemed to do better there.
The nosebleeds and vomiting seemed to have stopped since we have left the house.

We went back to see the environmental doctor to get the results of the urine test he said will give us some answers, it came back and Annabelle seems to be very deficient in all the B vitamins her immune system is down and they recommended that she takes large quantities of Vitamin C. She needs CoQ10, Lipoic Acid, Carnitine, Mg, Mn, Argnine, Biotin, and the scariest thing about the test is that the doctor said that her DNA was under attack, the test was inconclusive as to what was attacking her DNA but it was under stress.  His recommendation was that we start giving her a multivitamin, (which when I got it home and compared the ingredients to the one she is already taking it is pretty identical) The doctor says it could possibly be the mold attacking her system and we could do another test ($900) that could pinpoint if it is the mold causing the damage. Well I just about had enough of this doctor why could we not have done that test in the first place? Is he just dragging things out so that he gets in lots of visits? Well I fired him, just like Katy does in her post here, and not going back, we really don't have time for people to waste our precious time and resources.

So we went back this past week to our previous doctor the one that recommended HBOT.
I updated her on the situation and here were her recommendations for Annabelle
She said to stop taking all multiple supplements and introduce one new one at a time and the ones that she is most deficient in first
Methylcobalamin B12 - 2500mcg a day
Folate MTHF - 1000mcg a day
Culturelle Probiotic - 2 a day
Glutathione cream - 1 ml to skin at night before bed ( if you don't know what this is check out the link)

She also recommended a mold allergy test
and also agreed to do this test I found,  Urine test from Real time labs that will tell us if Annabelle has Mold toxins present in her body, so just waiting for the test kit to come and so wait and see in mold case part 3 for the results.

Annabelle busy raiding brothers Lego box

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Oh Geez why do they torture us parents?

Yes Annabelle turned 2 years and 8 months and the process of transferring from the regional center to the school district has begun. The preschool called to schedule the transition meeting ( which is tomorrow ) and as usual I haven't filled in the forms yet. Husbands has been away this week on business, so I have been juggling things by myself, and filling the forms in was the last thing on the list! So I pull them out and as usual they want to know the childs developmental history:
Developmental milestones: When did she do things fist well here is what it looks like:

Rolled over: 8 weeks ( yes I thought she was going to be so advanced because she rolled so early )
Sat Alone: ------------
Crawled: 15 months
Walked alone: -----------
Dressed Self: ------------
Ate Solids: 12 months
Fed self with fork or spoon:-----------
Smiled in response to people: 6 months
First single words: --------------
Two word phrases: -------------
Three word phrases:-----------
Ave # of words per utterance : -----------
Estimated no of words in childs vocabulary: --------
Percentage of speech intelligible to other: 0%
Toilet trained: ---------------

Who the heck comes up with these forms? Do they want to torture us parents by making us fill them in? Well what I mean by filling in, by putting lines next to everything. 

We had such a nice summer didn't think much about what my child couldn't do, only focused on what she has achieved, they might be small achievements to a typical child but to Annabelle she has being trying so hard to master certain tasks, like trying to lift her sippy cup to her mouth, where is that on the list?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

My Everything

From the moment I met you, I knew you were the one,
you were my lobster,
my soul mate,
my best friend,
my everything,

We have been through some ups,
and we have been through some downs,
but what a ride it has been,
with you by my side,

You weren't keen on changing things by having children,
but you have embraced fatherhood with all your being,
you are a wonderful father,
our children could not ask for a better Dad,

Sometimes we fight,
we always make up,
you put up with me on my crazy days,
you accept me on my bad hair days,
(I am not sure which I have more of?)
but you can always make me laugh,
and I will always love you,
Thank you for marrying me,
and even though you joke by saying
'I didn't know what true happiness was until I got married, then it was too late...
I know you don't mean it
Happy anniversary my darling, wonderful husband
Twelve years and still going strong.
September 19, 1998, Our wedding day

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Working the system

We have been in California 4 years now and I am only just starting to understand how things work here. (talk about slow learner!) Especially when it comes to our medical insurance. Prime example, Annabelle's been going to see a doctor (actually a DO doctor osteopath) since the beginning of the year, this doctor is out of network so the insurance doesn't pay the doctor directly, you have to pay the doctor and then claim back from the insurance (you usually cross your fingers and pray when you send in the claim and hope for the best) because I don't really understand how insurance works I never knew what I would be getting back from the insurance sometimes they would cover a good percentage of the bill then other times nothing. So in this particular doctors case the first few times we saw her I sent in the claim and the insurance paid back a good percentage, then after the 6th visit they only paid $25 on a $160 claim. I couldn't understand why all of a sudden they weren't paying as well as before. So we saw the DO a few more times and I then took all the paper work to the ladies that worked in the doctors office and asked them why there was a difference in what the insurance was now paying. They were extremely helpful looked over the paperwork, they said that most probably one of our benefits had run out and if they changed our invoices to reflect just "office visit" instead of breaking it down into office visit and cranial manipulation that may be they would pay more, and printed me off a new invoice with the new format.

A week ago I sent off the new claim, and I was only expecting to get $100 back (4visits x$25)
To my surprise I had managed to work the system, the check I got was..........

Yes you saw correctly $407.40 I think the ladies at the doctors office deserve a big box of chocolates what do you think?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Mold Case Part 1

Talking about TV shows, my all time favourite TV show "House" is starting its new season on the September 20,  I love this show, it has everything humour, romance, suspense, drama, oh did I mention humour. Well you get the drift but my favourite part is when he always seems to be able to diagnose the patient, even if the patient is dead. He will send his team out Foreman, 13 or Chase to the patients house (even if they have to break in!) to find out more about the patient and get a history. Taking samples of anything toxic in the house, sniffing around bottles, riffling through drawers. Well you would never have guessed no doctor has ever come round to our house to get a history on Annabelle or even broken in to get one. I wish more doctors were more like Gregory House may be, just may be we would have a diagnosis by now!

So the last you heard about the mold we had seen an environmental doctor and he had ordered a urine test that was going to give us some answers.

I also went to see the environment doctor, because I was also having symptoms and he said that if it was the mold causing the problems I would be a good person to test, (being an adult I can take pain better not!)
Well his first suggestion was to do a CBC blood test, the second was to do an allergy test this is where they inject minute amounts of dead mold under your skin and see what reactions you come up with. Well I would not recommend this test for to anybody especially if they are allergic to the substance that they are injecting, the first injection I started to feel dizzy, then she would wait 10 minutes and see what symptoms would appear then inject me with a lesser dose, the injections felt like fire going into my arm stinging like you won't believe, other symptoms I had were my left hand itching, my chest becoming tight, and started coughing, my nose burning, and it also felt like I had taken recreational drugs I was so woozy (Note to Mom "not that I would know what that feels like I just could imagine")  2 hours after the test, my arm swelled up like a balloon. They injected me with the 2 types of molds that was prevalent in the house, which were ( the first line on my arm) Aspergilus/Penicillium and (the second line on my arm) Chaetomium. In the first picture she drew round circles on my arm where the liquid had gone in just in case I had no reaction, then they would know where it originated from.

The photos really don't do it justice, my arm felt like it was on fire, it still itches now when I think about it. So guess what? I am allergic to the 2 prevalent types of mold that were in the house. The results of the CBC were that my white blood cell count was low. This still doesn't tell us did the mold affect Annabelle? Well you have to wait for Mold Case Part 2 coming soon.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day and a Recipe

Labor day 4 years ago, we moved to the USA from England. I had never been to California only my husband had, and with my 2,5 year old son, we moved to a place I didn't know. We stayed in a furnished apartment until our furniture arrived that was being shipped from England. I had started to look for a house for us to rent and a realtor,  Amanda had showed me around a few places. She was friends with the wife of a colleague of my husband, and she was part of the Moms club. On the second day after I arrived the phone rang in our apartment my husband picked up the phone and said it was for me, it was strange because I didn't know anybody here yet, it was Zen (I didn't know it yet but she was to become my very good friend) she invited me to come walking with some ladies the next day and then go the the park afterward.  Oh boy how my life has changed in 4 years!
Happy Labor day! Hope even if you are a busy mom you too can get a chance to enjoy a break from "work".

With labor day comes the changing of the seasons, summer is on its way out and autumn/fall is on its way in, well here in Orange county you don't seem to notice the seasons as much because most of the time it is quite pleasant weather. But if you are feeling the chill in the air you might want to try this great recipe I found in a magazine, it is dairy free, gluten free, egg free, and it tastes great and it reminds me of when I was little we used to love rice pudding, yum! enjoy!

Brown rice pudding

1 1/2 cups organic coconut milk
3 1/2 Tbs honey ( you can use Agarve nectar instead or even leave it out it )
1 Tbs arrowroot powder
2 cups cooked short-grain brown rice ( I find using 1 cup uncooked rice makes what you need)
3 Tbs organic raisins
2 Tsp gluten free vanilla extract or vanilla flavor
Ground cinnamon for sprinkling

  1. Heat coconut milk and honey in saucepan over medium heat until mixture starts to bubble. Whisk in arrowroot. Add rice and raisins and simmer 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  2. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla. Spoon into an oven proof bowl and sprinkle cinnamon generously over the top put in oven temperature 380 F for about 15 minutes.
  3. Take out of oven cool slightly and serve and enjoy.