A Ventography!

Just two moms letting off some steam

THE STRAW THAT BROKE THE CAMEL’S BACK – ANNIE’S REGRESSION

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ANNIE’S STORY – PART THREE OF TWELVE

To refresh your memory… Annie had just recovered from back to back assaults to her immune system – a negative reaction to the varicella vaccine, rotavirus, and a brown recluse spider bite.

I then made the brilliant decision to take Annie to a children’s water park for a day of fun. Much to my dismay, Annie took several sips of the nasty water while at the park. The water was contaminated with “God only knows what” from all the toddlers with swim diapers running around in four inches of standing water.

Two days after our visit to the water park, Annie started having diarrhea with a vengeance! This was not your ordinary, run of the mill diarrhea. She had it at least 8 times a day. It came out with such a force that it could shoot across the room (right past her diaper). It was almost chalky white in color and had a smell so bad that I cannot find the words to describe it. The diarrhea would eat her skin off, making her look like she was covered in acid burns that eventually bled and scabbed over.

Every time the diarrhea came, her entire body would tense up, she would begin to shake all over, and then let out a blood curdling scream. She could not eat or sleep. She turned ghostly white and got severe dark circles under her eyes. She began to walk on her toes (I thought it must be due to her gut pain). Even though she hadn’t eaten in days, her belly was bigger than ever… swollen and bloated like the kids you see on television that are starving to death.

The only time we left the house was to go to the pediatrician for another useless visit… only to be told she has “toddler diarrhea” and that it was normal. “NORMAL!” I screamed. I knew there was nothing normal about what we were experiencing. That was the last time I set foot in that pediatrician’s office.

After the diarrhea persisted for a month, I realized that Annie’s personality had changed dramatically and she didn’t seem to be snapping out of it like she did during previous illnesses.

She didn’t seem to notice when I walked into the room anymore. She wouldn’t look at me. She wouldn’t respond to her name. She didn’t want to read together. She wouldn’t talk or answer questions. I thought – well, who wants to talk when they feel sick? She’ll get her words back. But they weren’t coming back.

Annie started playing in unusual ways… lining things up, doing the same things over and over. If I tried to interact with her, she would grab my hand and escort me to another room… her way of telling me to go away without words.

She started covering her ears even when there was no sound. She was doing it in anticipation that something might be too loud or anxiety provoking.  She didn’t want to play with other children anymore.

I knew we had a big problem. I took her to the Emergency Room to see if they could figure out why she was still having diarrhea. They did a stool test and determined she had super high levels of salmonella. I was again advised to let it run its course.

Two weeks later, I got a call from the state department of health. They wanted to educate me on how to prevent the spread of salmonella in our house. Did I know to clean my counters and my hands after touching raw meat? Questions of that nature. (Apparently, hospitals have a duty to report cases of salmonella). I tried not to get offended.

The lady on the phone then proceeded to ask me how I thought Annie got salmonella. I told her she got sick right after our visit to the water park. Her interest perked up when I mentioned the water park. She asked me if we had been to a particular water park during a particular period of time and I said yes.

She let me know that there had been a massive outbreak of salmonella from the very park we visited and that the children’s water area had been shut down for investigation. Just my luck.

Now I knew what was causing the diarrhea, but still had no idea when or if my daughter’s personality and developmental milestones would return. After two months, the diarrhea lessened (to a couple of times a day), but there was still no trace of the Annie I used to know. What had stolen my little girl?

Then came the life changing Supernanny episode that I wrote about in a earlier post. The episode that gave me a name for the thief that stole my daughter… AUTISM.

I knew that my daughter was trapped in a different world. I’d like to tell you I immediately took action and started trying to bust her free, but that would be a lie. The truth is, I became paralyzed. I went into the second worse depression of my life and did nothing but cry and pray this nightmare would go away for the next three months.

To be continued…

Annie’s Story Part 1 http://ventography.wordpress.com/2012/02/02/the-super-nanny-episode-that-changed-my-life/

Annie’s Story Part 2 http://ventography.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/the-prequel/

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Author: A Ventography!

A Ventography is about: 1. Encouraging and empathizing with other parents on the autism spectrum. 2. Recycling and simplifying information on the latest autism news and health and diet tips. 3. Asking thought provoking questions designed to make us rethink what we've been told about autism. 4. Helping connect the dots that show, in some cases, autism is more than a brain disorder. 5. Challenging parents to rethink what they've been told, refuse the status quo, and escape the whirlwind of confusion.

15 thoughts on “THE STRAW THAT BROKE THE CAMEL’S BACK – ANNIE’S REGRESSION

  1. The grief and anger that a family feels during this time is so intense. I can not believe it has been 4 years for our family. Grief is a very lengthy process. Be patient with yourself and allow yourself to heal. I have healed right along with my autistic daughter. She is leading us in her recovery.I hope and pray for all of you. If there is anything I can do to help, just ask. We have had great results with homeopathy, osteopathy and prayer. God bless you and your precious little Annie.

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    • Thank you so much for your kindness. It means so much to me to know someone “gets” what I’m talking about. The post you read was actually from several years ago (we are currently taking our readers through the journey we’ve been on to heal our kids over the last several years). I too have been fighting autism for about 4 years (my daughter is now 7). It sounds like we have a lot in common! Homeopathy has been amazing for us… I feel that it was sequential homeopathy and craniosacral therapy that eventually helped put Annie on the path toward recovery (she is not recovered yet, but I have faith that she will be someday soon). I am going to be writing about homeopathy and craniosacral in an upcoming post. And I KNOW it was God who lead me to find these interventions. Autism made me draw closer to God and finally listen to His voice. Thank you for your prayers – that means everything to me. I will be reading your blog and praying for you and your daughter as well. -Molly

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  2. Reblogged this on No Compulsory Vaccination and commented:
    Yet another story of autistic regression – this one linked with three immune system assaults – vaccination, a spider bite and – as the writer says, the straw that broke the camel’s back – a salmonella infection from a dirty public pool.

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  3. ‘The truth is, I became paralyzed.” – This pretty much summed up my entire thoughts and consumed me for a number of weeks after hearing confirmation of the Dx for my son. I felt as though someone had killed a piece of me. I too saw my son change after 18-24 months. He was just so different. And he is different now, receiving help and making progress each day. I can’t help but wonder what caused this all exactly and why him, or me, or any of us or our children? I am so glad you stumbled across my blog so that i had a chance to read yours.

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    • I know that feeling – like a piece of you is dead. I am a completely different person now than I was B.A. (before autism). Just curious… when you saw your son change at the 18-24 month mark, did he have any health problems going on at that time? Anything weakening his immune system? I too am always wondering what caused all of this and what us “autism moms” have in common. I am so glad your son is making progress and getting better every day. I love hearing that! Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. -Molly

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    • Yes, he was behind on vaccines at the time. He also has a bit of a cold & was just getting over an ear infection (one of many that he had, and many more to come). I took him to the doctor as i was asked to and after letting them know he had just had an ear infection and still had a runny nose, they decided to catch him up on his immunizations anyway. He came down with the diarrhea & classic fever symptoms and he experienced a febrile seizure throughout this ordeal. The doctors ended up saying he had some sort of infection – antibiotics made him sick (doubled over in pain) and he had severe diaper rash as well. His body and immune system have never been the same since then.

      I’m sorry, to those who do not believe it, but my son did change right after that. He was in a different world that i could not bring him out of it. A compromised immune system and too many vaccines while he was sick is what i think caused Autism in my son, but i suppose i’ll never know for sure. My husband and i submitted to genetics testing (as i have an older son with pdd-nos) and we did not carry any information that helped the experts figure out what happened to my sons. We did not hold a genetic link to Autism.

      I did suffer from toxemia and pre-eclampsia with my first pregnancy which also led to the “mag” & pitocin during his natural birth. Could that have something to do with it? Possibly but again i guess i’ll never know.

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    • That must have been awful when your son experienced the febrile seizure. I live in fear of seizures because I’ve read that, many times, teens with autism develop seizures because of some sort of hormonal link. I too vaccinated Annie when she was sick. Oh how I wish I would have listened to my “mom instinct” on that one. That is interesting that you did genetic testing and found no genetic link. I am a believer that, in the case of regressive autism, environmental triggers likely play more of a role. Thanks so much for sharing your experience. Keep fighting for your sons! -Molly

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  4. Your story breaks my heart. I am so sorry that your journey with Autism had to be one that included loss. I look forward to hearing more installments of your story–especially about how you came out of depression to help your daughter. Mothers who must dig through times like that and get to the other side are true heros in my eyes. Thank you for sharing your story.–Joy

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    • Thanks so much Joy. Your support means so much to me. I have been surprised by how many emotions have been “dug up” for me by telling Annie’s story. So, I am very much looking forward to posting about how we “got to the other side.” Thanks for reading! -Molly

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  5. When you chose to take Annie to the park, you chose to give her a day of sunshine and fun with other children. You chose to give her fresh air and a wonderful time. Of course, knowing now about the salmonella outbreak you can term this decision sarcastically “brilliant,” but you did what any other doting mother would have lovingly done, myself included.

    You posted several weeks ago about taking better care of yourself this year, and I hope you will take good care of your soul and spirit. Satan will use your remorsefulness to rob you of joy and God of His glory. We love you and Annie so much and don’t want you to lose a moment looking backward! -K

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    • Thanks K for the encouragement. In my head, I know you’re right that guilt only robs me of joy, but sometimes my heart lets the guilt seep back in. Thanks for reminding me to keep looking forward. Love you too! -Molly

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    • I’m convinced that my son’s autism started in the womb. I had an infection when I went into labor and they gave me massive amounts of antibiotics. Then, when Joseph was born, they pumped him full of the same. My breast milk was his sole food for the next six months — which was supposed to be the healthy thing to do but which, as several natural doctors have pointed out to me, didn’t help Joseph’s gut to heal. My gut was compromised from the antibiotics, so my milk couldn’t help him get better. Sigh. A tough lesson. I sure understand that depression you went through! Blessings.

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    • You are so right – antibiotics are not our friends! Leah had antibiotics during birth and Brody had them in the NICU. I took antibiotics shortly after I gave birth to Annie because of a massive bladder infection (and I was nursing… so Annie got them too). We definitely think antibiotics played a role in our children’s gut and candida issues. We love your blog! -L & M

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  6. Autism in any child is heart breaking but I think we were lucky (for lack of a better word) that my son didn’t have the regression I’ve heard so many parents talk about. Who he is now, is all he’s ever been. Actually, he’s better now than he’s ever been. I never had to mourn the loss (so to speak) of my son. Since the day he was born, he was different from my older son or any other child I had ever seen. We didn’t get an official diagnosis until he was 2 years old, but I always knew something was “off”. I’m sorry that on top of everything that comes with autism, you also had to deal with losing the daughter you knew.

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    • Thanks for your kind words. You’re so right – I did go through a period of mourning when Annie regressed. I am so glad your son is doing better than ever! Thanks for reading. -Molly

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