Sunday, August 23, 2009
I am the youngest of eight children, with a ten year gap between me and the next youngest. It was like having 7 sets of parents (half were married). My sisters-in-laws delayed the vaccinations for my nieces, saying they wanted to wait until their kids were older (maybe hippie philosophy)--this was the late 1970's. One of my sisters was a nurse. She gave me two words of advice (one I listened to)--don't shave your thighs and don't immunize your children until they are older.
There was no link between autism and immunizations at this point in time. I never did shave my thighs and am glad about that. I didn't immunize the children, either (until they were older).
It took many years and a lot of thinking to figure out what happened to Kenneth. Then it hit me one night--it all made sense--Ken falling off the growth charts, sticking his tongue out to one side, his high mercury levels...That time at the dentist, when Kenneth was six months old. I remember it vividly now, and it haunts me in my sleep. As I write this, I cannot stop the tears from pouring down my face.
Some old cavities had fallen out. Silver amalgam fillings. No big deal. Ken was six months old and nursing. I took him to the dentist with me. She drilled out the old fillings. He slept on the floor in his seat. She drilled my teeth for two hours that day. The mercury was vaporizing and you could smell it in the air. Ken was right there under this, breathing it in his fragile, six month old body. Mercury is much more toxic when it is vaporized. You could eat it and not be harmed like you could be when it is in a gas form. The dentist was kind enough (yeah, right, the stupid fatty fat butt) to let me nurse Kenneth during breaks in the drilling. The next day, I went in for more amalgam drilling. Ken slept again on the floor and nursed during another two hour procedure.
I tested Kenneth's mercury when he was 5 1/2 years old. Dr. Neubrander and Dr. Bradstreet had never seen mercury levels this high in any of the autistic kids they have treated at their offices (they treat thousands of kids). 9 was the high reference range and Kenneth's mercury registered at 95. We thought it would be very important to try to chelate him, to get out some of these metals. But his little body only weighed 29 pounds at this point and we just knew how very sick all of this mercury and other poisons were making him.
After Kenneth was exposed to all of that mercury in the dentist's office, many changes started happening in my new baby. At his next doctor's appointment, he had fallen off the growth chart. The pediatrician told me this was nothing to worry about. Kenneth was 7 months old, not gaining weight, not growing and this was nothing to worry about--well, you are the educated DOCTOR, so I had no choice but to stuff my concerns. Just a normal over cautious mother...
Kenneth also was not able to nurse very well anymore. He would often gasp for air and seemed to have trouble with the suck/swallow reflex. He started letting his mouth hang open and his tongue would rest to one side. He seemed weaker, not able to pull himself up on furniture like he use to or crawl around as well. His babbling never progressed. He developed a weird spitting noise with his lips (like a raspberry?) and he would make this noise all day. This lasted months.
Soon Kenneth's first birthday came and went. I looked at my baby, very tiny, not growing. He was no closer to walking or talking. Our pediatrician thought this was all okay. We went to another one. Still okay. Another. Okay. Finally, we found Dr. Clough. He listened to us and sort of helped. By this time, Kenneth was 18 months old. He had started walking a little. No talking...