I wrote this post two weeks after visiting an alternative doctor in Florida hoping that he could help Jude. I just realized that I never published it, so I'm finally doing that. In the three months since, my fears have proven true that it was a complete waste of money. Jude is no different than he was before our visit. At least the kids had fun at the beach and we got to visit Mark and Jessi. I don't feel quite as hopeless now as I did when I wrote it, but I'm leaving those emotions in, because they're authentic.
Below is the original post:
Many people have asked how Jude is doing since his doctor’s visit in Florida two weeks ago. Honestly, I haven’t known how to respond to those questions.
What I do is smile and say is that we haven’t seen much of a difference yet, but we’re hoping it will have a more long-term benefit in terms of letting his body begin to heal.
What I want to do is burst into tears and say is that we’re afraid the whole thing was a colossal waste of money that we didn’t have. And that it was pretty much our last idea for how to help him. And I’ve gone to the Lord in tears many times over the last two weeks, because the idea of him ever recovering from autism pretty much feels hopeless right now. Maybe that’s a little extreme and overly emotional, but it’s how I’ve felt.
Maybe I should explain more about this doctor. But first, let me preface it by saying that it all sounds super quacky and weird and we were skeptical, but we heard about this doctor through a good friend who is not someone to buy into quacky, weird stuff. She went to him to treat her lyme disease, and he has done wonderful things for her. We’ve talked to a handful of people, and they all have a similar story of being at the end of their options, finally giving this doctor a try, and experiencing almost miraculous healing. Real people. With whom I have personally spoken. When I called to make Jude’s appointment a few months ago, I spoke to the doctor personally and he said he’d treated many autistic children, and he was very optimistic that he could help Jude.
The doctor’s name is Dr. Jack Garvey, and he works at Sunridge Health Center in St. Augustine, Florida. I’m including that not because I want to give him bad press, because like I said, he’s done great things for many people, but because I tried googling for more information about him and what he does before scheduling Jude’s appointment and came up empty handed. I’m hoping this may help any others who are also looking.
What he does is something called Frequency Specific Acupuncture, which I think is misleading because it’s not acupuncture like you normally think of it.
The first thing he does is sit you down next to a machine that scans your body for viruses, bacteria, yeast, and other pathogens. You hold this metal cylinder that is hooked into a machine which is plugged into a computer. Then, you prop your left foot up and he has a pen-like thing that’s also hooked to the machine. He changes stuff in his computer program, and touches the side of your middle toe. He gets some kind of read-out from that which tells him what pathogens you have in your body. This part takes an hour or two.
Because Jude was so little (and so uncooperative), he sat in my lap and I held the cylinder to his tummy under his shirt. I propped my foot up and he used it to scan. I asked him how the machine could scan Jude this way and not me, but Jude was too uncooperative (read: screaming and wrestling me the entire time) for him to answer me well. I think he managed to reply something like, “it just does.”
After he gets a print out of everything he found, his assistant writes in some numbers next to each thing. You go in another room, and there’s another machine. This machine has lots of black boxes plugged into it, and most people also wear headphones, but Jude wouldn’t tolerate those. At this machine, you punch in the numbers, and it will tell you whether to leave the machine on that number for 10 seconds, 30 seconds, or 2 minutes. You just work through your list until you are finished. When you are an adult doing this for yourself, it is really easy and quick. When you are an exhausted, screaming 5 year old with the strength of an ox, it takes your mother holding you down with the boxes strapped around your waist, an assistant holding two boxes near your head, and another assistant punching in the numbers on the machine (that only happened one of the 3 days, praise the Lord).
This machine emits light frequencies that are specially figured to kill specific pathogens. Josh said he just read about a machine they’re using in hospitals that uses UV light to completely sanitize the whole room, even the parts where the light doesn’t necessarily touch. That’s kind of like what this machine does. Dr. Garvey compared it to an opera singer singing the exact perfect pitch to shatter glass. Hopefully one or both of those comparisons are helpful.
New patient appointments are 3 days in a row for about 4 hours per day. On Jude’s first day, he screamed and wrestled for the whole first part, and then slept for the whole second part. On his second day, he watched VeggieTales calmly for the first part, and screamed and wrestled for the second part. On his third day, he did really great for both parts.
All the money, all the driving, all the screaming, all the wrestling… we would do it all again five times over if it were worth it. But I’m so afraid that it wasn’t.
But that’s life with autism. We throw everything we have (and much more) into trying to help him. Sometimes it’s helpful, sometimes it isn’t. But what else can we do?
I feel like we’re at the end of our rope with treatment options. His DAN Dr. (which stands for Defeat Autism Now; she specializes in treating kids with autism) is completely perplexed that he is on such a strict diet of basically just meat, green vegetables, eggs, broth, kombucha, and filtered water, as well several prescriptions and a small health food store’s worth of supplements, and yet he isn’t getting any better.
She really wants us to get an infrared sauna, but they are so expensive.
She’s recommended trying hyperbaric oxygen therapy again, but it’s a lot of money, a LOT of time, and we didn’t see any benefit from it last time, so we’re hesitant to do it again.
Probiotic enemas would probably be really helpful, but I’ve tried giving him one, and let’s just say we won’t be doing that again any time soon.
I know this is long. Congratulations if you made it to the end. I don’t really know how to wrap it up, except to ask you to please keep praying for him and for us. Pray that God would heal him. And pray that God would give us wisdom. Thank you.