It’s been a month since Andy left us…..

My blog has been quiet for just over a month in honor of Andy Cutler.  Partly because I wanted to dedicate that entire month to him by leaving my post honoring him front and center but also because I’m just still reeling from this loss.

During the month of August we have been struggling with sleep issues that stem back a good year with my son. He gets to sleep, albeit late but then he was waking up every night around 2am and not getting back to sleep until nearly 4am. This was reeking havoc on our entire day because he was just too tired during the day to get much done.

I was too tired from being up late with him trying to get him to sleep too so my troubleshooting was clouded. After talking with a friend she suggested I get aggressive with adrenal support. So I doubled his current dose and he did begin to sleep at night. We had a few wakings after that but it’s settled down mostly. We also added in flower essences for good measure because by this time he was anxious about getting to and staying asleep.

I’m now regrouping myself so we can get back to rounds and whatever else we need to do. We’ve finished his antiviral protocol and his low dose naltrexone treatment. No more thyroid antibodies for now. We see the doc with fresh labs in October so it seems like we have made some progress on that front.

We are working in bits on his sensory and I’ll post about that shortly and let you now where we are now. It’s been hard this past month because I’ve just not felt like I could write anything at all, let alone a post. I guess that’s part of grieving but I know Andy would want us to pick up the pieces and carry on.

So carry on we will!

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Tribute to Andy Cutler…..

Andrew Hall Cutler, PhD, PE, 1956-July 29, 2017

This is going to be the hardest post I’ve ever had to write. My heart is heavy, I am in shock. I am deeply profoundly… sad. It feels like the air has been sucked out of the world.  We have lost a very dear man, a hero, a true warrior in the autism and mercury poisoning community.

We lost the man who saved my son from autism! The man who led the charge in safe chelation. The man who save ME from mercury poisoning.

I feel as part of Andy’s legacy I need to talk about the man I knew.

Andrew Hall Cutler, PhD, or as we fondly call him, Andy, the well-educated Princeton man who knew so much about so many things. He was the man behind the frequent dose chelation movement. Heck, he invented it!! That’s why it’s called ACC or Andy Cutler chelation. He was mercury poisoned himself by amalgam fillings and found that mainstream chelation was getting it all wrong. It was making people worse.  Rather than accept that, he led the charge to develop a safe protocol. He chelated himself safely and went on to teach the rest of the world.

Without Andy, I would still be very sick and I would not be sitting here writing this post today. Let me tell you about the man I knew.

I began my journey on the Autism-Mercury Yahoo group in 2006. This is where I met him years ago.  Andy interpreted my kid’s hair tests for me….for free. He did that for tons of people all the time. Andy answered thousands of questions through email, online groups, by phone…….every day, all week, all year. He never stopped helping random nameless strangers all over the world asking for his help. I used to try to imagine what his inbox looked like when he logged in…because I know mine was full. His must have been massive. Somehow he still replied.

He was there with his knowledge when we encountered some tremendous struggles with my son’s health that didn’t even have anything to do with mercury or autism.  I have years of emails from him and ya know what? He never once asked me for anything in return. That was Andy.

He knew there were millions of us lurking out here in the online world suffering…terribly, from mercury poisoning and his mission was to get them the information they needed to get their health back

I had the unique gift to be more than just a mercury poisoned mom or parent of an autistic kid. Andy and I were forum gurus, and business colleagues. We were in the trenches fighting the same war.  Without him, neither of my books would exist and all those children that are healing today because of Fight Autism and Win, would not be.

That is an epic rippled effect. A huge legacy. The number of lives he’s touched is innumerable.

When I was writing my chelation books, Andy was there. Encouraging me, giving his suggestions and his approval. In fact one of our last Facebook messages was him encouraging to me to write another book. He felt that Tressie and I worked well together, we wrote well together, and he wanted us to write another book. It was his words that encouraged me. Here he is this published PhD scholar and he’s telling me “Hey, you’re good at this, write more!”.

Andy was truly one of a kind. He was something special. He had a way of handling people to motivate them into doing something. He moved millions into doing something about their mercury poisoning. How many people have that kind of oomph!

Andy was in essence…a force beyond comprehension.  Andy was brilliant.  He never stopped amazing me with the plethora of things he knew.

He was even there as a mentor and advisor in all things business and authorship.

He and I had this ongoing thing of back and forth emails about copyright infringements. He’d find one for my books and tell me. I’d find one on his books and tell him. He always thanked me.  I didn’t have to do it and he knew that….he appreciated it.  Andy took me under his wing as an author and helped me navigate life as an author. There were so many new things to deal with when you go from forum parent or moderator to a published author. Andy showed me those ropes. Again, never asking me for anything in return.

Beyond our business relationship as fellow authors and entrepreneurs….

I can’t begin to say how I feel about him in terms of my children. Without Andy, I can’t imagine where my son would have ended up. Not just my son but looking at my healthy successful adult daughter today…..that’s all because of Andy.

I truly owed him my life. I could never repay him for these gifts he gave me and the entire mercury community. I hope his family knows how much we all appreciated him.

Exchanging holiday cards, book orders, late night email discussions about all sorts of things…I’m going to miss those things. So many nights over the last 10 years of firing off a late night email, “Hey Andy, I got a questions about….?”  I always sent it under the assumption that he didn’t have to answer it and if he did, it might be a few days or a week.  Five minutes later I had an answer in my inbox. That was Andy

We’d go back and forth discussing this or that. Many times talking about things that had no relation to mercury at all.

For life of me I don’t know how he juggled it all but he didn’t know I juggled it all either. He told me he had the greatest respect for a mom like me that juggled not only a special needs child, but homeschooling and still managing my book sales, and the forums. I was still helping others…when I was so tired and had so little left to give. He recognized that when few people did.

I loved his perspective and I could always count on him to analyze something fairly. If I were upset about a situation, he helped me take the emotional response out of it and look at it more objectively. He was perspective for many of us. He was our leader, our guide, our light at the end of the tunnel. He was more than just some guy online with a chelation protocol. He was a pillar and founder of this movement.

He was very good at resisting the rumor mills, the conspiracy theories, or other modalities that crop up in the mercury online community. He was grounded in reality. He grounded many of us in it as well by pulling us back when mercury was pushing one into that mad hatter’s world.

It’s hard to write this because this is a loss that can’t be computed. You can’t replace Andy and you wouldn’t want to try. He was one of a kind.  I think it’s important to remember that he may be gone but a little bit of him is with each of us. The way he mentored so many of us, taught us what he knew, left us with his writings/books. He has left us a wonderful gift of his work and his knowledge.

His work and his contributions will continue through all of us. This torch will be carried by those of us who knew him and worked alongside Andy doing what he did. We are his Army. We will not stop his mission, but we will carry it forth.

We will continue to teach others how to do safe chelation. We will help them get their health back like he helped so many of us. We will continue to honor him and share his legacy.

From my family to Andy’s family, you have our deepest condolences and our gratitude for sharing this beloved man with us. He spent a lot of time online with all of us and that must have been a sacrifice for you. We are truly indebted and grateful.

I’m going to miss Andy….

Kids that don’t take pills

Many parents easily teach their young children to swallow pills. The sooner you can do this, the better. However, there are a subset of sensory or oral motor kids that just can’t seem to manage this task. It’s a very stressful for them and their parents.

That is our case. Every time we talk about helping my child learn this he gets very upset. It deeply stresses him because anytime he’s tried, it’s not ended well. He gags and/or vomits. He is very sensitive to tastes and smells. He gags terribly for tooth brushing or dental care.

Sometimes you have to pick your battles and you have to come to terms that your child just can’t do it right now. This doesn’t prevent you from chelating and giving supplements but you will have to be more creative than other parents.

We have so many more product formulations today than we had when I first started this and that has made it easier over the years.

I’m going to share what has worked for us. Maybe it will inspire you and help you find what will work for your child.  All in all, don’t give up, keep trying and make sure you taste the things you expect your child to take. I found out that often when he refused to take something it was because it really did taste horrible. So check!

When we started biomed he would not take a medicine syringe. He would scream, cry and vomit up whatever you gave him. The syringe was a very feared object for him and without any due cause since he did not have any previous experience with them.

How you approach kids like this is going to take some creative thinking and patience. A medicine syringe needs to be introduced slowly and in a fun way if you plan to use that. I detail the process I used in this blog post.

In the early days I was able to take one of those small juice boxes and remove some of the juice (so it doesn’t overflow when you add the vitamins). I would mix all the supplements into it and squirt it back into the box. For the life of me I have no idea how he drank this because it didn’t taste good but he did. Then one day it seemed like his tongue woke up and he refused to take it anymore. It is fairly common to have to adapt things periodically on this journey.

I moved to a variety of flavored and unflavored powders and mixed those into food and juice.

His night-time syringes didn’t last long for chelation either. From that point I moved to using miniature peanut butter cups to give chelator and a few of his supplements. Not all of them of course. He only gets 2 of these on any given day unless he is on a round.

When I use peanut butter cups for chelation, I add some extras things so he gets everything he needs. Vitamin C, magnesium, GSE, vitamin E or milk thistle all have passed the sensory taste test when mixed into the peanut butter filling with chelator. Many might be concerned about sugar on the teeth at night but I had to let go of this worry in order to chelate him. If this concerns you, you will need to work at figuring out what oral/motor issue is preventing capsule swallowing and find appropriate therapy.

What we are using now for supplements:

Bear in mind what I have listed here is just what my son has to be on right now.  These are the products I found that he will take willingly. I am sure they are many others you can use. (look for the best absorbed forms of a vitamin or mineral)

Most important!!! You don’t need all of these to chelate. My goal was to demonstrate that even with this list you can figure out a way to make it work. The essential vitamins for chelation are: vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium and zinc. Those can all be given in powder, gummy or chewable form except vitamin E. It does not come in any of those but the gel caps are easy to puncture and mix the oil into nut butter.

Key Points to Remember:

    • Taste it! Make sure what you are asking them to take is reasonable.
    • Magnesium citrate is bitter and hard to hide.
    • Fish oil is better flavored and cold.
    • Vitamin C powder is tart, best in juice.
    • You can add calcium powder to pancakes and baked goods
    • Vitamin A, C and E are probably best not heated or cooked with.
    • Keep your probiotics at least 4 hours away from your antifungals. (everything else can be taken as it fits into the 4x a day schedule)
    • Zinc is always better with meals. It can cause nausea otherwise although I don’t find the sublinguals to do this for us.

You will find what works for your child. Just start with the basic four because sometimes once you start chelating, taking supplements becomes easier for them. Keep in mind,  zinc deficiency can be a primary reason to refuse food and supplements, so sometimes addressing this first will help.

Most of all, don’t give up! Don’t think you can’t chelate because your kid won’t take pills. It’s simply not true.