Neurofeedback Improves Baby G’s Breathing

After a nearly 3 year blogging hiatus to deal with the insanity of life, I simply must share!

It’s 4:30 AM.  I am blown away by this. Probably it will be hard for anyone to believe who did not witness it.  But, I had to get up to tell you about it.  If nothing else, have it documented for my own memory.

I plugged myself in for a neurofeedback session while typing this.  I might as well.  The machine is not being used right now, and I’m beginning to think it needs to be used every minute of the day.

Since Tuesday night, Baby G has been having a flare up of her asthma.  She missed school this week.  So, she has been home while I am getting myself familiar with my Neuroptimal system, which was delivered Wednesday afternoon.

Baby G, 5 now but still my baby, got her first brain training session on Wednesday afternoon.  She made numerous comments about it while hooked up.  “I love this!” “The music is sad.” (something about a boy losing his dog?) “I love the motions.” (art moves on the screen to the music)  “It’s working!”  After that comment, I said, “how do you know it’s working?”  Baby G replied, “Because I’m coughing less.”  Mind you, I never said anything about how this machine may help her.  She had seen G & J get neurofeedback and always wanted to try it.  And, I’m thinking, really? It’s helping your cough??? Can it really?  Well, it is training your brain… hmmmm…  Wednesday night was a horrible night for her.  She was trying to rest on the little couch in our room.  She was moaning and writhing all night long.  Asthma itch, is the only way to describe it.  Wriggling, scratching, and wheezing.  We did 2 breathing treatments with albuterol that night, and I had to rub her down with lavender and coconut oil 3-4 times to help her calm down and minimize the itching.

She woke up Thursday morning and asked for neurofeedback right away.  I put her off because I was too exhausted from the ordeal of a night we had just had to hook her up.  I gave her a session about noon (I gave her an albuterol treatment at 6 AM and then just prior to that).  The day went along fine.  I did not give her another treatment,  but there was still a little coughing.  I figured it would be time for a treatment before bed.

Around 6:30 PM, Baby G came downstairs crying over something her siblings had said or done to her.  She uses the phrase “being mean at me.”  I asked if there was anything I could do to help her, and she replied that she wanted her music.  “Sure,” I said, “you can bring your music down and listen on the couch.”  She said, “no, I want my neurofeedback music.”   I thought to myself, surely 2 sessions in a day can’t hurt.  I hooked her up and within about 10 minutes she was asleep.

gcf-sleeping-neurofeedback

I kept the program running as I had just learned that your brain does its best work when you are asleep!  I watched her rest.  Smooth even deep breathing.  Very calm.  Not a single cough.  Once the session completed, her daddy carried her from the neurofeedback system and put her on the little couch in our room.

Now I’m up writing this at 4:30AM because I woke up to check on her several times, and all night, no cough, no itching, no writhing, just smooth even quiet breathing.

Now, I never even considered the idea that neurofeedback could help with her asthma.  Never.  However, I have said in my life, many times, that I do not believe in coincidence.  I believe God gave us that rough night to show us the dramatic change.  Baby G’s pediatrician and her daddy can testify that her asthma is like a run-away-train.  Once it gets going, it takes an ER visit with IV steroids or at minimum oral steroid treatment to stop.  I was sure we were headed that way again.

A lot to think about.

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PANDAS – delighting in the recovery

Oh, how I am delighting in the healing process….  This morning my little buddy climbed in between me and his daddy in bed.  At first sight of him, I was not thrilled with his arrival in our bedroom.  I have never enjoyed having him come to “snuggle” because he just won’t be still.  We beg him to hold his body still – to no avail….for years.  It’s a knee jerk into my back or an arm slap or some other physical annoyance when all I want to do is sleep at 6AM on a Saturday morning.  Well, this morning was special.  J held his body still.  He put his back against mine and lay in the bed for 30 minutes or more.   At first I thought I was mistaken about which child had joined us.  After confirming it was my J, I had to speak to him to be sure he was really awake.  Totally awake.  Wow.  I have read that PANDAS causes tics, but I didn’t really think we were dealing with that – my J is just hyperactive.  But, now I wonder if the non-stop movement is related to tics caused by PANDAS.  I laid there reflecting on the other changes I’ve seen this week.  On the way to school yesterday, he said to me, “mommy, can you teach me to read?” Up until this point it seemed he had no interest in such things.  Over the last two weeks, he has started to really enjoy his soccer ball.  The ball never held his attention for more than a minute or two in the past.  He doesn’t have a basketball, so he has started to dribble his soccer ball – he has asked me to count how many times he can dribble it.  This may sound like a totally normal boy to you, and that is really my point.  He has never been “normal,” and I am loving it!!  Praise God for this amazing progress!  4 weeks on On Guard Plus to fight the PANDAS – that’s all we have changed.

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PANDAS

3 weeks ago we heard from Dr. N that J has extremely high strep titers. He has PANDAS (pediatric auto-immune neuropsychiatric disorder associated with strep). This auto-immune disorder is responsible for all kinds of behavioral issues, from ADHD & tics to OCD & emotional lability and everything in between. Could it be that PANDAS has been contributing to my J’s struggles for years?? Could this be another major piece of his puzzle?  Well, Praise God, I am beside myself right now thinking back over the last few days. The very day that we got the PANDAS news, I started J on OnGuard Plus. I actually know 3 families that have dealt with this nightmare before me, and I know that antibiotics are typically prescribed for very extended periods of time. Well, we can’t do that with J. His gut is too inflamed. So, what do I have in my all-natural medicine cabinet for my little buddy – OnGuard Plus. It contains the doTERRA essential oils of On Guard, oregano, melissa, & black pepper. I’ve been giving it to him 3 times per day for the last 3 weeks. I noticed the change in J on Thursday afternoon. We were alone in the van on the way to see Dr. N. J talked the entire trip about ideas for his birthday party, about a hunting trip he’d like to go on with dad where he would hunt for bears not wild hogs, about his school day… Just talking – at a level I had never talked with him before. This new pattern has continued through the weekend. We saw him voluntarily walk away from the Wii & dig out a traffic puzzle game and work on it for 45 minutes. The focus he demonstrated floors me. He did all kinds of pretending with G today. So fun, like neurologically normal little people! Please Lord, may these positive changes continue…

J - 3 weeks on On Guard Plus

On Guard Plus is anti-viral & anti-bacterial with many additional side benefits – like the power of melissa on brain function.  We are just so thankful for our oils!!

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Guest Post – Ashleigh’s Birth Story

I am so thankful to my friend Ashleigh for sharing how essential oils made a difference in her birth story! I wish I had known about essential oils when Baby G was born….

My goal is to show you how wonderful essential oils can be in birth! Come hear my story!

 

For the last two weeks of pregnancy, I longed for my baby to come just a tad early! I didn’t think it would happen necessarily, especially since I was a couple days “late” with my first child, Lilleigh, but I was so over being pregnant and ready for the big debut. Well, lo and behold, around 2:45 on Friday morning I woke up feeling light cramping.

I figured the cramps were Braxton Hicks, which I had been having for days, always just for a bit at night, that were becoming increasingly more painful. I got up for some apple cider vinegar (amazing for heartburn) and a snack. The cramps continued…

Anyway I went back to sleep until about 4:30, when I began timing the cramps coming and going. At this point I figured I was in labor since they had been going on for 2+ hours, but I decide to let my husband, Brendon, rest up while he could. I knew I’d need him soon enough!

I woke up Brendon at 5:30 AM, knowing I was in labor. The cramping was consistent. It was also enough that I needed to get out of bed because I couldn’t rest any longer. The contractions actually seemed stronger laying down. We both began packing a bag for the birth center and a bag for Lilleigh for the day.

Around 6 AM, I got into the bath tub, knowing it would help me to progress. I stayed there for around 30 minutes, after which time I contacted my doula, Jen, to tell let her know I was indeed in labor.

Between my bath and Jen’s arrival, I began getting dressed in walking clothes and tennis shoes, so I could take our dog on a walk. Unfortunately when I opened the door, I realized it was pouring down rain, so I settled for walking indoors. I walked laps around our house. It was fortunate too because at this point I began having to physically stop during contractions and brace myself on a chair, wall, whatever was around. The contractions were beginning to need my full concentration.

Jen arrived at our house at 7:30, the same time Lilleigh woke up. Brendon told Lilleigh the big news, that today would be the day her sister would arrive. He got her breakfast ready and let her watch a show. They say when new people enter the scene, it interrupts labor. It was amazing how Lilleigh waking up and Jen arriving indeed slowed down my contractions. Jen predicted that when Lilleigh left, they would pick back up, and guess what – they did.

Brendon took Lilleigh over to our neighbor Holly’s house around 8:30. Sure enough, it only took about 10 minutes for the contractions to pick back up. Throughout the hustle and bustle, I continued to labor at home a bit longer. For the most part, I was either standing, leaning forward on the dresser or Brendon, or I was on all fours. Jen had long rice packs that she would heat in the microwave and place on back to ease the pain. Since she had two, they were constantly in rotation. Brendon massaged my lower back continuously.

I also used doTerra essential oils while I was at home. I had a labor blend that I had made with 1 tsp. of fractionated coconut oil, 10-15 drops of Lavender (for pain and calming), 10-15 drops of Frankincense (for the pain, much stronger than the lavender), and 10-15 drops of Clary Sage (to help me progress and make my contractions more productive). I applied this to my stomach and also held up the Clary Sage some just to smell, since it is effective that way as well. I did continue to progress well without any halts, so I do feel this was effective. At one point, I also used Peppermint for nausea, by just putting some drops in my hands, lifting them to my nose to smell/ breathe in, and then rubbed my hands on the back of my neck. The nausea subsided. Lastly, I also used Black Pepper oil on my back for back labor. I did indeed have back labor. Again. Pretty sure I always will. Anyway, I asked Brendon to put some Black Pepper on my back. He did, and immediately the pain was gone. It was amazing. But suddenly I felt the contractions intensely in my stomach, which I had not before because the back pain was overpowering that. I had no idea how to cope with this new pain, so I never asked for that oil again. Brendon actually had no idea it had worked at all until we talked later. That Black Pepper. Powerful stuff.

I labored at home until 9:30, when I called my midwife and we drove to the birth center. We arrived there around 10 AM, and I could tell transition was coming, though not there yet. (A big improvement from last time with Lilleigh, when I transitioned at home and was then fighting the urge to push in the car!)

My midwife filled up the birth tub, as my contractions got more intense.

 

 

Thankfully after not too long, the tub was full enough for me to labor in… really it was probably close to 45 minutes or so, but I was in too much pain to notice the time. When I got in, oh my word, it was so hot… definitely more like a hot tub than a bath tub. I didn’t mind because it helped the pain. A lot. But wow, really hot. I labored in there for about 45 minutes. Brendon got in there too and massaged my back. I began feeling the urge to push and was ready to get out. I totally was down for a water birth, but I just could not last in the heat one more second.

When I got out, my water broke. I pushed on the bed for about 15 minutes in a side crunch position. This part seemed much more painful that I had remembered, mainly because my legs were aching terribly. The back labor with Lilleigh diminished once she changed positions during transition. This pain indicated that this baby clearly had not finished rotating. Had I been able to talk and think, I would have had my birthing team apply pain-relieving oils, such as Deep Blue and Black Pepper, on my legs. (Note to self for next time.) Thankfully it only took 15 minutes to push her out! I had asked my midwife to use Frankincense on me as the baby was crowning, and I am pretty sure she poured the entire 5 ml bottle on me. But let me just say, I did not feel the ring of fire! Did it hurt? Sure. But no fire. So worth the money for that costly oil! I am also pretty sure this is why when baby girl came out (on her side! …hence back labor), she only let out one small cry. No crying. I have no doubt all that Frankincense helped her little head not to hurt. If I could recommend one oil for birth, Frankincense is it.

Finally labor was over, and we got to meet our precious gem! Adeline Elise was born right at noon on August 16, 2013. She weighed 7 lbs 6 oz and was 21 inches in length. We are so in love!

 

 

If any of you have used essential oils during birth, I’d love to know about your experience! Share below!

 

Ashleigh is a stay at home mom of two sweet little girls, Lilleigh (2-1/2 years old) and Adeline (2 months). She feels blessed to call Brendon her husband. Together, they long to serve the Lord, being faithful with all He has entrusted them with – their precious daughters, a steady pay check, a home, and healthy bodies. Essential oils are just one way they use God’s natural resources to promote good health. For more on their journey of conscious, yet thrifty, living, check out her blog, Thankfully Thrifty.

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October 25, 2013 · 6:30 am

The Beginning for Baby G

My desire to move into the natural realm of treating our children, away from main-stream American medicine, was solidified during the very difficult first 4 months of Baby G’s (my 4th child) life.

Baby G was born absolutely perfect in January 2012. Well, she was jaundice and 4 weeks early…but nearly perfect. Within 4 weeks after birth, she had a pretty bad rash all over her body and face. So, when we went in for her 2nd HepB vaccine at 4 weeks old, I asked her doctor to check it out. He said it was a “normal baby rash,” and that I did not need to worry or do anything to treat it. My baby’s doctor then proceeded to give her the Hepatitis B vaccine as scheduled. A few days later, Baby G started to scream and cry….24 hours a day…7 days a week. I learned why the word “inconsolable” was added to language… because there was no amount of holding, rocking, or singing that would soothe her. My baby girl was in obvious pain and enduring terrible reflux as well. Our family doctor prescribed Zantac for Baby G, but it was not making a dent in her suffering.

After about 2 solid weeks of screaming, The Lord led me to Dr. N. When I say the Lord led me, that is ABSOLUTELY what happened. I was standing in the park watching 3 kids play while holding a screaming baby. I began to cry and asked God, “what am I going to do?” Not audibly, but crystal clear nonetheless, He said “take her to the new man doctor at Dr. B’s office.” I called and they worked her in immediately. At that time, the typical wait for a new patient to see this new man doctor was several months. At our first appointment, I realized this doctor was different when he inquired as to WHY Baby G had the reflux instead of just thinking of a way to treat her symptoms. After examining her skin, looking in her mouth, and smelling her, he said she had a yeast infection, and he prescribed Diflucan (an anti-fungal) for her. He also said that it was imperative that I get her off the Zantac as changing her pH could lead to a host of different problems. At our next appointment with our new doctor, and 8 weeks on Diflucan, I came to a shocking realization when Dr. N said he was glad I was bringing Baby G to him instead of a traditional doctor, due to the normal vaccination schedule…my heart sank. He informed me that the Hep B vaccine is cultured in yeast, so if she were vaccinated in her current condition, it would be devastating to her recovery. I let him know that she already had the vaccine at her 4 week appointment. That’s when he took this photo of her head – he was connecting the vaccine to this yeast infection.

Baby G yeast on head

Then I went home and remembered she had the Hep B vaccine in the hospital at 3 days old too. Oh my! No wonder she couldn’t shake the yeast infection! She was double vaccinated so close together! Still unbelievable to me, this is the recommended schedule for a perfectly healthy little baby.

I called Dr. N, and he recommended a clay packing – vaccine detox. Looking back, I realize she had a yeast rash after the first Hep B vaccine, and after the 2nd dose the yeast infection was completely out of control. She was red and rashy all over, inside & out. No wonder she wouldn’t stop screaming.

Thankfully, after about 10 weeks of screaming, Baby G received healing from the horrible yeast infection. The old Christine would have never even tried the clay packing – vaccine detox, but the end-of-her-rope Christine was willing to try anything! I called my friend Courtney to ask her if I should do it, and praise God, she said she would do it. I asked Dr. Shelton if she would do it, and praise God, she recommended we do it too. By His grace, I walked into that office with an open mind. Once the “mudding” was complete, my baby rested for the first time in months. Baby G was healed with mud and lavender oil, which I was spraying on her raw head 6-8 times per day. Diflucan and Nystatin couldn’t put an end to the yeast infection. It took mud and oil.

The lessons learned in the first part of her journey: Natural options work! A c-section baby needs probiotics, since God’s plan is for a baby’s gut to be populated with good flora on the way out of the birth canal. A jaundice baby’s liver is not functioning at full capacity yet, so she may not be equipped to receive vaccines yet. If the skin is unhealthy so is the inside of the body.

While the yeast infection was healed, this is just the beginning of Baby G’s difficult story…it’s a hard one for me to tell. It involves lots of screaming and no more than a couple hours of sleep at a time for 16 months. However, we have been blessed to witness an awesome miracle – Baby G is like a whole different baby now. Once again, there is hope for every child!

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“I can’t! I’m old!”

What a great morning we were having last week. Things were going so well with J, Baby G, G & MK that I thought we should have a treat and go out to lunch.  You moms who have kiddos with special needs know how hard it is to get out.  The only place I would consider taking my crew for lunch is Fuddruckers because it’s laid back, they have games for the kids, & they have gluten-free hamburger buns!

The kids were so excited to be “out” to lunch!  I must say that I got caught up in the excitement and let the kids grab their cups from me.  They have the new soda machines, the ones where there are a million choices…. I got to the machine in time to put half water in G & J’s cups but let them make their choice for drink.  J picked MinuteMaid “strawberry lemonade.” I put –strawberry lemonade- in quotes, because there’s no strawberry or lemon in it at all! 0% juice – high fructose corn syrup, chemicals, and red dye.  Following my request, “please don’t suck it down until after you eat your food,” J drank his entire drink.  We’re still working on obedience!  I’m sure the drink tasted like candy to him as he never gets anything like that.  So, needless to say, he didn’t get much lunch eaten.  He bounced from table to games and back.

After about an hour in the restaurant, we loaded in the van to go home.  As I’m pulling out, I confirm that all seat belts are buckled.  Thankfully G & J have been buckling their own seatbelts for a year now.  No, J is not buckled.  Determined not to get miffed, I calmly ask J to buckle his seatbelt once again.   He’s looking at the seatbelt and says to me in an unsure voice, “I can’t.  I’m old.” I don’t think much of this statement at first, and firmly tell him: You are 5 years old.  You have been buckling your own seatbelt for over a year. Please buckle.  Then he starts to get frantic and yells, “I can’t! I’m old!” He was unable to connect the clip with the buckle.  His brain could not process the simple task that he had doing for a long time. After several outbursts of the same words “I can’t! I’m old!” his big sister got up to buckle him.  And, then it hit me.  The drink had made him unable to function.  What was he feeling in that moment to tell me that he’s old??  He must have been frightened.  How many times have I fussed at him when it was me who gave him something to cause his brain to malfunction?  Never again will I let my children drink the poison.

Then my heart and mind naturally go to other kids….the kids whose moms and dads are still buying Capri-sun, Hi-C, and the like.  They don’t know the impact the corn-syrup, chemicals, and dyes are having on their children’s brains.  Some kids get “juice” boxes with their lunch every day.  Even if the reaction is not as intense as my J’s – the impact is certainly a reduction in the child’s potential.

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Nutritionally depleted

I brought J in for a re-evaluation with Dr. N in May.  During the physical exam, J’s pupils did not respond to light – This was very scary to me….I’m thinking his brain is damaged!  Dr. N ordered an MRI to check J’s brain.  In addition to the MRI, a NutrEval was ordered along with other standard tests and a genetic test to evaluate his methylation pathway — a ton of labs.  We were so thankful to have all that blood drawn while J was sedated for the MRI.  We heard within a couple of days that the MRI came back normal.  Praise God!  We can’t be sure, but my guess is that J must have been in “fight or flight” mode – really scared in the dark room for his pupils to remain dilated like that.

We had to wait nearly a month to get other results.  J’s nutritional evaluation came back showing him to be extremely depleted.  His brain was starving for fuel!  I can honestly say J is my best eater and I feed him good food.  So, when you get results like this you have to fight the guilt.  This is not my fault.  It has to be a gut issue or a need issue – some kids need a lot more support than other kids.  Thankfully, I have remained extremely faithful with the fish oil (we are using the doTERRA IQmega liquid – I put about a teaspoon into the kids orange juice each morning), and his omega 3 levels looked great!  Well I won’t bore you with all the details, but the following levels were EXTREMELY low: Vitamin C, alpha Lipoic Acid, Thiamin-B1, Riboflavin-B2, Magnesium, and Zinc.  This test, the NutrEval, gives recommendations for supplement levels.  I jumped on it that very day mixing up a concoction in J’s orange juice.  Can you even believe that just 2 short days later, J started coloring in the lines?  Previously, we hardly saw anything but wild scribbling, and at OT, his therapist was amazed at the change in J.  On the 4th day after we began the supplementing, I saw him lying on the floor with a pencil and paper drawing a very detailed rocket!!  When the change is so drastic, it makes you marvel.  What if we hadn’t done that testing? His brain was not getting the nourishment it needs – no fuel – no performance.  It feels amazing to make this forward progress.

The testing also revealed that J has a severely compromised methylation pathway and blood sugar regulation issues.  J’s zinc levels are very low which can alter neurotransmitter synthesis.  Now we have done more genetic tests that are, again, quite revealing.   What is neurological inflammation, what causes it, and what can be done?? J’s glutamate levels were extremely high.  What is that doing?  Like I said, it’s been a whirlwind since I last posted on this blog.  I’ll do my best to fill you in soon because it’s all so important.   Stay tuned.  There is hope for every child!

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