We are one week into school and I am excited to share how things are going.
BEFORE: Getting out the door in the morning required that I micro-manage ALL aspects of the process. From waking her up (not easy), to walking her through the steps to get dressed and out the door. She would not remember what she needed to do and was often confused about what was next. Getting dressed could derail the entire morning if her clothing triggered a sensory meltdown, and I often had to step in and take over tasks like hair brushing, as it could also send her into a spiral. The front door was spotted with magnetic images of all the things that had to be brought to school with her (lunch bag, sneakers, glasses) and she often walked out the door and got into the car with only 1/2 the things she needed. In grade 7 things were so bad that she had to have a whiteboard in the kitchen that showed the day, date and the breakdown of what she was doing as she was no longer able to remember what day it was or her class schedule.
NOW: She wakes easily, is pleasant and – after eating breakfast – she heads upstairs and effortlessly gets dressed, hair, teeth, make up (she is a ‘tween!) and comes down looking great and on time. She knows what day it is and what she needs to bring to school for those classes. At this point I do still have to remind her to grab her phone/lunch bag and that she has to pass in a permission slip etc.
BEFORE: Due to severe and debilitating chronic fatigue Sara missed MANY days of school and was often late or sent home. When she was in school – she was often just a kid taking up space and not really “there”. I would pick her up after school (she was too tired to walk home) – and we would drive past countless kids all walking home, laughing, buying iced caps and hanging out and it would break my heart a bit. She was so disconnected from a typical ‘tween existence. On the weekends it was no different. Most kids her age were meeting up at the Mall or playing sports. Sara was usually in bed or in her sensory room recuperating after a draining week.
NOW: She has walked home everyday after school this week. She has unlimited energy and even though she is not used to the early wake up and the full day of school she still has the energy to do other activities well into the evening. We even signed her up for a Gymnastics class – last year we would not have even considered it!
BEFORE: Sara was WEAK. Very weak. She was bedridden often and it took its toll. She also suffered from dizziness, shortness of breath, poor blood/oxygen levels, and she found standing for extended periods of time exhausting. When Sara first started to recover our family Doctor said that she wanted us to take a two pronged approach to get her healthy again.
1) Continue to recover her health via the Nemechek Protocol
2) Once she was well enough she wanted us to start strength training to regain the strength and cardio that she’d lost.
Sara loved that idea and while she occasionally discussed wanting to go work out she was still not ready. On Friday she came home from school, and unlike before when she needed the weekend to recover, this time she wanted to go to the Gym! So we did! We lifted weights ran on the treadmill and finished it off with a swim. And, we went back again on Saturday! She is getting stronger and stronger!
BEFORE: Sara struggled cognitively – she could not follow directions, she could not stay focused or even understand simple instruction. The Summer going into grade 6 she literally forgot how to add/subtract. She had missed a lot of school so we decided to spend the Summer catching up so that she wouldn’t fall further behind. When I handed her a simple single digit subtraction sheet it was evident that she had lost those skills. The question 11-3=? was on the page in three different places and she did not get one of them right and none of them even had the SAME wrong answer.
NOW: She is doing mental math for fun! She loves calculating what the tax will be when we go to the Dollarstore and she just got 15/17 on a quiz in math on Friday!!
BEFORE: Sara was not able to attend all of her classes for a variety of reasons. Music was especially difficult as she was diagnosed with Dyspraxia which is a coordination disorder. Sara’s left brain and right brain did not communicate properly and as a result playing a two handed instrument, remembering the notes, and coordinating it all was impossible. Add to the fact that her SPD prevented her from being able to tolerate such a loud and chaotic environment. She was also not able to always participate in Gym class. Again her Dyspraxia resulted in poor hand/eye coordination, she was often to fatigued to participate and she struggled to remember who was on her team etc. As well in Science the class often spent time in the D&T room – which is “Design and Technology” and the loud machinery, the strong smell of sawdust and the protective eyewear and headphones were unbearable with her sensory issues.
NOW: She attends each of these classes. This actually started at the end of last year (we started the protocol while she was in grade 7 and she began to be able to tolerate them to some degree) but this year she is actually EXCITED to attend these classes and get caught up to her peers.
These are just a FEW of the many improvements we’ve seen. This does not include the MANY improvements in her sleep, digestion, food aversions and intolerances, mood etc. It is a joy to see her come back to life. Perhaps my favorite of all of these improvements is this:
BEFORE: Sara could not tolerate being touched. No hugs. No rubbing her back if she was kneeling over the toilet. No cuddling up beside her while she watched a movie.
NOW: She hugs. She hugs back. She gets right in the middle of a “Sara sandwich” where we all go up and squeeze on her. She doesn’t flinch when you put an arm around her, she smiles when you touch her cheek. She has a light inside her that I have missed.
We all do. We are all getting our lives back thanks to Dr. Nemechek and his Protocol.