Saturday, October 9, 2010

Vaccine Mandates!?

In my previous post I wrote about the Walgreen's flu shot quota. I have since been corrected by one of the Walgreen's employees that it is not a quota but a GOAL "big difference" he said because "we don't receive a bonus" for meeting goal. Another employee informed me that they do not receive bonuses but will receive write ups and threats if they forget to ask each customer who enters their stores if they want a flu shot. Walgreen's is not the only corporation to use unethical tactics for bringing in flu shot recipients. We've seen plugs on Dr. Oz's show who's admitted that his own family refuses H1N1 vaccine but since he has stock in a major vaccine manufacturer I guess his interest is a little cloudy. Other places we've seen vaccine plugs are on PBS's "Sid the Science Kid" and ABC's "Regis & Kelly Live" but another tactic made by a local community establishment topped 'em all. Naked women, breakfast buffet and a free flu shot. I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. Watch here:
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The good news is that people in droves are refusing the shot. Many have personal experiences of getting "flu like" symptoms after getting the shot and new studies are coming out almost every week that illustrates the benefits of keeping Vitamin D levels normal. It has been shown to be highly effective at reducing inflammation and reducing incidents of the flu. So why not just get more sunlight (if you can) and take a Vitamin D3 supplement? Well I guess the answer is clear; that it doesn't serve the interest of Big Pharma who without a doubt has a great deal of influence on our government. They are not however giving up! The noose on vaccine mandates is growing tighter by the day. Most recently we've seen this enforced on health care providers even on those that do not work with the general public. In other words for NO good reason. At least not as far as the people are concerned. Without becoming too redundant I ask if this is an exploitation once again of the economic recession? Would these mandates be as effective if jobs were not so scarce? Think to yourself about the tragedy of terrors that have occured in this country, terror that we've gone to 2 and possible a 3rd. war over. 3000 people died during the 9/11 attacks which by all means is a grave tragedy. Now how many people each year die from adversions to prescription and non-prescription medications? The July 1998 issue of The American Journal of Medicine explains the number of deaths each year related to the use of aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs as follows:

“Conservative calculations estimate that approximately 107,000 patients are hospitalized annually for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)-related gastrointestinal (GI) complications and at least 16,500 NSAID-related deaths occur each year among arthritis patients alone.”

How many side effects are related to FDA approved foods like the recent egg recall? How many preventable deaths are related to the use of anti-depressants and other prescription medications? Now we're learning that Genetically Modified Foods may play a role in obesity and diabetes both are two of the largest major causes of preventable deaths in this country. Approved foods and drugs by your government agency, the FDA. Now ask yourself who is the real terror threat?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Autism, INC.: Mercury and Corporate Quotas in an Economic Recession!

Anyone who reads this blog knows that I frequently steer off the autism track in an effort to make sense of the whole debacle.  The autism web is quite sticky and a great deal of detective work is necessary to put all the pieces together.  Our children are unquestionably beautiful but the trail that precedes them... not so much.  It is one including but not limited to gross incompetence and/or negligence, greed and political corruption.  Those of us who treat our children bio-medically are often surprised to find the myriad of toxins present in these little bodies.  High levels of Cadmium, Lead, Aluminum, Arsenic and Mercury are not uncommon, in fact it's a near given that one or more will be present at higher than acceptable levels.  When Dr. Anju Usman a prominent Defeat Autism Now (DAN) doctor and frequent lecturer on the subject was asked if she had ever seen an autistic child that was not toxic she replied, "then they wouldn't be autistic".  But this is anecdotal information and not definitive proof, right?  Nevertheless, we are often preoccupied with unraveling the what and the how.  The what can often be revealed with testing, the how is a little trickier... perhaps.  It may or may not be surprising to anyone at this point that all of the above mentioned toxins can be present in your children's toys, food, water, medications and vaccines (to state just a few).  It may however surprise people outside of the autism circle to know that despite the fact that Thermerisol is one of the most toxic substances known to man it is still being used in most of the 2010-2011 seasonal flu shots.
(Wikipedia: Thiomersal is very toxic by inhalation, ingestion, and in contact with skin (EC hazard symbol T+), with a danger of cumulative effects. It is also very toxic to aquatic organisms and may cause long-term adverse effects in aquatic environments (EC hazard symbol N).[9] In the body, it is metabolized or degraded to ethylmercury (C2H5Hg+) and thiosalicylate.),

In addition this year's shot is a 3 in 1 also meant to protect against H1N1 (Swine Flu) which has never been tested for safety on pregnant women despite CDC recommendation that ALL people over the age of 6 months should receive this vaccine especially pregnant women.  Hmmm.... Confused yet?  Well here's more, the package insert clearly states "this product has not been tested for safety on pregnant, it should not be giving to pregnant women, the effects on a pregnant women or her unborn fetus are unknown...." and on it goes.  Last years 2009-2010 H1N1 shot was also approved for pregnant women despite the lack of safety testing (none) and it is estimated by the CDC that 1,588 pregnant women reported miscarriages as a side effect of their inoculations while the National Coalition of Organized Women (NCOW) said that the Center for Disease Control's numbers did match up with their estimated 3,587 miscarries as a side effect of the drug.  Furthermore, the efficacy of the flu shot has long been in question.  This excerpt was taken from The Cochrane Report, a website put together by a variety of health care providers.

"Without laboratory tests, doctors cannot tell the two illnesses apart. Both last for days and rarely lead to death or serious illness. At best, vaccines might be effective against only influenza A and B, which represent about 10% of all circulating viruses. Each year, the World Health Organization recommends which viral strains should be included in vaccinations for the forthcoming season."(http://www2.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab001269.html).

In previous years recommendations have been reserved for the elderly and a certain high risk population due to their increased chance of influenza related death; however, this year's recommendation being for a much broader spectrum begs to ask the question, how many people actually die from the flu?   For this information I went to the Dr. Sherry Tenpenny's website.  On it I found a table that actually breaks down the CDC's own numbers and it clearly illustrates that unlike the 35,000 people the CDC claim die from the flu each year the actual number has been an average of 1303 people per year since 1999.  They conveniently include deaths from pneumonia which is not protected by the flu shot.  (Remember the number of miscarriages from the H1N1 shot above.)  Other side effects include aches and pains, fever, fatigue (you mean like the flu?), Guillain Barre Syndrome, anaphaylaxis (a severe allergic reaction which is life threatening), etc., etc.


There are "preservative free" vaccines (a misleading term as there are always preservatives such as Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), Aluminum, Formaldehyde, etc. present) available which may only contain a "trace" amount of mercury and a nasal spray known as the FluMist which contains live viruses and was recalled several times last year.  While there hasn't been a lot of focus on it as the outcome is purely speculative, I have personal concerns about the safety of a 3 in 1 shot based on previous effects we've seen with other similar inoculations like the infamous DTP/DTap and MMR (MMR never contained mercury).

So let's recap.  If it doesn't work, it isn't necessary and it's potentially seriously harmful why do we still have an influenza vaccine? 

Needless to say, I'm not a fan and you can imagine my disgust when the first week of September (a very early flu season I presume) the Sunday paper was riddled with ads by Walgreen's, CVS and Target urging customers to come in for their inoculation.  I felt compelled to let them know the facts since this information was not awarded to me at anytime when I had my children vaccinated.  I was never offered a copy of a vaccine insert or given a waiver to sign listing all the possible known side effects (oh sure, the anecdotal stories were around but that's not proof, right?); however, I quickly discovered that the customers of these pharmacies WERE given such disclosures at the time of vaccination and that many people were reading and refusing.  This was good to hear but still not good enough as you never know how "informed" the "informed consent" really is, particularly when there is a monetary incentive involved.  I frequently checked the fan pages of these stores on Facebook and whenever I saw a flu shot advertisement I made sure to make a comment that provided pertain information without disclosing any personal experience or getting too heated.  This was merely informative and while that may sound a bit precious again, I and my fellow concerned citizens were looking to insure that the "informed" part of "informed consent" was intact.  What I found was that while most people were not planning to take the shot and were quite irritated by the campaigns especially the one toted by the famous Dr. Oz showing himself get vaccinated by a Walgreen's pharmacist on his show despite his own wife's refusal for herself and their children.  The people were smart and recognized the hippocracy and the conflicts not only of Dr. Oz but the relationship between policy makers, the CDC, the FDA and the pharmaceutical companies.  The Walgreen's fan page was a bit of a different story.  There were several comments from both sides of the issue but those in favor of the vaccine seemed to have a bizarre loyalty to the company even using their slogan "I got mine for..."  Others seemed to know way too much about how many vaccines they carried, the type, whether they were "preservative free", the CDC recommendations, etc.  It did not take me long to realize that many were Walgreen's employees.  I was not surprised that they would exhibit loyalty but I was surprised to discover (quite by accident) that they had more invested in getting people into the store and vaccinated.  A few days ago, I clicked the wrong link entitled "Mark your calendar! There are officially 100 days left in 2010! What are your big to-do's before the year is over?" and discovered that the employees weren't merely loyal but actually were given quotas for how many people they could get vaccinated.   Most of the comments were normal such as, "I'd like to lose weight" or "I'd like to go on vacation", etc., etc. but a couple remarks caught my eye.  One that read "My team still needs to give about 5500 flu shots to make our goal..." and another stating "meet my goal FOR FLU SHOTS!!!!!!!!!!"  I was once again disgusted with Walgreen's tactic and found it exploitative of the economic recession and while the corporation may lead us to believe that flu shots are "loss leaders" meaning that they do not make profit on them but rather on the products sold while customers are in the store, it is not greeting cards nor batteries that the staff are being rewarded for selling.  This conjured up the question as to whether or not it is ethical to offer an incentive for such an item.  Is it not very different then asking a person if they want fries with their burger?  I do not have any reason to believe that any Walgreen's employee has acted in a way that was misleading to anyone receiving the flu vaccine nor do I know what the actual quota incentive is or how many stores are adopting this strategy.  I would however like to know whether this corporation or any other that offer similar incentives are at all concerned about the potential "down playing" of side effects in order for a team to make quota.   It is tempting if not necessary for us to cut corners by shopping at discount stores like these but what price do we ultimately pay in the end?  As I write this I realize the "how" is becoming increasingly clear.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Highlights from "The Art of Cooking Special Diets" at the Autism One Conference

There were several delicious recipes from this all day cooking class by some of the best chefs and nutritionist in the business.  Since we were able to take samples I've listed recipes from the ones that were my favorites.

Many of us have been doing special diets for our children for quite a while but if you're like me it can get very stale and you end up with too many nights of cut up Applegate hotdogs.  All of the chefs had books and products to sell but nevertheless they all agreed that it is most important to cook your own food, invest in tools like stainless steel pots and pans, bread makers, food processors, etc.  And don't forget in your quest to find a special diet that it is most important to have a healthy diet.  If I could do it over again instead of jumping into a GF/CF/SF or SCD I would have started by buying all organic produce, grass fed meat, pasture eggs, non-GMO, free range chicken, etc., etc.  The reason being is because many times the food "allergies or sensitives" we see in our kids are actually a result of toxic insult.  Remove the toxins first and then get a better idea of what foods are actually causing a problem.  Since, I can't turn back the clock now; I'm just starting today with a good clean diet that is free of gluten, lactose (most casein), soy, corn and limited sugar, yeast, rice and potato but that's just what we've found to work for us.  I am in no way an expert and when I first started trying these diets I barely knew how to cook (that's still kind of true).  I also know from first hand experience that it can be very expensive to change your diet but as my mother-in-law says "you can either pay the grocer or the doctor, you decide". 

Having said all that, I know we all get busy and it can feel so overwhelming but I am reinvigorated and ready to insert some new recipes into our repertoire.  And since I'm going to be making this big commitment I might as well throw in some RDI.  I could make it a family affair where my children are working with me on preparing the meals.  For example if I'm cutting up the tomatoes I could have Aydan put them in a cup and pour it into the bowl, help with stirring, setting the table, etc., etc.  It's really limitless the number of ways we can involve our kids, isn't it?  Alright, I'm ready to go...

By the way, I don't work for any of these people and they aren't paying me to advertise for them.  I just really liked their food.

Spinach and Bean Quesadillas by Chef Wendell Fowler


Snacks can be a great way to satisfy the appetite plus boost metabolism while receiving all the delicious vitamins and nutrients required to support and sustain health.  With a bit of grocery shopping strategy, health snacking is no longer an oxymoron.

Ingredients:

1 pound fresh or frozen cooked spinach, drained
1 can ‘fibrous’ vegetarian refried beans (No lard)
2 cloves fresh, minced garlic
lime juice loaded with vitamin C
cumin powder
chili powder
sea salt and black pepper
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cups shredded Galaxy International Vegan Rice Cheese Slices

Garnish:

¼ cup pico de Gallo (see recipe)
cilantro leaves, chopped
green onion, chopped
lime wedges
organic corn tortillas or lettuce wraps (also see Deepa Deshmukh's recipe for Lentil Pancakes: Punjab Wrap & Roll)
cooking spray

1. Chop the spinach then coarsely blend it with the refried beans, jalapeno, cumin, chili, garlic, salt and pepper.
2. Meanwhile heat a frying pan on medium high with the oil.
3. Evenly spread some mixture on one half of a tortilla then sprinkle cheese on top of mixture.  Fold tortilla in half and cook a few minutes on each side until golden brown.
4. Remove to a cutting board, cut into thirds then plate them and garnish with lime wedges, Pico de Gallo and leaves of cilantro. Ole' baby!

Pico De Gallo:

6 medium tomatoes, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 radishes, diced
1/2 diced cucumber
1/4 cup cilantro chopped
juice of (1) lime
1 jalapeno seeded and minced
minced fresh garlic
salt to taste
put all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Let set a few minutes.

1. Cut everything in the same proportion; blend all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Let set a few minutes for the flavors to marry.

For more recipes or information on Chef Wendell you can check out his blog: http://chefwendellfowler.blogspot.com/


Lentil Pancakes: Punjab Wrap & Roll by Deepa Deshmukh, RD

Fill pancakes with stir fried veggies or use as a sandwich-type wrap.

Ingredients:

1 cup whole yellow lentils or moong dal from Indian market
1 cup urid dal or black lentils from Indian market
1-2 inch piece fresh ginger root, sliced
1/2-1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Ghee (clarified butter that is free of casein, whey and lactose) or coconut oil or other allowable oil

1. Rinse lentils.
2. Soak lentils for 5-6 hours (or overnight, not refrigerated) with sliced ginger.  The lentils will swell to double their size.
3. Grind soaked lentils with some of the soaking liquid (and ginger if using) in batches in a blender to obtain smooth batter - consistency of pancake batter.  Add salt to taste.
4. Heat skillet over medium heat, melt small amount of ghee or coconut oil in skillet.  Spread a large spoon full of batter on the griddle/skillet like a crepe; use the back of the spoon to spread the batter as thin as possible.  May add additional ghee or coconut oil around the edges of pancake.  Cook for 2 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cover pan to allow pancake to cook/steam for about 30 seconds.

6. The finished pancakes may be used as sandwich or breakfast wrap, or to hold a variety of fillings such as stir fried veggies or non-vegetarian curries.

Makes 24-6" pancakes/wraps

Note: batter may be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days; pancakes may be made in advance and kept in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Mango Custard by Deepa Deshmukh, RD

This delicious custard is best made the day before, allowing the flavors to marry.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup mango nectar
1 teaspoon agar (sometimes called agar-agar, a Japanese vegetarian gelatin, derived from seaweed; may substitute regular unflavored gelatin)
1 cup mango, fresh or frozen
1 cup coconut milk (not light) well stirred before measuring
Pinch of sea salt

To serve: fold in 2-3 tablespoons of blueberries or raspberries into finished custard
May sprinkle toasted walnuts or coconut (unsweetened)

1. In heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat mango nectar to just barely boiling.  Remove from heat and add agar and whisk until thickened, about 15 seconds.  Set aside.
2. In blender or food processor fitted with knife blade, add mango, coconut milk and salt and puree. Do not over mix!  Small bits of mango add to taste and appearance.
3. Add mango nectar/agar gelatin and puree quickly - 2-3 seconds to blend.  Over blending custard with agar with cause gelatin to break down.
4. Fold in additional fruit and top with choice of nut/seed or coconut as diet allows.

Makes 4-1/2 cup servings.

For more information on Deepa Deshmukh, Registered Dietitian check out:
http://www.dupagedietitians.com/dupage/index.aspx

IT'S A WRAP! - TORTILLAS by Anna Sobaski:

Ingredients:

One package of Breads From Anna (TM) gluten and yeast free mix
3 whole eggs or equivalent egg replace
1 3/4 cup water or nondairy milk
1/3 cup olive, coconut, grapeseed oil or flavored olive oil
Optional: 1 heaping teaspoon dried parsley and 2 heaping tablespoons of dried onions flakes OR 1 tablespoon Sunny Paris spice blend (www.penzeys.com) or Herbs de Provence pluse dried shallots or chives.

1. In a large bowl mix together eggs, nondairy milk and oil to dry mix (add optional ingredients to dry mix if desired).
2. Blend well until all lumps are smooth.
3. Spoon 3-4 tablespoons of dough and place onto center of preheated flatbread maker.
4. Close lid and let cook about 2 minutes.
5. Place handle down over lid and press down adding pressure to flatten out bread.  Repeat this 2-3 times in quick succession of added pressure. You need to do this downward pressure quickly to allow steam to escape.

One package of mix will make approximately 20 flatbread/wraps.  Dough can be stored in the refrigerator for 24 hours and used as needed.

Egg replacer recipes:

Seed blend: 1 tablespoon whole flaxseed OR chia seed mixed with 3 tablespoons boiling water.  Place flax/chia seed in bottom of a blender, cover with water.  Let sit for 5 minutes and then blend on highest speed.  Mixture will keep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.  3 tablespoons equal one egg.

Coconut Milk: 1/2 cup coconut milk (not light) mixed with 3 teaspoons baking powder equals 3 eggs.

Anna is a big believer in investing in cooking equipment.  You can check out her website to see some of the products she recommends and sells.  Most of these items at lower cost in your local stores.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding by Anna Sobaski

Enjoy this no bake pudding as a pie filling or as a pudding.  May make a thinner version as a smoothie for disguising supplements.

Ingredients:

2 ripe avocados
3 tablespoons 100 percent pure maple syrup (preferably organic)
1/4 cup blue agave syrup (preferably organic)
1 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup dark cocoa powder
Pinch of salt

1. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until creamy.  Adjust flavor with more balsamic if necessary.

For more information, recipes and products from Anna Sobaski you can check out her website:
http://breadsfromanna.com/

Chicken Broth by Sueson Vess

Ingredients:

3-3 1/2 pounds free-range chicken pieces, mostly  backs and wings, rinsed (Do not use chicken liver but may use other giblets)
2-3 carrots, cut in large chunks
3-4 celery stalks, cut in large chunks
2 large white onions, quartered
1 leek
1 bay leaf
Handful of parsley and/or thyme sprigs (fresh)
May add additional vegetables: sweet potatoes, white potatoes, others to taste or dietary needs
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
Cold, purified water
2 tablespoons vinegar or fresh lemon juice
Salt
1 kombu "stick" (sea vegetable)
Optional: 3-4 dried juniper berries (available at Penzeys Spices: www.penzeys.com and many grocery spice sections)

1. Place the chicken and vegetables in a large stockpot over medium heat.  Pour enough cold water to cover chicken.  Add vinegar or lemon juice.  Add bay, parsley/thyme, peppercorns, and cloves and slowly bring to a boil.
2. Lower the heat to low and gently simmer for 3-4 hours. As the broth cooks, skim any impurities that rise to the surface.
3. Remove the chicken pieces and discard.  Strain the broth through a fine sieve into another container and discard vegetable solids.  If not using the broth immediately, place the pot in a sink full of ice water and stir to cool.  When cool, cover and refrigerate or freeze.

Makes approximately 2 quarts.

Sueson Vess just recently recovered from cancer and that in itself is a testimonial to the nutritional value of her foods.  I particularly liked the chicken broth recipe because by making your own not only do you save money and remove the impurities of store bought you also provide an opportunity to add tons of nutrients to your other foods.  For example, you can cook your vegetables or rice in the broth instead of water and you will be adding additional proteins and flavor.  Grandma was right the best remedy for a cold is still chicken soup.

GFCFSF NuLife Brown Gravy by Chef John Koutras

Ingredients:

2 cups natural beef broth
3/4 Tbl. tomato paste
1 Tbl. potato starch
3 Tbl. coconut milk (creamy type)
to taste kosher/sea salt
to taste ground black pepper

Method:

1. In a pot over medium heat place 1 1/2 cups of beef broth and the tomato paste.  Heat on the stove while whisking together until combined and bring to a simmer.  Cook for about 3-5 minutes.
2. While the broth is simmering, prepare a slurry by dissolving the potato starch in the remaining 1/2 cup of unheated beef broth.
3. Whisk the cold slurry into the heated broth and you will see the sauce start to thicken.
4. Add the coconut milk and season with the salt and pepper.
5. Adjust the consistency as you like.  Add additional beef broth for a thinner sauce and add more slurry if you prefer a thicker sauce.
6. Add the Beefy Veggy Meatballs to the sauce and heat for 5 minutes on very low so the sauce does not burn.

GFCFSF NuLife Swedish Style Sauce

Ingredients:

1 cup NuLife brown gravy
6 Tbl. coconut Milk
4 Tbl. rice (hemp, almond or desired) milk
pinch Ground Nutmeg (nutmeg can be overwhelming so add to taste)
to taste Kosher sea salt
to taste ground black pepper

Method:

1. Heat the brown gravy in a pot over low heat and bring to a simmer.
2. Add the coconut and rice milks to the gravy and whisk all together.
3. Season with the nutmeg and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as desired.
4. Add the beefy veggy meatballs to the sauce and heat for 5 minutes on very low so the sauce does not burn.

I have to say I absolutely love Swedish meatballs but I've never tried to make them myself.  The recipe above was provided by NuLife foods at the conference and I have to say thanks to those guys because if it weren't for all their delicious samples I would've had to spend a lot more money on food.  They sell fantastic pre-made food which is quite expensive so I would only recommend to families to purchase their products as a last resort but they did offer a recipe to one of their most popular items which I've listed above.  The veggy beefy meatballs referenced I do not have the full recipe for but it is a mixture of beef and butternut squash, so be creative and add your meatballs to the sauce for a delicious treat.

For more information on NuLife Foods check out: www.nulifefoods.com.

SCD Legal: Squash and Chicken Pancakes by Julie Matthews




 For more information on Julie Matthews, her cookbooks and recipes check out: http://nourishinghope.com/ 

Eat well!

 






Thursday, April 29, 2010

True Confessions from a Refrigerator Mom

Finally I have come to confess this bit of information that in most conversations about my son's decline into autism I will omit.  I feel responsible.  If you've read this blog before you know how I feel about vaccination and autism.  I strongly believe that the current epidemic on our hands is vaccine induced.  I really have no doubt of it.  I have cloudy memories of a lot of things but I can remember the days my children received their shots.  My oldest son as most of you know is Neuro-typical.  I often attribute this to his childhood illness that required him to hold off on vaccines.  By the time my second child was born my first was already 2 years old and way behind on his vaccine schedule.  We would catch him up in the years to follow but imagine if I had waited until Aydan was 2 to give him most of his vaccines.  Unfortunately this is not the only reason I feel guilty.  I feel responsible because I was warned.  The day before I took my oldest to see the doctor at 2 weeks, an old friend of mine said "make sure the vaccines don't have mercury, my cousin said it caused her daughter's autism".  I asked the doctor if the vaccine had mercury and I'll never forget what she said "that's last year's problem".  I'm sorry, was that a yes or no?  Still not sure.  After he got sick a few months later we were in the hospital for two weeks.  As you can imagine we got to know the hospital staff very well especially the nurses.  A young nurse who had just gotten married and was looking to have children asked me if I was going to have my son vaccinated.  I answered, "yeah, why not? My doctor says it's safe."  She went on to tell me that she believed that vaccines triggered autism in genetically predisposed children and that there was no real way of knowing if you were genetically predisposed.  This was a nurse in Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, people, but nevertheless, I shrugged it off.  Later when my son was 18 months old and far behind on his schedule I took him in for a check up.  The doctor informed me that he was way behind on his schedule and that we needed to do at least 3 different pokes (which was 5 different vaccines).  "I really don't want to do the MMR" I told him, "because I've heard it's connected to autism."  This is when I heard the uniformed version of the Wakefield studies of which I knew nothing at the time so I believed him, "but just one" I said.  So we did the MMR.

Later when Aydan was born, I stopped worrying about the vaccines.  I figured if it didn't happen to Avery my very vulnerable first born, it wouldn't happen to Aydan my healthy robust second born.  After all he was 9lbs., 9oz., 22 inches tall at birth, big boy, never sick, always hit his milestones a couple months early...  all that.  When I took Aydan for shots around 15 months he had been sick.  He had a cold a few days earlier and was still having a running nose.  My husband who did not believe in vaccination and who had always told me not to vaccinate the kids asked me to stay home and not go to the doctor.  I assured him what the doctors' had said to me and that there was definitely no connection between vaccines and autism, "I know for a fact it won't happen to Aydan" I said (or something like that).  Not entirely convinced my husband persisted and urged me just to wait until his runny nose was gone and he was completely better but I didn't wait.  I wanted to do it while my husband was home from work so that I didn't have drag my older son to the doctor with us.  The nurse did the vitals and he had no fever but he still had that runny nose.  "He's due for some shots, do you want to wait for the runny nose to go away?" she asked.  "No, he's o.k." I said.  That's right, two times in one day and the numerous times before that I had been warned.  Why did I make such a thoughtless decision?  I had been such a cautious mom.  I breast fed both my kids until they were 2, I gave them cloth diapers, I bought organic fruit... all that stuff.   So why here did I drop the ball so royally?  Part of me thinks it was laziness, not wanting to have to reschedule our appointment, the other hidden agenda I had was that I thought the kids needed to be current on their shots in order to go to school and I wanted to go back to work.  (The irony is that I never did go back to work outside the home due to the rigors of having a special needs child.  The hours I put into autism are far greater than any full time job I know of.)  I also think that I truly believed that this would not happen to my son.  Whatever reason I tell myself it doesn't add up to an excuse.  I think about that day often and the doctor's appointments to follow that would inevitably lead to my son's autism.  Am I angry at the system, the deception, the misinformation, the incompetence, the lies, the doctors who are too lazy to read the list of vaccine side effects?  Absolutely.. but that could never add up to the anger I have for myself.  All the times that I have been pissed at my husband for not being as involved in my son's treatment I have really been pissed at myself.  Maybe if I had listened to my husband in the first place we wouldn't be talking about treatments.  Obviously there's no certainty in life and it doesn't serve my family in anyway for me to hold onto self-hatred.  So, I go on.  I fight for my boy and the thousands like him.  I play with him, advocate for him, research for him, wait for him, want for him, prayer for him, remediate him, teach him, adore him and most importantly love him.  I still don't have a time machine though.  What do you know?  I'm a refrigerator mom after all.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Selective Hearing, Brian Deer and the GMC, Dr Andrew Wakefield Autism MMR Film

The lies of Brian Deer - vaccines, autism and the Lancet 12 parents



A complete deconstruction of the BMJ Brian Deer fraud against Dr Wakefield

Monday, March 29, 2010

How autism is helping me become my true self!

When I was a little girl my parents told me stories about how they protested the Viet Nam war up against military police, people getting arrested, beaten or even killed for their cause.  A group working together for a common goal defying authority and popular opinion for justice, to save lives and restore faith in our country.  Eventually as we all know historically speaking the Viet Nam war did end after the popular opinion began to sway and most Americans eventually became opposed to it.  As a young person I longed to be a part of something so important.  I fantasized about joining the peacecorp or being one of the brave Greenpeace protesters who places their ships in front of the whalers blocking them from harpooning the whale.  When I was in highschool I became an avid opposer to the Gulf War even organizing a walk out in my school.  I was on the news a couple years later at a protest for the Rodney King verdict.

As I started entering my 30's I realized that I was probably not going to join the peacecorp or ride a Greenpeace ship.  I had started building my family and became a wife and mother of two.  As many moms experience raising young children you begin to feel overwhelmed, isolated and exhausted (if you have a child with autism this period does not end).  The only thing you have time for is to "tend your own garden".  My new fantasy was to raise great children and I believed that to be equally important.  I made efforts to keep my children safe and well.  I breast fed both boys for two years each and had them wear cloth diapers until they were ready for potty training.  I researched the best car seats available and made certain they would always have them even if we couldn't afford it.  We took frequent trips to the farmers' market and it would be years before my kids were allowed to eat candy.

Despite the fact that I loved being a mom I slowly began to forget who I was.  On second thought, I probably didn't know who I was at all.  I had just traveled through life knowing certain things made me feel good, others didn't and most things went unnoticed.  Today at the age of 36 I have began to evaluate what all these things mean.  I recently changed my facebook profile picture from a picture of myself to a picture of Linda Hamilton in Terminator.  One day I just decided that I didn't feel like the person in my picture anymore.  Not on the inside anyway.  I couldn't identify with the person that I saw because my true inner being was beginning to bubble up to the surface.  The outer appearance is a shy, non-confrotional, nuturing, caring and loving mom and while I maybe all of the those things there is another side that rarely gets noticed by anyway even myself.  For example, growing up in the '80s like many young girls I loved Michael Jackson, Duran Duran, Cyndy Lauper and other mainstream pop artist.  My brother on the other hand was into Metal.  I would hear him blasting this music that sounded more like noise but the energy was something that made my bones shake.  I felt it.  When my brother wasn't home I would go into his room and listen to his records.  Records by Led Zepplein, AC/DC, Motley Crue, Guns n' roses, Black Sabbath... you get the point.  What was it that drew me to that music and in secret no less?  Today I embrace my love of metal, punk, grunge and all around protest music but somehow it continues to go against what people think of me.  My husband the other day turns up the radio as a song by Taylor Swift comes on the saying "you love this..."  shocked I replied, "do you even know me?"  Of course not, I don't know me but that's changing.

So what does this have to do with autism?  After I changed my profile picture on facebook I became more active upping my friend count from around 20 to 100.  I began to speak my mind in ways I had previously been afraid to do.  At this time I understood why I had chosen the picture of Linda Hamilton's character Sarah Connor.  When I first saw the picture I just knew that was how I felt but as I saw the change it made in me, I became more aware of how exactly I identified with her.  In the first Terminator movie Sarah Connor is an ordinary woman who falls in love with a guy, gets pregnant and as she discovers her fate she begins to understand her true self.  As a mom she must protect her son against obstacles greater than that of the average mom.  By the second movie she has become a gun toting leader of the movement to restore life.  As a mother of a child with a special need she finds her true worth.  Now I know I'm no Sarah Connor but I relate.  As much as I wanted to be apart of something important I never would've imagined it would happen because I became the parent of an autistic child.  Today I realize that I do still need to "tend my own garden" but my garden is larger than what I originally thought.  I recognize that my anger isn't something to be afraid to express.  Of course, no one wants to be around someone who's angry all the time but I see that I must embrace this hard side as well as my softer side for it is this that helps me to remember my true passion in life.  The passion that I've always had but went dormant for years and while I thought parenthood would replace this it has only fueled it more than ever.  I am more determined now to do all in my power to show my son the road to recovery and along the way I will get the word out as best I can about the injustices happening to all people via herd medicine.  (Would we be as concerned about national health care if there weren't so many sick people?  But that's a rant for another time). Today I am enjoying being myself.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Don't wanna be an American Idiot...

Do you ever feel like you're living in a Science Fiction movie?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Mad As Hell

There are many blogs out there about RDI (Relationship Development Intervention), Bio-medical interventions for autism and/or vaccine related injuries (some of which I follow); however, this is not one of those blogs.  I merely write about autism as it is for our family.  I will sometimes talk in great detail for those interested in the dangers of vaccines or ways to start a RDI program but I don't claim to be an expert on any of it.  I am not a teacher but merely a student of it all and I discuss the progress, mis-steps, regressions, joyful, hopeful, and tear filled moments as I see them in relation to my family and myself. 

Having said that I'm about to discuss what I'm feeling today and today I feel angry.  Wait, let's back up and start from the beginning.  Two and half years ago when my son was diagnosed with autism I had great hopes.  I went to the pediatrician's office to talk to her about what I already knew.  I said, "he isn't talking and he walks on his toes.  He doesn't play with his older brother or other children."  She referred me to the regional center.  I told her I already had an appointment with them.  At this time she went on to say some very reassuring things.  She told me that autism has changed.  The diagnosis used to mean we had to start looking into group homes, institutions, etc.  She said this was no longer the case and that many children have a reversal of the diagnosis by the time they go to Elementary School.  She told me not to freak out when the regional center told me my son had autism (and I didn't).  What she failed to explain was that you had to work your ass off to accomplish this but in the moment I left feeling o.k.  I went home to enter the University of Google and got to work.  What to do next?  Diets-check.  Therapy-check.  We got the official diagnosis on September 18, 2007.  That was the same month Jenny McCarthy's book "More Than Words" was released.  I contemplated for a while introverting and not telling anyone and just quietly disappearing while I made plans to recover my son only to re-emerge when recovery was complete.  I decided not to do this and that night I went online to my MomsClub and put the word out that I was looking for information on the GF/CF diet because "my son has autism".  Within hours I had several responses.  Most of them were apologies and words of encouragement.  A large number of the responses sounded something like this: "Did you hear about Jenny McCarthy?" "Did you see Jenny on Oprah?"  "I heard she cured her son's autism with a special diet."  My first response was "oh, good for her, she's rich and famous and can afford all the best, how fortunate."  A few months later I read her book.  After reading it I realized that she was not so different than me.  I felt with all her advantages I would not have wanted to be in her place especially when watching her son go into cardiac arrest.  I felt fortunate that my son did not suffer seizures.

Fast forward to a few months ago my son receives a full scholarship to attend Jenny's school Teach2Talk Academy.  While there he made great progress and even became potty trained which was phenomenal.  The first time I met Jenny she had a big smile on her face and opened her arms wide to greet me walking up the stairs at the Generation Rescue building.  I think I surprised her when I reached in for a hug but she went with it and hugged me back.  I didn't say much but I felt confident that she'd heard it all.  I had held off on reading her other books about autism because I had so many others to read.  I thought, if I'm going to read a book about autism it's going to be a book that will tell me how to heal my son.  I don't need to read a collection of stories about other moms; while I empathize with their situation, I only have energy enough to handle what's going on in my own home and most of the time that's too much.  After meeting her and seeing how sweet she was I felt bad that I did not read her other books.  I knew she had co-authored a book about bio-medical treatment with Dr. Kartzinel and I decided to read it but first I thought I'll read "Mother Warriors" just to read them in sequence.  I checked it out of the library and read it over a few days.  For me a self proclaimed slow reader, reading a book over a few days is a good review.  It was Saturday afternoon and I was nearly finished with the book.  I sat in bed with my son next me and read these stories of inspiration and recovery.  I was on the last story about Elias and if you've already read the book you know where this is going.  For those of you that haven't read the book, the story of Elias does not end well.  I read along as Jenny describes this family's story in a foreboding manner.  I felt it was painful to her and this frightened me.  I didn't like where it was going.  Elias' parents go on to talk about how their beautiful healthy son gets sick repeatedly after being injected with several vaccines.  On and on this goes until he enters the world of autism.  Eventually the story concludes after Elias suffers a terrible sickness, cardiac arrest and eventually dies.  As I was reading this story I felt it was different then the others but since all the other stories had ended on a high note, I figured this one would too, it didn't.  As Elias' mother describes her son's death, she says "he died..."  I couldn't continue.  I slammed the book shut and threw it across the room.  I cried for a very long time and had to walk away and stare out the window just so I could think of something else.  As I starred out at the children in our apartment complex playing in the pool I was able to focus on them and not on what I had just read.  I stopped crying and walked across the room to pick up the book I had flung.  I picked it up with shaking hands.  I couldn't do it.  I still could not finish reading the book.  I started to cry again and this time, I felt someone watching me.  As I raised my head I saw Aydan's face with a wrinkle on his forehead and a look of concern.  I began to smile because in this moment I saw a glimpse of Aydan's recovery.  I had never noticed him feeling sympathy before.  I kissed him as he watched me carefully.  I sat down and finished the book.

Now why do I tell you this story?  What I experienced while reading this book was an emotion I did not expect.  I thought I knew these stories.  I understood what vaccines were doing to people and I knew that some were dying.  So why did this story cause me to break down?  I'm not quite sure.  Partly I think it was fear.  Mostly I think it was anger.  I didn't want to know these things.  I didn't want to feel this way.  I even felt angry at Jenny for making me see it.  I'm not sure I had really paid attention before.  I knew there was a danger to our children lurking and looming but had I really taken it in or had I just skimmed the pages?  I know this wasn't the first tear I had shed over autism and I know it won't be the last but I realized that day that it was no longer enough for me to sit in my house and quietly cure my son.  What kind of world was I planning on releasing him into?  What if he never recovers?  What if he does?  When is the time to use my voice if not now?  I vowed that this would be my life.  I vowed never to turn away and to never stop telling truth.  I prayed to God to please give me the strength to never give up on my son and the thousands like him.  Now isn't the time for political correctness.  We have an epidemic on our hands that is larger than anything we've ever seen.  If you think the numbers for autism are high, check out ADD/ADHD, Asthma, Allergies, Alzheimers...  and those are just a few of the As.  Vaccine induced illness has created this generation of the "diagnosed".  The odd thing about all of this is that it actually is a blessing.  Our eyes are wide open and we're doing something about it.  We're cleaning up our diet, our air, our water, our products and even our clothes.  We're making changes that may have prolonged our own lives and while I know that we are turning lemons into lemonaide.  There is still much to do.

I can't help but to ask myself why I was called into this world.  To what greater purpose?  Would I have cared about vaccine induced sickness and death had I not been in the position to witness it?  I doubt it.  The baby boomers thought they had an uphill task of ending the Viet Nam war, well they haven't seen anything.  Unraveling the truth about autism, autoimmune and vaccines will not be easy but we must stand strong.  Do not forget what you saw with your own eyes.  We are not crazy. 

Picture this: You take your son to the doctor because he burns his hand on the stove.  The doctor says, "that burn didn't come from the stove."  You say, "of course it did, I saw it."  Doctor replies: "No, burns like that don't happen from stoves." You answer, "But no doctor, I saw it with my own eyes, look at his burn, it's clearly from a stove."  Doctor: "No, it's not possible, we don't exactly know why burns like that occur but we know it's not from stoves."  Imagine five or six different doctors telling you the same thing.  After a while you may start to doubt yourself but we can't allow that to happen.  We don't need a double blind placebo study to prove the stove burnt our hands.  We know the truth and we will reveal.

Since I usually like to include a picture or video in my posts, I will leave you with this.  No one has said it better:

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Resolutions, Mountain Climbing and Potty training

Happy New Year Everyone!  I hope all had a warm holiday season and are looking forward to 2010.  I love the optimism of a New Year.  You're slate has been wiped clean and you are ready to start over.  I love making resolutions, so much so that I usually make way too many.  I often make 4-5 that are easily forgotten by February. So this year I decided to make just one.  What is it, you ask?  Well, I was inspired by a documentary "Touching the Void" about a mountain climber who was able to make it out of the inside of a glacier back into the mountain and then down the hill on his own with one broken leg.  If that sounds impossible then watch the documentary.  You will see that it seems more impossible than you can imagine and yet this guy pulls it off.  I just happened to catch this movie on cable a couple weeks ago and have been haunted by it ever since.  I had never heard of it or this story before and I wasn't sure exactly how I ended up watching it in the first place.  It was late a night and I was about to go to bed I started watching it peripherally while reading a book and then found myself drawn into the story.  As I lay in bed for the next several nights I would see images of this man pulling himself out of this glacier.  I would have to think about him for about 30 minutes before being able to think of anything else.  I thought about this in relation to what it feels like living in a world with autism.  Pulling yourself out of the void, into the light only to be met by thousands of feet of mountain with one broken leg, in below zero temperatures, with no food; what could be harder than this?  Potty training a child with autism, perhaps?  For most people this will sound pretty funny but not to those of us with kids on the spectrum.  All of us want are kids to become potty trained neuro-typical or not and when you're child is difficult the thought of a teen-ager in diapers will undoubtedly run through our minds.  As ridiculous as this seems it is a very realistic occurrence for people on the autistic spectrum.  So what does this have to do with my New Year's resolution?  I decided to do just as the mountain climber does and not think about the entire mountain but rather about getting to one place at a time.  As you will see in the footage I've attached below he would set goals about getting to a rock in 20 minutes or a tree in 10.  I can't think of recovery as a whole but rather one thing at a time.  My son will potty train once I can get him to initiate when he has to go but you can't start with that.  First we begin a routine, pulling the pants down and up, washing hands, etc., then we start to teach him to communicate once he's had an accident, then we work on him telling when he has to go and so on...  At present we're making progress because he has begun initiating when he has to go but inconsistently so the goal is that within 3 months he will be doing this consistently.  So as to not confuse the official New Year's resolution isn't that my son will become potty trained but that I will learn to set small goals, one at a time.