Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Health Care... Mom's View

As most moms of a child with a disability, I pray for the day when we can all access health care that will help our kids. It grieves me that a dear friend of mine has to choose what their medical care based on how much it costs. It shouldn't be that way.

I agree with a lot of people in that there needs to be some serious health care reform. I disagree with the hyped up media opinion that it needs to be a government sponsored or government ran health care.

My reasoning is not because of the costs and its not because of the threat of socialism, although those are good reasons. My reason is because of simply, look at everything else the government is in charge of...

Remember the trumped up charges on everyday equipment that the government was paying? $300 for a hammer?

The stimulus payout? Have you noticed job security? We haven't. Prices of groceries are still high. Gas is still high.

My biggest beef against the government running health care though?

The fact that the FDA does not have the time to protect us from toxic chemicals in our food.

I am sure you wonder what I am talking about... I must be one of those tree huggers that only eats all natural, organic, non-processed food. You would be wrong. We do try to avoid over-processed food, but I'm not June Cleaver. I don't work in the kitchen all day.

Let me share with you. Benji has ketotic hypoglycemia. His blood sugar will bottom out if we aren't careful about what he eats or drinks. With this he needs to stay away from artificial sweeteners, including High Fructose Corn Syrup. This was HIGHLY recommended by his endocrinologist. So... the last year or two I have been steering away from HFCS and saccharin and sucrose, etc... You can imagine the excitement when we found bread that touted the label HFCS free, all natural a month ago. Plus it was on sale.

There was two ingredients in that bread that didn't look familiar, DATEM and azodicarbonamide. But I figured for the label to say it was natural it would be. Plus I was already tired that day so we got it.

The next day we had pb&j's for lunch and the bread was absolutely delicious. But about 30 minutes after lunch we noticed Benji was acting very hyper and out of control. This is a typical red 40 reaction with him. I rechecked the bread label because I had made the lemonade and the jelly. I knew they didn't have anything bad in it. Those two chemicals popped out at me but I shrugged it off.

The following day we had the same lunch. Benji was still acting as if he was over stimulated but I figured he was getting tired, we had played outside that morning. This time after lunch to add to the hyper activity, he got very emotional. Fussy, hyper and demanding... more like an overstimulated toddler than a 4 yo. So, I decided to look up these two chemicals.

DATEM ~ Diacetyl Tartaric (Acid) Ester of Monoglyceride it is used as an emulsifier that helps delay the staling of bread.

azodicarbonamide ~or azobisformamide, is an organic chemical, C2H4O2N4. It is a yellow to orange red, odorless, crystalline powder. It is known as E number E927.

In several articles across the internet it is stated that ADA is banned in Australia, I have not found proof of this. It is also said that in the UK, ADA has a warning label of May cause sensitization by inhalation, meaning it can cause or worsen asthma.

If you read the Azodicarbonamide (CICADS) you will see that it mentions in the UK it is no longer permitted to be used in food.
"Azodicarbonamide has in the past been used in the United Kingdom
and Eire (but not other European Union member states) as a flour
improver in the bread-making industry, but this use is no longer
permitted. It is not known how common this practice is worldwide.
Azodicarbonamide is not used in other consumer products."

According to the article in Wikipedia, this chemical can cause similar reactions that food dyes does. Not to mention that this chemical is used to make things such as shoes, window gaskets, exercise mats, etc.

An interesting article Azodicarbonamide: Another reason to avoid most bread

I highly encourage you to read the last article...

All of this is said to get you to think. Our government allows the usage of known toxic chemicals in food. These chemicals cause some of the health issues going on. Benji's sensory integration and focusing abilities highly depend on what he has eaten. Give the kid something with food coloring, especially red 40, and he's a super bounce ball.

But we want this same government to run our health care?

Put limits on malpractice lawsuits. Have it so that how much the doctors change people with insurance vs people without be the same, and lower it to a reasonable price. It shouldn't cost $150-$200 for a well checkup. Enforce the laws that are there. Prevent prescription fraud by having to see a photo ID of the patient or their insurance card. Prosecute the doctor for helping the patient commit fraud. Require screening of newborns that includes the pulse-ox to help catch medical conditions quicker.

I am concerned if we convert to the Health Care program that is being pushed right now. It would mean that when my son has to have his aortic valve repaired that he might not be able to if the government doesn't want to okay it. Or if he gets that surgery if he needs another later on down the road he's already met is lifetime limit. But the biggest thing? If this HealthCare program is so good? Then President Obama needs to sign himself up on it instead of taking the existing care he and his family get now. All of the politicians that are saying this is the way to go, should be more than willing to drop the insurance coverage they have for being a politician in Washington and take the same healthcare they are pushing on us.

Fix the problem, don't create a new one.

Leaving with a little tidbit. Benji's older sister has asthma. The medication she has to have to prevent her from having asthma attacks is not covered by medicaid. We are fortunate that our private insurance covers all but $25. What will happen if the Healthcare reform bill is passed? Will they say "since she's not been hospitalized, we don't need to cover the medication."?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Tuckered Out

This is what happens when you start your day early and you just keep going. LOL

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Dr. Teal's Epsom Salt with Lavender

While I was at the store the other day I noticed a different brand of Epsom Salt than what I normally get. In fact there where a couple of different types of Dr. Teal's brand. I picked up the lavender variety.

Let me say that the aroma is wonderful! I have some lavender growing in our yard and this smells just like it.

We have seen the difference plain epsom salt makes in calming Benji down after a stressful day and it also helps establish a routine. (It has been suggested that 15 minutes in an epsom salt bath is all it takes.)

So we are using the Dr. Teals Sleep epsom salt with lavender, Sleep. Tonight is the first use so we will update soon. I pray the lavender just adds to the relaxation and calming.

Tags: epsom salt, lavender, product review

Friday, August 21, 2009

School is underway...

We have survived the first 3 weeks of school! YAY!!

School started for Benji on August 3rd. He goes to school for ½ day, 4 days a week. His school is a developmental preschool that is based on a reverse inclusion model. (It’s for special needs or developmentally delayed children and they bring in typically developing peers) I love what it does for Benji.

Benji started in his preschool just after his 3rd birthday, so he’s been in for a little over a year. He has responded so well! His speech has vastly improved, he tolerates change better, he is learning how to control his sensory issues too. Now if we can just get him to write…

Back to the last three weeks.

Week one, Benji did really good. He was complaining that he wasn’t in the same classroom from last year, but we talked about it and explained that you change classes as you get older and smarter. He already knew the teachers because pre-3 and pre-4 work together. This week the peers weren’t there.

Week two, EVERYBODY is at school this week. The week went very well at school. At home Benji was very emotional and didn’t want to go to school until we got there. Wednesday and Thursday he didn’t want to get up and get going. He had a little bit of a problem listening on Thursday, his teacher had to redirect him. After school we had to go to the allergy doctor.

This past week, Benji has been very sleepy and whiney in the mornings. We have finally gotten him convinced that his class is fun. Thinking that we are getting into allergy season, he has runny nose and congestion when he wakes up. He looks tired. On Wednesday he wasn’t wanting to do circle time. Got him some medicine and Thursday was a great day.

I am pretty sure that his behavior at school is much better than home. His teachers have a strict schedule and the kids have to go by it. At home we are seeing little blow ups until one of the siblings does something that offends him and then there is no stopping the meltdown… Praise God we were at home when they happened.

After PT this past Tuesday he was fatigued… his teacher said it only lasted about a half hour and then he rebounded.

Gotta work on morning exercises more. We did them the first week daily and then slacked off. I think they help him a lot. Jumping on the mini-tramp, situps on the exercise ball, lifting the weighted ball, sling swing…

Next week will bring more changes for the little man since mom is going to school herself. Praying the adjustment goes smoothly.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Rock for Autism: A Mom's Passion turns into a Great Musical Event

It was through a friend of a friend that I first heard of Windy Dotson. In the social networks we seemed to have many friends in common. Then, I was told about the Rock for Autism concert to be held at the Dickson County Housing Authority gymnasium on September 5th to support the group from the Sisterhood of Unbiological Sisters (SOUS) in their drive for donations for Autism Speaks. That was when I had to know more.Read More

Friday, August 07, 2009

2009 Walk Now For Autism

As many of you know, we support Autism research. We are affected by autism in the regards that Benji has Sensory Integration Disorder and has signs of other stereotypical autistic behaviors.

We encourage you in your support of Autism research to donate to Autism Speaks on behalf of Benji. We are walking with Team Anakin.

If you know others please share the link to help support this cause.