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Mama Bear Love

I’m continually stunned and saddened by the state of the health of our children and the overall lack of concern by the population. The rates of autism increase daily, not to mention Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD, and a whole mess of other similar neuro illness with names like ODD, OCD, Bipolar, Schizophrenia, etc.  Our kids get sicker and sicker.

I can’t believe how many people that have not yet been touched by autism (or any of the other Neuro conditions), cannot muster compassion for those that do. The only explanation is that it is so terrifying, people can’t bring themselves to contemplate the reality of what that looks like.  What it feels like.

The growing population of educated moms learning to help their kids is awe inspiring. But they cannot do it alone. We have to help each other, sharing what works, sharing grace, acceptance and non-judgement when we experience these wild little creatures in our world.

If you run into a “naughty” kid in a public place, or a child trick or treating without a costume, please remind yourself not to judge. These parents and kids are dealing with more than most people could ever imagine and sometimes just surviving another day is all they can hope for.

Their nervous systems are on overload, neurotransmitters are out of balance, and many are sickened by regular day to day activities.

Whether these disorders affect you now or not, they likely soon will. With the increasing vaccine schedule, toxins in self care products (shampoo, soaps, lotion, toothpaste) gmo’s in our food supply and artificial colors that have been proven to be neurotoxins, fluoride in the water, and lack of sunlight and fresh air – these kids are all jumbled up.

SO please, have grace, send love, give encouragement if you see a stressed mom who’s child is melting down in Target. Read ingredient lists. Learn what is in your food, your water. Become educated about the world we live in and support others doing the same.  Take time to learn about initiatives such as GMO labeling, and reducing the toxins in your home.

Because it does matter.

These are our people. This is our planet. And we’re screwing it all up under the guise “that’s someone else’s problem”.

We work our jobs, take care of our kids, go to college, do homework, all the things that society says we must do. But we missed all the important stuff. We missed empathy. We missed personal responsibility. We forget to care about what we eat and trust a mess of politicians to do it for us. We must learn to care about our world and our people – all of it.

So please, the next time you think to yourself “that kid needs a good swat” or “that mother is doing a terrible job” consider to yourself that perhaps that mother is trying desperately to heal her child. Maybe she hasn’t slept in weeks. Maybe the child hasn’t either. Maybe someone gave her sensitive child a sucker filled with artificial coloring and high fructose corn syrup without her consent (happens all the time at banks and grocery stores) and the child is having a hard time processing. Maybe what they both need more than anything is understanding. Compassion. Respect.

Perhaps that Momma Bear is a warrior, studying late into the night, getting her very own personal online medical education with no goal other than to save her children and the children all around her.

Create your Sunshine Life – by sharing the Sunshine with someone who really needs it.

change theworld

 

Perspective and Gratitude, a year later…

One year ago today, I was in a car accident. For the last 365 days my husband has tirelessly supported us in so many ways.

Gratitude Quote

He has physically held me up during the never ending dizzy spells, held my hand during a hundred appointments, and paced waiting rooms during a dozen procedures. He managed all of the little yellow bottles (and their side effects) and been my memory, my balance, my reminder of hope.

He has played several thousand games of “I Spy” and “who am I” with our kids, learned to cook gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, preservative free, and managed balancing all of the nutritional needs of our household.  At the end of a long day, he summons the energy for a walk to the park and adventure hike with the kids.  For a solid year he has done all of the laundry, cleaned the house, paid the bills, mopped the floors, bought the groceries, while I laid in bed unable to help in any manner.

He does this while working a full time job, and spending many, many nights awake supporting our insomniac and nightmare ridden children.

Even as we think that my body is healing, I’m hit with sudden and overwhelming recurrence of symptoms which makes me bitter and angry and frustrated.  But somehow deep down this amazing man finds patience and grace, even knowing this triples his workload, he has never resented it.

Thank you my love. Thank you.  This too shall pass. Nothing is permanent.  The beach is calling…20140101_134535

Methylation, Hope and New Doorways

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You know the saying “when god closes one door…he opens another”.  I’d be happy if we could just leave one closed for awhile and take a breather. I feel like I’m in back to back marathons. I haven’t even been able to sort out top from bottom in order to post… so here goes.

 

My beloved gallery has sold to wonderful to new owners.  It’s been a gradual process of letting go and sending love. I spent 7 years growing, planning, loving that little art gallery it seems like it’s embedded in my DNA.  Letting go. It’s an art. Finding out your life plan isn’t unraveling in the way you thought it would is a bit of an adjustment. I say a daily prayer for it as part of my mindfulness exercises. I think it helps.

My neurosurgeon has cleared me for awhile anyway. No more surgeries, the leak is most likely sealed and I’m in high pressure rebound. That’s the good news. The bad news is that I’m still in a lot of pain and strange and mysterious symptoms, so it’s time to (open another door) find a D.O. – here I’d be happier to just CLOSE THE DOOR on the whole situation and have a miraculous healing miracle rather than starting fresh with a new specialty … yet here we are – .  Apparently the time isn’t quite right for healing, and I need more practice in surrendering to the greater plan.(surrender is not exactly my strong point).

On a positive note… Unschooling is going beautifully. It seems as though we have all settled into a more relaxed pace. We are working together, listening to each other, and finding more time for peace and laughter in our day. What a blessing. I’m grateful each day.  I think a major part of it is not having the morning school battle (with sensory issues – getting up early, putting on clothes, eating food in a hurry just causes more pain that it could ever be worth – then doing it all again at bedtime meant we spent hours each day in battles over hurrying to complete sensory activities). The kids are eager for learning time and reading books. For me, it feels like a daily victory. Complete and utter gratitude.  I feel like the Divine really has my back on this one, and I’m reassured it’s the best direction for us, at least right now.

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And then we come to methylation. Attention: for those mom’s of challenged, special, high needs kiddos THIS IS FOR YOU!  We had a genetic test done from 23andMe.com several months ago but never really finished the analysis. After some recent flare ups for both kiddos it caused me to dig into the wild and overwhelming world of methylation and detox genetic pathways.

Let me give you a little visual example of my light reading: Now DON’T Freak out. 🙂 (learn more about methylation here)

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I have to read it several times to fully assimilate all of the information (strange I know) It’s a lot. it’s a whole new vocabulary. But you know what else it is? Ladies and gentlemen, this is HOPE wrapped up in a confusing little package. This is healing. This is what it looks like for the mothers that have healed their children from ADD, Autism, and host of other nasty little words. And you may have heard that these are “incurable ” conditions. But I don’t buy it. If there are mothers out there who’s non-verbal children start to speak (after only two months of protocol), and there are people that spontaneously heal from terminal cancer – then I tell you what, it CAN be done. There is an answer for all of us. It’s just how deep down the rabbit hole we are willing to dig.

As I’ve always been described as… tenacious.. I’d go to the core of the earth, digging with only my fingernails to find a healing solution.  Hmm, maybe I need to pray about that more, release and trust and let that go.

Is anyone out there here with me?  I’m reading books and studies and starting to grasp, but I’d really love to geek out about it with someone else…  We are on a modified version of the FODMAP protocol (we can’t have nightshades or dairy, in addition to the rest of the program) currently, and it has helped some, but we can’t eat ANYTHING so the kids have actually requested the GAPS diet in an effort to regain some of our diet. Do you know about the GAPS diet?? Can you imagine a child requesting nothing but chicken broth and chicken soup round the clock?

How their little tummies hurt daily. It’s enough to drive a momma completely insane. And with that, the door to the full GAPS protocol has been cracked. Do I have it in me to step through the door into the next adventure?

Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

Create your sunshine Life, just keep stepping through those doors as they open and surrender to the Divine plan, regardless if the road doesn’t take you where you thought you were headed. Maybe the destination is worth the trip.

myss

Incredible, Easy and Powerful Granola

I’m finally able to start cooking a bit again! Yay. I love cooking.

I haven’t made Granola in awhile. If you haven’t either, now is the time to start! It is easy, cheap, kid friendly and a great way to sneak in all of those “great” ingredients that are challenging to get in otherwise. You can create a healthy, brain building, protein packed snack. Especially for those of us with special needs or highly picky children (or spouses…), this is a win/win.

Here’s what I did, but the beautiful thing about Granola is that you can’t really ruin it. Change it up, make it your own.

Ingredients: (organic goes without saying… )
Dry:
4 cups organic rolled oats (not quick oats)
1 cup (give or take) of toasted almond slivers and pecan pieces
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (the big ones is what we prefer)
2 TBSP Hemp Seeds
2 TBSP Chia Seeds
1 (or two) generous handful of toasted pumpkin seeds

Add at the end:
1/3 cup Dried Papaya mini pieces
1/4 cup dried bananas

Wet:
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup good raw organic honey
1/3 cup REAL maple syrup
1 tsp real vanilla flavoring (or whatever you prefer)

Preheat oven to 275.

Mix all of the top Dry Ingredients in a large bowl. Put the coconut oil, honey and maple syrup in a pan and gentle heat so it mixes and is pourable. After removing from heat add the Vanilla Flavoring and stir well.

Pour your wet/sweet mix over the big bowl of oats. Keep stirring until it’s all kind of moist.

Place parchment paper on a rimmed cookie sheet (it will take two). Pour granola onto cookie sheet in a thin layer. Bake 8-10 minutes, stirring half way through. Watch it like a hawk – nothing makes you sadder than burnt granola. 😦

When it’s done, remove from oven and let it cool COMPLETELY. After it is cooled, mix in your dried fruits and store in an airtight container. Enjoy for breakfast with a little Hemp milk or as a dry snack for after school!
Best granola recipe
Now the really good stuff:

almonds – Great source of protein, Vitamin E, Calcium, Iron, Zinc, Selenium. Helps blood sugar and brain health!
pecans– Protein, Vitamin E (protects cell damage in the brain), High in Antioxidents and fiber.
Hemp Seeds – These are arguably one of the most complete sources of nutrition. Balanced protein and more omegas than Flax. This is a brain super food. Don’t skip this easy way to incorporate it into your diet. Plus they are nutty little goodness that your kids will probably never see!
Chia Seeds – are known as an energy booster AND a sleep aid. Double win. High in protein, omegas, iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. They have 8 times the Omegas as salmon (and easier to consume if you ask me…) read = brain health.
pumpkin seeds – Get this! Pumpkin seeds are great for prostate health and bladder function. They are also proven to assist with DEPRESSION and are a natural anti-inflammatory. They are an alkaline forming seed and are used in many cultures as treatment/prevention for parasites.
Papaya – high in Vit A, C and folate but most notably a miracle help for digestion. Got heartburn? Digestion issues? Increase papaya! It’s also an anti-inflammatory a great for skin and hair health!
bananas – Help with brain power, potassium, bowel health, energy and DEPRESSION.
coconut oil– I need a whole blog post dedicated to coconut oil. Have you seen “my big fat greek wedding”? You know how they use Windex for everything? That’s kind of how we are about coconut oil. Buy an organic, cold pressed tankard of it at Costco. Thank me later… 🙂 But if you’re not real fond of the flavor this is a great way to get it in your body without tasting it too much. Here’s the scoop it’s great for killing Viruses, Bacteria, Fungi, Candida (which is an epidemic in our world), supports the immune system and thyroid (another one that our society is in desperate need of). It boosts energy, is heart healthy, and helps with Diabetes. Fatty acids from coconut oil go straight to the liver from the digestive tract, where they are used as quick source energy or turned into so-called ketone bodies, which can have therapeutic effects on brain disorders like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s. It also helps you BURN FAT.
raw organic honey – Reduces inflammation, strengthens immune system, calms nerves, balances blood sugar, and is an energy booster.
REAL maple syrup (splurge on the real organic stuff, not the cheapo HFCS pancake syrup) – This is high in manganese and zinc which are great for prostate health among other things. High in antioxidents, calcium, minerals and B vitamins

Create your Sunshine Life by putting something really good in your body!

Muah.

BuddhaQuote

CSF Leak Treatment continues…

I’ve been reading other bloggers lately with CSF leaks trying to gleam treatment ideas, and it occurred to me that I should give more details of my own treatment to share with others that are searching.

The situation:

I was in a car accident in late September 2013.That means I’ve been on bedrest for about 5 months. I have had 8 blood patches, a fibrin patch, and the lumbar drain procedure. The only change it has made is that the lumbar drain caused me to be in the ICU for 14 days instead of the 5 we planned for and I was much worse when I got out. Pre drain I was able to stand for up to 3 hours before the pain and nausea. After the surgery… I’ve been out of the hospital a little over 6 weeks and I still can’t stand for more than 3 minutes before the headaches and nausea start.  So there’s that.

The current treatment plan:

I have found a Bowen worker (click the link to go to her website) who is completely awesome and willing to make house calls. I get a treatment once a week. Click the link to learn more about what Bowen work is, but the short version taken from her site is: Bowenwork is a very gentle and dynamic soft tissue therapy technique. Originally know as Bowtech, Bowenwork is now practiced and taught around the world and has been proven to be effective for both acute and chronic health conditions.  It is performed by applying subtle, yet profound movements to the body, enabling the body to heal itself.

I find that the day after treatment I’m more sensitive and can’t get around much. But the second day I feel MUCH better and definitely feel like this adds small but steady improvement to my symptoms.

This week I also had my second visit with a Craniosacral Therapist.  If you suffer from a CSF leak you will be thrilled to know that one of the events featured on the craniosacral teaching website is a conference called: “Beyond the Dura”. Yup these are our folks. Anyone who knows or cares that much about dura and the flow of spinal fluid is someone we need to be working with. Surprisingly there is not a lot of information online about CSF leaks other than bloggers, and chatrooms filled with fellow sufferers comparing different treatment plans.   But Craniosacral is worth checking out. Here’s a blip from their site: CST is a gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the functioning of a physiological body system called the craniosacral system – comprised of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord.   Using a soft touch generally no greater than 5 grams, or about the weight of a nickel, practitioners release restrictions in the craniosacral system to improve the  functioning of the central nervous system.   By complementing the body’s natural healing processes, CST is increasingly used as a preventive health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to disease, and is effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction.

Nutrition: I’m making sure to keep my body well prepared nutritionally. I take two different Omega formulas each day. One fish based, one plant based. I take an Emergen-C to keep Vit C levels up and mix in a bit of Magnesium Calm. I’m also taking the Isagenix Daily Essentials with Product B, and the Isagenix Brain Boost. I really feel like they are both helping. I ran out for awhile and quit taking both and experienced a noticeable difference in clarity and memory.  I’m also taking Touchstone Super Greens + D as both greens and Vit D are so important to cellular healing.

The greatest news ever – I heard back from my acupuncturist with a Standard Process supplement that helps increase production of CSF. One of the things I’ve been concerned about is that my volume dropped so low during my last lumbar puncture (pressure of 4, down from 11) and when they inserted the drain, it didn’t drain any fluid (worth mentioning) over the 5 days the drain was in. So the concern is that not only do I have a leak, but I’m not making enough fluid. I just started the supplement and don’t have much to report. But they said it would be 2-3 days before I notice anything.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  I also found MethylCobalamin on another bloggers site. It’s a B12 supplement. The bottle says “It is more concentrated than other forms of B12 in the cerebrospinal fluid where it can be used by the central nervous system. It donates methyl groups to the myelin sheath that insulates certain nerve fibers”. Yea, I pretty much bought a bottle instantly. Will let you know how it goes.

Of course it goes without saying.. but I’ll say it anyway. I’m not a doctor. I’m just a person researching myself. I share for others out there suffering, but please do your own research and talk to your own doctor before making any changes to your treatment protocol.

So, I’m positive. Both therapists are wonderful and I feel changes. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. But change is good I think.

I’ve also been researching Dr. Linda Gray at Duke University as well as the Cedars Sinai program. I’m leaning towards Duke these days. Although I have a support system in L.A. so it feels easier to go there. But on the other hand, Duke has better imaging technology which means we may be able to fix me yet with a blood or fibrin patch rather than the “big scary open surgery”.

Much love to you if you’re in the same boat. CSF leaks are a crazy, unbelievable injury that is relatively unknown, life changing, and difficult to treat. We must all stick together.

Create your Sunshine Life. Even if it’s lying down. And if you’re not lying down. Please, get up and dance or something.

xxoo

insanity

The *&(^ Dentist.. I mean seriously? And a Mommy Ninja Trick for unruly kids …

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Yesterday, Avani had a dentist appointment. Anyone with special needs will tell you that dentist appointments are a special kind of torture. Seriously, I got karma points yesterday for sure. See, although we don’t eat sugars or drink juice she has a mouth filled with cavaties – go figure. She has a phobia to needles that is unrivaled. So they have to use laughing gas. Fine for most kids. But MY daughter has a violent reaction to pretty much any drug. I mean VIOLENT, RAGE reaction. She cleared about an entire wing at Childrens Hospital when she woke up from her MRI. They underestimated her sweet look and dropped like flies! (funny in hindsight but not so much at the time). Back to the dentist. I had to pick the fullest moon of the year to go, she went bonkers coming out of the gas. I had to carry my 6 year old flailing out the doors while she clawed at her face in a desperate attempt to feel SOMETHING (anesthesia). She had a very hard afternoon. We both did. It’s emotionally and physically draining. BUT this story has a happy ending.

But she came out of it. She pulled it together. She took a nap and then used her words to speak about how she felt about the experience. This is a monumental step for us. Normally it could mean two days of hitting and screaming and rage. She got it through her system in hours. We had a lovely night. Really, truly Lovely.  She lost her first tooth (unrelated to the dentist) and proudly and sweetly held it up to show us.  It was honestly one of our best evenings of the last several weeks.

OK. I might have had a few Mommy Ninja tricks up my sleeve this time. What were they? I thought you’d never ask… (this is for my daughter with serious outbursts.. of course choose for your own child wisely…)

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-Gentiana Complex – This is care of my super duper great friends at TigerLily Acupuncture. I’m not an herbologist, but let’s just say it drains the “anger”. It is a chinese herbal supplement. We use it frequently during bedtime madness or other uncontrollable times. Fortunately, she will swallow a pill now. This stuff is legit. If you have an angry child, it’s the bomb.

– ER911 – OK THIS stuff is really really great too (I’m such a fan). It’s a tasteless, homeopathic spray. The bottle says “support during emotional, mental or physical truama, high pressure or stressful situations… ”  it goes on and on with everything you’d ever dream it would say. Spectrum kids are kind of stressed a lot. I keep a bottle in my purse. Again, care of the good people at TigerLily.

Pure Body Touchstone Essentials Zeolite – This is gold in a bottle. All natural chelator. My kids are seriously toxic. Heavy Metal toxic. Pick up pesticides and crap everywhere we go and it affects their brain, nervous system.. everything. This is a colorless, odorless, tasteless spray of ZEOLITE. Google it. Zeolite attracts “junk” in the body (that’s my technical term) because of the way it is charged. It’s very very safe for childrens and even pregnant women (do your own research first OF COURSE). I don’t give my kids anything unless it’s infant safe. We are too fragile. It is strong. We started with a single drop every day and increase dosage every 3 – 5 days. The first month was hard getting the bad stuff out, but it has changed our life. We have gone from a 9.9 daily on the Richter scale to a measley 6.3. And sometimes, even a 4.1. So there. Victory. I claim it. It’s only around $25 a bottle for the drops (more for the spray). I cannot recommend it highly enough. I spray her before and after medical procedures to help her clear out the toxins quicker.

– Balance Oil by DoTerra. Huge Fan. Huge. Huge. Huge. Huge. Fan. I rubbed it on her feet while she was in the chair. Calming, balancing, grounding blend. Highest quality essential oils. (Don’t play around with cheap oils – splurge on good ones – cheap oils are NOT THE SAME.) We put this in a mister at bedtime or a drop in a bath during highly stressful or emotional trauma.

– And of course, we started our stressful day with an Isagenix Chocolate Shake so we had all the optimal nutrition, brain chemistry, and protein to give us support to tow the line. Thank god my shipment showed up in time. Isagenix days are 100x better with her.

So there. My victory for the day. Hope that someone out there can benefit, or at least find hope. There are possibilities. We just have to find them.

xoxo to you Mamas. Do you have any secret Ninja tips to share with the rest of us???

Create your Sunshine Life.

Clover Sunshine

Kids Mental and Gut Health – A starting point

Sometimes it’s good to start with what you know.  By popular request, I’ll be posting a series on kids health.

**please note, I post based on my personal experience and my children. I am NOT a doctor. Please, people do your own research but perhaps this will give you a starting point**

(for those getting this via email, this is actually a video – not just a ridiculous photo! But you have to click through to watch it until I increase my programming ability!)

Our health issues range from gut health (sore tummies, food sensitivities, chronic constipation) to nuerological (ADD, Autism Spectrum, OCD, Sensory Processing, rage, you get the visual…).

When I first started on this journey, I felt so alone. No doctor could tell me what was wrong. I felt blind and gagged and helpless and ignorant. So I did what any Mama Bear does, I read. And read. And read. And read some more.  So, at this point, I might be blind to what is coming but I’m anything but ignorant.  If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Much of what I have learned is from other Mommy Bloggers who have generously shared. The least I can do is pass it on.

I’ll be posting a new video in the series each day so stay tuned…

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