“The monsters in my mind” (Raphi breakthrough)

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[Caution: To prevent possible head explosion if you are absolutely resolute that homeopathy doesn’t work, clutch both temples firmly and repeat “This is anecdotal evidence!” in a tone similar to Dorothy saying “There’s no place like home” five times before reading and thereafter as needed.]

As you know if you’ve been reading blogposts and so forth on this site, I have a son named Raphael but better known as Raphi, who turns 16 on Mar. 1, 2014, and has autism. You also know that I am a proponent and user of homeopathy, which is a health care modality of great popularity in many parts of the world but often maligned in North America due to the fact that it uses doses that are diluted to a degree beyond many people’s belief.

Over the years I have made various attempts to treat Raphi’s autism using homeopathy, engaging various homeopaths, with no really noticeable effects… whether that was because I didn’t stick with it long enough each time or they were choosing the wrong medicines, I’m not sure. (Homeopathic prescribing, like many things, is based on simple principles but is complex in practice, especially when treating complex conditions like autism.)

The latest course is with a dear friend of mine who prescribes single medicines with at least a month wait in between. The most recent she gave him was a very deep-acting one that can pave the way for the next one to work. While Raphi has had an obvious aggravation or two (the first sign that a medicine is right is often a short-term worsening of symptoms), there have been no major changes… just a slow improvement in the sophistication of the concepts he verbalizes, which could conceivably be due to maturation.

Until… well, let me set this up properly. When Raphi was prepubescent, he was a sweet, cheery, smiley little boy whom everybody loved. But with puberty, and increasingly as he’s matured physically, he began making spasmodic movements and random vocalizations, which became increasingly angry, to the point where they are deafening and quite alarming to people who aren’t used to them. He even started hitting himself and things such as walls and tables. As well, he became more defiant and better at utterly ignoring whatever was said to him… kind of the ultimate surly teenager. Anger became his permanent emotional state. He described it as being caused by “the monsters in my head.”

These behaviours got particularly bad in December and now into January, until I started to feel I was getting to the end of my rope. I hit a point where I had to do something… and Raphi’s homeopath didn’t get back to me right away. So, going on the double indication of anger and a possible trauma of a particular type when he was much younger, I chose a medicine that I’ve had very good—life-changing—results with myself (tendency to respond to a medicine can be hereditary), and gave it to him. This was last Thursday night, Jan. 16, around 7 or 8 p.m.

First he got an aggravation that was almost instant, as he told me himself: “My mind is bugging me again!” Then, in about ten or fifteen minutes, he underwent the most astonishing transformation.

The yells ceased. The spasming went away. He became much more responsive… as if he’d been far away and now suddenly had come back. When I said “I love you,” he said “I love you, Mom,” right back—not unprecedented, but exceedingly rare lately. At 5 p.m. when he’s supposed to feed the dog and I always have to remind him, he said “It’s 5 o’clock! Time to feed the dog!” and did it. Maybe the most amazing change was on his face: the hard, thin-lipped, twisted, furious expression was gone, replaced by an easy smile and eyes that looked like light had come back into them. He was like a different person… like he’d been before puberty, but in a wiry teen body with many more words in a deep voice.

Yes, homeopathy can have results this dramatic, this fast; I’ve seen it before. (In fact that life-changing outcome I myself had with the same medicine first manifested in about the same length of time, 10-15 minutes.) But never in my son! I was ecstatic… could this be permanent? Well, no. It passed over in about three hours; by bedtime he was agitated again. So I gave him a second dose—even though it was at a potency that isn’t usually given more than once a month. I was fast-dosing it almost like an acute illness. He slept. Next day, because he was difficult in the morning, I gave him another dose. According to his teacher he had a so-so day, but came back from school pretty good; when the angry behaviors came back, I gave him yet another dose. But I was starting to notice a diminishing effect. On Saturday, I tried a higher potency, but didn’t seem to produce any effects at all. I kind of gave up on Sunday, after giving him the highest potency that morning. That short blast of promise and hope was gone, like a perfect dream when you wake up from it.

However, it did leave me knowing that good improvement was possible… fast, major, life-changing improvement, the dream of every parent of an autistic kid but a pipe-dream for most, as conventional medicine has nothing that can do this, and says so. The medicine or potency or timing just needed to be tweaked somehow. I expected I’d have to talk to his homeopath about it and get her recommendations before I saw the like again.

...Until Raphi arrived home from school this afternoon.

There he was again!—the younger but more grown-up self, smiling, with light in his eyes, making good eye contact, relaxed, happy, responsive. He and I had a fifteen-minute conversation about what he’d done that day and a few other things. I did initiate most of it, but he stayed right with me. This was the first time he’s ever done that in his entire life.

It continues as I write… more responsiveness, better eye contact, more complex interactions (“Mom, what does ‘defeative’ mean?” Me: “There’s no such word.” Him: “Then what’s the opposite of ‘victorious’?”)… no yelling or thrashing or hitting things or twisted, enraged facial expressions. More conversation. He apologized for being a jerk yesterday (he did something particularly egregious)—another lifetime first. Through me asking a question with gestures, I got him to communicate to me that what is in his head is exponentially more than he tells anyone—not a surprise if you understand autism. It’s a delayed reaction, because I gave him nothing today.

Will it hold? I don’t know. But I know that if it doesn’t, it can be regained, again, by tweaking. Is he cured of autism? No. Homeopathic clinical experience is full of diseases cured by a single dose or a single medicine, but I’ve never heard of that happening with autism, since it is so deep and complex. But he is very clearly at least temporarily cured of the anger, the monsters in his head. And it translated into an easing of the worst of the autism symptoms. He is with me in a way that I have never seen for longer than a flash before. Might he relapse totally, for a while, to my horror? Sure. If I am wise, I will expect it. BUT—if he can have this much improvement this way, more is obviously possible…!

Accordingly, I have been on cloud nine all evening. This happiness… well, I can be pleased by receiving some sort of promising news or good luck, or charged up because I’m working inspired, or just content from beauty that surrounds me… all pleasures that come, and then go. This is so much beyond any of that… there’s a depth to it, a sense of bedrock about it, that I almost can’t describe. It keeps hitting me over and over and over. I’m sitting here writing in tears of joy. I don’t think I was even this happy when I sold the first book.

I guess it’s like this: when Raphi was barely more than a baby… I lost him. The kid who had had a gaze like a blue laser beam when he was newborn (people were struck by how he’d look into their eyes) and said “Uncle Andrew” (albeit very mushily) at seven months old slipped away somehow, gone into his own world by the age of three. (A lot of parents of autistic kids describe similar feelings.)

Now I feel like I have him back, not completely, but in a way I never have before... because in his laser-beam-gaze days he had no or virtually no words, and now he has lots, and you know me, I probably relate to people through words even more than most. I know I’m usually good at describing things but I just can’t describe this, maybe because I’m feeling it too much.

So: wish him and me luck, because we’re obviously on a whole different leg of our journey. And it seems like we are traveling it together... more than ever before.

Namaste. Updates to follow.





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Hoping the improvement is holding

I have waited to comment on this so as to hopefully hear more news, but I wanted to let you know that others share a small measure of your joy. A breakthrough like that is akin to the feeling of seeing a child take that first step or when she/he calls a parent Mama or Dada (or Papa)and it is clear that they know who they are calling to. It is not only joy and pride, relief is there too; one's spirit soars. I hope that neither you nor Raphi have lost your wings.

May many more such blessings belong both of you.

amiciaN

It's up and down

Good days and bad days. Sometimes he's like this again, sometimes he's not... we just have to see if it plays out.

Nope, we haven't lost our wings, don't worry.

Thank you so much, amicia, for your good thoughts and your love.

There's nothing wrong with...

There's nothing wrong with anecdotal evidence. I think it can be a useful guide in certain instances. However, the biggest problem with anecodtal evidence is the small sample size. One or two pieces of anecdotal evidence isn't enough to prove anything. A larger sample size is needed.

- jason

Unsure whether this was a spam comment

...or not because there was originally a link to an unrelated commercial site in it, I removed the link.

*pulls on hair*

Anecdotal evidence, anecdotal evidence...

Regardless of why, I am THRILLED to hear that Raphi is making such progress. I know how much you've worried about him, great mom that you are!

Nooo! Don't pull on your hair!

The instructions are clearly "Clutch both temples," not your forelock, or other locks! Hair-pulling increases outward pressure on the scalp and skull, thereby worsening the cephalic-explosive risk! OMG cap tell me you are okay.

But seriously... shrapnelization of the cranium can possibly also be prevented by knowledge of the fact that scientists have discovered nanoparticles of the original substance in homeopathic medicines so dilute that, statistically, all of the original substance should have been gone. Abstract here. Meanwhile, nanoparticle medicine research is a very hot topic in medical research right now, and it turns out that the way the researchers create solutions with nanoparticles in them is quite similar to how homeopathic medicines are made. (I can send you a paper that refers to that also but it's very very technical.)

A few months ago, after Canada's biggest national news network did a hit piece on homeopathy and I belaboured the reporter over it, he asked me, "Can you show me even one randomized controlled trial, published in a peer-reviewed medical journal (not homeopathic or alternative), with positive results?"

"Sure," said I, and after contacting a couple of people I know who compile homeopathic research, presented him with 38 of them. If anyone would like me to forward that email to them, let me know.

Meanwhile, cap, thanks for being thrilled. It's continuing... yesterday Raphi and I gazed into each other's eyes for the first time since he was a baby. And I had a three-way conversation with him and Melissa on the phone while he was doing dishes... multi-tasking with one of the tasks being verbal. Unprecedented!

The context that creates

There are countless examples throughout history (and now), of beliefs that were not driven by results, rather they were driven by an emotional need. When results become available and we are convinced of those results, we give up the belief. In other words, our beliefs (emotional needs) become irrelevant when we are aware of what is happening (results)....When we don't know what will work, we should experiment, however, we have learned at Landmark that there is always something about our beliefs that is creating, or at least exacerbating the problem...I request that we consider the possibility that mental issues show up as difficult within the limitations of a superstitious context (we naturally look at easy quick fix remedies to occupy our time and energy, rather than removing the problem by looking at something deeper and uncomfortable).... In other words, awareness is limited by beliefs, and yet, it is awareness that will disappear what appears in the present context as a problem. To be aware of the beliefs that are running us is actually what awareness is for a human being. It is awareness that will be able to create the context for life where autism is no longer a mysterious label placed on someone who doesn't fit in. Instead, in a world of aware and whole and complete people, autism is no longer autism, awareness provides choices and the opportunity to explore an unusual mind.

Well what is cool

...is that homeopathy has made it more possible to explore Raphi's unusual mind. I was asking him today what it means when he says "My mind is bugging me," and he was able to elaborate more than he ever has before.

Heck, autism isn't even that unusual any more. When Raphi does something unexpected in the street, I get the impression that most of the people seeing him are thinking, 'Oh yeah, a kid with autism.' What makes his mind most fascinating--unique--is that which drives his art.

Wow. Thank you for sharing

Wow. Thank you for sharing that.

You're welcome

I couldn't not share it. There are just some things you can't not share!