A Year

The one year anniversary of my son starting topical steroid withdrawal passed pretty quietly ten days ago.  I wanted to write a triumphant blog commemorating the occasion but I didn’t have it in me.

Some of the memories and feelings are still raw.  Today I unfollowed my ITSAN support group.  The daily barrage of suffering is too much.  Our experience has gotten considerably better but the memories of the months of unmitigated suffering are still fresh and the daily reminders aren’t something I want to deal with.

Life is moving on.  Gabe is back in school and mostly functioning like a “normal” kid.  He is currently in the process of testing for the districts highly gifted program.  I could stress out about how little sleep he got last night and how it will affect his testing today, but I know it’s in God’s very capable hands.

One thing I pray is that God would give Gabe a double recompense of blessing for the horrible trials he’s had to endure.  I pray that Gabe would grow up in the presence of God and fulfill everything God created him to be and do.

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My Sweet Boy

The awesome thing about serving God is that HE can take the horrible things you have to go through and turn it around and make it work out not only for your good but for the good of everyone watching your story unfold.

“He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock…Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him.”  Psalm 40:2-3 

The Devil does his damndest to destroy us and thwart the plan of God for our lives.  But God uses those things and it’s those things that actually prepare us to step into our calling.  Devil be damned.

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20 

Through all of this I have been boldly bringing my prayers and requests before the throne of grace.  But one verse I have been meditating on lately is this stark warning from Psalm 106- “And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.”

It’s ok to ask.  We all want breakthroughs.  I want my baby healed.  I want to be a published author.  I want certain loved ones filled with the Holy Spirit.  But I don’t want those things at the expense of my spiritual hunger for God.  Sometimes we demand to get our way, and do get it.  But the end result is a leanness in our soul.  How terrible.

“Lord, help us to always seek your face and not just your hand.  Help us to be ever aware that there is nothing that compares to the riches of knowing and being known by you.  Help us to pursue you more than we pursue anything else, even the good things and hopes you have placed in our hearts.  We love you and trust your plan, even when it includes suffering. Amen” 

 

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Addressing a “Hater”

Hey guys, I’m returning with another short vlog to address a comment I received yesterday.  The main thing is, though that I talk more about the path to true hope and healing.  Much love, Sierra Rose

Going Mental

I read an article this morning about the decline of mental health in America. jn

All joking aside, there’s an epidemic of depression amongst teens.  This article is from the U.K. but I’m guessing we’d have similar number over here in North America. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3752222/Depression-anxiety-strikes-one-three-teenage-girls-Number-mental-health-issue-rises-10-past-decade.html The article sites a 10% increase in depression in the last decade and that 1 in 3 teen girls will deal with depression.

Not only that but the CDC says that 1 in 6 children have a developmental disorder https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2011/05/23/cdc-1-in-6/13146/ and that there was at least a 17% increase between 1997 and 2008.  Who knows what the figure is at now.

All the experts can tell us is that kids are depressed because of their smart phones.  Kids are disconnected.  While I believe that is true and a contributing factor I also believe the high aluminum loads in our collective brains has an awful lot to do with it.

This study showed than exposure to environmental aluminum posed a major risk to neurological health and can lead to Alzheimer’s https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140212093300.html  “While aluminum is a known neurotoxin and occupational exposure to aluminum has been implicated in neurological disease…” quote  Now this study is focused on Alzheimer’s, a specific condition, but maybe environmental aluminum (cough*vaccines*cough) is behind the explosion in depression, anxiety, OCD, ADD and possibly even behind the increase in tragic school shootings.

This article from 2007 illustrates the prevalence of aluminum in modern society and the neuro-toxic affects “Trace amounts of aluminum applied to the brain surface of animals resulted in seizures and fits. Other studies demonstrated that aluminum salts injected into the fluid surrounding the brain produced changes that are similar to those occurring in senile dementia. In further animal studies, cats given aluminum became slow learners at experimental tasks. The level of aluminum in the cats’ brains was equivalent to the amount in the brains of persons who have a type of senility called Alzheimer’s disease.”  http://proliberty.com/observer/20071207.htm

But what’s the link between Alzheimer’s and learning disabled kids, depressed teens and 20 somethings still living at home?  Maybe it’s all aluminum.  Just check out some of these common symptoms of dementia-

Difficulty concentrating and planning things
Memory loss and confusion
Short attention span
Lack of motivation
Depression
Personality, mood and behavioral changes
Delusions or hallucinations
Incontinence
Muscle weakness, stiffness, or paralysis
Slow and unsteady movements
Trembling in arms and legs
Sleeping difficulties
Aggression and frustration

Difficulty concentrating, short attention span, depression, aggression…sound familiar? Sounds pretty similar to what is being seen in the mental health epidemic we are seeing.

All of this because of an aggressive (ahem, profitable) vaccine schedule.  Why aluminum?  It’s in virtually all vaccines to trigger as strong as possible immune response to gain immunity to the disease they are vaccinating against.  The major problem being, this powerfully immune-stimulating, potent neuro-toxin is in nano particle and tends to stick around the body.  It isn’t coming back out.  It is getting stored in white blood cells and worse, the brain.

Pumping babies full of this junk could easily explain not just the neurological decline but also the explosion of auto-immune problems.  Again, all the experts can say is that we are causing asthma and allergies by being “too clean”.  Really?  Or could it be the powerful immune system antagonist being injected into our bodies throwing our immune systems in a tailspin???

Really I could go on and on but I’m going to exercise a bit of restraint and get to the good part- what do we do now?  How can we rescue ourselves and our kids from this man made crisis of poor physical and mental health?

We need to start with avoiding further environmental aluminum.  It’s been an experiment.  It’s failed.  We need to make major changes.  For those of us who feel like we developed an auto-immune condition and/or mental health issue as the result of aluminum, we need to detox it out of our bodies.

This is the daily regiment I have my 12 year old son on. 20171213_113059.jpg

I’m personally experimenting with taking diatomaceous earth.  It’s really cool in that it’s the crushed up fossils of diatoms.  It’s a rich source of silica- the single best thing in detoxing aluminum.  I just mix a heaping tablespoon with filtered water and drink it.  It isn’t too bad and doesn’t have much of a taste.  It’s an incredible natural and safe detox aid.  The silica is also great for hair, nails and skin- added bonus.  I just started but I’ll definitely update my blog on how and if I feel it’s helping.  Here’s some additional info https://draxe.com/diatomaceous-earth/

I’d like to do more posts on mental health, because really, it’s is just such a complex topic.  But I really believe that our bodies and brains are going to have issues as long as they are laboring under this toxic burden.  Getting the aluminum out is the first step.

 

The Saga Continues

So I watched er…listened to this video over the past couple days.  https://www.facebook.com/areyoucrooked/videos/2018168381763526/

The video is over two hours long so it took awhile to get through it.  Half of it was listening to it via Bluetooth while driving across the twin cities.  I didn’t see all the graphs and pictures but I definitely got the jist of it.

The video is made by Forrest Maready and he’s just a regular guy doing some pretty extraordinary things.  He is the dad of a child with autism and his wife has suffered with auto-immune disorders.  He’s been on a two year quest to uncover answers and this video (and a book coming out soon) is really the culmination of that.  He is very quick to point out that these are theories. 

For me it was really illuminating.  I, like many, have also suffered with auto-immune issues.  Which, I can trace back to the summer that I was 12.

Journey back in time with me to a wonderful era when the Spice Girls were huge.  The internet was confined to your clunky, slow home desktop computer.  Helicopter parenting was not yet invented.  I was a “free-range” kid before that was a thing.  We lived outside a small town in southern Minnesota and it was wonderful.  In the summer we disappeared into the woods behind our house for hours at a time.  We stayed out late catching fireflies.  We swam in a (gross) Lake Mazaska nearby.  In the winter we dug snow forts, sledded, went ice skating, all of that.  My mom always had me in sports.  I was a very athletic kid and would go to some sort of sport practice nearly every day. 527499_10152250637685074_1854436615_n

One of my favorite things to do was to explore abandoned structures with my friends.  Of course my parents didn’t know, but remember this was the 90’s and I was a free-range chicken, er….kid.  We liked to pretend an old one room school house was haunted and we’d spook ourselves silly and dare each other to go in alone.  It was great except for the time that I ended up stepping on an old nail.  It went through the sole of my shoe and pierced into the bottom of my foot.

I reluctantly told my mom who dutifully brought me in for a tetanus shot.

Now all of this was 20 years ago so this is a leap of connected memories and speculation but around that time I also developed debilitating asthma.

I had been an athlete and completely healthy.  But one night my mom said she found me in the hallway in the middle of the night wheezing for air.  I did tests which showed my lungs for very weak (all of a sudden…?) and got an inhaler and that was that.

But what if that wasn’t that?  What if that tetanus shot had just started a cascade that would continue to be unleashed?

I can also look back and see that something changed within me as well.  I had been a really happy kid.  I had a lot of friends.  But I would soon be plunged deep into depression and an eating disorder.  It was so bad that I attempted suicide multiple times as a young teen.

Now this is all speculation, of course.  But I did manage to dig up this study linking a two fold increase in asthma following tetanus vaccination https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10714532?dopt=Abstract

And this article explaining how the metals in vaccines can severely damage mental health http://whale.to/b/blaylock.html

As a young adult I mostly overcame these issues.  I forced my lungs to get stronger through progressively harder workouts.  I found faith and that helped with the mental health a lot.  I was really happy.

Then I got my pregnant with my second child and all hell broke loose.  My digestive system stopped working.  My thyroid went berserk.  I developed symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.  I saw many doctors but really had to do a ton of research myself into figuring out that I had celiac’s disease and some other food sensitivities.

The weird thing is, I grew up eating wheat and it was fine.  I probably had three-four servings a day!  But now eating it would make me curl up in a ball from the stomach pain, it would shut down my digestion, I would be too exhausted to complete basic tasks.

I remember my husband being puzzled, like, why are you so sick?  You eat healthy and take such good care of yourself.

The interesting thing I learned in the video mentioned earlier is that when aluminum (back to that again!) is injected it gets gobbled up by white bloods cells, or macrophages, if we’re being technical.  These white blood cells can lay dormant in your muscle tissue until some event triggers them to act.  An event like *ahem* pregnancy or illness, stress, surgery, etc.

That’s why so many women develop auto-immune disorders after a pregnancy.

Again these are all theories hobbled together from real research.

But if you, like me, have auto-immune issues or autism or perhaps other issues you could trace back to a vaccine- there is hope.  You can reclaim your health.  Give the video a watch.  He spend the first part talking about the bizarre phenomenon of the rise of the lopsided smile.  It sounds weird but hear him out.  He gets around to auto-immune disorders and aluminum later in the video.

It starts with doing a heavy metal detox.  You can even get testing done to check your levels if you’re not sure.

It may be as easy as drinking a silica-rich water like Fiji.  The silica water is able to safely bind to aluminum and carry it out of the body. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2216608/Drinking-litre-day-mineral-water-prevent-onset-Alzheimers-flushing-aluminium.html

Other methods include detoxing through sweating, detox baths, taking vitamin c, and supplementing glutathione.

It could be coincidence that I went from a healthy, happy kid to a suicidal, asthmatic mess within two years time of getting a tetanus shot.  IDK maybe I’m completely wrong.  If I find compelling evidence I will reverse my position and blog about that too.

In the mean time we need to really, really examine this.  Not just for the sake of our own health but the generations coming after us.  Because this is only going to continue to get worse if we don’t do something.

 

 

 

 

Temple of the Holy Spirit

One focus of this blog is supposed to be on health.  I haven’t really addressed that in awhile partly because it has been so back-burnered in my life.

Lupus and other auto-immune disorders run in my family.  My paternal Grandma, Margaret Terrell, had parents that fled the hardships of the potato famine in Ireland.  Then she went through extreme hardship enduring the Great Depression as a girl.  She had 14 children and succumbed to lupus and cancer at the relatively young age of 64.

All of my aunts have auto-immune issues.  My older sister has lupus and R.A.  My aunt has done a lot of research and believes that the hardships endured in our family caused a genetic mutation and predisposition to auto-immune disease.

A few years back I was feeling awful and had a lupus test done.  The results showed elevated nuclear antibody activity, evidence my body was attacking itself, but not high enough to be in the “lupus” category.

So this thing is just simmering away in my DNA.  I feel so strongly that I have a responsibility in determining how this is going to play out.  I’ve made many lifestyle changes in order to feel better.  When I take care of myself and minimize inflammation in my body by avoiding gluten, carrageenan, soy lecithin, and preservatives, I feel really good.

But in my role as a caregiver there has been much stress and exhaustion.  My son often can’t sleep at night so I am up frequently with him.

I’ve gone back to drinking way too much coffee and eating stuff I shouldn’t.  Snickers and Reeses cups have become a major staple in my daily diet.

And I feel flipping awful.

The past few days I’ve been feeling like an extra from the Walking Dead, and looking like one.  I’ve had an autoimmune-feverish feeling.  Not good.  a_4x

I was lying in bed a couple night ago just stressing about all of this.  Thinking I needed some huge game plan to save myself from this awful state I’ve gotten into.  But the Holy Spirit spoke to me about just going back to common sense things to take care of myself.  Yes, I need the Holy Spirit because adulting is hard and common sense at times eludes me.

I don’t need 5 cups of coffee a day.  I need more nourishing meals and less Halloween candy.  I need to rest.  Just basic stuff.  I feel 100% that if I treat my body well I will pull out of this.

I also give myself grace because it isn’t all “my fault”.  Being a caretaker is just tough.  When you’re exhausted and stressed it makes more sense (in your fatigued mind) to wash down a snickers bar with espresso so you can power through the day than taking the time to eat a proper meal.

And you can do that occasionally but when it becomes a daily lifestyle, it’s only a matter of time before the crash and burn becomes inevitable.

Our bodies are amazing instruments that God has given us.  We need to treat them accordingly and honor them in a way that is befitting the living, breathing temple of the Holy Spirit.

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” Cor. 6:19-20

We all face hard things.  Sometimes it’s written in your DNA and you feel like it’s a life sentence.  But the human body is truly an amazing creation.  We are wired to heal.  Whatever you’re facing, don’t give up.  Take care of yourself.  Do your best and God will honor those efforts.

 

When You’re Going Through Hell…

…you just keep going.

It’s a bit of the unofficial motto of TSW, or Topical Steroid Withdrawal.

In the ITSAN facebook group I belong to, I frequently see people post things like, “I can’t do this anymore.”  or posts from people who have just started the process of withdrawal and they are terrified of how bad things are going to get.

It’s like waking up and discovering that you’re up to your neck in quicksand.  You either give up or begin the long and painful process of clawing your way out.

Yesterday I was thinking about the visits we had to Gabe’s dermatologist.  At first he had responded very quickly to the super potent creams.  But on follow up visits his eczema had returned and was spreading.  I remember the almost shrill tone of her voice as she told us we needed to use more cream.  We needed to apply it twice a day.  We needed to seal it in with wet wraps.  We needed to follow her instructions exactly and we weren’t and that’s why he wasn’t getting any better.

Of course now I know that those cursed creams were killing him.  His skin was the tip of the iceberg.  I am so glad we never used as much cream as she wanted us too.  I’m so glad we used the protopic (an immuno-suppressant cream) only a few times.

His health was getting worse and worse.  The steroids weren’t working anymore.  He had a weird red rash on his torso that wouldn’t go away.

My husband discovered TSW reading an eczema blog.  Everything definitely clicked.  We had answers but now we had to weather the hellish withdrawl.  We had to claw our way out of this quicksand that we had stumbled into.

Eight months later and the redness has faded.  But right now he deals with nerve pain where the nerves are healing and regenerating.

His legs aren’t a mottled purple anymore but he still oozes plasma out of too thin skin.  He still wakes up in a pile of his own dead skin every morning.

He is still very dependent on us for much of his care.

I don’t know why I am writing this other than I just need to get his story out there.  The medical establishment almost killed him.

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His entire body went through this extreme and painful withdrawal.  Thankfully, it didn’t hit all at once.  This was the first month when it started on his neck and torso.

 

I implore people, please do you own research.  Don’t blindly trust someone because they have a stethoscope around their neck.  Investigate the ingredients of anything you allow to be put on or in your body. gabebabe

It’s been a long fight, an all out bloody crawl, back to health.  But this is my beautiful boy today… healing naturally with the help of supplement and lots of TLC.

He still has a long way to go but we’re thankful for the progress we’ve made and all we’ve learned along the way.

 

 

 

 

Update and TSW Treatment

Gabe started topical steroid withdrawal in mid-February of this year so he is 4 months in. 19113521_10158905728715074_8900016741876609406_n

The bright red skin of the first two months has faded and now it just looks like he has horrible eczema/was in a car crash.  The areas that still look really awful are where we applied steroids the most and longest- wrists, feet, ankles and legs.  His face is flaring though we never really applied steroids and he never had eczema there.

His energy levels are still maybe 35% of what they used to be.  He still spends a lot of time sitting in his favorite spot, the recliner.  He is able to be active and enjoy some quality of life thanks to some supplements we do everyday.

Right now what is really helping him is astaxanthin.  It’s a super potent antioxidant that is reportedly 6,000 times more powerful than vitamin C!!  I carry him out of bed in the morning and after breakfast he chomps up a 12 mg capsule of astaxanthin and within 10 minutes he is feeling 80% better and is able to get up and run around and be a normal kid.  His mouth is perpetually stained orange but it works!!  Astaxanthin is a naturally occurring antioxidant found in red algae (and sea food).  It’s what makes flamingoes pink!

We still give him CBD oil (yes, from marijuana) when his pain and anxiety levels are very high.  We give him 3-4 drops and he holds it in his mouth for 30 seconds before swallowing.  It really helps him and the benefits go behind pain relief.

We also give him detox baths every other day.  Epsom salts, dead sea salts, lavender oil and sometimes a bit of bentonite clay.  He likes the water very hot and even though it usually stings at first, he never wants to get out.  It’s the only place he doesn’t feel pain or itchiness.

Gabe also take probiotics and drinks a lot of kombucha.  He is constantly asking for fruit so we try to stay stocked up.

His sleep is still a nightly struggle.  So 1-2 times a week we give him 10 mg of hydroxinine to help him get some uninterrupted sleep.  We get a break and he gets to sleep through the night without shredding up his skin.

I just ordered liviaone topical probiotic spray and I am pretty excited to try it out.  I really think it will help Gabe heal because of so much of what he’s been through (similar to most people with eczema/TSW) destroy good bacteria on the skin- the steroids, the antibiotics, and bleach baths…. that I really feel he will be able to heal much more quickly with the introduction of healthy bacteria to his skin.

What I’ve tried that hasn’t been successful-

A high grade sodium bicarbonate (baking soda).  There is a lot of buzz about safe soda helping people heal very quickly on the TSW pages.  Problem is, this stuff is super expensive and hard to get.  I tried what seemed to be a similar alternative but without success.  I haven’t ruled out safe soda but it’d be painful to spend $60+ on a small contained of baking soda.

Essential oils.  I’m a huge user of them.  I’ve used them near daily for the past four years.  I just can’t put them on Gabe because his skin is so sensitive that they make him worse.  A couple drops in the tub is ok, applied topically just seems to be too much.

Homeopathy.  Granted we went right in the beginning and we were exhausted and overwhelmed.  We left with like 20 supplements all with complex directions.  Half of them were pills that he couldn’t even swallow.  It was basically a waste of $500.  It probably would have worked better later on in his treatment and if it was more simplistic and doable.