Adahlia’s Heavy Metals Test — POSITIVE!?!?

I just got word back from our naturopathic consultation with Dr. Erica Zelfand that Adahlia’s hair test showed heavy metals.

Which ones, I don’t know yet.  If its iron, well, that is unsurprising because she is iron overloaded at this point.

If its not just iron that they found, this has big implications.  On one hand, it is scary and upsetting.  I trusted this house.  The water.  We moved here when I was pregnant, after all.   We thought it would be healthier than my apartment with a flooded basement and mold in the unventilated bathroom.   My poor, poor developing baby!!  What an influx of emotion and swirl of thoughts.

On the other hand, it is hope-inspiring.  I have long suspected that something is attacking Adahlia’s system (a toxin, a virus) as well as mine.  With with the amount of healthy lifestyle and energy healing work I do, for her to simply be weak just doesn’t make sense.  As anyone with any training can tell, Adahlia’s vital force is strong.  So what’s affecting her?  Is it in the house?  Is it in the water?  What’s going on?

Well, if its something like a heavy metal toxin, we can clear that out of her system!  And then she should be able to recover.  But in a way, I can barely believe it.  With more children being diagnosed with DBA every year, I would imagine that a doctor out there somewhere has checked them for heavy metal intoxication.


Meanwhile, if its just the iron overload that has showed up in her hair, I will be both relieved and sad — sad that we cut off her beautiful baby curls from the nape of her neck without creating new hope for a cure.  (Its silly, I know.  To be truthful, the result is that now she looks like a little pixie with a asymmetrical, hip haircut. Very adorable.)

The good news is that whatever the results say, I have already actually begun a system to remove iron and major toxins, including heavy metals.  A week or so after Thanksgiving, we started us both on homeopathic spagyric medicine.  I had attended a seminar on their use in conjunction with Chinese herbs to treat difficult, chronic, and degenerative diseases like Lyme disease.  Spagyric medicine is alchemical medicine.   Homeopathic medicine is medicine diluted in water so that the chemical molecules are no longer present, and just the energy of the medicine remains.  Homeopathic and spagyric medicines are very popular in Europe as low-cost, effective health care. Critics of the homeopathic and spagyric process refer to it as hocus-pocus or placebo. Proponents of this sort of combined medicinal process tout its effectiveness and its virtually absent side-effects.

This particular company, based out of Germany, takes pains to separate the yin and yang nature of the herb through an alchemical process before recombining and diluting it homeopathically.  Those who study alchemy admire their work.  They’ve won awards for innovation and their products came recommended by practitioners I trust who have had great results with them.

And so far, I have reason to believe in their efficacy. First, I have experienced improvement with them, and second, I’ve seen changes with Adahila.

Adahlia LOVES the medicine.  She is very eager to take it.  And she’s a pretty good little barometer of what’s good for her.  Just as important, her poop has changed.  It has become drier (clumpier, almost pellet-like) and very dark.  Blackish at times; other times green.

What does this mean?  That on some level, it removing something, most likely iron, out of her system.

Hooray!  The big question remaining is:  Is it chelating enough?

That remains to be seen.

But if she has other heavy metals in her, it should be able to chelate those out, too.

(I would be surprised if she is poisoned with aluminum, as I took steps several years ago to reduce our exposure to it by switching to all stainless steel cookware, etc.)

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as our latest mystery unfolds.   I have hope that things are turning around, even if it is slowly, and I know that positive thoughts and prayers for recovery go a long way towards making it a reality!

Much love to you and yours.

Chop Wood, Carry Water… Slice Chicken Feet

I write this post in the greatest of haste.

A good sort of haste. The sort of haste experienced as a bartender at a jammed-up college bar.  The sort of haste where 21 old kids are screaming drinks and shots and professions of love and bottles are flying in and out of wells and top shelves and money is changing hands and everyone’s laughing and dancing and shouting and – oh, wait, there’s a fight and your barkeep just leaped over the bar to throw the guy out – and oh my goodness its suddenly lights up and there’s hundreds of dollars in your tip bucket and the cash register exactly matches dollars in for drinks sold and you’re just about the cat’s meow.

This is an entirely different sort of haste but haste nonetheless.  A very focused, humming, sort of happy haste.  In truth, its not really haste so much as being in a state of Flow.

Because Joe is out with the baby buying chicken feet for the broth I’m about to make for us.  I have maybe 30 minutes.  Maybe.

(And if you’re thinking “ewwww…. chicken feet?”  Well, I totally understand.  I’ve been there.  On many levels, the entire business is repugnant.  But, my dear, you would change your mind if you tasted the broth because it is so clean and flavorful, and it also happens to be extraordinarily healthy.  Just like organ meats (liver, kidney, etc.)  We have fallen so far from the wisdom of living in symbiosis with the gifts of life from our planet.  And so I honor the chicken and its feet… and then I slice them up to boil in broth.)

In 30 minutes time, there is so much to say.  So much has changed in the last couple of weeks, for Adahlia and I both (hopefully).  And I realize I have not updated any of you kind folks with pictures of her since she was one year old, and so here it is, along with some stories:

Winter weather is upon us in Portland Oregon.  I recently went with Adahlia to the store to purchase some necessary items to keep her warm.  She picked out a bluish-purple coat with little owls on it. She also picked out a hat — a hat that is clearly much too large.  But she wore it all around the store, which was a big deal because she has a fascination with hats, as long as they are on someone else’s head.  I was psyched!  Finally, a hat she will leave on, just in time for the coldest months of winter!

But when I tried to give her the one in her size, she took if off in disgust.

This is the one she wanted…

hat hat2She is just about the most beautiful little thing you’ve ever seen, no?

I’m very excited and hopeful because I’ve started incorporating homeopathic spagyric medicine into our routine.

(I’d be happy to talk with you about it sometime.  It involves alchemy and separating the yin and the yang of the substance and then combining it back together.  The result?  A very powerful medicine!)

After doing some self-experimentation in the last couple of weeks, I have discovered that the spagyrics combined with the chinese herbs and an anti-inflammatory diet allow me to stop doing the tincture of western herbs and other homeopathics, and reduces my constant kidney pain from a 3/4 to a 0/1.  Since its worked so well for me, I’ve started doing it with Adahlia. My intention?

1) To reduce and resolve her iron overload situation

2)  To stimulate her bone marrow to make more RBCs

We just started, but I have been observing her closely and have good reason to hope.  And that’s what all the “chop wood, carry water” is about:  All day long, we chop vegetables and make the foods and juices and mix the medicines necessary for us.  Its intense.  Its gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, sugar-free, corn-free, grain-free, night-shade and tomato-free, etc.  Its all-day meal and supplement and vitamin and juice and smoothie preparation.  And then, usually, at some point we go on a short walk.  We enjoy the fresh, cold air.  And Adahlia takes a nap.

It’s a lot.  We have nearly snapped under the strain.  But, just when all seemed lost, something incredible happened:  it shifted.  We have come into a place that is remarkable.  As a family, we are closer than ever.  We are kinder and more honest and more fearless than ever.  More loving and supportive than ever.  Our outlook and perspective has grown and shifted.  We are transforming not only individually but as a unit, together, and its very exciting.  It is attributable to every thing.  We are healing.

We are in a place of flow.

Oh, they just arrived (with chicken feet!)

So I have to go.  But I will first tell you some quick stories:

Adahlia loves the moon.  When she sees it, she points and makes little “bu” sounds to draw my attention.  When I sign “moon” she laughs, excited.

She has started helping out around the house a lot.  She likes to carry the cloth diapers after they come out of the wash back to the living room to fold.  She empties the silverware tray of the dishwasher one item at a time – holding it over her head for me to pluck from her fingertips.  She empties the tea drawer of its boxes and bags of tea, handing them to my while I’m at the counter until its empty and then I hand them all (one-by-one) back to her to put away.  (Ok, that last one isn’t really all that helpful.)

She’s very particular about who she’s handing things to, and if my hands are full and Joe tries to get her to give him the items she’s sorting, she’ll refuse.  She moans and babbles unhappily for me to finish.

When she’s excited, she screeches a high pitch screech like that of an eagle or osprey and stomps her feet in quick succession.  (“Fast feet!  Fast feet!”)  She does this when her dad puts another log on the fire, or when she’s about to be given a piece of watermelon, or about to play with my Angel Cards, which she adores.

In the grocery store, Jim Morrison’s “People are Strange” comes on.  She sits up straighter, on alert, gaining my instant mom-radar attention.  Then she begins to bounce in her seat.  We dance and sing in the aisles until the song is over, because good music is worth stopping for.  In the produce area, she gets excited about the avocado and banana (“bu! bu! bu!”).  I let her out of the cart and hand her an avocado. She carries it faithfully around the store and I lift her up so she can set it on the belt at check-out.

Just about two weeks ago, we went to the Portland Oregon Road Runner’s Club Turkey Trot.  Adahlia was entered into the Tot Trot at the Zoo.  We ran the whole 1/2 mile as a family:  First, she ran along holding our hands and we all shouted “ahhhh!!!!!!” like a battle cry.  Then we took turns carrying her in our arms as we jogged along, and as we ran past the cheering volunteers she waved enthusiastically.  We set her down for the big finish at the end and she ran in with us, holding our hands.

Adahlia - trotting

She likes to fall asleep using my bicep as a pillow, tucked into the crook of my arm, my arm curled around her back, my hand resting over her tiny hip and leg.  Sometimes, she will pull at my clothing covering my arm — she wants to rest her head against my bare skin, to feel its warm and listen to its pulse.

She has a fascination and love for belly buttons.  If you ask, she will show you her belly button and then point at yours to see yours, too.

Whenever we start the juicer, she comes running.  She likes to put the celery and carrots in and push them down.  She is so proud of herself when she helps make the “vegetable water”!

She still absolutely loves, loves, loves music and books.  On Saturday, Dec 14th, we are going to Red Yarn‘s Winter Holiday concert and puppet show at the library in the SW hills.  Hooray!  Come if you can make it!!!

Warmest wishes and love to you and yours in this holiday season of Light.  Please keep our family in your positive intentions and prayer as we continue on a path of accelerated healing.  Adahlia will heal from DBA and so will countless other children.  Her story (and mine) will help others who are suffering find hope and ways to restore their lives.

Thank you for sharing this journey with us!

Finding lost puzzle pieces

You know how it goes when you’re working a puzzle, or even a crossword. First, you’ve got nothing but pieces. You know they make a picture, you might even know what that picture looks like, but really, all you’ve got is a jumbled mess. But at least you have a plan of attack – say, to do the borders first. So you set about it. You select and sort out the border pieces so you can focus on them. You turn over all your pieces so you can examine them. Perhaps you’ve got an easy puzzle, only 25 big pieces, or perhaps you’re in way over your head at 1,000 tiny fractions of a drawing by MC Escher. If it’s closer to the later, there will come a point when all your powers of close observation seem to fail you. For the life of you, you simply can’t find a piece. Perhaps you can come back to it later but dang it, maybe it’s important. If you’re at all like me, there will come a point when you begin to suspect that such a piece is lost. There will be quick moments of despair, anger, and even perhaps suspicion of tampering with the board. Did “they” even include all the pieces? Did one fall out when I opened the box? Did the dog eat one!?! And suddenly you’re prying open your poor dog’s jaws and peering down his throat.

But then you find it. It was there all along, silly! Or maybe it was hidden under another piece. Maybe it had fallen off the board. Maybe you had to put more of the puzzle together before you could see what was missing. (Or, maybe there it was, riding back and forth on a gyrating dog tongue, getting soggier by the minute! Quick! Reach in and grab it! Flick it out!)

Oh, bliss. Oh relief. Oh joy!

My dear friends, I believe I have found a very important missing puzzle piece. One vital to me and Adahlia. And while I’ve been on this train long enough to know not to prematurely celebrate, my inner self knows a huge battle has been won: a discovery of vital information:

Adahlia and I have had leaky guts. We are intolerant, even allergic, to some or many foods.

Does this explain everything? No. But it does explain the rampant inflammation in our bodies. More important: it’s got a clear path towards healing it, even if it is a bit of a pain.

Of course, I had tried eliminating foods before. And it wasn’t easy: I’ve been a happy, seemingly healthy omnivore since forever. When I stopped eating meat for about 6 years, it was for ethical, not health reasons. When people at NCNM, mindful at potlucks of food sensitivity, would ask if I had any, Id happily reply: “Nope! I eat everything!”

And maybe that was true then. It’s not true now, though.

Starting just 2.5 days after her birth, when Adahlia was first suddenly so irritable and clearly in pain, before we knew anything about her anemia, I stopped eating dairy. (It wasn’t lost on me that her colic or evident pain coincided with my milk coming in. But I was not in the place to be able to change much more than cutting out dairy, which is what the midwives and most folks thought was the culprit.)

It didn’t help.

Since last December (with an occasional relapse), I’ve cut way down and gone several long stretches without refined sugar. But mostly what I tried was to just eat super healthy. More healthy than ever before. Juicing fresh, organic, beets, carrots, celery, and apples daily. Mostly vegetarian. Lots of veges. Clean animal proteins. All natural and organic. Supplements of fish oil were followed by chlorophyll, cherry concentrate, wheatgrass, coq10, and other powerful vitamins and antioxidants.

It wasn’t enough.

I switched from instant to steel cut oats for breakfast. I switched from basmati to brown rice. Everything was laden with the healthiest fruits, nuts, seeds, and veges, from all the health perspectives I know. Eventually, in desperation and about a week before thanksgiving, I cut out dairy as well as pastas, bread, and other obvious sources of gluten.

The pain was less, but still prominent.

Finally, 3 days ago, I decided to do an extreme, very limited, “elimination” diet. I’d been putting it off because of worries about not getting enough to eat while breastfeeding, as well as the attachments we all have for our foods and ways of cooking.

But then I was given a preliminary diagnosis of undetermined (as yet) autoimmune disease, and a good doctor (ND) who has been assisting me said: I’m not surprised, given your symptoms. I am surprised they didn’t test for it earlier.

What he was referring to were the bouts of abdominal swelling, cramping, bloating and gas I would experience whenever I’d do any sort of detox or herbal approach to healing. (The first big detox was back in last December, while taking my first round of Chinese herbs. The Chinese medicine practitioner was the first to tell me I likely had autoimmune disease, glomeronephritis, nearly a year before western biomedicine would tell me the same thing.)

And then, doing some research, I discovered that anytime there is autoimmune disease, you will find a leaky gut.

A “leaky” gut? My first year of medical training came back to me. Of course.

You see, the skin is the border between self and other in the external environment. Internally, it’s your gut. And it’s a war zone in there. Only certain things, like nutrients, are allowed passage into the body. Toxic waste and bacteria, etc, are not allowed to pass through an elaborate, tight, semi-permeable wall, much like the skin.

Unless, of course, it’s been compromised. Then, everything can come flooding in. The body’s defensive guys go to town with killing and cleaning up and eliminating. They secrete signals and markers to tell the body to inflame the area, to make more warriors, who carry special poisons to destroy the invaders, and they spread the word: Watch out for these guys, they look like this!! They aren’t supposed to be in the blood!! And even important nutrients that have leaked through, which haven’t been properly transported or fully digested, get tagged for destruction because they aren’t in the proper format, they haven’t been properly digested first.

I thought of how Adahlia isn’t absorbing her nutrients, despite my healthy diet…

Leaky gut.

And these warrior cells are outnumbered by all the stuff leaking through. More and more of it, every day. And they start to panic. And they just start releasing their chemicals everywhere, which of course starts destroying healthy tissue too, and then they mistakenly identify healthy tissue as dangerous, needing to be destroyed, and they can’t tell the difference between self and other anymore, and bammo: you have an auto-immune disease.

And another friend and health practitioner, upon hearing I have autoimmunity, said: Sounds like your whole system has been “down” for some time.

Down? Doesn’t she mean too revved up? My defensive, disease-fighting cells are attacking my own body!

And then I thought about how both Adahlia and I both have low white blood cell counts.

And how western, biomedicine, treats autoimmune disease with steroids.

And I remembered how the immune system warriors just start fighting everything when they get outnumbered and I realized: Holy smokes, my system is down.

And then Thanksgiving happened, and I put a hold on my no-gluten, no-dairy diet and ate a bit of everything.

That night was the most painful I’d had in awhile. So bad, I couldn’t sleep.

I realized I had something here. So the very next day, I went on a very limited diet. More than just dairy and gluten free (which was a very big deal itself for a cheese loving, soft-serve craving, bread and pasta eater!)

No gluten, (no grains of any kind, in fact, including rice or quinoa), no dairy, no eggs, no soy, no corn, no tomato, no sugar, and the list goes on…

Certainly nothing store bought.

Of course, I would have no idea what to cook as far as a meal goes if I hadn’t found an autoimmune elimination/detox menu online. (Search and you’ll find it too.)

The idea is to eat very, very simply of foods that typically don’t aggregate the system. No store bought sauces. Do it for long enough to get things to calm down. Then, the body will begin repairing and replacing cells. You start adding foods back in one at a time. If you have a reaction of bloating, gas, and abdominal pain, you stop. You’re not ready to eat that food yet. You may never be.

Of course, the question is: which foods, exactly, are making my body freak out? Because let’s say I just happen to be sensitive to sunflower seeds. Well, there sunflower seeds in this detox menu. Or maybe I’m not sensitive to carrots. That’s good to know, because carrots aren’t allowed on this detox menu, and I definitely want to be eating them if they are allowed, because they are so healthy and good for us.

Luckily, an easy answer to that question can be found in food sensitivity testing, which is just a simple blood test.

So tomorrow, a dear friend and talented naturopath, Dr Z, at Natura Integrative Medicine, is doing this testing for Adahlia and I both. She is also doing a hair analysis on Adahlua, to check for heavy metal and other toxicity.

(Note: because I know the value of the antioxidants and nutrients in fresh juicing, I am still juicing beets and carrots, even though I’m not “supposed to” according to this particular elimination plan. If I find out I am reactive to them, I will stop. But at this point, with Adahlia’s extreme vitamin A and blood deficiency, I don’t wish to. Fresh juicing is like a big burly bouncer: it escorts free radicals right out of the body. It’s very important if the body is seriously inflamed.)

Though I do have some pain as I type this, I must say that my daily pain in my kidneys has lessened considerably since embracing this elimination diet. I am very excited. My inner guide, the one that was in turmoil despite all the progress with the herbs, acupuncture, surgery, homeopathy, qigong, and reiki, because it kept feeling that we were still “missing something important” has quieted.

We have just identified an area of a huge, potential missing puzzle piece.

Now we just have to find the smaller pieces, the exact ones that comprise it, and a big part of the board will be solved. The rest of the puzzle will fall into place.

The destructive process will stop, and then the other therapies, so good at cleansing debris and restoring healthy tissue, will be able to do their work, now that they are no longer undermined.

My body will heal. So will Adahlia’s.

Just watch.