Quick Improvement

That last post left you hanging!

I actually wrote the post while sitting in the waiting room of Martin’s biomed doctor, three weeks ago. I described symptoms Martin was experiencing; most problematic among them was Martin making disastrously inappropriate utterances that he knew to be provocative. I described the behavior as “almost like Tourette Syndrome (Martin does not have Tourette)”: In addition to calling his classmate a “racist,” Martin was saying odd things like, “I think schools should be segregated again,” or, “Hispanic kids who speak Spanish aren’t as smart as other kids.” (Martin is Hispanic, and speaks Spanish, and our family does not hold views anything like he was expressing.) When asked, Martin seemed unable to provide any explanation for the statements. He said, “Sometimes words come into my head that I know I shouldn’t say, but I can’t stop them before they come out of my mouth.”

After examining Martin and hearing about these and other symptoms, the doctor surmised that parasites were at work. Martin’s doctor in New York had made the same guess, and actually had already prescribed an anti-parasitical drug, Alinia®. Given my hesitation to administer any pharmaceutical to Martin (side effects, unintended consequences, wanting to avoid synthetics for whatever we can address naturally), I held out for a second opinion from his biomed doctor. She agreed that we should consider Alinia, and she added natural measures to Martin’s protocol to keep the parasites at bay, long-term, including diatomaceous earth.

Alinia is administered in a three-day course, followed by a two-week break and another three-day course. We started the first course two days after returning from our visit to the California biomed doctor.

Remarkably, just his second day on the Alinia, Martin’s inappropriate comments virtually ceased.

Within a week of completing the first three-day course, the skin rashes and itching also eased.

Rarely do we hit the nail square on the head when it comes to Martin’s periodic symptoms, but this time I think both doctors were spot-on: Parasites were at work, and Martin needed a strong remedy.

He’s on the second course of Alinia now, after the two-week pause, and he’s also using diatomaceous earth. His reading tutor texted me this evening to say that his focus seemed improved. I’m optimistic.

Now for the tough part: Martin’s biomed doctor recommended that Martin stop eating sushi, at least the kind with raw fish, which can contribute to parasite activity. Martin adores sushi. We eat sushi at least twice per week when we’re not traveling (I get the vegan version), and it’s a go-to food when we are. Martin likes to order six pieces of octopus sushi, one salmon avocado roll, and one steamed shrimp roll. (If that seems like a lot of food, let me mention that he consumes the entire tray in about five minutes and then, often, flags down the waiter to request more octopus sushi.) I did some research and discovered that octopus is virtually always poached when used in sushi (though the animal may be raw in thinly sliced sashimi). So the octopus is cooked, as is the steamed shrimp. So far I haven’t had much luck determining whether poaching or steaming is sufficient to kill all parasites (investigation continues!); still, I get comfort from the fact that the octopus and shrimp are, at least, not raw.

As to the salmon, which really seems to pose significant risk when raw, Adrian and I, after much consternation, have reached rapprochement with Martin: He can still eat his salmon avocado roll, but we request that the salmon be cooked. Last Sunday, on their usual weekend “boys’ afternoon,” Adrian and Martin went for sushi, and Adrian insisted that the salmon be cooked. Adrian came home and reported that the wait staff were initially befuddled by the request but then, upon discovering that their kitchen had the magic capability to cook salmon, complied. Martin, for his part, arrived home and announced, “Actually my sushi with cooked salmon was pretty good!”

Additional positive news: “[Freezing fish] to an internal temperature of -4°F for at least seven days [kills] any parasites that may be present,” although “[h]ome freezers are usually between 0°F and 10°F and may not be cold enough to kill the parasites.” Immediately upon reading this news, I checked the deep freezer in my basement and found -10°F. The $250 (or so) of cold-smoked salmon—a breakfast favorite of Martin—in that freezer should be safe for him to consume.

This vegan never thought she’d find herself checking freezer temperatures to determine parasite risk in seafood.

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One piece of octopus sushi already gone, but here are the remaining five, plus his salmon avocado roll and steamed shrimp roll.

Juggling Enigmas

Last month we visited Dr. C, to talk about Martin’s recent slump. Major symptoms remain emotional instability and perseveration. He searches for reasons to melt down. One Sunday evening, he was sitting in the family room watching television with Adrian and started crying. The purported reason? Hours earlier, Adrian had tried to buy him a fresh orange juice but the gym café was out of fresh orange juice. The meltdown was bad enough. Worse still, Martin wasn’t able to bring himself back. He slipped into an anxiety rut, crying on and off, even screaming, until bedtime. He couldn’t even eat dinner. As to the perseveration, he’s over Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (hallelujah) but stuck on subway maps and New York City landmarks. He demands constant trips to the City, then tantrums when we can’t go every weekend day.

Aaaaaaaaargh.

I suspected that Lyme disease was playing its dirty tricks. Dr. C, based on seeing Martin, reviewing his latest blood work, and talking though recent history with me, had another idea: parasites. She made a pretty convincing case. For example, Martin had recently developed a tic of nose picking, and it really does seem to be a straight-up tic; he doesn’t take anything from his nose (thank heavens for small favors), just jams his finger into his nose, removes it, and puts it in his mouth. Repeatedly. Which is great for developing social skills with his classmates. Parasites are linked to tics. We’ve been concerned for years about Martin’s biofilm. Biofilm is a place parasites can hide. On and on.

So we have adjusted Martin’s protocol to address parasites and biofilm issues. Already this week, I am seeing some improvement in the tic and his emotional state.

Which is not so say Lyme doesn’t remain a problem. I notice immediate changes when Martin is on MC-BB-1 and MC-Bar-2, or other remedies designed to affect Lyme. Moreover, Martin has recently developed an allergy to beef. What does a beef allergy have to do with Lyme disease? I’m going to leave that as a teaser for my upcoming post, titled “What Does a Beef Allergy Have to Do With Lyme Disease?”

Parasites. Lyme disease. Biofilm. I’m back to feeling like I never really know what’s going on; autism recovery is a constant juggling of issues, and hoping they are the right issues. Sometimes I feel shocked that we’ve made any progress at all.

But clearly we have, so I keep juggling enigmas.

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Christmas kid, examining the loot.