Sunday, July 25, 2010

Abby Update

I apologize for the amount of time since my last post. I have been spending my time trying to be a good mommy, and working hard to get Abby well again. I was scanning my usual blogs when I realized how much has changed since my last post, and I decided that you all deserve an update!

A few weeks prior to my last post, I ran across this wonderful blog: The Enlightened Homemaker. Shari Goodman has 5 children, one of whom has Autism. She is incredibly knowledgeable about taking care of the body naturally, among other things, and has been a guiding light for me through this whole experience. I posted a comment on her blog with a link to my blog, and she read my last post on Abby. She referred me to a world-renowned doctor in So. California that treats (and cures) Autistic children, as well as children with tummy issues (since they kind of go hand-in-hand). His name is Dr. Kurt Woeller, and I was amazed to find out that his office is just 5 minutes away from our house! I would have driven hours to see him, but talk about meant-to-be! I made an appointment right away.

The visit with Dr. Woeller was life-changing. He opened up a whole new world. Not only did he help me to realize that I’m NOT crazy, and there really was something wrong with Abby, but he also reassured me that there is a lot I can do to help her get better. He started out by asking about her symptoms. Exactly what was wrong, and when did I first notice? I basically reiterated everything that I said on the blog, and he asked a few questions. Then he explained exactly what he believed happened in Abby’s tiny body during her vaccine reaction.

(On our way to Disneyland as Abby's reward for filling her Sticker Chart. Thanks for the passes Granny-K!)

He explained that there are different types of vaccine reactions, and all range from mild to severe. Judging from her current symptoms and the symptoms she had during her reaction (high fever, vomiting, and going into such a deep sleep that I couldn’t wake her) he believes that Abby experienced moderate encephalitis (brain swelling) and that it caused damage to some of the nerves in her brain stem. He explained that Abby was lucky; had her swelling been any worse, it could have led to severe brain damage (ADHD, Autism). He explained that the nerves that control all of our bodily functions originate in the brain stem, and spread down through our body like an upside-down tree. Some of the most common nerves that are damaged during vaccine-educed encephalitis are the nerves that extend to the gut.

**That statement was like a light-bulb turning on for me. That explains the issues with Abby’s tummy. That is why she was always constipated no matter how many prunes or salads I fed her- the nerves that tell her intestines to move food through her bowel don’t work right! **

He went on to explain that certain vaccines can cause the gut to become inflamed, which can cause permanent damage to digestive function. This is why many kids who have had vaccine reactions (including Autistic kids) have to be on a Yeast/Gluten/Dairy-free diet. Due to the problems with her gut and her symptoms at the time of the appointment, Dr. Woeller also theorized that Abby had Candida- a yeast build-up throughout her whole body and most likely had developed Leaky Gut as a result (you can read all about Candida and Leaky Gut by clicking here).

I cannot tell you how relieved I was to finally find a doctor who knew exactly what was wrong with my daughter. I had been to one pediatrician so often that I swear she thought I was making it all up for attention. The pediatrician we switched to was getting there, when I finally gave up, and decided that going the conventional route was a waste of time. Having Dr. Woeller confirm that there WAS something wrong and that he knew how to treat it literally brought tears to my eyes.

Now for the treatments…

Dr. Woeller sent us home with two tests- urine and stool- so he could determine exactly what types of bacteria were overwhelming Abby’s digestive tract (judging by the size of her swollen belly, there had to be something in there). He recommended a few natural remedies for her constipation - Slipery Elm, Magnesium Citrate, Probiotics, etc. He also told me that MB12 has been proven to repair nerve damage, and he recommended RevitaPop Suckers as a great way to deliver a daily dose. He also said to make sure she is getting plenty of DHA oils, and to try to cleanse the Yeast out of her system.

(Pre-school field trip to the local dairy.)

I am happy to report that these few small changes Dr. Woeller recommended have made a world of difference for Abby. Here is what we are doing on a daily basis:

  1. DHA supplement
  2. RevitaPop
  3. YeastBeater drops morning and night
  4. Herbal Laxative tea every night after dinner. We have been experimenting with the natural constipation remedies Dr. Woeller recommended, but most of them Abby just won’t eat. This tea seems to be working (at least she will drink it willingly) as long as I add hot cocoa mix to the water and make it her after-dinner “treat.”

What has changed:

  1. No more yeast problems, like yeast infections, bladder infections, and wetting the bed! WooHoo!
  2. She makes it to the potty on time! Prior to treatment, Abby would wet her pants 2-3 times a day because the Yeast in her system was causing her pelvic muscles to swell and loose control easily. Now, it happens maybe once a month. MUCH better! The Laundry Fairy is VERY pleased.
  3. No more “loopiness,” or glazed-eyes, and no more running into walls J
  4. Longer periods of concentration without boredom, and she can hold a conversation with me without “zoning-out.”
  5. No more terrible belly-aches and constipation.
  6. We made a sticker chart (another great Dr. Woeller idea) to help make pooping a “positive” experience. Abby still isn’t convinced, but she does enjoy putting stickers on her chart and picking her prizes.
(Getting her face painted at a party.)

What we’re still working on:

  1. Getting to the potty in time, ALL the time. I think the yeast infections were the primary cause before, but now that she’s improved, I think that maybe her nerve damage has something to do with why she still has occasional accidents- delayed warning system.
  2. Gluten/Yeast/Dairy-free diet. We have Abby on the YeastBeater drops, which are doing a great job of keeping her system yeast-free. The next goal is to heal her gut, and a strict diet will help with that. We did attempt strict Yeast-free eating for about 2 weeks- I filled our cupboard with Yeast/Gluten-free snacks, and cooked meals from a special “Yeast-Free” cookbook. The problems we ran into were that Yeast-free snacks are soooo expensive, and they are incredibly CONSTIPATING. They wreaked havoc on Abby’s little digestive system as well as the family budget. There are ways around this, but everyone hated my “Yeast-Free” meals, and Tom practically begged me to stop torturing him with vegetables. I have been on the hunt for some yummy Yeast-Free recipes, and we decided to just take it a step at a time, and just focus on getting Abby regular for now.
  3. We have to find a Probiotic Abby will take, and get those tests back /see Dr. Woeller again. Abby's aggression and irritability have gone up, which is a sure sign that she has a Claustridia infection- a bacteria that can take over when a patient is on an anti-fungal to get rid of yeast. The tests are $300 each, and a visit with Dr. Woeller is $400 each time. Neither is covered by insurance. It's so frustrating when you can't give your child the care they need in the speed you would like because of financial restrictions. Anyone have an extra $1000 lying around?

During our visit, Dr. Woeller made a comment that really hit home for me. He asked what my plans were for future vaccinations. I told him "Never again." He looked relieved, and told me about another patient who had a vaccine reaction similar to Abby's. He treated the patient, and he improved. Then the parents decided to continue with the vaccination schedule. The boy had another reaction, and became Autistic. He said that little boy was just one example, and that he has seen this happen many times throughout his career. I was firm in my decision not to vaccinate my kids, but I secretly doubted myself time and again. After hearing those stories from Dr. Woeller, I KNOW I am never vaccinating again. My poor Abby's health depends on it!

**And to all you moms out there wondering if you should vaccinate your kids: From what Dr. Woeller said, vaccine reactions only get worse. If your child had any kind of a reaction to a previous vaccine, STOP! The next one will be worse... but there’s no way to know how much worse it will be until it’s too late. THAT'S the scary part.**

(On a picnic during a Primary field trip. No, all that junk food isn't ours. Friends brought some to share with all the kids, and for my kids, it was a VERY special treat. Nothing like that resides in our house :) )

I know we have a long way to go, and I have so much to learn. None-the-less, I am thrilled that Abby has made the progress she has in the past few months, and I am so grateful to all those who have led us in the right direction. If you have a child suffering from the effects of vaccines, don’t give up! There are people out there to help you heal your child, and a brighter future lies ahead. You just have to look.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Vaccines: Our Story

I know vaccines are a hot topic now-a-days, and they also happen to be a very emotional one for me. My intent in posting this is not to offend anyone in any way, but merely to share my story and what I have learned through my experience with my daughter's vaccinations. I haven't shared this story with more than 2 people since it happened, but a friend of mine just posted something on her blog about vaccines and she inspired me to share. Her post made me realize how I wish I would have had more information on vaccines before I made my daughter's first doctor's appointment, so I would like to share with you why I made the decision not to vaccinate my children, and to provide you with resources where to find more information on the topic if you are interested in doing your own investigating.

Abby at 12 months, a few weeks after her appointment

Abby was always very bright and had started speaking very early- at 9 months she was saying as many words as Stryder is now at 18, and she was holding full conversations at 11 months. She was incredibly curious, self motivated, and could sit in her room for 2 hours all by herself looking through her books.

Like any first-time mom, I tried really hard to be a perfect Mommy: I read books on how to be a good mom, and followed everything to a tee. I went to all her doctor appointments with a list of questions to ask. There were so many things I was worried about, and vaccinating Abby was not one of them. I had never questioned vaccinations, or even thought about the option to refuse them. After all, why would I want to? I had been vaccinated as a child, and all the parenting books I read said they could save my daughter's life if she ever comes in contact with any of those horrible diseases. After all, they are harmless, right? WRONG!

After Abby's 12 month check up, everything changed. For some reason, she hadn't received all her 6 month vaccinations, so the doctor sat down with me at the appointment (with a concerned look on his face) and asked my permission to 'double her up'. I said, "Sure, they won't hurt her, right?" "Of course not," he assured me. "She might have a mild fever tonight and be cranky for the next few days, but that's completely normal." I held her little legs tightly as they administered 7 different shots and my baby cried out in pain.

We left the doctor's office around 1pm, and she seemed fine. She was her happy, talkative self. As I was preparing her snack at around 3pm, it started. She walked into the kitchen, started to whimper, and threw up. For the next hour or so I carried her around, and she would point to the kitchen sink every time she was going to be sick. I would hold her over the sink as she vomited, over and over. Then things got worse. Much worse. She rapidly became weaker and less responsive. I laid with her in my bed all night with towels underneath us, as she had become unable to lift her head or even wake up to vomit. At one point she went into such a deep sleep that I couldn't wake her, and I was worried she was in a comma. I picked her up and lightly shook until she came out of it: it took almost a full minute. Her fever measured in at 102. I called the doctor's office. I explained the situation to the doctor on call and said she was having a bad reaction to her vaccinations and asked what I could do. The doctor assured me that it was a "coincidence" and that there was no way her vaccines would have caused that reaction. This infuriated me.

6 1/2 Months

As mothers, many times we have to trust our instincts. Sometimes we just KNOW. In this situation, I just KNEW, and it blew me away that the doctor not only didn't draw a connection, but refused to even acknowledge the POSSIBILITY of a connection.

Abby stayed sick for 2 days, but it was when she began to feel better that I immediately knew something was wrong. She wasn't herself. She seemed 'spacey' and had lost some of her vocabulary to name the most obvious changes. I thought she would come out of it, but days passed, then weeks and she stayed in a daze. Eventually she began to learn her words again, and she became better at staying focused on stories, but I felt as though she had been knocked back several developmental months. In a way, I felt I had lost who my baby girl was.

13 Months

I knew her reactions had something to do with vaccines, but I didn't know why. After all, they were harmless, right? About 6 months later, when I was trying to decide whether to take her in for her shots at 18 months, I received my Parenting magazine in the mail. It had a story in it about a mom and her son with Autism. Her son had a similar reaction to Abby's after receiving vaccinations at his 18 month check up. However, he remained in a daze, and just grew worse and worse. The part that really caught my attention was that the doctor claimed it had nothing to do with the vaccinations, but this mom KNEW differently.

I started researching more articles and stories about kids with Autism, and I was amazed at what I found. We are told that studies prove no connection between vaccines and Autism, but the one similarity I found between all the stories was that the changes in the children became apparent within a week or two following the vaccinations, and all the mothers KNEW it was a reaction to the vaccines even though their doctors said it wasn't. If you have ever had an experience with your own 'Mother's Intuition,' you know all those mothers can't be wrong, I don't care what the scientific studies find or the doctors say.

Then I looked for books on Amazon to see what others have found. If you read the reviews, many people provide references to the best books on the subject. That's how I found this book: Vaccines: Are They Really Safe and Effective by Miller (click on the link to find it on Amazon). Neil Miller is a medical researcher who started looking into private vaccine studies when he was deciding whether or not to vaccinate his first child. I like his perspective because he is not anti-medicine or anti-drugs, and he examines each vaccine individually- the severity of the disease it prevents, how it is created, its efficacy and known side effects. Here are a few things I learned:

1. Vaccines aren't tested to determine their safety. We test baby shampoo before it is released on the market, but not vaccines?! Crazy!

2. All the major drug companies have stock holders on both the FDA's and CDC's Board of Advisors, and they frequently use the leverage to their advantage.

3. Vaccines are created in batches of millions of shots (billions of dollars in product). Sometimes certain batches of vaccines are deemed to be 'Hot Lots,' which means that unusually high incidents of 'severe reactions' have been reported (severe reaction= coma and/or death) among the children who have received the vaccination. Keep in mind that a certain number of severe reactions are expected with every batch (What? Expected?!?), but these batches have UNUSUALLY high numbers. When a batch of vaccinations is deemed to be a 'Hot Lot,' the drug company that created it is not required to notify the doctors or pull the vaccinations from the shelves. Not one of the many 'Hot Lots' reported have been pulled from the market, which means the remaining millions of shots are currently being administered to children all over the world. It also means there is no way of knowing if your child has received or will receive one of these shots.

4. Many of the vaccinations we receive are truly unnecessary, as the diseases had become virtually non-existent BEFORE the vaccines were ever created. Other vaccines (like MMR) have been created for diseases that are either easily treatable or virtually harmless and were previously known as common 'childhood' illnesses, like the Chicken Pox. *P.S. The vaccine for Chicken Pox has recently been determined (by private studies, of course) to be very harmful... especially when combined with MMR and Polio.

5. Drug companies themselves have found vaccines to be ineffective before the age of 2. Before the age of 2, the body's immune system is too immature to process the vaccine. That's why they have Boosters, which are also ineffective. It's amazing to read in this book the studies that have been done of outbreaks- almost all of the children who contracted the diseases had been vaccinated for them.

6. ALL of the studies that have been done that show "No connections between vaccines and Autism" were funded by the drug companies themselves. There are many private studies that DO show a connection with Autism, as well as ADHD, Cancer and SIDS.

7. When a child is injected with a vaccine, their body reacts to the 'foreign agent' in a similar way to any disease: their immune system attacks and causes a fever, vomiting, diarrhea, etc. as their body tries to purge. Some reactions are more severe than others, and that depends on each child's genetics. One commonly reported reaction to vaccines is that the brain swells and the mylenation around the brain stem deteriorates. This is the reaction that is believed to cause changes in the brain and can lead to Autism, ADHD, and more. Swelling can occur at all different levels of severity: mild (like Abby's) up to severe. In the more severe reactions, brain swelling can cause coma and death within a few hours. How do you know how your child's body will react? Every child is different, and you don't know until it's too late.

8. I was astonished to read in this book how little we actually know about the immune system and how it functions. We are learning that the immune response begins the moment bacteria or viruses enter the body, and by the time they get to the blood stream the immune response is in it's final stages. With this knowledge, it's no wonder that people continually contract diseases they had previously been vaccinated for: by injecting dead viruses into the blood, there is no way the body can generate an effective immune response because it hasn't gone through all the steps. It's even less likely that the body will be able to fight off the disease in the future.

And my favorite...The Flu Vaccine.
9. I have to quote from Miller's book, because he explains it better than I ever could: "To understand why flu vaccines are so problematic, it is important to know how authorities try to control this unpredictable virus. Production of each new flu vaccine, to be distributed in fall, usually begins in January. Therefore, officials must guess one year in advance which mutated strains of the flu virus will circulate throughout society. If they guess right, the vaccine is thought to be about 35% effective at temporarily preventing that year's flu in the elderly. If they guess wrong, as often occurs, or the circulating strains mutate again between January and the end of the year, which is likely, the vaccine may be worthless.

For example, in 1994 flu "experts" predicted that the Shangdong, Texan, and Panama strains would be prevalent that year, thus millions of people received flu shots containing these strains. However, when winter arrived the Johannesburg and Beijing strains were circulating. In 1995, health officials modified their predictions and created a flu vaccine that contained the Texas, Johannesburg, and Beijing strains. Again, millions of people were vaccinated. However, when winter arrived, the Wuhan strain predominated. During the 1997-1998 flu season, officials once more had to admit that "the flu shot did not make a dent in flu cases because the strains included in the vaccine did not match the strains that actually circulated that year." The vaccine was 0% effective." (p. 85)
Generally, authorities know several months in advance that their vaccine won't be effective, but they frighten the public by predicting a deadly flu season to use up their costly vaccine. Another quote from Miller: "Even when there is a good match between the viral strains in a flu vaccine and that year's circulating flu virus, immunity from the shot is short-lived because antibody levels begin to decline within months, and are often low one year after vaccination. Permanent immunity to a particular strain of flu is only possible by contracting the disease naturally..."For example, in one influenza outbreak in a Minnesota nursing home, 95 % of the residents, and 72% of the staff members with direct patient contact had been vaccinated 4-8 weeks prior to the outbreak. Authorities were baffled when they learned that the viral strain isolated from the outbreaks was 'antigenically identical' to the one contained in the vaccine. In other words, the vaccine was a 'perfect' match for that year's circulating flu virus, yet it was a complete failure. Authors of the study concluded that, "despite widespread vaccination... influenza outbreaks continue to occur...""

13 Months

So basically, what I have learned from this book and others is that vaccines are not only harmful, they are ineffective in preventing the diseases we use them to prevent. There is so much information out there on this topic, and so many parents with stories like ours, and worse. If you are trying to decide whether to vaccinate your child, I recommend reading as much as you can on the subject before making that first appointment.

Today, Abby is doing well. She is still incredibly intelligent, does well in school and is just about perfect in every way. I still notice some things haven't gone away:

1. Severe constipation. Ever since her 12 month vaccinations, no matter what she eats, she is always constipated. I feed her prunes, prune juice, fruits and vegetables, etc. Nothing helps. She has developed a fear of going poop because it is always so painful. I have to give her a laxative or enema about every 4-6 days.

2. She has difficulty with bladder control and has frequent bladder infections. We have tried everything from cranberry juice, changing laundry detergent, to switching from baths to showers. Again, nothing helps.

3. She has difficulty focusing, and is still really "spacey" at times. She frequently runs head-first into stationary objects like walls, chairs and playground equipment because she was in "dream land" or not walking straight.

We have seen our pediatrician so frequently about all of these things that I think I am annoying her. She can't figure out what is causing them, and has even told me that there may be nothing wrong. "It could just be who she is," she said. She refuses to believe that vaccines could have anything to do with these lasting effects. I know she is wrong. I saw the changes take place in my daughter, and no amount of science is going to change that fact.

P.S. If you are curious about the links that have been found between vaccines and cancer, I recommend you visit and read their Letter to Congress in the upper corner of the page. The two parents/medical professionals have found an amazing link between the Polio vaccine and brain cancer.

A friend just responded to this post on Facebook with a book recommendation: Dr. Robert Sears The Vaccine Book. Click on the title for a link to the book on Amazon. This was a book that I have had my eye on for quite some time, but have never had the chance to read. Thanks, Leeanna, for the recommendation!

Another great book that provides insight into how the Immune System works is The Sanctity of Human Blood : Vaccination is Not Immunization by Tim O'Shea. My friend Tara, who is incredibly versed in Homeopathic medicine, got me into this one, and it is an eye-opening read.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Just Between Friends Consignment Sale

If you live anywhere near Escondido, CA you are going to want to hear about this event!

It's the Just Between Friends consignment sale! Woohoo! Come sell your gently used kid's clothes, accessories, toys, etc. to make some extra $Moolah$, or just go shopping to get some great deals, like I'm doing!

Here is their site:

And here is a video that will get you super excited:

Maybe I'll see you there!

Prices Reduced

If you have checked the site lately, you probably noticed that I reduced the prices. We all know things have been tough... for friends, neighbors, me, and I'm sure for you too.

So, to make things a little easier on your pocketbook (and hopefully to bring more business to the site) I have given in to the pleadings of this economy and shaved off the pennies... or quarters... or dollars on just about every product.

What this means is fewer sales (because everything is just about at sale price already), just everyday low prices. So please enjoy, and think of us first when you are looking for a hair accessory or a baby gift. Tell your friends and help spread the word about Sweet Abigail!

Fun on a Saturday

We have always been outdoorsy folks, and this Saturday we were thrilled to discover that there are miles and miles of cool hikes just 10 minutes from our house! So we packed up the kids and snacks, and headed out for an adventure.

Stryder got to ride along with Dad.

We outfitted both the kids with a 'Goodie Bag;' A little burlap shoulder bag for them to collect fun things they found on the hike.

Abby was excited to find these 'treasures' right by our car.

And we're off! Yes, that is a sign that warns about Mountain Lions in the area. In the instructions on what to do if you see one it says, "If Attacked, Fight Back!" Great...

Here is the start of the hike. It literally started right in someone's backyard in a nearby cul-de-sac. Amazing!

Although he complained he wasn't allowed to walk the whole time (we did want to eventually FINISH the hike), I think Stryder enjoyed his bird's eye view and endless supply of snacks.

Abby was nice enough to take a moment to pose for mom.

Abby kept lagging behind for the first part of the hike to draw stick figures. Then we told her that the Mountain Lions like to eat the last person who stays behind their group...

She didn't have a problem keeping up after that :)

A little further into the hike, the trail really gets beautiful and there were lots of places for the kids to explore.

They climbed some rocks...

looked around the trees...

discovered new plants...

blazed their own trails...

and even picked a flower or two for Mom. Awww! Melts my heart.

Everyone went home with a stick and fun 'nature' finds in their bags. All in all, a very fun short little hike around the corner!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


I love sales, don't you? Then don't miss this one! Just for a few more days, receive...

40% off your ENTIRE order plus free shipping on all orders over $50.00!

Just enter the coupon code SWEET40 at checkout, and click on 'Recalculate.'

AND I just added a BUNCH of adorable new stuff to the site, and more to come in the next few days so...

Happy Primping!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Baby Blessing

As you all know by now, I just LOVE seeing Sweet Abigail products on Babies, Big Girls, and Moms alike! Not only does it make the bow so much more beautiful than it ever could be on a card, but it makes me happy knowing that something I worked so hard to make is making someone else happy.

I just have to post some pictures of adorable baby Harley at her blessing (I just *love* her name!). She is wearing the Small Gumdrop in all white, on one of our Nylon Interchangeable headbands. Isn't she adorable?!?!

And here is another one with Harley wearing the Wild One Gumdrop with Zebra.

Congratulations Garett and Leslie on such a beautiful baby girl! And thank you for letting me share her beauty with the world!