Wednesday, August 11, 2010

It's time for a poo talk again...

I'm sorry... please feel free to click back to facebook or election coverage, 'cos I'm going to talk poop.

I can't remember (and I'm too lazy to search my own blog... a indicator of my true nature) if I mentioned that both Billy and I started taking something called Motion Potion.  I just googled it to find the link and found out there's a band with the same name.

Should I mention that we are not taking the band...? Seriously listen to their music... we have standards.

The Motion Potion in question here, was recommended by a friend. She knows her health, and she talked in glowing terms about MP's effect on her digestive system. It's all natural, with nothing dodgy in its ingredients. It's formulated by naturopaths. Yada yada. I also liked the fact that two other people mentioned Motion Potion in the days after I first heard about it. Totally by co-incidence. I am fully aware that spooky synchronicity is no basis on which to experiment with your child's health but seriously... we were getting desperate on the bowel front.

So, we started stirring this green, spicy dirt-like substance into juice and drinking it. I hoped it wouldn't hurt.

Before I reveal the results of our Motion Potion experiment, I need to tell you a bit about the events leading up to Billy being diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis exactly three years ago today. I promise I'll be quick.

The waiting rooms of therapists offices are intense places. We mothers (usually) try to be nice to each other, but there's a lot at stake. You peek at other Mummy's kids out of the corner of your eye, hoping to see them do something worse than your kid does. You try to give loving supportive looks and comments, but you know the other mothers are doing the same to you, so it's kind of a vicious circle of nice lies.

And in that hot bed of 'He's come so far...' said through gritted teeth as we waited for our appointments, parent after parent would tell me I should see a particular homeopathy/kineisology clinic. Mothers, and the odd nanny and even Dad would sing the praises of this clinic. Never ending stories of how their kids had developed - amazing eye contact, language surges, social improvements, the whole autistic nine yards.

So, we caved to the Mummy pressure and gave it a shot.

I look back and I am more critical of myself than anyone. In every aspect of my life, but especially in relation to Billy, I am ruthless. I research. I question. I turn things over and over and over. And for some reason I will never quite understand, I did not question this man.

I let him 'assess' Billy. I let him 'prescribe' homeopathic immune detox 'treatment'. I didn't ask any questions of any substance. In my defense, I did try a little, but the answers made no sense. So I figured I was on the wrong track, and I just went ahead with his recommendations.

One week in, we saw improvements in language, for sure. Two weeks in, we saw maybe a little more. Three weeks in, Billy's behaviour fell apart - night terrors, meltdowns, language regression... Bizarrely, it turned out this man lived in our street, and at a street party he told me to give Billy Phenergan in the middle of the night to calm the night terrors. Why did I not question a man who suggested synthetic sedatives to aid in a homeopathic detox??  By week four, it got to the point where his therapists staged an intervention on me, suggesting now was the time to enrol Billy in ABA.

Anyone who knows Billy personally, and knows ABA would know how insane that would have been.

At the end of week four, Billy got a stomach bug, and that stomach bug attacked his spine, and the rest is neuro ward history.

When the doctors diagnosed Atypical Transverse Myelitis, they asked whether Billy had recently had an external assault on his immune system. 'A what?' we asked... They said his immune system was shot, stressed, under attack... despite the fact that they could identify the bug that made him sick - a simple staph infection, something was not adding up.

We asked the homeopath to speak on the phone to the neurologist (who had impounded the homeopathic drops after we sheepishly mentioned we had given them to him). He hung up. We have no evidence that the homeopathic drops did anything to Billy - good or bad... but let's just say that man did not leave my psyche in a positive frame towards homeopathy.

Now, I love my herbally berbally stuff as much as the next city hippy. I really do. We have a de-chemicaled house. I've got a worm farm. But that whole experience scared all of us away from homeopathy, naturopathy and biomed for a while.

This year we've made a concerted effort to fight the fear beast with logic, and we've seen great results with no dairy, cod liver oil, calcium/magnesium supps and ASD vitamins from Lee Silsby. But the poo issue has remained. Constipation (better since the no dairy, but still needing litres of prune juice), mega colon, surprise poos, many many undies sacrificed to the poo gods. My days (and Billy's days) revolved around poop disaster minimisation. It was crazy.

So, despite my fears of the 'N' word (naturopath), we gave the Motion Potion a go. It took a while to get back here, didn't it? Sorry about that. Darned words keep pouring out...

I don't want to use the word miracle, since I'm so scarred from catholic school as a child. But... seriously,  after a couple of days of clear out (we will not speak of this again), we are in middle of the Bristol Stool Chart territory. And we're still there. Not one pair of undies has been consigned to the plastic bag of shame and chucked in the wheelie bin. There's half an old bottle of prune juice in the fridge, untouched for weeks.

Last weekend, we gave Billy a haircut. We've done this at home since he was 18 months or so, since we figured if there was going to be blood curdling tears, they may as well be in private. On Sunday, we restrained Billy as usual (in Mummy's arms, of course) and the first snip was met with... 'Hey, that doesn't feel bad at all, Daddy!' He sat with free arms, flipping channels while we cut his hair. No tears, no protests, no blood curdling anything. To be honest, I felt like a bit of a knob, sitting with Billy on my lap being covered in hair... he didn't need me there at all.

We are seeing language advances, social interest (he is the scooter dude now, practicing whenever he can), great eye contact... none of which we were actually looking for...

And I can put m hand on my heart and say I think about Billy's poo for less time per day than ever before. Sometimes, I even get to think about my own poo.

But I so won't go into that here. I will only say that Motion Potion is working its magic on my insides too.

This is so not an ad for a product. It's more a line in the sand.

I'm almost sure we'll have more poo issues. I'm prepared for them (kinda). But for all my autism Mummy and Daddy friends, it's a chance to say...  things have got better. One of our challenges is no longer looking like a T-Rex in our minds.

It's a 'this too will pass' moment.

Why did I use that phrase in a post about poop...?


Amy said...

This is a wonderful result. It sounds like a really good product to try so I might experiment on myself first. Having gluten intolerance AND IBS, I think I could use it!

Ro said...

That is fantastic news, congrats to you all :)
I might have a look for it and give it a go myself ;)

Robert Catto said...

I'd have thought 'this poo will pass' was more appropriate...but that's just me.

Fi said...

Wow, awesome results (and a funny post). I think I might have to get some for us!
We could do with some motion around here!

Mama Deb said...

Yippee for regular poo!
It's interesting that you posted this as M (who has always had pretty regular poos) is currently on a weird schedule of only having a b.m. every 2-4 days. His tummy is crazy distended, he's always lifting his shirt and tickling his belly, and some agitation behaviors are increasing again. Yes, indeedy, there is definitely something to that gut/neurology connection for sure.

michaeldoneman said...

"Why did I use that phrase in a post about poop...?"

I actually thought it was a typo - I thought you meant 'this poo will pass'

10 out of 10 for Brave Billy of the Boiling Bowels, and his Brave Mum and Dad.

More seriously, your account makes me think of the 'boy with no brain' story. It may be apocryphal, but from memory the proposition is that we have a distributed nervous system (contra a brain-centred orientation) which includes a complex nerve system around the gut - kinda makes evolutionary sense when you think about it. (And why do we say things like 'my gut response is ...'?)

Anyway, I don't know, but if it sounds half interesting you'll go off and Google it. (I'm a bit of a GI tragic - which is not something you share at dinner parties - since my own guts almost did me in five years ago.

Here's a good place to start:

Anonymous said...

First I have to laugh at the "nice lies" soooo true :)

Seccond you are soooo brave to go back to the nasty green stuff that could have made him sick :(
A few weeks ago we too started on some homeopathic stuff and I must say it is GREAT :)
My daughter is sooo amazing (other than the other day, lol) we have had no meltdowns and she has been super happy :).
So happy infact that it's kinda annoyiny (lol).

Good luck with the whole POOP thing I hope it stays that way for you :) I too know hiw horrible the POOP monster is :(

Love reading you blog Val it's always entertaining and helpful :)


Anonymous said...

Ahhh the timing is amazing ... I was sent a link to your blog today, and only last week I was recommended by a different source to try a motion potion sample for my 5yo ASD son. Great that Billy is having success with it, I love a good news ASD story, but just wish occasionally it came from our lives!! Nevermind .. can't say that Ryan was at all keen on the taste .. how on earth do you get Billy to take it?? One day something will kick in for us, and I sure hope it is soon before I conk out from trying (I guess that is how you spell conk?!?!). Oh well!!