Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Under the Rug

With as much traffic our floors and carpets get, I've often wondered if it would be wise to purchase a steam cleaner. During Ronan's de-robing phase a few weeks ago, I came to a conclusion that YES, we do need our own steam cleaner.

During that phase, I scrubbed Ronan's bedroom carpet daily.  The cleaner I got his carpet, the dingier other carpeting in the house started to look.  While trying to recall the last time we had them professionally cleaned, I remembered a conversation that the carpet cleaner guy and I had.  

We were talking about our kids, the summer, and fun family things to do in town.  Halfway through the conversation, Ronan walked into the room where we were talking.  Boy was he was a sight!  Ronan had tried to put on a bathing suit over his shorts, two pair of swim goggles, and swim floaties--both of them on one arm.  

The carpet cleaner guy stopped mid sentence.  Ronan, taking no notice of him, stood in of him and stared at me.  Signing 'swim, water, boat', his way of saying that he wants to go to the pool, Ronan reached for my hand.  I offered it but didn't leap into action.  Tugging on my hand, Ronan looked puzzled.  It would be at least another hour before the carpet cleaning crew was done.  That, and because it was raining, had us staying home with no plans to go swimming that day.  But Ronan didn't care.  He wanted to go swimming.  Now.  

What followed wasn't pretty.  

The carpet cleaner guy witnessed sadness, frustration, and the beginnings of a meltdown.  I don't know if it broke his heart.  But it broke mine.  I wrote some thoughts down after the guy left and after I'd successfully redirected Ronan.   

Cat - 1, Carpet Cleaner Dude - 0

I win. 

The guy had zero knowledge of vaccine injury.  Or, maybe he was just clueless.  Maybe that's a good thing (he and his wife homeschool the kids and, come to find out, lots of their homeschooling friends do not vaccinate, maybe their friends' influence helped).  He and I each have five children in the same age range.  It was interesting to share what I knew, and for him to see how we lived.  It was very interesting watching him watch Ronan.  The carpet cleaner dude could easily see the difficulties and the non-verbal struggles.  He saw that clearly.  But he knew that their was a great amount of beauty in my child, too.

Maybe this guy didn't have to play the Russian roulette/dodge the bullet with any of his five children. Maybe he vaccinated some and they all walked away unscathed.  He didn't share that with me.  But, as I started to tell Ronan's story he was shocked, you know the cover-your-mouth-reaction shocked.  His eyes got wider as I told him about what happened to Ronan--happy and healthy, then vaccines, then slower to develop, then the discovery of no immunity to the diseases despite the shots, then the seizures, and now special ed, and fighting, and praying, and hoping, and thinking and forever advocating for all vaccine-injured kiddos.  

While I could've talked longer, what I was telling him left him speechless.  

Maybe he was just lucky.  Maybe they were lucky.  Either way, his kids have a chance to be typical, well-developed, and on target with their skills and with learning.  They have a chance to be pain-free, to grow up to be active members of society who will hopefully understand, sympathize and empathize and do something about the atrocities my children have suffered, seen and will possibly live with their entire lives.

He stole glances at Ronan as I spoke, as I shared as much as I could during the time he spent in our home.  As he listened, the carpet cleaner guy wasn't just a carpet cleaner guy anymore.  He was a Dad, a Dad who listened to every word I said while we sat at my kitchen table. Hopefully Ronan's story cemented a thing or two in his mind:

Always educate before you vaccinate. 

Trust your instincts. 

Protect your children. 

Trust me.

You do not want to be on this side of a vaccine injury.  

Cat - 0, Carpet Cleaning Dude - 1


Our carpets got a good cleaning that day.  They looked better than when we originally installed them.  I was pleased with the work that was done.  Had I not been pleased, or had I later discovered damage when the rugs had completely dried, I was assured that the work done that day came with a money-back guarantee.  

It's nice when a company exceeds customer satisfaction.  I've found that not all companies and businesses do that, including the ones profiting from vaccines.  When it comes to those companies, people need to know that once the vaccine goes in, and if damage is done, vaccine consumers are on their own.  Too many people don't know that fact because it's quickly swept under the rug.  That's a big reason why I continue to share Ronan's story.  That's why I shared it the day our carpets were cleaned.  

Ronan's story has a great impact on people, especially the ones whose children have been spared. Watching Ronan struggle and get frustrated and seeing that as much as I want to take his pain and frustration away, I cannot not makes people, like the carpet cleaner guy, realize just how lucky they truly are.  

Ronan's meltdowns are difficult to see, and they leave an impression that can last a long time. Hopefully it lasts long enough to prevent another vaccine injury.  

xo, Cat

Friday, September 25, 2015

It Bears Repeating

We've added a toddler-friendly gizmo to the car seat Ronan is still using.  It's a plush strap cover that has a bear head on it. I hated to have to add the strap cover, but with how Ronan wiggles, it's a safe extra layer of soft fabric over the thin seat belt material.  

Let's just say that Ronan doesn't love it  Beside it being something new for him to get used to, Ronan especially didn't love the bear head that was sewn on the strap.  After he tried to yank that off, I cut it off and brought it inside to the kitchen.

The same day that I put the strap cover on Ronan's car seat was the same day that I was asked a slew of questions about my kids' health.  It was a friendly conversation and also third one I'd had on the topic in less than a week.  During the three conversations, I was asked my thoughts about vaccines.  Funny that so many of the conversations I have lead back to that subject.  

I am happy to be a source of information, but it made me sad that the people, all educated, all experts in their field, all concerned about diseases but also about vaccines, lacked enough information to be able to come to a solid decision about them.  I could hear their concern in their voices and in the questions they did not ask their doctor but instead asked me.  Their doctors said, 'Here, you need this shot.  Get it.' 

But they didn't stick around to talk about the vaccine ingredients.  

They didn't explain the risks of vaccination.  

They didn't share what side effects to look for.  

They didn't offer advice should an adverse reaction result. 

The longer our conversations went, the more I realized how very little their doctors did to fully inform their patients.  Some people prefer to blindly trust what they are told (I was that person, too), but I think if someone is being asked to be a partner in a decision they must be presented with a lot more information than what each of these three people had been given.  Because some patients are not being treated as partners, some facts about vaccines bear repeating.  Here are a few of them.  

These are some lists and questions that I've suggested in the past to people to ask their provider when vaccines come up.  

Ask 8 - a short list, but a good starting point.  

Pros and Cons - your list will certainly be different from my list, but here are some other things people may want to consider.

Of course many more links, books, and websites exist and can be read, studied, and cited, but this next list, which I happened to stumble upon after that third vaccine conversation came up last week, is one of the best lists of questions I have seen in one place.  I could not love this list more. 

From Natural Immunity Community: Question to ask your Pediatrician before you allow them to vaccinate your healthy newborn.
Can you show me any studies regarding infant vaccines being tested directly on infants, and comparing the observations to non vaccinated infants? There are none, those studies have never been done.
Can you show me any studies regarding childhood vaccines being tested directly on children, and comparing the observations to non vaccinated children? There are none, those studies have never been done.
Can you show me any studies that prove giving more than one vaccine at a time has been proven safe? There are none, those studies have never been done.
Can you show me any studies that prove that the current vaccine schedule is safe? There are none, those studies have never been done.
Can you show me any studies which prove that the vaccines recommended for pregnant women, have been tested on pregnant women? There are none, those studies have never been done.
Can you show me any studies that prove that vaccinated children are healthier and don't get the targeted diseases, compared to un-vaccinated children? There are none, those studies have never been done by a government or vaccine maker.
Can you show me any studies that prove that the heavy metal preservatives in vaccines (mercury and aluminum) have been proven safe for infants, children or adults? There are none, those studies have never been done.
Can you show me the studies where vaccinated people were exposed to the targeted virus, to prove that vaccinated people don't acquire the targeted disease when the targeted virus enters their system? There are none, those studies have never been done.
Can you show me the studies that follow a group of vaccinated people, after they leave the hospital or doctor's office, which proves that people who get vaccines don't fall ill after the shot? There are none, those studies have never been done.
Can you show me the studies where vaccines were compared to any modality of healthy living (like sleep, exercise, water, vitamins, eating organic vegetables etc) for effects on immunity. There are none, those studies have never been done.
Can you explain to me doctor, in a logical way, why antibody production, after vaccine injection, is the only proof needed to prove a vaccine works, even though many incidents exist where a vaccinated person does produce disease specific antibodies yet still gets the targeted disease, and sometimes dies from that exact disease? Can you explain this highly irrational concept, that a vaccine is considered effective when it produces antibodies and not because the vaccinated person was tested against the target virus, and declared more immune than a non vaccinated person?
If you were the government and wanted to prove once and for all that vaccines work, wouldn't you survey vaccinated people after they're vaccinated, to prove they're healthier, that they don't get sick in general and don't get the targeted disease?
What about surveying sick people with say the flu, when they enter the hospital? Wouldn't it be a slam dunk to announce that everyone entering the hospital in 2014-2015, who had the flu, were un-vaccinated? Why do you think your government avoids doing these simple surveys? The governments (ruling families) don't do these studies because the already know what's happening......because they've designed what's happening.
You are free to awaken at anytime.

(I saw those posted on FB by a friend with credit given to Natural Immunity Community.  I have not been able to find that group online yet, but when I do, I will edit this post with a direct link.)  

I am asked about vaccines quite a bit.  I do not mind being a source for someone who is looking for information about them, but I hope I'm just a stepping stone.  I don't claim to know all there is to know about them.  I will share what I do know and what I have experienced but it's with the hope that whoever is asking me questions will then continue to read, to search, and to be confident in whatever decision they end up making.

After repeating my suggestions to the third concerned parent last week, when I hung up the phone I walked through the kitchen and glanced at the little bear head that I'd just cut off of Ronan's strap cover.  It's a happy little bear, but it wasn't happily received by Ronan.  Had Ronan never been injured, he wouldn't need this silly bear strap cover.  

Had Ronan never been injured...

But he was.  And I've learned a great deal because of it and other people recognize that.  So when that phone rings again, and when the parent on the other end is desperately looking for answers, I'll repeat a promise I made to myself:  to answer that call and help.  

As unbearable as it sometimes is to talk about Ronan's vaccine injury, I promise that I will help.  To share our story one more time.  To send those links one more time.  To speak up one more time.  To remind them it should be no one else's decision to make but theirs.  And to let them know that they can avoid what I did not.  

xo, Cat

Monday, September 21, 2015

Believe It

Ronan is non-verbal and non-conversational.  We know that he has far more receptive language than expressive language, so we're always thinking outside the box to find ways for Ronan to successfully communicate with us.  While we pray that the expressive language catch up with the receptive, we celebrate mini-milestones whenever they happened.  Like this one that happened yesterday, which I shared with family and friends on FB:

Another awesome moment brought to you by Ronan!  He has never shown us that he knows how old he is.  All these years I wondered if he understood that concept.  Does he have a clue?  

I think he does.  

We were just going over some sign language and one of the prompts was 'How old are you?'.  I put a piece of paper in front of Ronan after and signed to him.  Ronan looked at me and then wrote 12 on the paper.  Thinking it was a fluke, I asked Ronan again how old he was.  

He took the pencil and wrote on the paper again.


Not totally believing him (why I don't know...the kid is so smart!) I asked him a few minutes later, "How old are you?"

Once more, he wrote 12.  

Yep, he's 12, and yep, he sure showed me!

Sometimes, I'm one of those see-it-to-believe-it type of people.  That isn't a bad thing.  It isn't a bad thing especially when it's Ronan who helps me to see and to believe.  

I believe in you, Buddy.  I always will.  

xo, Cat

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Holy Mary, Mother of God

Before I'm a mom, wife, friend, sister, or daughter, I am Catholic.  I've felt that way for as long as I can remember.  Other people recognize that about me and ask me to pray for them or for their special intention, and I appreciate that.   

Some thing that I am always doing is praying.  I pray constantly--for my kids, my family, for friends, and for so many other things, too.  I don't always follow a set prayer routine but will sometimes bounce between a few prayers throughout the day.  I say the Guardian Angel prayer when I think about my kids:

Angel of God, my guardian dear...protect my kids while they out with friends. 

Angel of God, my guardian dear...the world needs more peace than senseless act of violence. 

Angel of God, my guardian dear...I need comfort after feeling overwhelmed. 

Some days when I pray, I have the Hail Mary on replay:  

Hail Mary, full of I wake and start a new day.  

Hail Mary, full of I change another one of Ronan's diapers.

Hail Mary, full of I struggle to understand why some things are so difficult.

Other days, I find myself saying only one part of that prayer:

Holy Mary, Mother of God...

When I find myself saying just that part, I don't finish the prayer.  Instead, as I say, Holy Mary, Mother of God I imagine how Mary would've looked peacefully at baby Jesus as He woke from a nap.  I imagine how Mary would've peered through the window as Joseph rounded the corner from a day of work.  I imagine how Mary would've been pleased to see Jesus grow and develop like the other children in their village.  Then, I imagine how Mary would've been humble, and holy, and generous, and respectful, and always kind in her actions, deeds, and responses to others.  

Holy Mary, Mother of God...I, too, always wish to be humble, and holy, and generous, and respectful, and to only be kind in my actions, deeds, and responses.  But, it's hard to always be humble.  And holy. And generous.  And respectful and kind in all that I do, in all that I say, and in all that I think.  

I know it's possible though.  So, I continue to pray and to look up to Mary, who today we honor as we celebrate the Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  

Hail Mary, 
full of grace.  
The Lord is with Thee.  
Blessed are Thou among women, 
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.  
Holy Mary, Mother of God, 
pray for us sinners now, 
and at the hour of death. 


xo, Cat

Friday, September 11, 2015

Finding Tomorrow

"The past. They cling to it. The present.  They work through it. The future. They very easily could resent how it was ripped to shreds and taken away that awful day ten years ago."

That was part of a reflection of thoughts I shared on the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks.  I, like many others, can instantly remember exactly where I was on that day.  I can recall the images.  I can feel the emotions.  I can imagine going back in time to that day wishing it had never happened.  

I often recall the past.  My head is full of memories--happy ones, sad ones, good one, and not so good ones.  I've made all sorts of wonderful memories.  But I can recall other kinds that I wish I could leave behind.  

I've been told that I should let the past go.  To not think about it.  To not dwell on it.  The past helps no one, Cat.  It's the future you should behold.  Aim for it!  Go forward, not backward.  I don't think I can do that though.  The past is a springboard to the future.  To forget it completely?  No way.  I don't think I can.  

Forget how sick Ronan was?
Forget how I watched Ronan start to slip away from me?
Forget how uneducated I was as a Mom?
Forget how I finally learned how to help my child?
Forget how I figured out how to stand up for my child?
Forget how I discovered hope?

To forget all of that, to say it never happened, to continue to live like I was--uneducated, uninformed, unaware--no, thank you.  If I did that, I wouldn't be where I am today.  

I choose to live in the present, but I can never, ever forget the past.   The past shapes the future.  I believe that it always has.  Tragic events such as 9/11 remind me of that.  From that day, much has changed.  I think differently.  I live differently.  But I, like so many others, will always remember.  We remember what happened because we never want to forget what happened and what could have been.  

Never Forget
What could have been.  Some people will never be given a chance to know what could have been.  I think that as much as we hear that we should let the past go, that we should move on, that it's better to forget the past and to cling to the future, that people forget it's the past that brings us forward.   

The past.  We're remembering it today.  Today, we're thinking about 9/11.  We're recalling exactly where we were.  We're replaying the images in our minds.  We're reliving the emotions.  Because as painful as it is to remember, we must never forget.  

9/11 will forever be ingrained in my memory.  So will the day that I discovered why my child got sick.  So will the day when I decided to do something to help him.  And so will the day that I choose hope.  

I remember.  I recall exactly where I was and what I was doing.  I feel the same emotions of that day, too.  I cannot forget that day, those thoughts and those feelings.  It's in remembering that that I know I'll be able create a path to find tomorrow. 

xo, Cat

Friday, September 4, 2015

First Friday Reflections

When I was a child in Catholic school, we always went to Mass on First Friday.  I loved being able to go to Mass at school. Later, when I taught at a Catholic school, I was excited to bring my class to Mass on the first Friday of each month.  After I left the classroom, when time, naps and good energy levels and behavior permitted it, I'd take my own children to First Friday Mass.  I felt, and still feel, such comfort when I go to Church.  I'd describe it as a feeling of being home.  

I don't get to daily Mass nearly as often as I'd like to now.  Something else I don't get to do is take Ronan to Church.  I'd love nothing more than for him to go with us so that we can go to Church as a family.  We keep trying to bring Ronan, but he continues to struggle.  

Ronan still isn't handling Church very well lately.  That means that on Sundays, someone must stay home with him. My husband goes to the early Mass, and I go to the later Mass.  None of us like that we have to split up, but for now, it's what we have to do. 

Ronan's siblings have gotten used to that arrangement, but they keep praying that Ronan will be able to join them at Mass soon.  I keep hoping for that as well.  Hoping and praying.  We do a lot of that around here.  A quote I saw earlier this morning reminded my why we must continue to hope and to pray:  

Never stop believing in hope 
because miracles happen every day. 

Ronan's siblings' intercessory prayer:
Fr. Vincent Capodanno, pray for Ronan, his healing and recovery.  
We are constantly praying for a miracle for Ronan, for his healing and recovery.  Care to join us in that prayer?

xo, Cat

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Truer Words

Truer words were never spoken.  

I've seen variations of that a few times in the last week.  After reading a comment, made by a reader with a screen name Researcher, on my latest Sunday post, I'd like to borrow those words.  

Ronan was not injured because of you, 
but there is hope for his future because of you.

Talk about a compliment.  And talk about a truth bomb! 

Researcher had written more in the comment, which was very uplifting, but that last part made me cry. Don't worry; they were good tears, much-needed tears.  They were different than the ones I had when I wrote Baby of Mine.  The cry that I had while writing was a sad cry full of sad reminders.  Those tears were needed to.  They served as a cleanse as well as a reminder (which was later reiterated by
a dear friend and fellow autism parent) that as hard as things get, giving up is never an option.  

Giving up will never an option.  Nor will keeping silent.  All that I share and say and do are reminders--not just for me, but for those who read, and listen, and question what I share.  
Some begin to question what they've been taught or told. 

Others would rather not.  

Some heed the advice I offer.  

Others pass on it.  

Some hear Ronan's story and take it as a warning.  

Others do not.  

That's okay.  I respect that people will not always agree with me, but it won't stop me from sharing Ronan's story.   I'll continue to share that story with others because it's a story that started out like so many other children's stories started, "I had a beautiful, happy, healthy baby until..."  

I don't share Ronan's story, nor mine, to make people change their ways.  I share Ronan's story, and mine, because there is a story to tell.  When I share, I get all sorts of mixed responses.  Sometimes, though, it isn't a response that I get; it's a reminder.  And the reminder that is provided isn't for one of our readers.  It's for me.  

The reminder, like the one in Researcher's comment on Sunday, which happen to come at just the right time, at the end of a difficult day, when I had more negative thoughts than positive thoughts, and when it was I who needed to heed a message, was simple:

...there is hope for his future...

Truer words were never spoken, well, in this case written. 

I needed that reminder, because yes, there is hope for Ronan's future.  I don't know exactly what that looks like yet, but hope will always have a place in Ronan's future.   That I can guarantee.  

xo, Cat