If you are anything like me you will want the good news first! It helps cushion the blow of the bad news and it is usually more exciting!
The good news is…Sara has been doing amazing! Absolutely AMAZING!! We are almost 6 months on The Nemechek Protocol and she is mostly recovered. She started school at the beginning of September and so far, not ONE missed or late day! YAY! She has energy well into the evening and has been able to resume extra-curricular activities again like gymnastics. She sleeps so well, she is happy, healthy and getting her life back.
She had FIVE solid weeks with no issues. None. No constipation, headaches, heartburn, nausea, dizziness, insomnia, fatigue, brain fog, confusion, irritability and on and on. She was just a normal kid going to school, doing her homework, babysitting, and hanging out with friends. She even tried out for the school Volleyball team!
It has been all we have hoped for the past 3 years and we savoured every single minute.
Then about 10 days ago I said something and she didn’t hear me and that got my attention. I keep detailed notes about her symptoms and wrote it down. The next day I wrote that she was in the middle of telling me something she forgot what she was going to say. A very familiar occurrence but one we have not seen in weeks! The day after, I noticed that she was in the bathroom longer than normal. The following day she mentioned that she felt nauseous. They were all minor incidents and, except for these little issues, she was still her happy, healthy, vibrant self. To be honest my husband hadn’t even noticed anything.
Dr. Nemechek recently released the chapters about “Relapse” (both propionic and inflammatory) so I was at now educated about what I should be looking for – and so far none of these minor issues made me overly concerned. But, unlike the other “dips” in success that only lasted 3-4 days…this one kept going. By day 5 and 6 I was noticing that she seemed tired. Her eyes looked heavy. By day 7-8 she was no longer able to eat Gluten and was having digestive issues after EVERY meal. But the issue that really caught my attention was that she was pulling away from us again. Preferring to spend her time in the basement. In the past, that was where she hid away from the world when she was unable to cope with the chaos. By days 9-10 she was asking to eat down there again – but with a look on her face that indicated that she needed to eat down there away from us.
The bad news – it appeared that we were seeing the beginning signs of RELAPSE.
The dreaded relapse!! I’ve been sick to my stomach for months about the possibility. I was terrified that we could lose her again – even temporarily. I was scared about losing all the recent success and could not bear the thought of seeing her going back to that old version of herself.
But, thankfully none of my fears were realized. It was all rather uneventful. I refilled her prescription for Rifaximin and within 2-3 days she is eating Gluten again. Well, she is cautiously eating gluten again I should say, because as anyone knows – reaction to gluten is awful – you feel VERY sick. But otherwise she is no worse for this experience.
So, the other good news is she seems to have completely bounced back and we all survived our first Propionic Acid relapse! I am not happy that it happened but I am thrilled by how uneventful it was and that her life essentially carried on uninterrupted.
We know now that we can get through this, and that we have the tools (thanks to Dr. Nemechek) to never EVER lose Sara again. Forever grateful! xo
***Edited to add: Someone asked how I knew that it was a relapse this time and not just the usual “dip” that can be expected when on the protocol? In the past Sara has experienced a few “dips” and I have shared them on Facebook – each time we experienced a dip Dr. Nemechek assured me that what I described (fatigue, nausea, memory issues, dizziness, stomach pains etc.) were all Autonomic Nervous System dysfunction and that continued use of the oils (and TIME) would eventually heal these issues. And, he was correct. Each time I would sit tight, stay the course and eventually all her ANS issues resolved.
But this time there were a few key differences. They were subtle but they were important so I will summarize them here for others:
1) The situation did not rebound after the usual 3-4 days (our dips never lasted longer than that before).
2) She could no longer tolerate gluten. Dr. Nemechek says in the book that when food intolerances come back it is an indicator that SIBO is back.
3. She started to withdraw from us and the familiar look in her eyes returned (that blank, distant look that is different from just being tired) which was further indicator that it was an increase propionic acid. As outlined by the protocol (I recommend the book for further understanding) propionic acid has a “sedative” effect on the brain and on a child’s behavior.