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Update on Stephanie (May 06, 2009 - 5:10 p.m.)

It's been a while since I updated on Stephanie's progress. It certainly isn't because the news is not good. We've had some pretty good progress over the past few weeks.

About a week and a half ago, we had an appointment with Dr. Constantine Kotsanis in Grapevine. He is a doctor that is known for treating autism using alternative treatments. He is a founding member of the organization called DAN (Defeat Autism Now).

It was an interesting consultation, and resulted in us spending a great deal of money on initial testing (some of which will be recouped from insurance, but the doctor, himself, is not on any insurance plans). We are awaiting the results of those tests and have a second meeting with him on May 18.

He started us on some supplements for Stephanie right off the bat. Those are Pro DHA (an essential fatty acid), L-Glutamine (for healing the digestive lining), Ortho Digestzyme (a digestive enzyme), and Saccharomyces boulardi (a probiotic/antifungal). If you can say that last one, you're smarter than me!

We also have removed all dairy from Stephanie's diet. She has not been allowed to have milk or ice cream for quite a few years. We have now gone further, not allowing cheese or any other dairy.

Between finally getting her meds straightened out, changing the school situation, these supplements and the diet adjustment, we practically have a different daughter in the house! The difference is amazing. Unfortunately, as always, there are multiple factors going on at the same time, so it is impossible to tell which one is the most responsible.

Today, Stephanie went to every one of her classes and stayed in some of the for the entire period. She also went to church with us last Sunday, for the first time since her huge meltdown a few weeks ago.

Needless to say, we are ecstatic, and are giving thanks to God for the improvements.

The tests will tell us more, especially concerning what Dr. Kotsanis suspects is hypothyroidism, which does not treat with synthroid, as traditional doctors do. They also are testing for almost 100 different food allergies. We got stool samples, urine samples, saliva samples. Oh, and I got to look at a slide of her blood through a microscope at the office. It's called a "darkfield" test. I saw normal red blood cells, white blood cells (he called these "allergy" cells), fungus or yeast cells, and a few other things that he said were chronic infections. The good news, he said, was that everything was "reversible." Again, our followup for the test results is on May 18.

I only hope we can afford to continue the treatments he recommends. These supplements are expensive, but I think some of them can be found at vitamin/health food stores.

Of course, we appreciate all of the prayers and support that we have received, especially during those couple of weeks when things got really tense. It's during times like those that you find out how loving a church family can be. And the people at South Haltom Community Church came through for us in a huge way!

That's it for this update...I'll post more as we go.

TTFN, y'all!!

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