Monday, April 2, 2018

It's Me Again!

It's been YEARS since I posted.  Back then we were just starting our adoption journey and I'm happy to report we adopted our daughter in 2015.  She's 5 years old and perfectly perfect!  C turned 10 in March and it really got me thinking about the past.  I was wishing I could go back in time to the new mom that was scared and tell her it was all going to be all right.  If I could have seen a glimpse of the future it would have eased so much worry for me.  I write this post for the new mom.  The one that's scared and researching and feels like life will never be normal again.  Here's some good news...

C has never had a repeat hospitalization for anything related to HD.  Aside from the occasional stomach ache (usually related to bad food choices) he is super healthy. 

C loves all sports but especially soccer and basketball.  He's one of the top players on his team.  C began attending public school for the first time this past fall.  It's gone really well and the school has been very accommodating.  He uses the nurse's restroom after lunch and so far so good.  We keep an extra change of underwear in the nurse's office and he's only had to change one time out of the whole school year.  I was VERY worried about public school but it's gone much better than expected.

C in fourth grade and is one of the top students in his class-- but he's still his normal wild self.  I like to describe him as "more" ... he's faster, louder, stronger, smarter, sneakier, and just MORE of everything!  I can't wait to see what kind of adult he becomes.  At the same time he's gentle with others and a champion of the underdog.  He's kind and he cares about the big things in this world like inequality and justice.

So to the mom (or dad) sitting in the hospital with your baby hooked up to machines...it gets better!




Thursday, February 13, 2014

Lavender, Lemon, and Peppermint...My Must Haves!



If you're considering essential oils and not sure where to begin these 3 are my must have oils.  I order one bottle a month of each, sometimes 2 because I share with friends.  These 3 oils will change your life!

Let's start with the medical uses and properties that my EO guide lists for each:

Lavender Properties:  antiseptic, antifungal, analgesic, antitumoral, anticonvulsant, vasodilating, relaxant, anti-inflammatory, reduces blood fat/cholesterol, combats excess sebum on skin

Lavender Uses:  respiratory infections, high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, menstrual problems/PMS, skin conditions (perineal repair, acne, eczema, psoriasis, scarring, stretch marks), burns, hair loss, insomnia, nervous tension

Lemon Properties:  antitumoral, antiseptic, improves microcirculation, immune stimulant, improves memory, relaxation, high in limonene which has been studied to combat tumor growth

Lemon Uses:  circulatory problems, arteriosclerosis, obesity, parasites, urinary tract infections, varicose veins, anxiety, hypertension, digestive problems, acne

Peppermint Properties:  anti-inflammatory, antitumoral, antiparasitic, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, gallbladder/digestive stimulant, pain relieving, curbs appetite

Peppermint Uses:  arthritis, respiratory infections, obesity, viral infections, cold sores, fungal infections, candida, digestive problems, headaches, nausea

Now let's get into some personal testimonies of these terrific oils!

LLP for Allergies:  I use these 3 oils all day, every day.  The combination known as LLP (lemon, lavender, peppermint) is nothing short of amazing when combating indoor and outdoor allergies.  I diffuse these oils all day and night- 3 tiny drops of each in the diffuser is all it takes.  I have a diffuser in each room of my house.  It's a super easy way to treat and prevent allergies and sinus infections.  C seems to skip the allergy phase and jump straight to the sinus infection stage.  When that happens I'll add a couple of drops of oregano oil to the diffuser with the LLP and it knocks it right out.  No need for harsh antibiotics!  We also take these oils internally when we are going to be out of the house or when the pollen count is especially high.  You can purchase empty capsules at most health food stores and drop the oil right into the capsule to swallow.  For the kids I do 2 drops each but my husband and I do 3 drops.  The kids and I take them in capsules but my husband (who hates swallowing pills) makes a shot glass of coconut milk and drops the oils in the milk to drink them.  My husband has suffered from chronic sinus infections his entire life.  Since starting this routine he hasn't had a single sinus infection!  The easiest way to describe the result is that it calms inflammation.  Within minutes you can feel your sinuses opening.  Truly AMAZING!

How I Use Lemon:  Lemon kills stuff...at least that's what I think of when I think of lemon oil.  I use A LOT of lemon oil around the house for various things.  It's great to add to your natural cleaning solutions or to remove sticky residue.  It's a great fruit and veggie wash!  I add a few drops to a bowl of water and let my produce soak.  It's an air purifier when diffused and studies have shown it improves mental accuracy and concentration.  I am prone to ear infections and I use lemon or other citrus oils to help with lymphatic drainage by massaging around my ear and down my neck (NEVER PUT OILS INSIDE THE EAR CANAL!).  My disclaimer is that lemon can cause photo-sensitivity, meaning it should not be used before going out in the sun or you may get a sunburn where it was applied.  Some people may be sensitive to lemon so always dilute according to the instructions on the label.  I use a drop or two of a carrier oil with lemon to prevent any skin sensitivity when I'm applying it.
Young Living Lemon

How I Use Lavender:  Lavender is the go-to oil...when in doubt apply lavender!  People often call it the Swiss Army Knife of essential oils.  I use Lavender for any type of skin issue...acne, eczema, cuts, bug bites, diaper rash...they all get lavender!  I often use lavender in C's bath, especially if he has any type of skin breakdown around his bottom.  I pour a tablespoon or two of baking soda in the palm of my hand and add a couple of drops of lavender on top so the oil gets absorbed by the baking soda.  Then I run my hands under the water in his bath to disperse the mixture.  Lavender oil is a big part of my skin care routine.  I use the oil cleansing method to wash my face and essential oils to spot treat.  My dad has had success with the use of lavender and frankincense oils on some suspicious skin issues resulting from sun damage.  One drop of lavender swiped in the cheek or dropped under the tongue is a powerful and natural way to get relief from allergies.
Young Living Lavender

How I Use Peppermint:  I find peppermint oil is my first choice for pain management.  I apply for headaches, menstrual cramps, sore muscles, tummy discomfort...it's similar to the feeling of icy hot.  I love the smell of peppermint!  Sometimes I'll add a drop into my glass of water to make it more exciting.
Young Living Peppermint

These 3 oils go a long way in preventing infections- we have avoided antibiotics several times thanks to the LLP!  They are a great natural alternative to OTC allergy and sinus medications.  If you're interested in purchasing Young Living essential oils you can sign up to be a member or purchase them directly as a retail customer.  My Sponsor/Enroller ID number is: 1497876.

*Please remember that you can only take therapeutic grade essential oils internally.  The essential oils that you buy in the store are not safe for internal use!  Read the label and educate yourself before using any essential oils- they are very powerful and must be handled with care.


Monday, February 10, 2014

DiGize and Peppermint



DiGize and Peppermint are two of my favorite oils for tummy troubles.  If C has eaten to much or has any type of tummy ache he will come to me and ask me to massage his tummy with oil.  Within minutes he's relieved.  Usually by passing gas or having a BM.  My husband has found almost immediate relief with Peppermint oil.  He is sensitive to dairy and applying the oils topically works every single time!  Personally, peppermint is one of my favorite oils.  I love the invigorating smell and in the past I've worn it as a perfume.  I also find peppermint to be my go-to oil for pain relief-- menstrual cramps, headache, sinus pain/pressure...you name it, I probably use peppermint oil on it!  The only way that I've ever used DiGize is by massaging it on C's tummy but it seems to be effective and work quickly!  The last time I used it on him he had a large BM with in minutes of the application.

So let's talk facts...I have an essential oils reference guide put out by Life Science Publishing.  These are some of the uses, medical properties, and ingredients that it lists for DiGize and Peppermint:

DiGize Uses- indigestion, heartburn, gas, bloating, eliminating parasites

DiGize Ingredients- Tarragon, Ginger, Peppermint, Juniper, Fennel, Lemongrass, Anise, Patchouli

Peppermint Uses- arthritis, respiratory infections, obesity, viral infections, cold sores, fungal infections, candida, digestive problems, headaches, nausea

Peppermint Medical Properties- anti-inflammatory, antitumoral, antiparasitic, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, gallbladder/digestive stimulant, pain relieving, curbs appetite

Now let's talk about how we use these oils!  I'm blessed to have an amazing natural minded neighbor and massage therapist that is a great resource to me.  She recommended that we start the abdominal massage on the descending colon first.  Gently apply some pressure in a downward motion.  Then move to the ascending colon and massage in a clock wise motion to the transverse and down to the descending colon.  I just do gentle clock wise circles until the oil is massaged in.  I typically use a teaspoon or so of a carrier oil like olive oil and 2-3 drops of DiGize or Peppermint for the massage.

I talked a bit about diffusing oils in a previous post.  I have several diffusers in my house that are constantly running.  Often times they have a couple of drops of peppermint in them.  More to come on that in my next post!  We'll be talking environmental allergies!

**As I wrote in the first essential oil post we use therapeutic grade oils from Young Living.  I know of 2 other high quality essential oil suppliers but I only recommend therapeutic grade oils.  If you are specifically interested in Young Living oils and would like to sign up the website is listed below.  Just click on your country and go to member sign-up at the top.  My Sponsor/Enroller ID is 1497876.

Young Living Sign-Up

He're a link to these oils.  You may purchase them as a retail customer but the prices are higher than member pricing.  Although the prices may seem a bit high please remember that you are only using a few tiny drops for each application.  I've had the same bottle of DiGize for months and it's still almost full.  Oils that are stored properly can last for years.  I highly recommend that you listen to the audio at the DiGize page.  It's a much more detailed explanation of this product and each ingredient.  

Young Living DiGize
Young Living Peppermint
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Essential Oils Part 1

Friday, February 7, 2014

Essential Oils

EO's = Essential Oils

Essential oils are where I turn first when we have any type of issue in our house and I'd like to take some time and focus on how we use them and why.  Since this blog is dedicated to holistic treatment I want to touch on this very important piece of our puzzle.  Some of the oils we use are for C's digestive health.  Others have nothing to do with digestive health but they keep him healthy in other ways by strengthening his immune system, reducing inflammation, or calming hyperactivity.

I'd like to share a bit about how I came to be so dependent on essential oils in this post.  In the future I'll be sharing what essential oils we use, how we use them, and why.

Before having kids I became obsessed with peppermint oil.  It was the first EO I ever used and it remains one of my very favorites.  I love the invigorating smell and cooling sensation of peppermint oil.  Shortly after C was born I was researching fungal issues and kept coming across tea tree oil.  I bought my first bottle and started experimenting.  I really knew nothing about oils at the time and how to properly use them but I put tea tree oil on C almost every single day before daycare.  It seemed to keep him from getting the croupy congestion and I noticed he wasn't getting sick as often as the other kids.

Fast forward several years and a friend of mine introduced me to therapeutic grade essential oils.  Basically chemical free, pure, unadulterated essential oils.  I initially sought different types of oil to calm C's hyperactivity naturally and we noticed a big improvement...I was hooked!  There are a few different reputable brands that I have used with success: Rocky Mountain Oils, doTERRA, and Young Living.  I used all three of these brands for at least 2 years before finally signing up with Young Living.  I really, really, really dislike MLM's and Young Living is an MLM.  I don't want my readers to think I'm trying to sell them something so I've mentioned 2 other companies that I've had success with as well.  My essential oil posts are going to be about Young Living products but feel free to purchase oils with whatever company you feel comfortable using.  My entire family uses oils internally, meaning we ingest them.  Before purchasing your oil make sure that they are safe to be ingested.  There are very few brands that are safe to ingest.

If you are interested in purchasing Young Living EO's the easiest way is to set up an account with them so you can order directly.  There is an initial starter kit purchase that is required but you can choose the kit that's best for your budget.  A diffuser is a MUST HAVE so unless you plan to purchase one through a different company then it might be a good idea to choose a package that includes a diffuser.  There are no minimum orders with Young Living, signing up just allows you to purchase oils at a member cost rather than the higher retail prices.  Here is the link to the Young Living website, click on your country and then Member Sign Up at the top:

http://www.youngliving.com/

My Young Living Spondor/Enroller ID number is 1497876.

I'm looking forward to sharing some oily posts soon!  The next post will be about how we use EO's to help with tummy trouble!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Underwear Tutorial!

I know all of us HD moms want our kids to be "normal" and that's why I wanted so badly to find a good underwear solution for my son's smearing.  The goal was regular underwear that could protect his clothes if he had a smear/small accident.  My mom and I went to work trying various options.  We made snap in liners, we tried Velcro, and finally we sewed wide liners into his undies.  IT WORKED!  They don't wiggle and it covers a WIDE area of the undies.  We've been using them for at least a year now.

Here's a brief tutorial on how we make them.  My mom is better at making them than I am but even with my minimal sewing skills I can get it done.  Hope this helps some of you too!

To start, we use PUL fabric.  You can find this at most fabric stores.  It may be in the cloth diaper making section.  The print doesn't show so we just get whatever they've got.  PUL is sanitary protection that keep clothes from getting stained.  You'll also need a dark cotton fabric- we originally tried fleece instead of cotton but it got too hot for C.  This fabric will be touching your child's skin.  Additional required supplies are: pinking shears, fabric glue, straight pins, and a sewing machine.


Begin by making a template.  We just cut a pair of underwear on the sides and used that as our starting point.  I like the liner to be slightly wider than the underwear.  Not so much that it chafes their legs but just a tiny amount to prevent staining on the actual underwear.


Use your pinking shears to cut your liners.  Pinking shears keep the fabric from fraying when washed and don't require any additional sewing!  You need 1 PUL liner and 1 cotton liner per pair of underwear.  We glue them together with fabric glue by tracing a line of glue around the perimeter.  You can sew them but glue is really fast so that's how we roll!



Now turn the underwear inside out and pin the glued liner into place, cotton side facing up.



Begin sewing!  I start with the top back, and the top front of the undies just to get it attached.  Then I work my way around doing each side.


After prolonged use a few pairs started getting holes in the front where the little boy opening is.  I'm not sure if this would happen with girl undies or not.  I've decided not to sew that section down, there's plenty of stitching to keep the liner secure.  Hopefully you get the idea from this picture.  The top front is secured but the sides going down are not.  I start the stitching where the liner curves into the crotch area.


And here's the finished product!  Slim and trim!  Far from perfect but totally functional.  Provided C doesn't outgrow them they last us about 6 months or longer.



WASHING INSTRUCTIONS:
We keep a dry pail in our garage...basically a black trash can with a trash bag in it where we put dirty undies until we wash.  We wash with Pine-Sol and regular laundry detergent rather than bleach since it doesn't take the color out.  Pine-Sol kills MRSA so I figure if it's good enough for MRSA it's good enough for underwear!  We do 2 wash cycles with an extra rinse and dry on hot.




Wednesday, January 8, 2014

2014!

Well, 2014 has arrived and I somehow still feel like it's November!  The holidays flew by faster than normal this year and we fell off the healthy eating wagon...big time!  I was working WAY too much and my husband and I felt like ships passing in the night tagging in and out on who's turn it was to care for the kids.  Things have slowed down and we are trying to recommit to better eating and slower living.

SCHOOL
Some new changes for 2014 include the kids going to school 2 days a week.  We made the decision to homeschool our kids in large part due to C having HD.  We probably wouldn't have considered it otherwise.  We are lucky to have a lot of great part-time school options in our area.  C still has smearing fairly often so I'm in prayer about it constantly.  We didn't make a "plan" with the school.  The only plan is that he'll do the best he can during the day.  Yesterday was their first day and it was a success with regards to the potty.  As for everything else about school ... C had a major wake up call!  He thought school was an extended play date without your parents but was disappointed to find out that it involved handwriting.  I'm not sure if I've mentioned it on here before but C is super smart.  I know some HD kids struggle with developmental issues and learning issues.  I can only imagine how much more difficult that makes things.  I know we are blessed.

We ended up putting C a grade level higher to meet his academic needs.  I just think it's going to take a few weeks for him to adjust his expectations of school.  He has always been way ahead academically and a little behind socially.  It's a hard combination.

ADHD
We also suspect that C has ADHD.  I notice he does a lot of sensory seeking.  I have some guesses about why he's like this but the past is the past and we're just trying to manage it the best we can.  He takes the Kid's Natural Calm supplement and that helps quite a bit with both ADHD and HD.  I'm still a big fan of Magnesium.  You can probably guess by now that I'm against medicating for ADHD.  I think so much of it is the personality of a child.  Most ADHD kids are very smart and often the behaviors stem from boredom.

Another major step we've taken for 2014 is to remove all electronics.  It's not that we're against watching TV or playing video games.  C just can't handle it.  Something triggers in his brain and he loses impulse control in a bad way.  We've limited time but even after 10 minutes of video games it seems to end in tears and disrespect.  It's just not worth it.

FOSTER CARE
So I know this blog is about HD but I'm going to jump tracks for a bit and mention that we've finished all of our classes and paper work to become foster parents.  We are just waiting on our agency to complete their side of things and give us the call for a placement.  As we went through the classes my husband and I noticed that we felt really PREPARED.  We as HD parents have learned to become advocates of our kids and to question everything.  Two skills that I think will come in handy on our adoption journey.  It's amazing how far you're willing to go, how much you're willing to learn, and how much money you're willing to spend if it means a better life for your child.

I hope 2014 brings health and happiness for you and yours!

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Good!

After all the excitement of August and September I'm happy to report that October has been smooth sailing.  C has been staying clean and having large BM's once a day like a "normal" kid.  It's kind of amazing.  I'm not sure if it's a developmental thing or if we've finally tweaked his supplements to the perfect balance.  Either way, I'm grateful for it.  I do think he's hit a new stage of development because his behavior has been testing the limits.  I must say, not having to deal with accidents and poor behavior is a blessing.  I'm able to really focus on helping him make better choices.

On a personal note we've had some big and exciting changes for our family.  I used to work from home but recently took a job in the medical field working weekends.  It's been an awesome change because I feel like I can really be present with my family when I'm home.  I feel way less stressed!  The other SUPER exciting news is that we are starting the adoption process!  This is something my husband and I have felt called to do for years.  We both decided that we wanted to adopt when we were just kids ourselves.  It's pretty awesome that we are finally taking the steps to make that happen.  We are using a local agency and adopting through the state foster care system.  We start classes next Tuesday and I can't wait!  Some of you may know that we have 2 biological boys so for selfish reasons I'm really hoping for a GIRL!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Bleach Baths

I found a great resource for those interested in using bleach baths.  I plan to use them weekly for a month and then once a month as a preventative.  Our entire family is doing them, not just C.  Turns out we are all exposed to MRSA, often.  I'd rather give a monthly bleach bath than deal with a major infection!

http://www.acutekidscare.com/images/documents/BleachBaths

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Strep Throat, MRSA, Antibiotics, Bleach Baths...YIKES!

Well, I started noticing a cycle in my house.  If you've read through all of this blog then you probably know that we space out our vaccines.  My kids end up getting shots more often but I feel like it's safer so that's how we roll.  Anyways, I noticed that after my kids would get a vaccine my youngest son would get strep throat a couple of weeks later.  We had a vaccine sometime in July and sure enough a couple of weeks later my little guy is running fever and just isn't himself.  I took him to the doctor and he tested positive for strep.  Just to be on the safe side we tested C too.  C tested positive as well but he didn't have a single symptom.  Unfortunately we weren't able to see our regular doctor for that visit and we had to use the nurse practitioner that was available.  Since they both tested "super" positive for it she recommended antibiotics.  I was concerned about using antibiotics for obvious reasons but I reluctantly agreed.  A week later when we finished up the treatment my little guy was still sick.  I took him back in and we were able to see our regular pediatrician.  Turns out the NP had prescribed the wrong type of antibiotic and they both still tested positive for strep.  Our doctor prescribed a product we had never used called Biocidin (love this product and will have to write another post about it).  We used Biocidin for 2 weeks, twice per day.  Then back to the doctor's office to repeat the strep test.  My little guy tested negative but C was still positive.  At this point our doctor (and I) start considering the possibility that C might be a strep carrier.  Our doctor suggested we do a culture and that I make an appointment with an ENT.  We started C on a stronger, scarier, antibiotic in hopes we could eliminate his "carrier state."

Five days into the new antibiotic and C was sick...really sick.  He was lethargic, dehydrated, and had a complete loss of control when it comes to his bowel movements.  It was awful.  I was incredibly grateful that we homeschool our kids because that week would have been his first official week of Kindergarten if he was in public school.  I took him to a different doctor for a second opinion, a PCP...not an ENT.  While the doctor was very polite and naturally inclined, she was stumped on how we should handle it.  She suggested we stick with our pediatrician.

That same day I got the results for the culture.  For whatever reason I had asked our doctor to do both a throat and rectal culture.  Well, his throat culture showed strep and his rectal culture showed MRSA.  I FREAKED OUT when I heard MRSA because I've always heard how horrible it is.  I started playing out several horrible scenarios in my head while waiting to hear back from our doctor.  When our doctor finally called me back she was still pushing me to take the boys to an ENT because she felt they may need their tonsils taken out.  As for the MRSA culture she said that since he didn't have an active MRSA infection we'd treat him with bleach baths.  I was instructed to put 1/2 a cup of bleach in the bath water once a week for 4 weeks to kill the carrier state.  It turns out MRSA isn't such a big deal and that most people that have been in and out of hospitals or doctor's office are probably MRSA carriers.

Well, we finally made it to the ENT's office last week and got some awesome news!  NO TONSILLECTOMY!  The ENT said there is no benefit to C whatsoever to have his tonsils removed.  Yes, he's a strep carrier but he has never had any symptoms of strep throat.  Yes, he can potentially infect other people with strep throat but is that worth putting him through surgery and the risks that go along with it?  According to the ENT, it's not.  He said even if we did surgery it's highly likely that C would still test positive for strep throat.  I wanted to hug the ENT because I couldn't stand the idea of putting C through another surgery and it would have cost us a TON of money since we have terrible insurance.  Whew!

Well, if you've stuck with me this long, you get a gold star!  I just thought it was worth sharing since the doctors seemed really stumped on how to handle this.  For now, I'll keep Biocidin on hand for my little guy and if he shows any signs of strep we'll start him on it right away!  I'll know to watch closely for strep throat after vaccines and I'll boost my little guy's immune system both before and after the vaccine with essential oils and Sambucus.  And...no one in my family will ever, ever, ever eat or drink after one another again!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Magnesium Maintenance and Olive Oil

I've learned HD is full of trial and error.  We tried higher doses of magnesium for several weeks but C was having very loose stool the majority of the time and things were moving through him too quickly.  He had very little control and was having a lot of accidents.  I slowly backed him off of it and we are now only giving him 1 tablespoon of Kid's Natural calm per day.  One tablespoon contains 120 mg of Magnesium.  We are continuing with 500 mg of vitamin C.

I've also discovered that olive oil is a quick remedy for constipation- the key is to catch it early.  If I notice he hasn't had large BM's in the past day or two I will give him a tablespoon at night before bed and he'll have a large BM the next morning.  It's all about finding the dosage and balance that your child needs.  With this routine his stool is not as loose and he's staying clean much more consistently.

Here's an article that explains a bit more about the benefits of olive oil.

http://www.constipation-remedies-for-all.com/olive-oil-for-constipation.html

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Results

It's been 9 days since we started the clean out.  Things started returning to normal about 5 or 6 days after we started.  C is doing very well and we are maintaining with a daily dose of Magnesium Citrate (200mg) and Vitamin C (1000mg) daily.  I do feel like he is less constipated.  He seems to be emptying very well right after breakfast and then staying pretty clean the rest of the day.  He's having one or two very tiny smears a day.

I'll try to post more later.  We're off to the chiropractor this morning!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Tip of the Day: Get a Second Opinion! Ask What the Other Options Are!

If you've been reading you know that we didn't take our son to a GI for over 4 years.  Since he is 5 and is still having small smears we decided to try a new GI that a local HD mom recommended.  Other than the smearing he is very healthy and hasn't had any serious complications.  I was pleased with the visit and afterwards we took C down to radiology for a KUB.  I received an email from the GI's nurse this past Tuesday which said the x-ray showed "a lot of stool" and that we should do a 3 day clean out with MiraLax and Ex-Lax.  The GI also recommended that C take 1 Ex-Lax and 1 cap of MiraLax per day.  This isn't too far from what the recommendations were many years ago.  I replied to the nurse's email and said I'd like our pediatrician to review the information before we did anything.  I explained that I wasn't comfortable with the long term use of laxatives.  They sent the recommendations and x-ray results to our pediatrician.  I requested that our pediatrician order another x-ray because C had been irregular in the days leading up to our appointment with the GI.  I also asked our pediatrician  if there was a natural option that we could try instead.

C had his second x-ray yesterday and our sweet pediatrician called me from her home tonight to go over everything. She said the x-ray did show constipation but not anything alarming, just plain 'ol constipation.  We talked about the use of laxatives, why the GI recommended them, and what the natural alternatives would be.  Our pediatrician suggested that we use Vitamin C and Magnesium instead.  We will double the recommended dose of both supplements for 3 days to do a clean out.  Then C will take a daily "maintenance" dose of Magnesium and Vitamin C in additional to all of the other supplements he takes.

I'm not really sure what to expect.  This is probably the most invasive thing we've done for C since his pull through.  I suspect he's lived his whole life mildly constipated but the diet and probiotics have kept him healthy thus far.  I think if we want to prevent the smears this is the next step.  I'm a bit concerned about how C will tolerate the clean out and I suspect there may be some tweaking required when we hit the maintenance phase.  Still, 2 x-rays show constipation and I think it's worth a try.

In the end, the GI was fine with us getting input from our pediatrician.  I appreciate that the GI didn't freak out on me for saying no to laxatives.  A good doctor should be open to you getting a second opinion.  I like that we were able to find a middle ground that I feel comfortable with.  I'll be sure to update with the results (that is when I'm not cleaning up poop!).

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Poop Cookies!

Well, cookies that make you poop :)  We are fortunate not to have nut allergies so almonds are a staple of our diet.  Almonds are high in insoluble fiber which helps with constipation.  I buy almond flour in bulk.  I'll put some in mason jars to store in the pantry and the rest goes in mason jars and into the freezer.  I have the link set to a 5 pound bag but I've also purchased the 25 pound box and split it with friends.

These chocolate chip cookies are delicious!  Even some of my more "processed" friends gobble them up!  It's hard to believe they don't have wheat or sugar!  I don't have "vegan palm oil shortening" so I use my tried and true coconut oil to make them.  I've used grapeseed oil in the past but they turn out better with coconut oil.  Instead of chocolate chunks I use Enjoy Life Mini Chips.  The mini chips do have a bit of evaporated cane juice in them so I use 1/4 of a cup instead of a 1/2 a cup.

Cookies:
http://www.elanaspantry.com/primal-chocolate-chip-cookies/

Almond Flour:
http://store.honeyvillegrain.com/blanchedalmondflour5lb.aspx#.UYmjRLWo9bQ

Chocolate Chips:
http://www.enjoylifefoods.com/chocolate-for-baking/mini-chips/

Benefits of Almonds:
http://www.justalmonds.com/Health_Benefits_of_Almonds_s/228.htm

Enjoy!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Welcome!


Hi and welcome!  The purpose of this blog is to share the story of how we found health and healing for our son with Hirschsprung's Disease without the use of harsh laxatives or irrigations.  My son was born in 2008 and had 11cm of his bowel removed.  The surgeon used a single stage Soave procedure.  We had 3 follow up appointments with our surgeon and started seeing a GI when he was 4 months old.  During that first year C had problems with frequency; he was pooping 30+ times a day.  I couldn't even get a new diaper on him before he had pooped again.  I was desperate for answers and I took him to doctor after doctor.  They said it was "normal."  I had 2 GI's prescribe laxatives but I wasn't comfortable with the use of long term medication for my infant.  C had recurring c. diff for the first couple of years.  It seemed like every 6 months he'd get very sick.  I started researching and became hopeful that there were other options.  I wanted to heal the source of his constipation and prevent c. diff by taking a holistic approach to his health.

This is our story.  I hope some of these tips will help your HD kiddo too but I want to be clear that the treatment plan we used was carefully monitored by C's pediatrician.  This is not intended to be medical advice.  Please consult your physician before making any changes to your child's diet or medications.

Feel free to leave comments and questions below :)