Friday, November 21, 2008

"completely normal"

A Feingold success story...

In the Spring to Summer of 2007 my wonderful little boy started changing. He began to have severe and debilitating night terrors at about 13 months of age. At first they came 2-3 times a week and then began to come every single night. If you have ever witnessed one you know how terrifying they are and how helpless you feel. As the night terrors progressed I started to lose my sweet little boy. At 15 months of age we began what we thought were temper tantrums¨ but they were accompanied by head banging. Now my pediatrician (whom I do love) said these were completely normal and he would outgrow¨ it. As a mother, it is hard to see your child have night terrors every night and bang his head almost to the bleeding point every single day. His head was constantly full of bruises that I was afraid he would do permanent damage to his skull.

His head banging was not what I would consider normal. As his head banging became worse, his aggression was starting to take over. It is hard to say now that my son would be in such a rage¨ that I would have scratch marks and even bruises from trying to restrain him not to hurt himself. Mind you he was roughly now only 18 months of age but had the temper of an older child. We were basically quarantined at home b/c we could not take him anywhere except home, babysitter and grandmas. I remember leaving him at the sitter sometimes and my lasting memory was of him pounding his head on the stairs as his first 15-20 min tantrum of the day would begin. His tantrums were fierce and could last 5-20 minutes of rage, rage, rage. It was so sad to see and my husband and I kept thinking what had gone wrong. Had we been too easy in his 1st year, was I not disciplining him enough? Our marriage began to crumble as our inability to help him took over. I will never forget last Jan. taking him to a neighborhood park and he did not want to leave, well my husband picked him up and took him to the car, well he managed to scratch my husband so hard that he looked like a cat had got to him and when I attempted to grab him he pulled my hair so hard that I lost chunks of it and we left there wondering why we had ever gone. He was 20 mths old. His tantrums were so common and severe that we would sometimes have to take the pillows off the couch and place them on the floor as we let him somewhat roll back and forth on them but not be able to hurt himself as he bashed his head on the ground. So many stories, so many tears until I found Feingold.

As my son had one of his severe night terrors I began to cry and could not sleep. At 2 in the morning I googled head banging in toddler. I came up with a website on someone saying that they removed apples from her daughter's diet and how it improved her head banging and that the woman was doing the Feingold program. I had no idea what the Fiengold program was but one thing I did know was that my son LOVED apples in any form and had apple juice EVERY DAY. I told my husband about it and said I planned to remove apples for a week and would give it a try. I loaded up on baby pear juice and tried it on my vacation week (also am a school teacher). Well the last time he had the juice was on Sunday night and on Monday night for the first time in nearly a year we did not have a night terror. just like that. We had them every single night but we did not on M, T, W, Th, and then had a small one on Friday and one on Sunday. I started to keep a food diary and noticed on those days that he had one he also ate either a banana or banana product. Cut them out and the night terrors COMPLETELY went away. Just like that. I then knew I was onto something and HAD to order the packet. It was May and I tried to implement as much as I could until my summer vacation started. I began 100% in June and probably had 2-3 of FULL detox and it wasn't nice at all but it really hadn't been that nice since we started to cut things out in May but was REALLY bad when we went 100% . It was like seeing our darkest moments coming to life again but I began to get glimpses of some calmer behavior. We decided to remove HFCS in July(1-2 week detox-not nice at all) We actually visited Storyland in NH that week and he had such a severe and sooooooo embarrassing tantrum that I was praying that a helicopter could have picked me up. But the end result is like nothing I could have ever excepted and completely life altering.

Some of things my son is very sensitive to is apples, bananas, grapes(really bad, especially raisins)chocolate(turns into an edgy, aggressive boy), food colorings, maple syrup (have small amounts) egg(tolerates organic though)tomato(can tolerate small amounts now), HFCS and CS and after trial and error the allergy med claritin. I began to give Claritin to him(the white tablets) in Sept. and he began to have night terrors again. I didn't make the connection right away as I didn't think it would bother him and was going crazy thinking what is he reacting to and then when I looked at the food diary I thought what the heck maybe it is the claritan and I took them out and night terrors went away. Really so amazing how sensitive he is and how different he is when he is reacting.

Now our life is what I best sum up as calmer. He still has his quirks and likes to have things his way and does have a tantrum now and again but they are in the realm of what would be called normal. He is so happy now and really a fun loving boy. It is amazing how different he is when he is reacting that we pick up on it right away. I also give him omegabrite supplement and magnesium taurate supplement which has helped him a lot. **On a side note the magnesium supplement helped to almost cure his stuttering. He began to stutter in the Spring and then it stopped when I began the mag supplement and then I stopped in Sept and the stuttering returned and when gave him supplement it again went away after about a week. Very strange but true.

I am sorry that this is so long but I see people posting daily who seem like I did not so long ago hopeless..PLEASE hang on b/c it is completely life altering. My son is in such a good place right now and our home life is at peace. I used to cry nightly thinking how can I help him b/c I love him so much(even though it was so hard to live with him). Hang on b/c once they are clear of all this junk they will be at a better place. Thank you to all of you who daily put little bits of your life here and things that have worked for you that have helped me put Antonio's life back together.


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