Friday, January 28, 2011

Just Hanging Out!

Logan has been doing really good the last few days! Behavior has been better than his average "normal" and we have been sticking heavily to the corn-free diet for him. This has been a complete lifestyle change, but as I have said before, I will do whatever it takes to help my children! :) This seems to be helping him tremendously! His breathing is still sleeping good at night, he isn't being near as harmful to himself or others, and he just seems happier!

I did order 3 books off of Amazon that contain corn-free cooking recipes. I am anxious to see what the recipes are like. Right now we have been doing a lot of grilled and baked REAL meat (chicken, pork, and beef), fresh vegetables, some canned vegetables, fresh fruit, and his bread. We have cut out ALL processed meat (hot dogs, bologna, sausage, etc.).

Today, Logan has been in a super happy and artistic kind of mood. I cut out shapes and he glued them on a piece of paper. 

I cannot believe the changes we are beginning to see. He has always been "sensory defensive" so he is EXTREMELY careful with his glue, unlike the typical 4 year old, and doesn't get it everywhere. Hey, I'm not complaining! ;) We did work on getting a little messy...I think I made him touch the glue twice (this is HUGE because he cannot stand ANYTHING on his hands!). I will probably break out the shaving cream tomorrow and let him play on the table and practice his name writting skills!

Hope you all have a fantastic day. I am going to go back to spending time with my lovebug Logan while we wait for the girls to get home from school and daddy to get home from work!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Step In The Right Direction!

I think we are noticing a difference in Logan's behavior (not tremendously, but definitely a difference) since starting the whole corn-free diet. Out of the last 4 days I have only messed up twice. Both times I completely FORGOT!

The girls had a Snow Day this past Wednesday (our first official "corn-free" day) and we had quite a bit of snow...I got everyone all dressed in their 10 million layers, hats, gloves, etc. and took them out sledding. We all had a blast. When we came in I made hot chocolate w/ marshmallows...little did I even know or think that the marshmallows contain HFCS (high fructose corn syrup). I was highly disappointed in myself when I was reading all of the info and doing research on the internet at naptime when I came across the whole NO MARSHMALLOWS article. He was a little fidgety, but not too bad.

The very next morning (Thursday) we got him and the girls up and got everyone ready and took them out to breakfast. Logan and my husband ordered biscuits and gravy. Logan ate really well! I was happy, bc lately he hasn't been eating breakfast that good. We had a few errands to run and let me tell you...he was a TERROR. He was talking back, kicking, and just really off. I got to thinking about what he had eaten to see if it was related and realized that the biscuits and gravy were loaded with corn ingredients... Ugh. It took him 45 mins to settle down to fall asleep at nap and almost 2 HOURS at bedtime! He threw numerous tantrums throughout the entire day.

Since Thursday I have been like Super Mom making sure he is eating CORN-FREE EVERYTHING. We honestly have not had a tantrum since Thursday. An occasional disagreement (BUT HE"S 4) here and there, but no hitting me, kicking me, etc.

If you remember in the past blog, I said my husband was VERY skeptical of the whole food allergies/behavior link....I asked him today what he thought and he is now completely on board after seeing the results first hand. He is amazed at the differences we are noticing already in just the short amount of time we have been doing this. This makes it A LOT easier having his support and understanding.

The real challenge was tonight when Grandma took the kiddos. I was seriously going out of my mind bc I knew that she didn't know all of the ingredients that he wasn't allowed to have... Luckily she did call and read the ingredients to my husband and got dinner approved before feeding him. He did come home and we had no tantrums and he went to bed really easy, so she did a pretty good job!

Well, I have got to get to sleep. 7 a.m. comes wayyyy to early! Have a Happy Sunday! :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Chance To Finally Breathe!

Yesterday will stay in my mind forever. I know it will. Here is how my day went:

We had our long awaited appointment with Dr. Bader, Logan's Geneticist, to discuss the genetic findings. I did not sleep the night before because I was so sure she was going to be the bearer of bad news. Although, there was a small little glimmer of hope that she would deliver great news.

When she called us back I was trying to analyze her mannerisms...the look on her face, the way she was walking, etc. I was making myself crazy. :) We sat down at the table and she had a huge stack of papers...and I honestly thought I was going to throw-up! She then gave me a comforting, sweet smile. She proceeded to inform Neil and I that there were NO genetic findings. PRAISE GOD. She said this was great news...but the only downfall is there is no explanation why Logan has the developmental delays and the ADHD. His developmental delays include social/emotional delay, behavioral delay, fine motor delay, and gross motor delay. His MRI and EEG came back normal. I was so glad to hear that. Dr. Bader was extremely happy and so personable @ this appointment. She was really excited with his behavior while we were in her office (thanks to the Intuniv). He played nice, didn't interupt, etc.  She wants Logan to continue the Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy. After telling us all of this wonderful information she released us from her office and said we can follow up with our pediatrician from now on. Wow! Of course if anything changes she wants us to contact her right away.

We left this appointment excited that there were no findings, but also with the "what now?" thoughts. I just kind of shrugged it off and went into "get through the day mode." Logan also had an appointment with the Allergy and Asthma Center at 12:45, so that took my mind off of things.

We arrived at the allergist with somewhat of an idea what was going to happen...see the dr, get poked a bunch, get results, etc. We were a little wrong. Logan's first question to the front desk lady was "Am I going to get shots???" Her response was "Not today!" Neil and I looked at eachother thinking why is she lying to the poor kid? We went back into his office and the nurse charted his height and weight, asked a bunch of questions, and then asked if she could do a "pulmonary function test." This was a test for asthma. We agreed, but didn't really think it was necessary. She tested him twice and then took a break. Asked if she could test him again... Tested him two more times and said she wanted to do a breathing treatment to see if the test results improved. He did the breathing treatment and was tested two more times and she informed us that in that short ammount of time that his breathing had improved over 10 percent. We could actually hear the difference. It was odd! She then prepped him for the allergy testing, and believe it or not, the front desk lady didn't lie! It was a little plastic type grid that looked like these:

There were 8 sets of 8 that he had put on his back in a grid. He had a total of 64 allergens that were applied to see how he reacted. Out of all the allergens that were applied, he reacted to 5 out of 8 outdoor molds, 1 indoor mold, and corn. The doc came in and he was seriously the BEST doctor out of all the ones we have encountered over the past year! He asked if he could do a CT and an X-ray to view Logan's sinuses and chest. We went right down the hall and had these two things done and he was back into our room within 30 minutes. He informed us that Logan is indeed allergic to corn, the outdoor molds, and the indoor mold and also has asthma. Asthma that REQUIRES an inhaler twice a day. He presented us with a plan that includes: Advair (inhaler) once in the morning and once at night and Zyrtec (allergy med) once daily at night. He said he see's this ALL THE TIME. He said that the asthma is the leading cause of behavioral problems that he see's in his office and that if we do this regiment for a month he thinks that we will see a tremendous decrease in the behavior problems, he will sleep better, and he will not get sick near as much. They gave us a list of items to avoid (about 24 different things) that contain corn. I do have to say my husband was VERY skeptical of this entire appointment.

What did I do when we left? I headed straight to the natural grocery / co-op where my husband and I proceeded to argue the entire time about the cost of the foods and the benefits. I was pissed. How could he not understand that Logan needed this stuff? We were seriously at opposite ends of the spectrum. I was ready to send us to the poor farm so I could buy EVERYTHING in that place! After 15 mins of arguing I gave in and we headed to Meijer's where we had agreed to go shopping and compare ingredients. I hate to admit it, but Neil was right! We were able to find a lot of foods that didn't have any of those harmful (to Logan) ingredients in them.

So we made a "corn free" dinner and did our normal nightly routine. Neil still argued that Logan did NOT have asthma. Really??? They tested him numerous times to come to this conclusion and he didn't believe it! I was a little annoyed. Anyhow, we gave Logan his inhaler, and put him to bed. About 30 minutes after he fell asleep I snuck upstairs to check on him and guess what... No loud or labored breathing. The first time since my baby boy has been alive that I could not actually HEAR him breathing. It was scary! I went to tell my husband this info, only to find out that he had snuck up earlier than I did to hear the same thing...nothing! :) So, needless to say the doctor was right on about the asthma and my husband admitted it, too. I spent last night listening to see when his breathing was going to change...and it never did. It stayed quiet all night and he had his dose this morning. He slept 12 HOURS. I cannot recall the last time he has slept this well! I am one happy mommy!

Had it not been for my cousin Mary Ellen I would have never even thought of taking Logan to the allergist. I am so thankful to have such an amazing and supportive family. We are truly blessed!

Hopefully we are on our way to see bigger and better changes! At this point I am very excited and feel like we have finally accomplished something!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Giving Thanks ...

As I was trying to fall asleep last night all I could think of was our appointment on Tuesday (tomorrow) with the geneticist and how overwhelmed I am. I seriously torture myself thinking of all the what-ifs. I am afraid that we may get shocking/scary results...and I am equally as afraid of the results being inconclusive. Then I wonder if we just give up or do we look into other options, second opinions, etc. I just don't know. So...after hours of thinking I came up with this:

It is in God's hands. I have to "Let Go" and "Let God." I pray for Logan and our family multiple times daily... I pray in the morning when I wake up, every time we get into the car, at naptime when I have some peace and quiet, we pray before meals, our bedtime prayers, etc...but I realized that although I pray A LOT, it doesn't really mean I have let my guard down and handed it over to Him. I am somewhat of a control freak and have a really hard time letting go of things. I do not stop worrying or harassing myself by wondering if I have made the right decisions concerning my son. I constantly think I should have done this sooner or what if I am the only one that can speak on Logan's behalf and I screw it up? It wasn't until last night that I realized that "I" can only do so much...the rest is up to God. I have put my trust in Him and rely on the plans that He has for us. He knows the bigger plan, I do not.

My goal today is to try and focus on the positives. I have three amazing children, all unique in their own ways. Each one of them have special qualities that I cherish. Emily loves God, loves to read, she is affectionate, she is a huge helper, she is independent, can adapt to anything and, is easily comforted. Hailey is cheerful, the little things in life make her happy, she loves sing and draw, remains dedicated, persistent, and is 100 % total GIRL. Logan is extremely intelligent, he loves pirates, he loves to learn about the ocean and animals, he gives AWESOME bear hugs, has a huge imagination, and loves to laugh. I have truly been blessed beyond anything I could possibly imagine.

If you could just do me an itsy-bitsy favor and say a prayer for Logan and our appointment tomorrow, I would greatly appreciate it! :)

Thanks a bunch!

P.S. If this blog post is scattered or makes no sense at all... I had like 3 hours of sleep and am exhausted! I think it is necessary that I take a nap with the kiddos today!!! :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Day 8 of Intuniv

The last few days I did not document Logan's behavior on his new medicine Intuniv. Quite honestly, I have been down with a few kidney stones (with one that is lodged in the ureter...ouch!).He is back to not sleeping (the last 3 nights he hasn't fallen asleep until almost 11 and wakes up throughout the night), throwing massive tantrums over silly things, hitting and kicking me, and back to hurting himself. This boy has got to be exhausted! I know for sure that I am...

This morning he threw a fit (about not wanting to take a bath) and ended up falling down 4 or 5 stairs (he started to jump to throw his tantrum and lost his balance) and it scared the you-know-what out of him and I both!!! I ran down, scooped him up, made sure he was okay (which he was), and then explained to him why it happened. I explained to him how when he throws his tantrums he forgets the things that are around him and how he could have been a lot more hurt. It just made me a nervous wreck! He throws himself around a lot. I am so scared that he is going to really hurt himself one day. I sure hope we can get this figured out soon!

After that I brought him downstairs to the playroom and we played a little bit. I decided to bring his "Moon Dough Magic Barnyard" out and he did awesome! I think I sat there and played with him for 40-45 minutes!

He was pretty wiggly @ lunch, but he did manage to eat well. I mentioned that after lunch it would be nap time and he was not happy with that idea. He finished up and went to go down to the basement and I reminded him that it was naptime....oh, that ticked him off! So needless to say, he had a major meltdown. Kicking, screaming, banging his head...all of which we have to ignore and not feed into. It's HARD to maintain a calm and positive demeanor in this situation, but I have developed the ability to breathe and peacefully move through it most times! :) I calmly said "Logan, it is now naptime. I am sorry you are choosing to throw this tantrum, but now it is straight to bed. If you had gotten into your bed nicely, we could have read a story." It breaks my heart to leave him screaming in his room. I often feel like crying with him! I just wish that I could make it ALL go away. far as the medicine making that "huge" difference I thought I was seeing...maybe not. I am kind of convinced that whatever is causing the PDD and tantrums (even though we do not have the exact diagnostic name) causes him to have good days and bad days. Just like any other human being...only a little more severe. It's kind of like a one step forward and two steps back kind of week.

Well, I am going to go enjoy the rest of naptime... Hope you all have a great day!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow Day!

Last night I told the kiddos that if today we had a "snow day" that we would to build a snow man because we have yet to make one this year! I was for sure the girls would have a school cancellation today with all of the snow that we received, but they didn't! It was only a two hour delay. Bummer!!! So...I took the girls to school and decided that Logan and I would still play in the snow...but he really missed his sister's and so did I! On the other hand, the snow was still "powdery" and not good snow-man-making snow... So we will save that for another day!

Here are a few pics I took while Logan played! :) I LOVE THIS BOY!

My Sweet Boy!
My little laugh of the day: While we were on our way home from taking the girls to school he said "I lost my gum!" (he had had a piece of gum in his coat pocket that he was "saving...") And I jokingly responded "Oh No! Did you lose your marbles, too???" And he says to me "Mommy! It was gum, not was round like a marble, but it was definitely gum!" He just cracks me up! :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Day 4 of Intuniv

I did do my "Google" search on Intuniv to see what other moms had to say about the drug. I am beyond happy that this is a NON-STIMULANT. Almost all of the feedback that I read was positive. I also read the drug companies website. My only concern is that when this medication was originally developed, it was used to lower blood pressure. It somehow evolved into treating ADHD and has had a huge success rate.

Things that I am noticing with Logan since starting the medication (which by the way takes at LEAST 3 weeks to see the full effects):

1.) He is not usually tired and doesn't normally nap, however, since starting the medication he has taken a nap every single day and gone to bed super well. "Somnolence" is one of the side effects of this medicine and it says on their website that it could take a few weeks for this to subside. Most of the blogs, etc that I have read from other moms say that they had similar experiences. I am hoping this goes away sooner than later.

2.) He has definitely been more emotional. He actually cries. Who knows if this is from the med or not, but Logan just doesn't cry. I know I have said this before, but it is so true. He will scream, yell, growl, and throw a heck of a tantrum....but he will not cry. Over the last couple of days there have been a couple of incidents that have made him actually cry: He bumped his nose, his sister refused to play what he wanted, and he backed up and hit his head by the stairs on the corner of the wall...all of which I know makes a "normal" child cry, but not Logan. It sounds a little crazy for me to want to hear him cry, but it lets me know that he is human and that he has emotion! This leads to #3...

3.) He hasn't been throwing as many tantrums as he normally does. Don't get me wrong, we have had a few, but they have definitely decreased.

Like I said, I am not sure if this is just coincidental or it is from the medication, but we have had a good few days.

Last night we went to my mother-in-laws for dinner and she made some kind of beef pasta and it was really good...the only downside was that by the time we got home and got Logan in his pj's he had hives all over. I called and got a list of the ingredients and the only thing that I know he hasn't ever had was red wine, which is what was used to make the sauce. I think that must have been the culprit! Nothing like a 4 1/2 year old being allergic to red wine...but it was used to cook with so there was no alcohol! :) We did give him benadryl and it took a while to work, but the hives eventually went away.

I went ahead and made an appointment with the allergist for next Thursday. He couldn't get in this week because he cannot have an antihistimine in his system for 3 days prior to going... So we are waiting until next week when Daddy can go with us. It takes a minimum of 2 hours. The nice thing is that they will test for airborn and food allergies. Wouldn't it be crazy if all of this behavior was triggered by a food allergy??? (Just something I have had in the back of my mind for a little while).

Well, I think that's it for now! We are relaxing and having a "comfy" kind of day with no appointments and no obligations!

Have a great day!!! :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Logan's Eyes

Okay... I am not really sure if you all notice it or not from the pic, but Logan's eyes have developed really dark circles under them. I have reviewed lots of my pics and know for a fact that these dark circles are fairly recent.
I am really trying not to be paranoid, but I just have this weird bad feeling... I don't know. I am probably COMPLETELY over-reacting! Neil and I were just discussing the other night Logan's breathing when he sleeps. It sounds like he is trying really hard. When he is awake he is completely fine. It's not like he stays up super late either...He goes to bed by 9 p.m. and sleeps until at least 8 a.m. every day...and if it's not a school day he will sleep until 10 a.m. if we let him.

We did see Logan's psychiatrist, Dr. Rustagi, yesterday and he prescribed Logan a new medication and took him off the other medication. We went from Haloperidol to this new one called Intuniv. It is a lot more expensive because there is no generic form...but if it helps him, I am okay with the cost. The only side effects that I have noticed so far is that he has been a little more emotional today (he doesn't normally cry -- he will yell and scream, but he doesn't cry).

On a positive note, I did speak with the behavioral therapist today. We have a meeting with her next Thursday. She will actually come to the house after the first visit (if we choose to do so) and work with him here. So....we will see how that goes.

Anyhow, I am going to go do a "Google" search on Intuniv... I have yet to look into how this medication works and what other parents think about it.

Have a great Friday night all!


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy New Years...Confusion!

First of all I would like to wish each one of you reading this a  Happy New Year 2011!!! We started out our New Year's by celebrating with our 3 children and having our own toast at 10:00 p.m. (which was our "midnight")! Our life really isn't all that exciting! :)

Yesterday was one of our long awaited appointments that I was sure would be one of the Ah-Ha! moments with Logan. We had waited 3 MONTHS to get into Dr. D who is a neuropsychologist. I made my husband leave work to accompany Logan and I at this I said...I was sure we were going to have that Ah-Ha! moment.

First, we arrived and waited over an hour in the waiting room (which I am totally a FORGIVING person. I have made doctors late with other patients and I COMPLETELY understand being late...that is if you are not chit-chatting with the receptionist about your oh-sooo-fun weekend for over 30 minutes while I sit in the waiting room listening to it).

Then (when we were finally called back) we went into his office, he introduced himself, hopped on his computer, and asked what was going on. I started to explain our situation and <I kid you not> EVERY SINGLE TIME he asked me a question and I went to answer...he would interupt me and ask a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT question...and I was NOT rambling! I am not sure he heard much of what we said.

He made a few phone calls while I was in the room...informed me that Logan's EEG came back normal, which I knew it would...he doesn't have seizures, told me that he needed to be prescribed ADHD meds, said that in 5 years he could be bi-polar, and that we could call a behavior therapist. Then basically left the room. He did not even talk to Logan or observe Logan... I was a little upset, but remained pleasant and respectful to him. I had sooooo many other questions that he didn't even let me address. I am thinking about sending him an honest and respectful letter explaining the questions I still have and my thoughts on the appointment. I wanted to ask why Logan doesn't interact well with children, why he does these high pitch squeals, why he will spin in circles, why he SMELLS EVERYTHING, why he doesn't even feel when he gets hurt, why his balance is off, why he hurts others, why he intentionally hurts himself, and why he drools all of the time. I just had A LOT of WHYS! It totally doesn't go with ADHD. I have had the psychiatrist, psychologist, and the geneticist all tell me something is "off."

Soooo...that is how our much anticipated meet with Dr. D went.

We see Dr. Bader, his geneticist, on the 18th. At this appointment we will discuss her findings and her opinion on what is going on. I am not getting my hopes up for this appointment.

In the meantime we will continue with the Speech and Occupational Therapy once a week. I did put in a call to the behavioral therapist and to the school system to have him evaluated to see if he qualifies for a "special needs" preschool. I honestly hate the thought of anyone else caring for him besides myself, but I know that he needs interaction with other children and adults that can tolerate him. If he qualifies, I will probably going with him!

Keep the prayers coming for the guidance of the Doctor's who are treating my little man!

I will keep the updates coming as I receive them!