So I’m sitting here in a quiet house. Thinking……
The husbands in his office. The kids are both upstairs watching some TV after playing an awesome family game of “Site Word BINGO” and now I am sitting here alone, reflecting.
The past two years have been such a challenge with Anthony. I hate saying that. But honestly they really were. After he had pneumonia two years ago, things were just not the same. The happy, easy to get along with kiddo….. he was just gone. The mood swings for no reason, the explosive anger he would have toward his own family members. I knew it wasn’t him. I knew something was wrong. But all my resources, all my prior knowledge, our DAN doctor, wasn’t helping. I felt so incredibly lost, stressed, worried, and confused.
You sit and question if these behaviors are due to your child acting out. Growing up and trying to push buttons. But then it hits a level of intensity and insanity that you know is not normal. I swear I tried every parenting tactic I knew. Every type of punishment/ignore it/reward it good behavior thing I read. Nothing was working. There was no reasoning with him. There were times I literally had to drag him into his room, hold the door shut as he banged and kicked on the other side, worried he was going to hit me, hit his little sister, and then I would go into my own bedroom, and flop down on the bed and cry while staring at the ceiling. Feeling exhausted in ever way. Asking God to help me find the answers, help me find the way…. help me see whatever it was I couldn’t see at the time.
I consulted with Anthony’s long time DAN doctor. We would try some things, they would help for a little while. Having hope, having it crash when it stopped working. Raising TMG dosages, trying zinc, trying GABA, going down the PANDAS road and taking out swollen adenoids. I had so much hope for that. And when Anthony was on antibiotics, things would be better. Not perfect, but better. (Thyroiditis) But then he would come off antibiotics and again, things would be BAD!! Nothing was working. Everything felt like a band aid.
More grasping at straws, more floundering. More HOPE somethings going to work….. more tears when it doesn’t. Feeling like your relationship with your son…… a once wonderful relationship…….. is crumbling. Feeling like having a back and forth conversation without a mood swing is becoming more and more rare. So lets just try to avoid conversations all together. Because its safer if you do.
And whats even worse is family and friends don’t really see the mood swings. They don’t hear the awful and crazy things that are coming out of your sons mouth (I will explain why and it makes perfect sense now) So when you try to unload and vent, they don’t get it. They don’t get it, because they are not seeing it!!!
Tough two years……
So you grasp at one more straw. You decide you have to make a huge change, because what you have been doing just isn’t working. You have to make this change that has been in the back of your mind for awhile, but honestly you wonder if you can mentally, or emotionally handle it. Change has never been something you do well with. But geez, you need help!! You can’t do this anymore.
Everyone in this family is suffering because YOU can’t figure it out. So finally, you sit down at your computer, and you open up your Facebook chat screen. You type in the name of a doctor that you believe might be able to help your child get out of this cycle and find some REAL answers. Because you are sick of just “trying” things. You are sick of hoping and then being let down. And you honestly wonder if you can handle anymore of this roller coaster. But you have to try!!!! It is not in your nature to give up and accept things that you know in your heart can be fixed.
One of the best decisions I have ever made! Asking Dr. Catanzaro for help! October 11, 2015 was the day I sent that life changing message.
Once we had our very very long consultation appointment, went over 23 and me (link to get test) , previous labs, and just talked. I knew Anthony (and myself) were in good hands. I started Anthony on selenium drops right away for his thyroid. We went over his issues with glucose/insulin levels, bought a glucose monitor, and made the change to start a high protein diet, and make sure he was eating somewhat often. I ordered the Xymogen Relax Max supplement that contained both GABA and L-Theanine, because Anthony’s 23 and me says he needs both at the same time. We stated talking about doing the Courtagen test and we started the ball rolling on that.
A month later we did some more blood work and discovered Anthony was low in iodine. So we added that as well. But during all of this Anthony was doing AMAZING! Mood swings no more. When he would get angry about something not going his way, his mood was not explosive. He got mad, we talked about it, and moved on. When his blood sugar started to drop, Anthony started to know the signs. But sometimes I can sense it before he does and I make sure he gets a protein snack.
I mentioned earlier how my extended family never saw Anthony’s huge mood swings, and that would be because I would say 95% of the time we got together with family. Its either to meet for lunch/dinner/holiday. And these are all FOOD related. I always make sure the kids eat something before we leave anywhere, and we usually eat again whenever we are with family. So Anthony was always fed well, his blood sugar was never sinking low. But when he was at home, we were not focusing on eating. Sure I would make meals for the kids, but as for snacks, the pantry is there, and usually they get themselves snacks. But a lot of snacks are not high in protein. So even if Anthony would eat a snack between meals, I’m pretty sure his blood sugar was not getting the protein it required. The worst times for Anthony’s mood swings would be right when he would wake up in the morning (low blood sugar) and right after I picked him up from school (hasn’t ate in awhile, low blood sugar). He use to also have these awful rages when he was little. He would wake up from a long 3 hour afternoon nap screaming bloody murder, yet he didn’t seem awake at all (low blood sugar). He would literally scream for 20 minutes or more and thrashing in my arms. Sometimes a drink of juice would snap him out of it. But it was always hard to get him to calm down enough to drink. Anyway….. it all makes perfect sense knowing what we know.
Life is now different. Life is enjoyable and good again. And I say that with happy tears going down my cheeks. Because honestly, there have been many times over the past two years when I wondered if my family would EVER get back to feeling this way.
I know the Flovent inhaler Anthony was on for his pneumonia sent his already genetically fragile thyroid into a tailspin, due to the fluoride. I know according to his 23 and me and Courtagen test, Anthony has a mitochondrial condition that causes him to become dysglycemic. And have a fasting intolerance. And a sluggish thyroid can also in turn make glucose/insulin issues even worse!
We now know what we are dealing with, we can treat it correctly. And its WORKING! It has been working for months! We have experienced no bad side effects, no strong detoxing symptoms, other than some light night sweats the first night Anthony started his iodine supplement. And why is this? Because the plan Dr. Catanzaro put in place works perfectly with Anthony’s genetics. There is no guessing!! Anthony is doing so well, he has even been able to come off some of his supplements he was previously on before we saw Dr. Catanzaro.
I have met many many many doctors in my life time. Not just for Anthony, but for myself as well. And let me tell you, I have maybe met 5 that I would consider FANTASTIC doctors. Not only fantastic doctors, but doctors that you can really talk to, voice your opinion and concerns to, feel listened to, validated, and at the end of the day can consider them a friend. Dr. Catanzaro is one of those doctors. He gave me my sweet son back. He gave me my sanity back. He gave me closure on a very long and difficult, chapter of my son and I’s life. And I just want to say “Thank you!” for that!