Packing Autism’s Supplements

I found myself surrounded by this mess today and I got to thinking.

When did life become a giant supplement mess where I work on perfecting my career as a compounding pharmacist?

Anytime we plan to leave home for a few days there is always the challenge of how to bring all the supplements without bringing all the containers. Sometimes I wonder if I shouldn’t just buy a Rubbermaid tote on wheels to put it all in.

I can’t count the times I’ve been thankful that I don’t have a pantry because I fear there wouldn’t be any food in it.  You’d open the doors and see shelves of vitamins. It really would look like a vitamin store. And while that thought is something I can quickly pass away because we have no pantry, I know that there are families out that where this is probably true.

Most of us ASD mom’s know that if you don’t bring what you need, it’s highly unlikely you are going to be able to find it at the local one-stop-shop in small town nowhere. Most of the places we go the word “gluten” is relatively unknown let alone theanine or melatonin. Or whatever supplement or allergy friendly food you might have forgotten.

I’ve learned over the years that you better just pack it. So my morning panic began as I measured out scoops of this and that and put them into tiny vitamin bags. Then I labelled each bag for the day and time he has to take it.  Of course I forgot a few things so I had to go back and pry open these teeny bags without spilling them and add those.

I also have to think of what else might come up while we are away?  Yeast, sleep issues, anxiety?  Any of the above. As my mind is racing to think of what I automatically give him each day I have to think of what else we might need. What’s already in my purse like activated charcoal, aconite. And what isn’t. Then gamble as to whether or not we will need it or if we can get away with out it.

That’s when I realize I am surrounded by all these open containers of supplements.  I think back and barely remember when I used to pack and all we brought was some aspirin in case someone got a headache. Now I have a mini vitamin store. We actually pack a bag labelled “supplements”.

And I wonder if someday we wont need all this to leave the house for a few days? I hope that someday we won’t.

Sometimes I look around at what my kitchen has become and I think back to when we moved into this house 11 years ago. I was pregnant with my son and I thought, “wow there are so many cupboards, I’ll never fill all these”.   That may have been true before autism and before biomed took my kitchen.

Today these are things we can’t do without. These are things that keep us healthy and keep my son healthy. These things make up for the food that autism won’t let him taste and eat. These allow him to function so much better than he could without them.  These allow his body to heal while he chelates out the metals.

I don’t know if we will ever see a day when I get my cabinets back. Or a day I don’t have vitamins in my purse, but for all the good things supplements have done for my family, it’s worth all the counter and cupboard space lost. It’s worth all the fumbling with measuring spoons and the tiny bags. It’s worth the part of my working memory that maintains a inventory of what supplements we have, what’s low and what needs to ordered.

Parents who don’t have children on the spectrum may never realize what things we have to do as parents with children on the spectrum. But it is the reality for us. It’s a necessary part of every day. And without it things would be tremendously worse.

While thinking about all of these things I did finally get all his supplements packed today. And I got it all to fit in a one gallon size Ziploc bag!!


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