Saturday, June 30, 2007
I've been reading V.S. Ramachandran's A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness. He's a biggedy-wig neuroscientist with titles that go on and on. In the book he describes the phenomenon of phantom limb, specifically phantom limb pain. Often, if the patient's limb was in a prolonged contracted or physically painful condition prior to amputation, the pain continues even though the limb is no longer there.
Ramachandran has been able to "cure" phantom limb pain using mirrors, to trick the brain into seeing the limb healthy, uncontracted, and moving in working order. The patient is really seeing a reflection of his intact limb, but the brain believes it to be the missing limb, and therefore stops firing pain signals.
The brain is an amazingly complex, capable, elastic organ.
My take home message?
Don't ever put limits on my kid.
Friday, June 29, 2007
The boy has been miserable all day. If I say black, he says white.
"Seth why are you arguing with everything I say?"
"I'm NOT arguing!"
No AC in this house and it's been a scorcher. The heat, the move, the everything is throwing him off and my patience is wearing thin.
I send him to his new room to sit, while I try to get it together.
On the floor, I lean my back against the couch and close my eyes.
Soon, she climbs on my lap, straddling my hips with her legs. She zooms her face in close, studying mine. She does this.
"You have one eye." We always say, when she gets too close to focus on two.
Then, Riley does something she's never done before. She starts giving me "softies."
Softies help Riley calm down.
The feel of my fingernails up and down her arms has always soothed her. It almost puts her in a trance. Now, she's trying to comfort me with them.
My throat tightens.
"Thank you sweetie."
She smiles up at me.
"Your welcome Mom."
She's going to be okay.
We're all going to be okay.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Imagine greeting yourself with the same warmth and love and enthusiasm you would your little ones?
I've been doing this as I plow in and out of every room, unpacking. Most of the closets in this old house have full length mirrors behind the doors.
I gotta say....it takes me back a little, and then puts a little spring in my step.
I think we could all use a little more self love.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Click the Animal school link:
....and I'm not blaming the teachers! It's a systemic problem. When one in 6 has a developmental delay, and one in 84 boys is on the spectrum, (one in 150 if we're talking boys and girls) and God only knows how many have ADHD, bi-polar, OCD, etc...and the government is imposing all kinds of mandates on schools, how are the teachers supposed to meet all those needs?
Like the parents, teachers are getting a whole lot more than they bargained for when they signed up for this gig.
Like the parents, they've also been given a great opportunity to look inward and to learn from these amazing, wonderful, challenging, brave souls.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Who could be at the door? We don't know anyone.
It's the guy that used to rent this place before us. He and his wife (and their little baby) bought a house around the corner, and he just wanted to say hello. They lived here for almost a year, and in that time he figured out the quirks of this old house (landlord is in NYC), and if we need any help with anything....here's his number. And his cell phone. And his e-mail.
But wait, it gets better.
He's a strapping young pediatric cardiologist on the wing Hot Toddy will be working on.
Since when does a doctor have time to stop by just to be helpful to someone he doesn't know?
Since when does a doctor give out his number, his cell, and his e-mail?
This really throws a twist into my disdain of all doctors except Dr. Mumper in Virginia and my OB friend Kristen, and my old high school friend Tracy (whom I haven't been in touch with but still like very much). Oh...and Dr. Smith, the mercury free dentist in Lynchburg.
Now I have a new doctor I'm forced to like.
I hope this isn't catchy.
Monday, June 25, 2007
Remember that lady a few years back, who was caught on tape in the Wal-mart parking lot, slapping her kid? There was a big manhunt underway so they could hunt down this terrible woman and see if her child was okay. Maybe even press charges against her?
Think me, in a similar situation.
If you buy the book, and if you read my piece, I hope you will have compassion.
For all of us.
Special Gifts: Women Writers on the Heartache, the Happiness and the Hope of Raising a Special Needs Child.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Riley danced her little heart out to the music of a zydeco band. She also got her face painted and bought a tie-dye dress, charming the pants off the lady selling them. With money in her hand she said, "I would like to buy that lovely purple dress please."
Seth was a little more reserved for some reason. He mostly sat on the blanket on one of our laps and relaxed. He had his fun climbing on a nearby playground like a little monkey, however.
I still have not had time to catch up on my favorite blogs. It's killing me! But, at least my kitchen is unpacked. It won't be long now!
I might have missed this:
.....if not for Courtney bringing it to my attention. I'm so out of the loop! Thank you Courtney! Thank you Bobby Kennedy Jr.
Love. Y'all! ( Do I have to stop saying "y'all" now that I'm not in Virginia)?
Friday, June 22, 2007
I totally live in Ohio.
The movers just brought our stuff today. I've been sleeping on an air mattress with the kids since Monday. I am on the verge of physical collapse (a little dramatic, isn't she)?
Well. It's true.
We're fine though.
I am hyperventilating over all the choices for take out food. Thai! They have Thai! And I know it will be good Thai (no offense Lynchburg).
No one told me Cleveland was so beautiful?
Gorgeous neighborhoods. Old huge boxy homes, all well maintained, and so charming. The one we're renting has tons of room and everywhere you turn there is a nook or cranny or closet or built-in cabinet or shelf.
My writing room is AWESOME. It's in a third floor finished attic loft, with wood floors and exposed brick. It is going to be great once I get it set up. It has a door that closes to the rest of the house and will have a no kids/no cats policy once I get rolling here.
Hot Toddy is going to have his own little "apartment" too. His is a little room in the back of the house on the second floor which will house his TV and maybe a recliner big enough for two (for when I care to join him). He can even hang up football thingys if he wants in there. It's been my dream for a long time to have the big old TV out of the living room.
Well, folks....it will be a few more days 'til I'm back in the saddle but thanks for all your good wishes.
I will be catching up with you on your blogs soon.
P.S. I can walk to the coffee shop and the library. How cool is that?
(That was me, collapsing).
Monday, June 18, 2007
Not sure when I'll be posting again. We have to get things moved in and hooked up. (I'm sure my blogging addiction won't be kept at bay for long though).
I'm leaving you with something about the Federal Autism Hearing presently underway.
I recieved this e-mail from Anne McElroy Dachel,in a thread through Kim Stagliano's Yahoo Group (Thank you Kim for your wonderful group. Thank you Anne for permission to reprint your terrific letter). At the end I'll post another link to a recent rally at the CDC also lifted from the bio-med group, thanks Debbie). Dr. Mark Grier is one of the researchers from David Kirby's book Evidence of Harm. Like so many who have stood up for the truth he has made great sacrifices. For instance, there is a team of high powered attorneys (nine of them, I think) who are devoting their lives to destroying Riley's doctor (the one who has helped her so much and has given our famiy a new life by treating Riley through bio-med interventions). She will testify in the federal hearing in August. Nine of them. They get to work on this full time, while she continues to practice, treating kids. Intimidating? I should say.
But, David killed Goliath. Big tobacco went down. The truth always has out in the end.
The Universe is benevolent.
God loves us.
All is well.
Thank you for reading my blog.
See ya in Ohio!
Subject: Sharyl Attkisson: Autism: Why The Debate Rages
Autism: Why The Debate Rages
Posted by Sharyl Attkisson
Autism: Why The Debate Rages
CBS News - New York City , NY , USA
In 2004, the Institute of Medicine Report cleared vaccines of a connection
to autism, or so they thought. It only served to enrage advocates. The
research was flawed and manipulated. Anything that challenged the IOM's
conclusions, was ignored.
Here CBS correspondent Sharyl Attkisson outlines why this controversy will
not go away. It also tells us why parents are pressing on to argue their
claims in federal court at the moment. Sharyl lists her seven reasons and
explains each in detail.
1. While government scientists, advisors and pharmaceutical companies have
been responsible for infinite lifesaving and life improving medical
advances, they are not infallible.
2. Government scientists, advisors and vaccine manufacturers often take an
all-or-nothing approach to vaccinations.
3. Government officials and mainstream scientists who dispel any
vaccine/autism/ADD link have ties to vaccine.
4. Non-profits which dispel any vaccine/autism/ADD link have ties to vaccine
5. The dual role of the CDC undermines the appearance of fairness.
6. There is no definitive research proving a link between vaccines and
autism or ADD, but there is also no definitive research ruling it out.
7. Those who say autism and ADD are not linked to vaccines do not know what
is causing the epidemics.
It's important to keep in mind that the agencies in our federal government
who deny a link between autism and vaccines, have everything at stake in
their position. It is impossible for many of the people there to even
consider the possibility that through complete oversight failure, a
generation of children has been exposed to toxic elements in their vaccines
with devastating results.
We need the press to cover this crisis thoroughly and fairly. Thousands of
parents have seen the coverage of the federal hearing on vaccine damage now
being held in Washington and are outraged. On a daily basis, news sources
everywhere have continually reported that scientific studies deny a link
when talking about the Cedillo case now being hear. That biased and
misleading statement seems to reduce parents to having only wild speculation
on the cause of their child's autism. Nearly 5,000 claims of vaccine damage
would not be getting their day in court if they didn't also have studies,
leading experts and medical documentation to back up the claims. You would
never know this from the one-sided reporting we're seeing everywhere.
On the issue of mercury use in vaccines, story after story tell us that they
stopped putting mercury in vaccines in 1999 or 2000. Since autism rates
continue to climb, experts say it proves there's no connection. Each time I
see this information in print, I'm amazed that such a blatant false
statement is put out. Even if reporters don't bother to research the
information they present as fact, countless parents know the truth. It took
years for the vaccine makers to start making reduced mercury vaccines and no
vaccines were ever recalled. Thousands were still on doctors' shelves in
2004. Furthermore, 90 percent of the flu vaccine still contains full doses
of mercury and this vaccine is recommended for babies and pregnant women.
As this controversy continues to explode, the press needs to report the
facts honestly. Few reporters have the background and courage to present
the truth. Having Sharyl Attkisson report on this for CBS Evening News
would seem the smart thing to do. She's a very rare and informed
Anne McElroy Dachel
(Advocates for Children's Health Affected by Mercury Poisoning)
Saturday, June 16, 2007
I was about eight when I started wishing he would die. Now, with death seeming so near(though who knows, he'll probably hang on for a loooooong time), I still want him to go, but my longing is from a place of compassion, not hatred.
I wish him peace and relief.
I wish him Love.
* The picture is my father as a little boy.
Friday, June 15, 2007
The case is the first of about 5000 that have been filed. It is very important. The court will either accept or reject that the Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine, combined with the mercury preservative thimerosal, can cause autism.
Thank you to A-Champ for your tireless dedication to getting the word out. I am filled with gratitude for all you do.
* To donate to A-CHAMP click below.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Letter From Autism Advocates to President of NBC News Regarding Coverage of the Autism Omnibus Proceedings
"Dear Mr. Capus:
The undersigned organizations are writing to you regarding the concerns among families of vaccine-injured children across the country over NBC's recent coverage of the Autism Omnibus proceedings. In particular, we take issue with the comments Dr. Nancy Snyderman made during yesterday's Today show. While one would hope a "First do no harm" philosophy would have some bearing on the information Dr. Snyderman provides to viewers, clearly it does not.
Dr. Snyderman's ties to Johnson & Johnson, defendants in vaccine injury litigation, are obviously dictating the agenda in her appearances on your network at the risk of the safety of our children. This conflict of interest calls into serious question your journalistic integrity and credibility. NBC's viewers were exposed to a blatant falsehood yesterday as Dr. Snyderman claimed that vaccines no longer contain mercury. This is not the case, and this misinformation has unfortunately given NBC's parents a false sense of security that vaccines are now mercury-free. This false claim puts viewer's children and the unborn at risk of great harm. The mercury-based preservative thimerosal has never been fully removed from childhood vaccines as Dr. Snyderman vehemently claimed. A simple check on the FDA's website would have confirmed this: _http://www.fda.http://wwhttp://www.fda.http://ww_ (http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=ur9hcbcab.0.8t6jcbcab.faomd6n6.2888&ts=S0252&p=http://www.fda.gov/cber/vaccine/thimerosal.htm#t1) .
Mercury is still in most flu, tetanus, and diphtheria/tetanus vaccines--and an array of vaccines still contain "trace" amounts. (The term "trace" must be used loosely as this aspect of vaccine production is not being regulated and there is some variation on what constitutes a trace amount. As children often receive multiple "trace" amounts of mercury in one sitting, cumulative amounts and potential adverse effects are as yet unknown.) While no reputable medical practitioner in this country would allow even "trace" amounts of lead to be injected through vaccines given its known neurotoxicity, physicians continue to allow mercury, which exceeds the toxicity of lead by more than 100-fold, to be routinely injected into humans.
As a physician representing NBC, Dr. Snyderman has failed to tell the truth about mercury-containing vaccines and the known dangers associated with them. There is simply no excuse for such careless and false reporting while this country is in the throes of a childhood epidemic of neurological disorders. During Monday's NBC Nightly News Dr. Snyderman stated, "There really is no science behind the autism/mercury link. Vaccines and the mercury-based preservative thimerosal have not been ruled out as a cause of autism." To the contrary, there are literally thousands of scientific, peer-reviewed studies supporting the extreme neurotoxicity of mercury and the relationship between mercury exposure and neurological injury. The following link provides a copious amount of research which contradicts what Dr. Snyderman told the American public: _http://www.generatihttp://wwhttp://www.ghttp_ (http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=ur9hcbcab.0.5t6jcbcab.faomd6n6.2888&ts=S0252&p=http://www.generationrescue.org/studies.html) The CDC's own study conducted in 2000 clearly shows the agency knew that injuries were occurring to children from mercury-containing vaccines, yet the data was manipulated to obscure the link. Lead researcher Dr. Thomas Verstraeten had this to say regarding the CDC's thimerosal findings: "...we have found statistically significant relationships between the exposure and outcomes for these different exposures and outcomes. First, for two months of age, an unspecified developmental delay, which has its own specific ICD9 code. Exposure at three months of age, tics. Exposure at six months of age, an attention deficit disorder. Exposures at one, three, and six months of age, language and speech delays which are two separate ICD9 codes. Exposures at one, three, and six months of age, an entire category of neurodevelopmental delays, which includes all of these plus a number of other disorders." (Dr. Thomas Verstraeten, page 40, Simpsonwood meeting transcript). The full transcript of this secret, closed-door meeting held by the CDC at, Simpsonwood, can be read at NoMercury.org or PutChildrenFirst.
Many European countries have banned the use of thimerosal/mercury in vaccines for many years. Seven states have passed legislation banning the use of thimerosal/mercury in vaccines and similar legislation is pending in over 30 additional states. If there was no science to back up the dangers of using mercury in vaccines, we wouldn't be seeing such legislative efforts to ban its use.
In her most recent NBC appearance, Dr. Snyderman was asked why parents were filing claims on behalf of their vaccine-injured children, to which she answered matter-of-factly, "money."
This cavalier statement alone goes far beyond contempt and displays an appalling ignorance of the emotional and financial devastation faced by families of vaccine-injured children. This must be addressed by an immediate apology from NBC to all the parents of children suffering from vaccine-induced illnesses. We urge you to speak with the growing number of scientists who have published research supporting a causal link between mercury in vaccines and neurodevelopmental disorders, and can provide you contact information for these researchers.
Reporting false information is a disservice to the American people. When it comes to the children and the unborn in this country, we should err on the side of safety, regardless of personal belief, conviction, or backing from the pharmaceutical industry.Based on the misinformation presented by Dr. Snyderman, and the potential for harm this has brought to bear upon children, we ask for her resignation. We will accept nothing less than a full and public retraction of her false statements, along with an apology from your network. We expect an immediate response to our request.
Advocates for Children's Health Affected by Mercury Poisoning (ACHAMP)
Autism Recovery Resources of Washington (ARROW)
Autism Society of Autism Chapter
Coalition for Mercury-Free Drugs (CoMeD)
David A. Geier, Vice-President Institute of Chronic Illnesses, Inc.
Developmental Delay Resources (DDR)
Dr. Boyd Haley, Bio-Chemist
Educate Before You Vaccinate
Foundation For Autism Information and Research
Foundation for Mercury Injured Children
K Paul Stoller, MD, President, International Hyperbaric Medical Association
Kind Tree Productions, Inc.
Mark R. Geier, MD, Ph.D., FABMG, President Genetic Centers
Autism Recovery Coalition
Mercury Moms Against Mercury
Moms of Hope
National Autism Association
Talk About Curing Autism (TACA)
Treating Autism in the UK
US Autism and Asperger Association
World Mercury Project
Think Autism. Think Cure. Click here to visit our website_ (http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=ur9hcbcab.0.cnfjh6n6.faomd6n6.2888&ts=S0252&p=http://www.nationalautismassociation.org/)"
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
This is James Dillet Freeman. He was Unity's poet laureate. He wrote many beautiful pieces, including I Am There, a copy of which was left on the moon in 1971 by an astronaut on Apollo 15.
This book is just one of the treasures I found while living in Lynchburg and attending the Unity church. It's full of many beautiful poems and other pieces he wrote. Look at the love in his eyes. Angels sang in him.
I Am There
"Do you need Me ?
I am there.
You cannot see Me, yet I am the light you see by.
You cannot hear Me, yet I speak through your voice.
You cannot feel Me, yet I am the power at work in your hands.
I am at work, though you do not understand My ways.
I am at work, though you do not understand My works.
I am not strange visions. I am not mysteries.
Only in absolute stillness, beyond self, can you know Me as I AM, and then but as a feeling and a faith.
Yet I am here.
Yet I hear.
Yet I answer.
When you need ME, I am there.
Even if you deny Me, I am there.
Even when you feel most alone, I am there.
Even in your fears, I am there.
Even in your pain, I am there.
I am there when you pray and when you do not pray.
I am in you, and you are in Me.
Only in your mind can you feel separate from Me, for only in your mind are the mists of "yours" and "mine".
Yet only with your mind can you know Me and experience Me.
Empty your heart of empty fears.
When you get yourself out of the way, I am there.
You can of yourself do nothing, but I can do all.
And I AM in all.
Though you may not see the good, good is there, for I am there.
I am there because I have to be, because I AM.
Only in Me does the world have meaning; only out of Me does the world take form; only because of ME does the world go forward.
I am the law on which the movement of the stars and the growth of living cells are founded.
I am the love that is the law's fulfilling.
I am assurance.
I am peace.
I am oneness.
I am the law that you can live by.
I am the love that you can cling to.
I am your assurance.
I am your peace.
I am ONE with you. I am.
Though you fail to find ME, I do not fail you.
Though your faith in Me is unsure, My faith in you never wavers, because I know you, because I love you.
I AM there."
-James Dillet Freeman
Is it useful? Do we need it?
Trips to Good Will.
Journeys to the dump.
It feels clean.
In my closet,
"This no longer represents who I am."
Out it goes.
I am not the same person I was when we arrived in Lynchburg two and a half years ago.
A piece I wrote at the time reads like a trip through the post traumatic stress brain. You can feel her not breathing. You can feel her running, looking for escape.
We are no longer in "survival mode."
We are walking toward, not running from.
Thriving now, we step into the next chapter.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
1) I once spent a summer pouring beer in the "German" Festhaus at Busch Gardens.
2) I was The Slut of Rome, in an Italian Dinner Theatre production in college.
3) I can oil paint, but I have not done it in years.
4) I've never plucked my brows.
5) I was a Sweet Adeline (barbershop chorus) for a season.
6) I'm sometimes quiet in groups.
7) I could knock you out with an axe kick to the head.
8) As a child, my mother warned me (after my sister read my diary) not to ever put anything in writing that I would not want the whole world to read.
Tagging, Drama Mama, Toeless, and Agent M..
Friday, June 08, 2007
"We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature, and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth."
Thursday, June 07, 2007
But wait! There's more!
Hot Toddy. Love him. Love the fact that on a daily basis he doesn't even notice if the house is a mess. However, when we are trying to sell the place, this is a downfall.
For instance, how 'bout the day he decided to shave that beard, using the mirror in the shower, and then forgot to clean up. When I got home I saw the telltale signs people had been here.
Oh...they looked in the shower, the curtain is pulled back.
Cleaning up after my own family is one thing, but it gets worse.
For some reason, people are really into using our toilets. Our bathrooms are nothing special. No mood lighting. No fancy bidets with water jetting up to clean the hoo-ha. I don't get the fascination. And yes, I know they are actually using them, rather than just checking them out. They've left...remnants.
I've had to clean those up too.
All I know is...sold or not, in 12 days I will wake up. When I open my eyes I will be in Ohio. This part will be over.
In the meantime I'm thinking of putting a sign on all the toilets.
"You Use It, You Buy It."
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
"Thanks Patti. I'll be right there."
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
This afternoon, we went to the book store, and lingered. I'm always rush, rush, rushing but today we got to look at every single thing for as long as we wanted and it felt really good not to hurry him up.
Overhead, Frank Sinatra sang "Chicago."
"Seth, do you like this music?"
He cocked his head to the side, making an assessment and then said,
"Yeah. It's catchy."
I LOVE when my kids say a word Todd and I don't typically use. It cracks me up and reminds me that their worlds are expanding.
I never say "catchy."
Though now I will.
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Green leaves and blue sky frame her for me.
Back and forth.
"What are you thinking Riley?" I ask.
"I'm thinking wonderful thoughts."
"Thoughts about what?"
"Thoughts about mommies and Rileys on the tire swing." She smiles.
Back and forth we go.
"Thoughts about Rileys being brave of bees." She adds.
(Riley maintained relative calm despite facing three different bees at her outdoor party today. A major phobia. A major victory).
"Thoughts about opening all my presents." She says, finally.
"You got a lot of presents didn't you?"
Back and forth.
"Yeah. I got everything I wanted."
I got her.
Saturday, June 02, 2007
Listening to XM radio as I decorated Riley's cake, that hot little interior designer Nate Berkus was on, talking about going green, sustainable living, etc. It was a great show, but then he said "absolutely," one time too many. And a dozen more times after that. And his guest was an "absolutely" lady too.
It was an "absolutely" fest.
Nate, Nate, Nate.
I had to write him an e-mail.
"Hi Nate. Love you. Love your show.
I got a little distracted from the "green" message today by all the absolutelys.
Seriously, play it back and count 'em.
Just trying to help.
No need to thank me.
I'm waiting for his call.
Then the colors came, erased the black and white, and her whole world changed, when she realized
She's a butterfly, pretty as the crimson sky
Nothing's ever gonna bring her down
And everywhere she goes, everybody knows
she's so glad to be alive
She's a butterfly
Like the purest light, in a darkened world
So much hope inside,
such a lovely girl
You should see her fly, it's almost magical
It makes you wanna cry,
she's so beautiful
God bless the butterfly,
give her the strength to fly
Never let her wings touch the ground."
Friday, June 01, 2007
Riley will be seven on Monday. Her party is this weekend. She wants "The Butterfly."
Like so many other moms of kids on the spectrum (i.e.wheat free/dairy free),I will find a way to do it. Cake made with bananas, eggs, and pecan flour. Frosting will be peanut butter, honey, vanilla and ghee (clarified butter/no casien). We hung out the other day, going through the book and the kids thought of a million things we could use to decorate; besides candy. Where there are gumdrops, we will have cherries. Where there are stripes, we will cut out strips of fruit leather (healthy version of fruit roll-ups).
The "typicals" will take a bite or two and not eat it, their tongues not used to the taste of food with no chemicals. (If I sound a little self-righteous, indulge me. You're not the one making everything they eat from scratch). My two will scarf if down. They'll ask for seconds.
This is Riley's first "friends" party, where it won't be just her cousins. I'm praying that at least a couple of kids show up.
We overcompensated with presents, in case they don't.
Not for the faint of heart, mind you.