Busting out!

Good evening folks,


I have been making changes, HUGE changes, to pull myself out of the abyss.  It has taken a lot of work, practice, focus and dedication and I am pleased to announce that it is working, beautifully and effectively.  I am reclaiming my life.  In the recent weeks I have been to a local health food store (multiple times), Earth Fare, Office Depot, Books-A-Million, AND T-Mobile!  I have used a brand new phone, my new computer….  I’ve eaten in a restaurant, been around others eating, been around MANY different fumes and scents and I am doing so great!

I’m sorry for not posting, anything….but I am really busy living now.  I hope you all can understand.  I will check back here once a month, to update on what we’re doing, where we’re going and what we’re eating.  Life is not just changing, life is actually happening now.  I’m living now.   It is SO exciting.  Thanks for all of the support you guys have given us the past few years.  It’s been a struggle but that struggle is almost over for us.  We have found what works and we are throwing ourselves in 100%.

If you are interested in what I’m doing, you can check out DNRSystem.  Skeptical about it working?  Yeah, I was too….for over a year and a half and refused to order it or try it.  BUT I gotta tell ya, it works and I am living proof.  I don’t get paid to sell it….but I am singing it’s praises.  Now, if you will excuse me.  I’m about to go eat some apples, grapes and cheese and then gorge on an omelet and brownies and play with my brand new cell phone (the other new phone didn’t work so we got a new one).  Bye-bye issues….I won’t miss you at all.

Small Success

This post is about poop, toddler poop…but poop nonetheless.  Stop reading now if the topic is not your cup of tea.

Still with me?  Ok.  Let’s continue.

Refresher:  April 2012, Yipi started to have bowel movements that including whole, undigested food.  It looked the same, completely untouched by any stomach acid.  Red flag.  Something was going wrong.  We already knew we had food issues, we already knew we had chemical/fume issues…but now she couldn’t digest her food.   This became increasing worse ALL of Summer 2012.  By August 2012 she was extremely constipated.  I was trying to massage her stomach, do the bicycle legs on her, having her up and running around wasn’t an option because she couldn’t walk…how would she run?  I was, at the time, terrified of enemas so I thought that was out of the questions (now…enemas and me an BFF).  So it just got worse, she was recycling toxins ALL of the time and the next thing I knew she started to rip her hair out, in huge chunks.  It was awful.  I was lost.  It continued this way and became progressively worse by December 2012.  At this point, we were safely eating beef and broccoli.  I decided we would start the GAPS Diet in January 2013 (I had nowhere else to turn), so I gave myself all of December to get ready (I still wasn’t prepared but we started with the help of the Moms on the GAPS Kids group on Facebook).  I read the book, read blogs, made lists, made sure we had enough beef and jumped in head first.

I’m so glad that we did.  We are doing a lot to get to healthy.  I will be writing a post in September about all of the healing things we’ve included in our lives since January 2013.  They are working.  So very thankful.

Now, back to present and our recent success.  Poop!  Have you guys seen this poop chart?  Click over, I decided to link it instead of posting the image (you’re welcome).  I have this chart saved to my computer.  It has been my prayer all year that Yipi would make it to #4.  Well, the last three days she has had absolutely beautiful poop.  Yes, I’ve taken pictures.  No.  I won’t share them.  😉  I’m just so thankful that we’ve turned a huge corner.  She is actually digesting her food, she is actually getting nutrients from her food, she is actually growing and thriving.  I shared the following picture on my personal Facebook page.  It’s a side-by-side of Yipi April 2012 and Yipi April 2013.  I’m going to copy and paste what I wrote along with the picture (though I will blur her face).  She really is doing tremendously better with all of the changes we’ve made.  We still have a ways to go but I can actually see healing now.

I am so thankful for the GAPS diet, all of your prayers, and all of the alternative practitioners that haven’t given up on us and that are continuing to try to help us navigate our way through this valley.

The picture on the left is Yipi, April 2012. She was so malnourished, not gaining weight and she couldn’t walk…couldn’t even stand on her own and had difficulty pulling up to stand behind a push toy, walking wasn’t an option. She cried out in pain. So many things were going wrong, so very quickly. It was heart breaking. Every month we took more and more foods out of both of our diets until we were down to beef and broccoli…and milk for Yipi.

The picture on the right is of Yipi, April 2013; four months into the GAPS diet. HUGE difference. We started the GAPS diet January 2013 because…I had nowhere else to turn. I’m so thankful for GAPS. It was exactly what we needed to get us going in the correct direction. Yipi started to actually get nutrition from her food. My ability to think began to return and I was able to start researching doctors again. The doctor I picked hasn’t been that helpful, but she did put me in touch with other people who have been and she’s pointed me in directions on which I’d given up; allowing me to meet other practitioners who have been very helpful for Yipi and me. Yipi is now walking, running (her version), jumping (again…her version) and climbing stairs like a champ.

We are doing a lot to heal in addition to the GAPS diet. Healing is going to take a while, probably a lot longer than I want, but it is going to happen. We are finally making baby steps in the correct direction.

Yipi April 2012 vs April 2013

Free Online Conference: Eating Psychology!

Nichole from Hopecentric just posted this on Facebook and I wanted to share it with you all!

Dr. Natasha Cambell-McBride (GAPS Diet), Sayer Ji, Mark Hyman…the list is huge and this event is BIG!  Sign up for FREE to listen to these and more through the online Eating Psychology Conference that starts in only a few days.  Eating Psychology http://buff.ly/19yTmaK

A Bump in the Road…

The bump was expected and anticipated, though I tried not to stress about the inevitable.  The bump was corn, hidden corn.  The new doctor doesn’t get corn, most doctors don’t understand corn, most of my family and friends don’t understand corn.  They do not understand how it is used in the processing and manufacturing of almost everything.  They do not understand how the aforementioned usage of corn contaminates “safe products for sensitive people.”  They do not understand how we can react to the tiny traces remaining in/on products.

The new doctor wants to pull the HCL that I’ve been using to help with my digestion.  She wants me to take a digestive enzyme.  I know you all know the pitfalls of digestive enzymes, but the new doctor has no idea.  I turned down many of her recommendations because of the “other ingredients” listed for the “safe for sensitive people” products.

I decided to try the digestive enzymes (even though it is industry standard to use maltodextrin, i.e. corn, during the drying process) because they were cheap, there were no other filler ingredients and I knew, though we would react to it, that the amount of corn was small.  I wanted the doctor to be able to see our sensitivity level, so that I would never have to prove it to her again; get the disbelief out-of-the-way with the least amount of pain for Yipi and for me.

And it is disbelief.  Doctors aren’t taught much about corn allergy/intolerance and the fact that corn allergy/intolerance doesn’t seem to follow the same pattern as other allergens just makes it more unbelievable.  I honestly think doctors are told that corn can’t be an allergen...but that could be paranoia.  I sincerely hope it is only paranoia on my part.  See this article written by the Allergy Associates of Lacrosse titled “Allergic to Corn – Living Without.”

Although corn products are widely consumed, there is a general lack of understanding when it comes to corn’s role as a
food allergy or sensitivity. One reason is that corn is not one of the so-called Big Eight allergens (peanuts, tree nuts,
wheat, milk, egg, shellfish, fish, soy) that together cause 90 percent of America’s food allergy reactions. It doesn’t fall
under the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004, which means that manufacturers aren’t
required to list it as an ingredient by its common name, highlight it on product labels or name it as a possible source of
cross-contamination in a product.

“I sympathize with people who have corn allergy because corn is very hard to avoid,” says Mary S. Morris, MD, of Allergy
Associates of La Crosse in La Crosse, Wisconsin. “A lot of times, people don’t connect their symptoms to the corn
sweetener in their ice cream.”

Adding to the confusion is the fact that symptoms of corn allergy can differ from those of more common food allergies.
While corn can prompt anaphylaxis, including breathing difficulty, hives, swelling and even death in severely cornallergic
patients, more often it causes headaches, fatigue and irritability.

“I’m surprised at how frequently corn will trigger a bad headache, even in children,” Morris says.

Another factor contributing to questions about corn allergy is that people can have varied reactions to different forms of
corn, Morris explains. For example, some people have more of a problem with corn sweetener than they do with corn on
the cob or cornstarch. And corn pollen or corn dust that’s inhaled during harvest can trigger a reaction in some people
who often can consume corn without a problem, she says.

All this makes corn allergy difficult to diagnose, Morris notes. Corn might show up in a typical skin or blood test that
checks for IgE (the allergic antibody) levels—but not always. IgE allergy tests didn’t detect Clare Donlan’s corn allergy.

“Sometimes corn is IgE-mediated but sometimes the only way to figure it out is to do a corn challenge test under
medical supervision in a doctor’s office,” Morris says, adding that she conducts oral challenges when she can’t tell for
sure if a suspected food is causing a reaction.

Morris’ practice routinely screens for corn allergy through a blood test and, while corn is a less common allergen than
the Big Eight, it is common enough that she says she sees patients with corn allergy every week.

Not all doctors would consider corn allergy as potential cause of a patient’s headaches or behavior issues. In fact, some
question whether the grain is even a true allergen. For example, Morris recalls informing a surgeon that her patient,
hospitalized under the surgeon’s care, had a corn allergy. The surgeon said the allergy wasn’t possible and ignored
Morris’ request not to administer dextrose (usually corn-based) to the patient. It took the patient’s allergic reaction to
corn during surgery to convince the physician that the allergy did exist.

“Because it’s not on the top-eight radar, it’s not the first place people go to look for the root cause of their symptoms.
Even though corn is the source of many severe problems for people, it is many times overlooked,” she says.

Read more:  Allergic to Corn – Living Without

I hope you followed the link, read the article and saved it to your computer.

I opened one capsule into a container.  We then proceeded to introduce the digestive enzyme onto our skin for a few days and then moved to ingestion after no noticeable reaction on the skin.  Within a few days of ingestion, the reactions became apparent.  We consumed about 1/1000th of the initial capsule we opened.  ….ok….you got me…I don’t know exactly how much of the capsule we consumed but it was a microscopic amount.  I emailed the company and simply asked them to check with the manufacturer to see if any maltodextrin was used during the drying process of the digestive enzyme.  Later that day (May 14th) I received the confirmation email that maltodextrin is used, but only a small amount.  That small amount is enough for Yipi and me to react.

Since beginning the GAPS diet, I have had less brain-fogged/limited cognitive ability days.  I am able to think clearer, I have more energy (my house is clean!!!!) and I am able to actually put my thoughts into coherent sentences.  I am able to remember how I felt before a reaction and to log that state of being as well as the shift that occurs when I’m reacting and the aftermath.  I’ve also noticed, and I’ve mentioned this before, that our reactions are not as severe and do not last as long since beginning the GAPS diet.  Thank you, GAPS.

With that being said, I’m going to copy and paste my notes from my food/reaction/GAPS journal for when we introduced the digestive enzyme, during the administration of digestive enzyme, and the aftermath.  We stopped the enzymes two days ago and the swelling and severe itching/hives/awful rash are already subsiding.

Notes from Journal:

5/7/2013  –  Erica started 3 RNAs and Digestive Enzyme on skin
5/8/2013  –  Yipi bad chemical reaction, behavior just awful all day, she couldn’t control herself.  Difficulty communicating.  The reaction was from the new unfinished poplar bed, she was in too close of proximity to it in a sealed room.  Not a good combination.  Gave her three baths today.  Will do three baths tomorrow.  (Bed has been airing out for over 6 months)
5/9/2013 – Erica began consuming one drop of RNAs and a tiny amount (less than 7mg) of digestive enzyme.
5/10/2013  –  Put one drop of RNAs on Yipi’s legs in the morning.  Erica took her morning dose of RNAs and Digestive Enzyme.  Erica noticed a little wax and some pressure in her ears after the dose.
5/11/2013  –  Last night I noticed the RNAs tasted like soap, I also increased my ingested dosage to two drops per RNA.  This morning they still taste like soap.  We began given the RNAs to Yipi through ingestion.  Digestive Enzyme is still being put on her skin for now but she is getting it from my milk.  Erica noticed that her left eye lid is swollen.  Yipi’s rash seems to be healing. (pictures in file)
5/12/2013 – Noticed Yipi twisting her hair on her finger during her nap.  Also noticed her itching at her scalp a few days ago.  Rash getting worse.
5/13/2013 – I’m still swollen and Yipi started really ripping at her hair today.  I had to cut it off again.  Her scalp is red with hives, her abdomen, bikini are and booty are red.  I think she’s reacting to the digestive enzyme in my milk.
  • Emailed manufacturer last night to see if digestive enzymes were sprayed onto maltodextrin to dry (cross contamination, maltodextrin is derived from corn).  From my research, in the past three years, it is industry standard to spray enzymes onto maltodextrin to dry.  Yes they do use a little maltodextrin (5/14 confirmed)
  • I am swollen, from 136.8 (swelling was subsiding from previously exposure) to 143lb in about 4 days
  • My eyelids are swollen and my eyelashes feel like daggers, pulling them out, trying to stop myself
  • Orange wax in ears
  • Lower back pain and hip pain (from swelling)
  • My insomnia has returned.  It is almost impossible to get to sleep at night and get back to sleep if I awake.
  • Yipi’s stomach is distended and swollen, her rash has brown whelps in it and is raised, the rash on her stomach is back, she is digging into her scalp and ripping her hair out, she is also having difficulty getting to sleep at night, and she is soaking through her diapers multiple times at night (sign of reaction for her)
  • We are reacting to something, it is either the RNAs or the digestive enzymes.  With our history of reactions and how enzymes are produced, I am leaning towards the digestive enzymes due to cross contamination at drying time during the manufacturing process (confirmed)
  • We pulled the digestive enzymes last night (5/13/2013).  We will see is the swelling and other symptoms subside.
  • I’ve also noticed another swollen, painful, bug bite looking thing under my arm.  I’m going to go with ingrown hairs at this point.  Definitely corn exposure.
  • Skin peeled off in two sheets on the middle finger on my left hand.  Very painful.
  • One good thing is Yipi pooped a teeny tiny amount today on her own.  About 1 tsp.  Black tar with a lot of mucous.
5/15/2013  –  Since pulling the digestive enzymes two days ago, Yipi’s itching has lessened and her rash is starting to heal and peel (she was getting a double dose, topical and from my milk).  My swelling is down to 139lbs and my lower back/hip pain has subsided.  Yipi pooped again a little.  About 1/4tsp of black tar.  I am having some pretty severe lip peeling today.

“Fit Into My Box!”

I am anxious any time I need to speak with a medical professional.  I try to ignore the anxiety, I listen to music (Christmas Jazz…can’t beat it!), I play with the puppy, I play with the toddler, I clean, I sew, I crochet, I meditate…I do whatever I can to take my mind off of the impending conversation.  Why?

It feels like doctors (MD, Holistic MD, Naturopath, Chiropractor, Homeopath) want you to fit into whatever box they have constructed after their years of “practice.”

“You there!  Fit into my box!”

I try not to let this discourage the flow of the conversation but sometimes it proves to be too difficult to ignore and I always come across as argumentative. I have no intention of being argumentative, but when something is suggested that we have done in the past and met disastrous results, I am going to say, “We won’t do that.”  It isn’t to be argumentative.  I just have no interest in doing the same thing again and achieving the same results to appease their sense of curiosity or to fit into their box for sensitive people “like us.”

“The benefits outweigh the risks.”

I’ve been told this so many times and at first I totally believed this.  Hook, line and sinker.  I did what I was told and met disastrous results.  I stopped doing what I was told and started thinking.  The risks that are so minimal have left us in the state in which we find ourselves now; we can’t leave our home due to severe chemical sensitivity, we are down to a handful of foods, and I have to make everything (from cleaners, to clothes, to shoes) because of the chemicals, glues, dyes and whatever that are used in manufacturing processes.  Our bodies have rebelled against the “Benefits lie” and now refuse to function.

This isn’t necessarily a reflection of what is happening with our doctors, this is just something that has been on my mind as I replay every single doctors appointment I’ve had the past 14 years.  I’m hoping things continue to move smoothly along with our new doctors.  First appointment with the homeopath is Tuesday of next week and we are awaiting some test results and need to submit different test for the holistic MD.

My new tactic is going to be to send a follow-up email to our doctor the day after the appointment.  I will include background information that may have been lost in translation over the phone to further my point.  This will include notes from our food journals and other documents I’ve made over the past three years to document the mess of this journey…notes that will show that we don’t fit into most boxes and the benefits of some tried and true remedies definitely did not outweigh the risks.

GAPS Update and Beginning our New Journey to Health

Hi everyone!

Sorry for the delay in blogging, I’ve been researching, making phone calls, having doctors appointments (via telephone) and schedule testing for the past few weeks.  I’ve decided I will blog weekly about all of the things we have going on right now with information about corn allergy and new products made from corn as it crosses my path.  I have a lot to fill you guys in on, but I don’t really remember all of it, so I will tell you about what I do remember.

We’ve been doing GAPS since January 2013.  Our diet before GAPS was NOT the SAD (Standard American Diet) but more of a modified GAPS or SCD diet.  We had to remove the occasional sweet potato, brazil nuts and figs, and add in meat/bone broth, and lots of animal at to make it officially GAPS.  We have noticed improvements since beginning GAPS, namely:

  1. Our reactions to foods, fumes, and chemicals are shorter lived now, lasting only 3-4 days.
  2. We are able to tolerate Organics3, GutPro probiotic if taken with meat/bone broth.  We are increasing the dose very slowly.
  3. My propensity to swell is unfortunately still present, however my baseline weight has gone from 160lb to 135lb.  I only eat beef and broccoli, the 25lb reduction was a reduction in swelling.
  4. Yipi is a much calmer child, she’s still a 2 (almost 3, wha?!) year old but her roller coaster behavioral and mood changes have settled down.
  5. I have more energy.  On any given day, parts of my house are actually clean, I sew and crochet without my hands cramping (ok…they only cramp once every month and a half now).
  6. We are now able to add in a few more supplements which I think our bodies needed.  These supplements include homemade Magnesium oil, Vitamin D3, Zinc, and Glutathione (topical application).

I believe the GAPS diet will be the basis for allowing our bodies to have enough nourishment during healing, while at the same time starving out the “bad bugs” that have taken over; but I think we still need more support outside of the diet in order to actual heal.  Now enter the new doctors…

A new friend of mine (Hi Caroline!) posted about her doctor on Facebook one day which sent me down a bunny trail of researching/stalking this particular doctor.  I read an article she wrote on Thyroid and how standard tests are not accurate in determining if one has thyroid issues.  I encourage you all to read the article.  After reading the article and sending it to everyone I could think of, I thought to myself, “Erica…maybe she gets it.  Maybe she will be able to help you, even if it is just to rule out thyroid.”  I decided to schedule a 10 minute consultation with the doctor to just see what she would have to say…most doctors just say I’m nuts and need psychosomatic and anti-depressant drugs.

Those were the most reassuring 10 minutes I’ve ever spent with a doctor in person or on the phone.  She listened to me, she understood the issues I have with corn derivatives and grain derivatives in medication, she knew a lot about dysbiosis/leaky gut, and she listened to me.  Did I already mention that?  There was no condescension, no talk of craziness, no talk of hypochondria.  I scheduled an appointment with her assistant as soon as we said our goodbyes.

The hubster came home for the phone appointment with the good doctor and we put Yipi down for a nap (she slept for 2+ hours…I was shocked and very thankful).  The appointment lasted for 1hr 40 minutes.  During that time, we discussed everything that has happened to me from infancy until now.  She explained to me, in detail, what dysbiosis/leaky gut is, why my propensity to swell makes it worse and almost negates the healing affects of the GAPS diet.  She reviewed our supplements that we are taking, pulled things she doesn’t think will be beneficial in the long run (HCL and taurine) and added things that should help.  She also helped me research all of the supplements to make sure they were in fact derivative free, instead of sending me on a wild goose chase to find it out for myself.  She stressed the fact that all supplements should be introduced topical, in a small amount initially (I do that anyway but it’s nice to hear from a medical professional).  She is putting me into contact with other doctors that she will work closely with to help us reclaim our health.  She gets MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity) and how minute exposures severely affect us.  The testings that she wants us to do will all be done in the comfort of our own home, I really appreciate this.  These are just a few things we discussed.  There was much more and she actually listened to our concerns, how we reacted when we followed past medical advice, how MCS is effecting our lives, and so much more.  She put all of that together and gave me an actual plan with which to move forward, not a list of supplements to research or blood work to have done and no way to safely do it.

There is more to discuss but I would like to get this post out today and Yipi is absolutely done with me typing and ignoring her.  I hope you all can tell from these words just how excited I am.  I can actually see Yipi having a semi-normal future and I feel like we are finally on the correct path for healing and reclaiming our health.  More next week.

Ignore the typos…Yipi said, “No.  No pwoofweading!”