Thursday, June 19, 2008

Dr. Woeller

Whew, I am exhausted and yet exhilarated all at the same time!! Matthew and I just got back yesterday from a whirl wind trip to Temecula via San Diego. We left Monday and came home yesterday. We got in to see a wonderful doctor, Kurt Woeller, in Temecula who specializes in Autism Spectrum disorders. We had our appointment on Tuesday from 2 - 4 pm. It was a comprehensive review of Matthew's medical/developmental history and also a physical exam (quick). I had a chance to explain my own theories about what is going on. For the past 6 months or so (after being on a web conference call with Dr. Woeller which sparked much of my research) I had been investigating the role of viruses in Matthew's challenges. He had chicken pox (which is a strain of Herpes virus) at 6 months and then again at 3 years old. I had chicken pox twice, Eric's dad died of herpes encephalitis which is super rare and they attributed it to his 2 tours in Vietnam and possible agent orange exposure as a reason why his immune system was depleted. Eric's mom also had chicken pox and shingles. The herpes strain of viruses has been linked to autism-like behaviors in young children. And, Eric's family also has a history of having low body temperatures. As you know, our temperature is what helps fight off viruses and germs, which is why we run a fever when sick. Matthew rarely runs a fever, even when very sick. I started to think about that and wonder if there was a viral issue that his body was unable to fight and that is contributing to his issues. When he did run fevers I would notice really interesting changes in his ability to communicate, new cognitive thinking, complex thinking, etc. and yet that "improvement" would go away after a few days after he was done being sick. Dr. Woeller immediately said that I am definitely on to something with my theory (nice to know I am not crazy!). He agrees that there is an immune system dysfunction, viral issues and also a yeast overgrowth. We've been treating him for systemic yeast since December using dietary enzymes. We may move to a more aggressive treatment once the testing is done. So, he has suggested Methyl B-12 injections which arrived today and WE have to give him a dose every 3 days. But the needle is super small and after speaking with parents and watching videos online, the kids don't even feel it, many get the shots in their sleep! We can officially vouch for this since we did give him his first shot and he never even knew what was happening, and he was awake! Dr. Woeller did prescribe a numbing cream which he says is probably more for our benefit! :) But, he did order extensive labs, stool samples, urine samples, etc. So, we are having the whole workup done and will FINALLY get a good look at the metabolic and biological processes that are happening inside Matthew. I am NOT looking forward to getting his blood drawn but he said to use the numbing cream on his arms to help with that (I hope it works as well as it did for the methyl B-12 shot!). Dr. Woeller said our strict adherence to the GFCF diet has really made improvements in him just by hearing what life was like before and after removing wheat and dairy. He thinks we are on a great path to helping Matthew get past these issues! The stories of success using the Methyl B-12 shots are amazing and I can't wait to see if it helps with Matthew! Matthew has made so much amazing progress already just by the diet modifications and supplements we done on our own, I can only imagine what will happen with the guidance of someone who really knows what he's talking about! He explained the Methylization process that happens in the brain. Basically the cell needs certain conditions for them to "fire" and talk to one another. There are a few things at play that effect that and Matthew has most of them (temperature issue, omega 3 overload and possible viral issues) so he is an excellent candidate for this therapy. I will keep everyone posted on what comes from this. Our lab appt. is on Monday, now THAT I am not looking forward to!!


Shari Goodman said...

B12 shots have been a great blessing in our lives. We started at every 3 days and now give them daily. Tate doesnt care much about them so I don't have to have Mommy guilt. I am glad you found a great Dr. I love mine and they are so hard to find! Good luck. Be patient. It is only another beginning on another long journey.

Sherri said...

Matthew is so lucky to have a mom like you -- always striving to learn new ways to help him with his struggles. I admire you.

M_&_Em's_Momma said...

Thanks Sherri! I always feel like I need to do more or better! Especially today which has been hectic and I feel like "mean mommy". Your comment really cheered me up!!