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I handed out pieces of the Wall to my friends. made history. Back home. bringing down the wall. filling my pockets with pieces of stone. full of dreams. one tiny chunk at a time. I would be a world traveler. I was 16. I would help the poor. 1|Page . my family. I would build sky scrapers. that I wanted to make more. with a heady sense that I had been part of something. of flags. chiseling pieces of brick and mortar. I was changing the world. of people both famous and not. heal the sick.I stood with my fellow classmates and exchange students in Berlin. I would leave my mark on the world. people like me. some of it was just pictures. Some of it was in German. It was covered in graffiti. but I had the idea that I wasn’t done. of cars. a lot was in English.
even after all of that. George Bailey’s words took on a new urgency: "I'm shakin' the dust of this crummy little town off my feet and I'm gonna see the world. though. I’d been to Italy. This time. I'm gonna build bridges a mile long. and I began to wonder. I remember watching “It’s a Wonderful Life. I certainly felt closer to being irreplaceable than I ever had before. as the night sky softens just before dawn. this love like no other. this primal connection. And then. Then. the Parthenon. And yet.. I'm gonna build skyscrapers a hundred stories high. I'm gonna build airfields. I went to law school. And then I'm gonna build things. Someone unique. Greece. do what I was doing— and just replace me." My aspirations. This.” a movie I’d seen a million times. I'm comin' back here to go to college and see what they know. on a sultry night in June. I want to do something big and something important. the way they can only be when you’re 16 and the whole world is laid out before you. I went to college and designed expansive bridges and towering buildings. And above all else. Someone irreplaceable. I’d been looking high and low for meaning in my life. I felt a little like someone else could come along. I travelled the world.. Italy. was this what I had been searching for all along? 2|Page . 5 pounds and 15 ounces of sweet baby Caroline came into the world. Paris. I wanted to be someone. I didn’t feel like I’d made my mark.The next Christmas. were as big as they come. like George's. I still hadn’t truly found it. Tahiti and the Colosseum. Was it possible that she was my purpose? Nursing this tiny creature in the small hours. this rush of love. the Colosseum.
Or that they need to return a library book.--------------Say the word “milestone” to many parents. and then lost. thinking about the milestones their children never hit—the ones that meant there was something wrong. Leaving the house without her toy rubber duck. and then their thoughts might drift to something else—what to make for dinner. She lost interest in other people. Say the word to an autism parent. Or worse. introverted. She became unhappy. “She must just be tired. resulted in tantrums so severe we’d return home and not leave again until the next day. and they might think of sitting up or walking.” people would say when they couldn’t engage her. Caroline was 12 months when she stopped speaking. though. say. the ones they hit. when she started avoiding eye contact. 3|Page . irritable. and you can see the pain flash across their face. She began to demand a sameness in our routine that became debilitating.
Whatever I was before this moment was gone. What had happened to the baby I’d fallen in love with? Where was she? Because this child. trying to put the pieces of our daughter back together again. everything fell away. Caroline. To God. hours and hours during the day and into the night.” I would sing to her every day. now she wouldn’t even look at me. to whomever would listen. this was a different child. “Good morning. My passport hasn’t seen the light of day in six years. I’ll give it all up. 4|Page . I prayed. I’ll never ask for one thing more. Just fix her. my frequent flyer miles. We immersed her in therapy. This child didn’t even call me mama. babbling her sweet baby sounds. And where once she would have held out her arms to me.I must have cried a million times. I just wanted my daughter back. I gave it all up— my job. And suddenly.
knowing just how he felt. that bubbly baby I’d known. Broken. Potter. Developmental. we were tired. show me the way. But with each passing day. “Come on. At Christmastime the year we got her diagnosis. I tried and tried but couldn't bring her back to us. 5|Page .. had lost all luster. MMMMM. Occupational therapy. always one of my favorite times of the year. praying on my knees. sweetie. Mama. “MMMMMMMMMM.” Caroline still wouldn’t look at me. Mama.Speech therapy. This year. utterly defeated George. I watched the older.” I would say. Show me the way out of autism. Feeling he could do nothing right and all hope was lost. The holiday season. “Mama. On his knees. Taunted by Mr. I had to find her. we sat down to watch "It's a Wonderful Life" again. Physical. I cried watching George try to paste the petals back on Zuzu’s flower." Completely forlorn. but if you're up there and you can hear me [begins crying] show me the way. Speech again. I was right there beside him. I'm not a praying man.” She was in there somewhere. worn out from fighting an enemy that locked our daughter out of reach. he prays: "Dear Father in heaven. Or maybe it was me. she was farther and farther away.. though.
” they said over and over. Treatments.” But early intervention wasn’t working. those of us sitting in waiting rooms and searching the internet for something—anything—we could do. “There is no cure. a whisper traveling from parent to parent. More. “There’s no cure. there was no hope. The worst thing I could do was nothing. I was 16 again. 6|Page . There were rumors of recovery. It was worth a try.I didn't watch much of the movie after that. Maybe it was a wild goose chase. eyes that used to dance with laughter. I decided to throw my lot in with the renegades offering ideas. “It’s not possible. Caroline’s doctors weren't any help.” her doctor said. I felt a galvanizing sense of energy. look back on my daughter’s life and wish I could have done more. sparkle with life. Here it was. Hope. of hope.” I looked at my daughter. the light gone from her clear blue eyes. Diets. something I learned made her so uncomfortable she would scream like a thousand fire ants were crawling up and down her body. Maybe it was alchemy. snake oil. But there was also a rustling. But it was worth a try. “Early intervention is your best option. And suddenly. Special doctors who were bucking the system. I was cutting tags out of her clothes. I had a wall to tear down. and if that was our best option. Answers.
I ignored the toy explosion. I was up well into the night. “Come to bed. 7|Page .” my husband would mumble. Doctors interested in the gut. long after my husband and daughter went to sleep. the same two factors kept appearing: vaccines and immunity. I read every paper and article I could find. the strewn papers. There were doctors interested in immunity. How could I sleep when the key to unlocking my daughter might be right here in front of me? And over and over.” I would answer. the empty fridge. “One more page.--------------I started to do some research.
more than a year after we lost her. We had to undo the damage that the viruses and the metals in the vaccines did to my baby. there was change. my bright. MMMMMMMM. And immunity. and if her pediatrician wasn’t willing to research the answers. There was more awareness. There’s no way that vaccines caused this. “MMM. And the immunity? An immune disorder? We put our faith in science. We had to heal her. It was! It was right there. well. after the 8|Page . We don’t know why. Mama. I read until I saw the path—the one that would heal Caroline. finally. Mama.” I’d say. We started a gluten and casein free diet. I read until I understood. omegas and more.Vaccines and immunity. I was more than up to the task. until I could go toe-to-toe with any expert. Autism just happens. one day. Vaccines are safe. Unequivocally. Vaccines. The one all the doctors told us wouldn't work. Except that it was. Her pediatrician said no. The science just isn’t there. more engagement and attempts to speak! “MMMMMMMMMMM.” When it happened.” she said. “MMMMM. And then. But it did. We began supplementing high doses of vitamins. bubbly baby.
It was the freaking Fourth of July. Sweetie. this breakthrough. when she looked at me and said. Yes it was. It was my birthday. And with it. I held her until she began to push me away. wrapping her in my arms.” I said to Caroline. though. “Mama. My friends’ children were asking “wh” questions. “Mama. simple things like putting her in her car seat without a meltdown or a successful trip to. It was my chisel finding purchase in that wall. “Is that diet really worth it?” a friend asked me. Caroline toddled back to her puzzle.” it was Christmas. anywhere. as I declined yet another lunch invitation. Before we started trying to heal her. began to happen.” It was an energizing force.” she said. Mama.light went out in her eyes. --------------- 9|Page . and here I was crying over a simple “mama.” she said. I was crying and laughing at the same time. Finding something that Caroline could eat was just too hard. I rolled up my sleeves. Did she have any idea what a miracle that one word was? It was so hard to know back then what she knew. Oh yes. We hadn’t even begun to fight. “Hi. as we tried to penetrate her world. these things were impossible. well. “I’m coming!" I exclaimed. “Hi.
The hyperbaric oxygen chamber to supply more oxygen to her brain and strengthen connections. The diflucan to combat the yeast her immune system simply couldn't control. Where was that suitcase? We had begun a new diet for Caroline. Yep. more smiles. it’s completely grainless. the sleepless nights. If you starve out the bacteria.I stood next to the baggage claim. causing a vicious cycle. every day. in addition to the endless therapies. no prepackaged food of any kind. We decided it was worth a try. an intensive regimen called the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. no restauants. It's a bigger task than it sounds really and if it wasn't responsible for more eye contact. panic seeping into the edges of my already frayed nerves. from scratch. Grainless! No corn. I would've stopped long ago. there are no drive throughs. When friends tell me how at the end of a long day. balance can be restored and inflammation halted. I wish I’d never heard of it. the research. 10 | P a g e . I began preparing every single morsel of food she ate. since I learned about SCD. SCD for short. No sugar. The idea behind it is that complex carbohydrates cannot be easily digested by people with damaged guts. The list goes on. On planet SCD. no bread. it feels like we live on a different planet. The mb-12 injections that improve her methylation cycle and bring us more language. Believe it or not. more words and greater health. All this in addition to the rest of it. no rice. Many days. So now. All of the food is made at home. they just go through the McDonald’s drive-through. Those undigested carbs feed harmful bacteria and inflame the intestines.
” And they were killing her immune system. Her body was so busy fighting battles that she was unable to function as a typical child might. The average person has an amount of metal in their bodies just from living their lives—eating tuna. Her levels showed that she was more than three times the amount considered “acceptable. I’d packed my new tankini with the flattering side rutching. It makes simply leaving the house a feat of planning and organization. Going on vacation is madness. According to my research. So as I waited at the baggage claim at the Orlando airport for the suitcases. My jewelry. her Cinderella dress. Chelation. To heal it we needed to remove the metals. 11 | P a g e . say or living in an industrial city. downright dangerous. I became more and more agitated. calling it fraudulent at best. Tests showed she had elevated levels of metals in her system. It wasn’t that suitcase I cared about. But I didn’t care about any of those things. Our local paper ran a series of articles about it.Special stews and vegetables. Madness. there was only one way to remove them. Unending parades of vegetables. Chelation is controversial. I pack snacks and meals and must be prepared in case we get stuck in traffic or a waiting room. and at worst. It was the other one. The one full of food. --------------We knew Caroline’s challenges couldn't be healed with food alone.
TWO YEARS! So every weekend we follow the protocol. The one at 6 a... “I’m awake. Because it's so gentle. “Thought you should be too. How I have the energy to blow-dry my hair. “The vaccines are safe. the one containing mercury. for two years. one piece at a time. on the endless vitamin and supplement regime. the alarm clanging next to my bed at midnight. She was speaking better. The wall was coming down. too.m. I wish she had to stay up all night to rid my daughter of the poison she injected. if my daughter’s ex-physician is awake. she was calmer.” People ask me all the time how I do it. Caroline was making steady gains on SCD.. How could I wake up in the night? How could I not? 12 | P a g e . in the gray light of dawn after a sleepless night. When Caroline started kindergarten last fall after being on the chelation regimen for 40 weeks.” I’d say.” she said. it requires dosing every three hours for three consecutive days each week. the more and more I knew it was a clear choice. she was placed in a general-education classroom. How I wake up in the night like I did with newborn Caroline. She had better eye contact and social interaction.m. How I stay up on the latest research. And again at 3 a. The chelation method we chose is low dose and oral. the more specialists I talked to. often reminds me of the flu shot I was told I needed when I was pregnant. No way was I going to stop now. on mb-12. I’d love to call her.But the more I read. I sometimes wonder.
There’s no pill for autism.” is the party line. 13 | P a g e . and have a nice day. That’s because they believe there is no cure. “There is no cure. Your pediatrician treats ear infections and strep throat. but not autism. It’s the other parents who become your support.--------------When your child is diagnosed with autism. Is your doctor able to tell you why your child is regressing? No? Ask the lady sitting next to you at the speech therapy appointment. it would be impossible to continue without the parent network. There’s a pill for strep. she's likely to know more. where your kid melts down at the grocery store or reverts to that inward state. Those days where you have a setback. Sorry. you are really left to fend for yourself.
"You found your way once and will find it again. Attack the brain? Sounds awful. behaviors. Another autoimmune disease. Two steps forward.Along our journey. the areas controlled by those "ganglia" are motor control. the sleep/wake cycle and cognitive and emotional functions. they helped guide me to an additional diagnosis. What should we do? How do we get started and what to expect? I learned that with PANDAS. So there I was. Her need to 14 | P a g e . learning. staying up until the wee hours of night. I was devastated. one step back (and sometimes three steps back) is too often a reality in this game. But this time I had friends as sounding boards. One such time happened last year when Caroline faced a sudden onset of tics. Behaviors we’d left in the dust were back and much worse. Even worse." they told me. obsessive compulsive behaviors. We’d fought so hard. Words like inflammation and basal ganglia damage are hard to swallow. They reminded me that healing does not occur in a straight line. Isn't that everything?! Caroline was hit hard by every aspect of PANDAS and her obsessive behaviors made everyday life beyond challenging. How can we be going backwards? My fellow autism parents jumped to the rescue. PANDAS. regression. an autoimmune reaction to bacteria creates antibodies that attack the brain. the parent network has often led to treatments we would never have come across had we been going it alone. rigidity. researching again. Not only did this supportive bunch boost my morale.
the antibiotics were harming her gut. made things scarier. Ironic. I still even had the tendency to turn to mainstream medicine. At first I couldn’t believe she was serious. it’s ability to deliver “mild IVIG” benefits. getting dressed) made getting anywhere on time a rare occurrence. And anything not done in the right certain order or not lined up perfectly or tapped the precise number of times resulted in sheer. Real life experience. the PANDAS symptoms were nearly gone. They possessed something the doctors didn't have. makes it ideal for PANDAS kids. The tics calmed but were never completely gone. I'll admit. But. We listened to the PANDAS experts and started her on rounds of antibiotics. 15 | P a g e . I'll be forever in debt to one such friend who clued me in to the miraculous healing properties of camel milk. Within a week. "Back to baseline" never felt like more of a victory. But we had no choice. of course that after all we'd been through.complete an exact order of events before every single routine (eating. Perhaps the intensity of the tics or the doctor's warning of how serious PANDAS can be.that we needed to stop the antibiotics and try natural treatments. I had to trust the parents. It was then that I determined – with help from other parents . After weighing it in my mind. They had been through it and knew firsthand. The same gut we were so intent on healing. teeth brushing. panic stricken meltdowns. I was afraid natural treatments wouldn't be enough and we'd lose the gains we saw with antibiotics. That same friend also steadfastly stood by my side as I ditched the prescription antibiotics and lined up the herbs.
I created a video chronicling her progress. through our story. A real difference in her world. but I am also so very. and I gave up that idea to heal my daughter. no matter how small. I hand them their own chisel. and sometimes. I think. There was a time I wanted to travel the world. Tear down that wall.. And it’s the beginning of their own journey. Helping ensure that other parents have an easier time getting started on their child's road to recovery is something I do every day.And never did I feel so. They come to me with their own dreams rearranged in the face of what feels like a devastating diagnosis. very grateful for the chance to reach out to them and help. We now have followers from all corners of the earth. I am always so. The video led to a website. and then a blog. At first. to channel our frustration in the face of all of these burdens heaped on an innocent little girl. the treatments we’ve tried. is giving hope to many. so sorry to open another email and find out that another child is sick. “That happened to us and here’s what worked. although not yet complete. --------------16 | P a g e . We talk openly of the challenges we’ve faced. I know I'm making a difference. I get heartbreaking e-mails all the time from people new to autism. Go get ‘em. Caroline's healing story.” I’ll say. Now. the first time they’ve felt hope in some time. --------------- When Caroline began healing. the world comes to us. it was just so we could record her challenges. irreplaceable! With each gain..
and also wonderful. Life is messy and complicated. like he settled. I’ve done something much. Instead. and more ambitious. A girl who's recovering from autism. I'm somebody very important indeed. Before Caroline’s diagnosis.I had this idea long ago about the kind of mark I wanted to leave on this world. I wanted to build something grand. I'm Caroline’s mom. I felt sorry for George. like he missed out on his dreams. My dreams of leaving a mark on this world have come true. I still watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” every Christmas. much harder. something that would touch the sky. It’s interesting to me how I relate to it differently as I live my own life. Plans change. 17 | P a g e . But dreams change. I’m healing a child with autism.
regardingcaroline. The message that there’s always hope is a pervasive theme in her articles. When she isn’t blogging or researching. Journey to Recovery Videos. --------------- Rebecca Ferguson authors the website Regarding Caroline. www.This e-book is dedicated to parents everywhere fighting for their children and one stone at a time. Printed in the United States of America AvantBooks | First Printing. Blog posts and more.regardingcaroline.scribd.com 18 | P a g e . Facebook: Regarding Caroline Twitter: @regcaroline Click to subscribe to blog updates via email --------------- Copyright © 2012 Regarding Caroline All rights reserved.com/doc/91473446 www. April 2012 Originally published as e-book: www. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the author.com for Caroline’s Story. she’s helping other parents in the community heal their children. changing the world.
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