Tuesday, July 23, 2013

It Really Works

I was raised by a woman who grew up in California in the 60s and 70s. No she's not totally left wing but she is very driven by homeopathic medicine. We saw doctors, treated with splints, antibiotics, and even immunizations, all be it not as many as the CDC would have liked. Before seeing the doctor we would have warts and ingrown toe nails dug out at home. Rashes were rubbed down with essential oils, chicken pox sent us into oatmeal baths, and when a sore throat hit lemon honey tea was our friend. Having balance was a great way to grow up for me and I've tried vary hard to do it with Squeaker.

Recently Squeaker has been acting like she had pain in her mouth. It started mid last June just before we got home from the "family reunion". Since she had a cold I just figured it was a sore throat. As she looked and acted healthier Squeaker was still grabbing her teeth a lot. On July 3rd we headed to the dentist. And guess what? Two more teeth need to come out. I asked Dr. Brandon, her dentist, if there was anything we could do to stop from loosing teeth. Obviously he mentioned that stopping the night time bottles would make a huge difference but for Squeaker weight and health far out weigh tooth loss. It's so nice
to have yet another supportive doctor. Sadly due to the type of procedure Squeaker needs she couldn't get a time slot until August 20th. BOOOO! The only way to get her in sooner would have been to do it at the hospital again which would cost me about $300. Doing it in office is $20. Money wasn't the only factor going to the hospital would mean general anesthesia. In office is a waking sedation, which is preferable.

We had been surviving on Advil at night for a while. 1tsp before bed made for much better sleep and happier mornings. After we found out the teeth was the problem we started doing 1/2 tsp before nap
This stuff is about $1 an ounce or 20 cents a teaspoon

too. Very quickly we noticed that it wasn't enough. Squeaker's sleep was very disrupted which turned into rough and long days. I called the dentist to see if we couldn't get some heavier medicine to help our poor little girl. They graciously obliged with a regimen of antibiotics and codeine. Which have been working great.... a little too great. Apparently Squeaker is like me and when she takes pain killers they make her feel good and want to do anything and everything. That means we are back to having a child that doesn't sleep.

First thing I did was go back to Advil during the day and once out for night Squeaker gets the heavy stuff.  Sleep returned to our lives. But days were still rough, and rightfully so. Remember the pain you had in your mouth before and or after you had your wisdom teeth removed?? That's what Squeaker is going through, only she isn't quite three and has no clue why she hurts and what she needs. I needed something else to help her during the day.

Sunday night I tore apart my Baltic Amber Necklace. For those who don't know Baltic Amber is a resin found in eastern Europe. When the amber is worn next to the skin it releases oils that work their way into the blood stream. These oils can be healing and pain relieving in most people. To read more about the history of Baltic Amber and it's uses head over here. Alright back to life.

I took apart my necklace and restrung it into two necklaces one for me and one for Squeaker. I have had some success with my necklace helping my Fibromyalgia, so I wasn't ready to give it up entirely. After Squeaker feel asleep I put the necklace on her and gave her the medicine. The night was great. A year of nights like that and by golly we both might feel rested. :) What took me by surprise was the next day. Squeaker was happy, awake, and calm. Now I know some of that comes from a good nights sleep but this is better than I seen her behave in probably a month. About lunch time Squeaker took of her necklace and put it aside. But still remained a happy girl, who wanted to eat. Not just soft foods what ever she wanted and no crying about it. Oh and by the way we had not given her ANY pain killers. By nap time Squeaker was still feeling so good she didn't want to sleep. I'm sure most parents would say just let her skip nap, yeah not happening here. When your child is that sleep deprived for that long you only skip nap when you absolutely have too. It took me holding her in a tight grip (not painful, just enough she couldn't get away) for about 10 minutes and she was out cold. And no she wasn't crying during that time, so it didn't wear her out. 3 hours later she woke up still happy. It was an amazing change from the days before.

At the Water Park Event Sponsored By Her Dentist's Office
The rest of the night was fairly routine and after Squeaker was out I put the necklace back on her and gave her the Codeine. Well the necklace came off in the middle of the night and due to stomach issues it was a little rough on the little one... okay on both of us. While trying to put the necklace on Squeaker after she was awake it broke, and today has been long. Even with pain killers she still has been sore, grouchy and very particular about what she has eaten. After a 3 and a half hour nap today which she feel asleep all on her own for, she was still a little grouch.

As of now I just need a clasp so I can make a new necklace for Squeaker. I'm not sure I can live another 4 weeks without that. Even if it only helps a little I'll take it. There are a lot of things in life we have to learn to deal with but pain is one I'd like to put off for my little girl as long as possible.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Well That Stunk...

A Day At The Botanical Gardens
Made an oh so wonderful trip to Birmingham today. Please note that is to be taken with extreme sarcasm.

Today we saw Dr. Atkinson, who is an Immunologist. We arrived late due to traffic, but thankfully doctor Atkinson is usually running late so it's not like it put him behind. The visit to the nurses station was kind of fun. Squeaker didn't fuss or scream. She stood on the scale, stood tall for her height, sat for her temp, and BP. She had a great smile for the nurses. Then the numbers came... BP was a little high but not bad. She came it at 36 inches, can you believe it Squeaker is 3ft tall. Then over course the number that keeps me biting my nails, the weight. 24.5lbs. My heart just sank. Both of the nurses looked at me sad what's wrong. I said, "she's lost." Both nurses shared a sad face. One of the nurses usually works in our Pulmonologist's office and was almost as heart broken as I was because she knows how hard every once has been.

Moving on. Sadly Dr. Atkinson did not have the test results back... well he had them back but from the wrong lab. Which meant he wasn't confident in the results. The were testing Squeaker's here. Squeaker's first set of results came back in the low normal range so Dr. Atkinson wants to see if is second lab got the same thing. Which meant we had to do yet another blood draw..... Oh and it gets worse.

Last year Dr. Makris did a test where he ran a specific blood panel gave Squeaker a Pneumonia vaccine and six weeks later tested to see how her system responded. That test is what triggered our trek into the world of immunology. Also it would hopefully give Squeaker some extra protection from Pneumonia it self. Well we are doing it again. Yes that means not only did Squeaker have blood drawn today she had a shot too. Poor kid. She was very sore from the shot and then had to be held down for lab work. I'm just very glad she is at the age where stickers can make some of the worst things in life okay.

Now I don't know what I want the test to show. If Squeaker's results come back better then we have
Playground Fun After A Long Day
no clear answers about what's going on. Then again if Squeaker's results come back the same or worse then we have a clue what is going one, but we have to deal with treatment. Which I'm told is a pain but very doable. I don't remember exactly what it entails but I'm not going to worry about it right now.
complement immune system. The Complement System is your base line immune system. This is part of the immune system that you are born with and does not change. Read more

On the brighter side Squeaker had a good sized dinner. A few bites of Chicken Burger, half of a larg fry, and half a vanilla milkshake. WAHOO!! By the time we got back to Huntsville it was 7:30 and Squeaker never had a nap. To keep her happy and awake I decided to take Squeaker to a park. It was a blast!

Now we are home, cleaned up and Squeaker is passed out on the couch. Okay so maybe it didn't stink that bad.....

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Food Storage Again

This week is a food storage week. We keep a decent sized, and variety of food storage so it's not that big of a deal. There are still lots of food options but of course it's 4th of July and we already made plans for company to come over. We keep burgers in stock, but we did just run out of hot dogs. All the condiments and toppings where in storage too, except for tomatoes. Then of course I needed hot dog and hamburger buns, something for desert, milk, eggs, and chips for a side. 

My Need List:
Hot Dogs, Hot Dog Buns, Hamburger Buns, Regular Bread, Milk, Tomatoes, Chips, Eggs

What I Bought:
Hot Dogs, Tomatoes, Chips

What I Made:
Hot Dog Buns, Hamburger Buns, Regular Bread, Milk

I'm sure you saw I made milk and started to wonder a little. Well you take some instant dry milk and make it according to the directions. If you drink skim milk you are probably done. If you have taste
buds and don't want skim milk dump the dry milk mixture in your existing milk. It will mix really well. For us I keep some half and half on hand for when we make ice cream and for making milk. For one quart of dry milk mixture I put in 1.5 cups of half and half. Gives it a good whole milk flavor and thickness.

The Original Recipe
Since I was going to be making so much bread I ground up some whole wheat to put with some store bought flour to make it healthier and make the flour go further. Once the wheat was ground to flour I made some sourdough bread for toast and sandwiches.

The buns, well I had to find a recipe. I found this one. As I was reading the comments I decided to
change it a little for what seemed to yield better results. It came out great!!! I may never buy buns again!

Here you go, a great and easy hamburger and hotdog bun recipe.

Perfect Hamburger/Hot Dog Buns
Oven Temp 425 F
2 Tablespoons Dry Active Yeast (Or Two Packets)
1 Cup and 2 Tablespoons Warm Water
1/3 Cup Oil
1/4 Cup Sugar
3- 3.5 Cups Flour

Hint- if you have a Kitchen Aide Stand Mixer you can do the whole mixing and kneading process in it with the kneading hook attachment. 

1) In a large bowl dissolve Yeast in Warm Water.
2) Add Oil and Sugar. Let sit 5 mintues
3) Add enough flour to make soft dough and knead for about 3-5 minutes.
Hint- for heartier rolls use 1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour and 2 Cups White Flour. You can use more wheat flour but this is what I used. 
4) Let rise for 30 minutes.
5) Roll dough into 8 evenly sized balls.
6) Place on greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Flatten the balls slightly.
Hint- The size the dough ball is will be the size of your finished roll. If you are making giant burgers make giant roll. Of make mini rolls for sliders.
7) Cover and let rolls rest for 10 minutes
8) Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown
9) Remove from oven let cool for a few minutes. Then serve

For Hot Dog Buns just form your dough into long rolls. The bake the same amount of time and everything the shape is the only difference.

Next time we want to do hoagie sandwiches I might use this recipe too. It was just really yummy and soft :)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


      This was posted on one of the Facebook groups I'm on. It's group for a local store that supports cloth diapering, attachment parenting, breastfeeding and natural child birth.

     The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents vaccinate according to the CDC schedule. My children were all vaccinated. I have a friend who is a physician is curious about why so many parents coming into her practice don't want to vaccinate their children.

     We often use the store and the site as a forum for discussion for all sorts of issues, and people don't always agree.... imagine that. This question of course brought out a lot of people. I thought about commenting but I had two reasons not to. 1) A couple of people were being very attacking in their language towards others. I didn't want to get in the middle of it. 2) I have a blog and this a great topic.

     Firstly let me say I am pro-vaccinations. I think they are a great invention and have saved
thousands of lives. And as cultures become even more city based vaccines will be an even bigger necessity for the health and safety of everyone. It's been well proven that the closer together people live the more likely for a virus or disease outbreak. Immunizations can reduce the amount of people infected and the amount of carriers. So even those who have chosen or cannot be immunized have a better chance of survival.

     Secondly I do not agree with the CDC's schedule of vaccines. I do not think that so many vaccines should be clumped together. They have never tested how the body reacts to having the DTaP, Hib, and Polio all at once. Do we know that the immune system handles all that? Sure the system can build immunities but are there as many T cells or complete B cells? I also disagree with the fact that a schedule that was created to make sure high risk, low income, poverty level kids who are less likely to be brought to the doctor are okay, is what the rest of the world has to live by. Yes I want those low income kids to be safe. I just don't want to be forced for something that doesn't fit my life. 

     Thirdly there is family history on both Trey and my side of the families of some nasty reactions. Trey and I are both allergic to metal. Although Trey is fine with shots I'm not. Ever since I was little
the shot sites would hurt a lot longer than usual. In my teen years I started getting site infections and had to go on antibiotics a couple of times. Also we both have siblings who needed half doses to due to reactions. Given the history we had always planned to delay vaccinations. Instead of starting at birth we would start around 18 months and be caught up about 4 years old. Doing one shot at a time, yes that means more visits but it was what we felt comfortable with.

     Then Squeaker came along. Even if we had wanted to give shots according to the CDC schedule. We couldn't tell how sick she was so our Pediatrician wasn't comfortable giving her shots. After receiving the diagnosis of LM the Pulmonologist kept pushing for us to vaccinate but I nor the Pediatrician felt comfortable with it yet. (Side note this is the Pulmonogist I eventually fired) Around 18 months we did do a DTaP.  Which I personally think if you only do one vaccine you should do that one. There is no good treatment for Tetanus and it's something you can contract from a scratch of a rusty nail or staple. It's so easy to pick up. Plus Diphtheria and Pertussis and very fast acting and horrible illnesses. Anyway, Squeaker had a worse than normal but not horrible reaction to the DTaP. Since then we haven't been able to keep her healthy enough to do more, and then we found out about the immune issues.

     Now you maybe thinking at this point that a chronically ill child should be first in line for
vaccines. Most family practice doctors or Peds I know would say would say yes. Most Pulmonogists, GIs, and Immunologist I know would say wait. Even a dead virus found in a vaccine can cause serious issues for someone who is immunodeficient. And not just in reactions but actually contracting the virus it self. It really is a case by case situation. We are still figuring out the immune stuff but right now it looks like a vaccines may not even trigger a proper immune reaction. Which means that even after getting a vaccine Squeaker could still get the disease. All the doctors (Pulmologist, Gastroenterologist, Pediatrician, and Immunologist) agree that for now we don't need to immunize. The other thing that all the doctors agree on is most kids should be getting shots over more time or at least less at a time.

    One last thing to touch on is the Human Stem Cell objection. I have been asked in the past how as a Christian who is pro life could be fine using an immunization that uses Human Stem Cells derived from aborted fetuses. I respond that there was never a chance at true life. Stem Cells for research don't come from abortion clinics. They come form fertility clinics. They are the embryos that are not viable for implantation. Or they are donated to research after the couple is done with fertility treatments. You can check out more here.