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Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: South East Michigan
Home country: United States
Member since: Tue Jul 27, 2004, 12:19 PM
Number of posts: 8,703

Journal Archives

Help, Please: Special Needs Family in Missouri Needs Roof (& More)

I have been privileged to meet some amazing people over the last few years through my work with the Preemie Growth Project, and one of the most amazing families lives in Missouri. Mom and Dad now have NINE children, with six of them adopted with a variety of special needs.

The youngest child is a living miracle - Fragile X with a permanent trachea and medical issues that require round the clock care. Her life is a miracle, and she has defied all "logical" predictions about not only her life expectancy, but her physical and mental capacities as well.

The devotion required has not come without cost -- the sacrifices have been many.

They are finally asking for help.

You can read the request here - https://www.gofundme.com/qvhyenuk - they need a new roof, insulation and other things like a communication device that isn't 100% covered and costs $17K. There is more...

These are GOOD people. Please help, if you can. And if anyone knows of any organizations that can help this amazing family in Missouri, please share.

GOFUNDME LINK - https://www.gofundme.com/qvhyenuk

Thank you!

My household is officially supporting Bernie in the Primary.

Even before the candidates officially threw their hats into the ring, I was uncomfortable with Hillary back in the White House again because of her previous eight years as the First Lady. I believe that immediate family of Presidents - husbands, wives, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters - should not be voted in because the existing relationships create too much opportunity for corruption. That opinion has not changed.

However, I am voting for Bernie because it turns out I agree with the majority of his political stances. I agree with a less significant portion of Hillary's and am in near single digits with Republicans (yeah!) who frankly terrify me with their Nazi rhetoric. (Is this a Return of Hydra thing? I prefer my entertainment be a little less prophetic, thank you!)

I have concerns about whether or not Bernie the former Independent can twist arms appropriately on BOTH sides of the aisle to actually accomplish his goals (President Obama came up in Chicago style politics, and let's face it, there is a reputation for getting things done there that has served him well, in my opinion) especially if BOTH sides decide to be obstructive, but he has been dealing with "tell the truth/figure it out later" for his entire career, so I am willing to try. I am also worried about his age, so his running mate is something I will be watching carefully when it comes to his further judgment. He is a Grown Up (Hillary is too - no mistaking the quality of the candidates!) and I think his underdog status will play well with the undecideds, which makes me believe he is electable.

My admiration, respect and appreciation for Hillary remains high. I would love to see her on the Supreme Court. I do not, however, want to deal with a rehash of the fake scandals we have already been dealing with - email? Seriously? Right up there with "the pant suit" thing for stupid. She is HATED by the Republicans because of everything she has accomplished While Being A Smart Woman, and their crazy is not going to stop with her in office. Logic has nothing to do with the bile her detractors spew, and candidly, I am not interested in years more of it. Can SHE handle it? Yes, I have no doubt, but I am tired of it. I know the Rabid Republicans will find something to go after decent people about (Faux News gets its money because of this), but Clinton fatigue is high.

So, there is my logic. I will be supporting Bernie.

Oh, and for anyone keeping track, I am a married college educated middle class woman of middle years with two children. My husband (college educated, etc.) is also supporting Bernie, too.

Good luck to all.

Husband/Wife Dispute: Weigh In

This is not a divorce level thing; it is a difference of opinion, so share yours.

I am the wife. For the last ten to fifteen years, we have played poker with a group of mostly guys on a semi-regular basis. I am not the only woman who plays, and the stakes are low, with a "friendly game" attitude.

One of the other players is a very good friend of my husband's. We were couple friends (both stood in our wedding) for many years, but a falling out mainly between the wife and I about ten years ago stopped a lot of that - I attempted to mend the breach to no avail. I handled a situation badly, and then they handled it even worse, and even though the male half of that team and I worked through it, the rift with the wife appears permanent. The friend of my husband's is also someone who has done me a good turn or two recently, and I thought we were resuming some of our old friendship.

We hosted a poker party over the holiday; a good time was had by all. The good friend came (his wife was invited, but she stayed home to watch their kids). My husband's friend now wants to do a "boy's night" to celebrate his birthday, which I have come to expect means a rare trip to the bar, and so I gave up "date night" without a moment's hesitation...

Only it turns out he is doing a "boy's only" poker night at his home, and under this guise, I am not invited.

My feelings are hurt. My husband sees no problem with this "boy's only" thing. Apparently I am welcome to come play poker everywhere but this man's home, and I am unhappy with my husband for being okay with me being excluded from a previously mutual activity, but on the other hand, it is this guy's birthday, and his wife and I don't get along, so of course he should be loyal to his spouse.

Which begs the question why my spouse doesn't feel the same, but then we're back to "birthday boy" excuse, and what's wrong with a little bit of of misogyny every now and then, right?

My husband is willing to back out, but will resent it.

I am willing to go along with being excluded, but I will resent it.


Me vs CP and DU (the long story, for those who don't know it)

If you had told me how important a political message board was going to be to my life back in 2004, I am not sure I would have believed you. Ten plus years later, I have many real life relationships with the people I have met through here, but truthfully, an inadvertent flame war back in 2012 is probably one of the most important interactions I have ever had.

A bunch of people were being JERKS and calling me a liar and I was STUNNED.

I don't tell lies, and my feelings were hurt. I had been a member in good standing for eight years when this went down...

But I am getting ahead of myself. Let's start at the almost beginning.

I started trying to get pregnant in 1999. It finally happened in 2001 (twice), but I miscarried both early. Infertility issues continued to be front and center for me (a third pregnancy and miscarriage in early 2004 was something I was dealing with right about the time I joined DU), and my community here was AWESOME when I got pregnant with twins in 2006, dealt with non-stop vomiting, five months of bed rest and then beautiful, gorgeous amazing (premature) boy/girl twins. I shared pictures here, and my DU friends were appropriately awesome in their admiration for my adorable babies.

My twins were eight months old when I first started really getting a clue that they were "unusual preemies" - they had gone from 4 lb preemies to 14 lb four month olds at an unprecedented speed, and then continued on top of the charts, meeting milestones early, etc. - and I was convinced I knew what had caused this. I shared the information on DU, and that post still comes up on google searches.

My twins were two years old when I "got stubborn" and began reaching out to get my intervention investigated. My medical background was "informed patient" and I was deferential at first. I contacted "everybody and their brother" which meant over fifty different medical professionals, organizations, companies, public health officials - you name it, from the drug companies to the formula makers to the insurance companies to the NIH to the university researchers to the - you get the idea. I told everyone. This simple intervention - liquid trace minerals in addition to normal vitamins - seemed IMPORTANT.

I was patted on the head, told we had "gotten lucky", advised to enjoy my beautiful healthy children while counting my blessings because of it, and ignored. I whined about it on DU, and someone posted a link to a textbook that 100% validated my intuition - and I got PISSED!

If it was documented in the damn textbook, why weren't they telling parents about how easy the fix was?

Well, fast forward a bit. I started a non-profit called "Preemie Growth Project" and with an ignorance of possibilities that is truly breathtaking in hindsight, jumped in while doing everything wrong. I didn't understand the difference between clinicians and researchers, so as more babies "got lucky" I expected the Magical Medical Overmind to take over.

Um, that did not happen.

In 2011, a "floppy baby" joined my project. He was 9 months old, weighed 12 pounds and was diagnosed by respected physicians as having "severe hypotonia". When his mother got insistent on knowingly what was going on, they told her he was going to be a quadriplegic who would spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair. He would be diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was two years old, but they were just telling her then so she could wrap her head around what her life was going to be and start adjusting to it.

She met me the next day. Ten weeks later, her son weighed 22 pounds, took his first steps, and no longer had any cerebral palsy symptoms. He started kindergarten this year (normal kid, no special needs), and has been playing baseball the last two summers. He is adorable.

Back in 2011, I repeated my reach out efforts and was told categorically "floppy babies don't get better" and "he must have been misdiagnosed." I pretty much decided to walk away. I was busy. I had a life - twins! Husband! Battle with bank over house! Ongoing family drama! Full time job! Etc.

And then the Neighbor Girl incident happened in 2012.

We finally formally met the new neighbors during a warm spring in late March/early April. My twins were five, and their son was five. While the three children played and I tried to make a good impression ("please let them like us - PLAYMATES!"), the grown ups talked, and their 9-year old daughter watched the others play from her seat in a little red wagon. They shared her story (25 week preemie, born weighing 1 lb 10 oz, cerebral palsy diagnosis, confined to a wheel chair, multiple levels of impairment) and I shared my children's story/my work with the Preemie Growth Project. It was a shame she couldn't be in the Project (the assumption was this only worked for babies because of the high growth rates during the first year), but I ended up offering a bottle of the liquid trace minerals in lieu of a "welcome to the neighborhood bottle of wine" since they were non-drinkers. They went home, there was probably another snow storm/everybody was busy, and I didn't see them again until June 8, 2012 when I went to make "summer play date" arrangements and my world changed.

The little girl was STANDING UP. Let me repeat that: the girl confined to a wheelchair was STANDING UP.

There were other changes, too, and the family was excited. I was stunned. I didn't know anything about cerebral palsy - was this normal?

And here is where DU comes back into the picture. I made a post asking about this, and wondered if anyone else would be willing to try it, too. The post dropped like a brick, and I went about my business (which included the brain explosion of figuring everything out).

Later that night, I signed back in and discovered my post had Not Dropped, and I was being called everything except honest. The venom and hostility were stunning, and multiple meta threads were started about the type of scum I obviously had to be to "offer hope when there was none." My attempts to explain were ridiculed, my name was smeared in mud, and honestly, I was CONFUSED. This was a big deal, right?

If people hadn't been so obnoxious, I may not have asked for a video interview with her. Thank you for that. I offered to share it with people PRIVATELY (she wasn't in the project after all), and my biggest detractors refused.

Before she began correcting her previously undiagnosed trace mineral deficiencies, her hands had been frozen in hyper spastic spasm which did not allow her to take care of her own bodily needs. This excerpt from that June 10, 2012 video focuses on her hands, her increased muscular weight gain (44 to 50 pounds in six weeks!), and of course, her STANDING UP --

I began recruiting other children to try this, and continued to fight with people on DU. I learned so much from them - what was happening was IMPOSSIBLE - and more importantly, began to get an inkling of the challenges of changing a paradigm from "incurable" to "correctable, preventable nutritional deficiency" - it flabbergasted me. This was EASY. And CHEAP.

The first dozen children I recruited all saw improvement in not only their mobility issues, but also in failure to thrive, cognition, and (shockingly) sensory processing issues.

Meanwhile, here is an excerpt of the Neighbor Girl's hands in August -- (no longer failure to thrive, and able to independently navigate stairs) --

I finished my accidental feasibility study in 2013. All total, 271 children joined the effort, and solid data was collected on 134 of them. 111 of those 134 children saw improvement in a minimum of four of the eight categories tracked, and I have lost count of the hundreds of other children who have benefited as well.

But where the heck are the Real Researchers?

Ah. It turns out that is not going to happen for decades, if ever. It is somewhat political (don't use words like "cure cerebral palsy" because cerebral palsy by definition is an incurable mobility issue, so anyone diagnosed with cerebral palsy whose mobility issues improved was obviously MIS-DIAGNOSED, and the fact that I keep seeing 4 out of 5 children with this diagnosis improving is ...um, disconcerting and probably a really weird coincidence, right?) but more bureaucracy than conspiring.

"There are none so blind as those who will not see." I figured it out, and truth be told, my detractors here on DU helped - from those who sneered at my "citizen science" approach to research all the way through to the liars who accused me of peddling "snake oil" (still have super clean hands, thanks for asking, don't sell any of the dozen brands that seem to work/suggest you buy the PDCM brand on Amazon because it is the brand I have data on/free shipping but hey, whatever you like that works) to the sanctimonious self righteous folk who believed "Nutrition = Woo" - please, ALL OF YOU, accept the thanks due you for your part in SAVING LIVES.

You see, without my desire to explain it to you in clear enough language that you would GET IT, I wouldn't have been prepared for the pushback in the real world or even have been able to "figure it out" - I needed you, not just to toughen me up, but to be a foil so I could decide whether or not you were right, or if this was a battle worth fighting.

Turns out it was and is; here it is, one more time -

Premature babies (1 in 10 births) are born with a known trace mineral nutritional deficiency because mom passes on trace minerals during the third trimester. Most children (85%) will self correct these deficiencies within one or two years when they start eating "real food" which has the missing micronutrients in it (and breast milk is good, but doesn't have the "extra" these children need to correct their early deficiency status). Children can also end up in a deficiency state through maternal deficiency (if mom doesn't get it/absorb nutrients herself - Crohns, celiac, etc. - she can't pass it on what she doesn't have), absorption issues (overuse of antibiotics, celiac, Crohns, etc.), malnutrition or exposure to teratogens.

Micronutrient (trace mineral) deficiency causes Growth Retardation which means

- poor growth and appetite
- impaired immune responses
- weak muscles
- developmental delays
- “general ill-thrift”

Growth Retardation presents in different ways during the life cycle:

- At birth, as low birth weight or premature babies
- In infancy, as failure-to-thrive and developmental delays
- In childhood, the weak muscles (especially core) are (mis)diagnosed as cerebral palsy

Deficiencies also present as other neuromuscular issues, including sensory processing issues

4 out of 5 children with these symptoms see improvement within six to eight weeks when given oral dosing of liquid trace minerals at a bolus level of one-and-a-half-times an adult dosing (which is well within safety guidelines of RDA, AI, etc.).

The reason this works is because these nutrients are necessary to not only grow the body, but also the brain, which turns out to be more "repairable" than previously thought, especially in the very young.

There is hope.

Ta Da! I win.

But only 83% of the time, so the battle isn't finished yet.

Thanks, DU.

Simple Republican Debate: Intro to Government (College Level)

Not the simple high school test one can find here - http://civicseducationinitiative.com/take-the-test/ - those are some BASIC questions.

I want a clear understanding of the different cabinet level posts, what they are expected to oversee, some demonstration of an understanding of the complexities of our history, roles and responsibilities of different government agencies, and a few essay questions on the complicated stuff.

Forget the friendly moderators - I want a panel of college profs instantly grading their answers, and a bunch of challenging multiple choice buzzers that will instantly show which of these people have a clue, and which do not.

"Floppy Babies Don't Get Better" & My GoFundMe Campaign

I am officially asking for money for a personal cause I believe in, so if that offends you, please feel free to hit ignore on this thread.

The link is http://www.gofundme.com/idabriggs and I am looking to raise approximately $9,500 total, preferably with at least $4,300 before Friday so I can go to New York City next week, do some training on "how to deal with the media" and spend two days being interviewed by members of the national media. This is not a free event, and I believe the money will be well spent if I am able to reach the people who need to know about my efforts: mainly, families of premature infants and special needs children. So far there is over $1,400 sitting in the account.

I have been posting on DU about my efforts on behalf of the Preemie Growth Project since 2009. I have been a member here since 2004, and some of the old-timers may remember my postings about my challenging twin pregnancy and the amazing awesomeness of my beautiful twins who arrived in February of 2007 weighing in the 4-pound range, delivered after an emergency c-section at 32 weeks due to pre-eclampsia. But that was only the beginning of my journey, because my twins started achieving normal growth and developmental milestones in a matter of months instead of years, and I figured out why and then proved it could be repeated for other premature babies.

In 2011 my efforts on behalf of this outreach (I started jumping through hoops to get my conclusions investigated by credentialed researchers back in 2009) bore unexpected fruit with a young "floppy baby" who began responding to the protocol within a matter of days. I was told repeatedly in the most condescending manner possible that "floppy babies don't get better" (except this one did, and so have a whole bunch of others since) and truthfully, almost walked away from the effort in frustration, but in 2012 a 9-year old girl diagnosed with cerebral palsy got up out of her wheelchair/her hyperspastic hands normalized in sixteen week, and the next thing I knew I was accidentally running an impromptu parent led feasibility study with 271 children from 35 states/6 countries, fighting flame wars on DU that still sting to this day and figuring out the particulars for a commonly undiagnosed medical condition responsible for the deaths of infants and children worldwide, that was literally leaving the survivors in wheelchairs, and appears to be responsible for a high percentage of sensory processing issues, including in an autism only subset.

Solid data was obtained on 134 of the children recruited, and 111 of them (83%) saw improvement in a minimum of four of the eight categories we tracked. That meant that 4 out of 5 children responded to the protocol - for children born prematurely, 9 out of 10 them responded, while non-preemies only saw 8 out of 10 respond. 33 boys under age 4 *ALL* responded, leading me to suspect that boys are more susceptible to these deficiencies. My co-author and I were privileged to share the results in a presentation we made to the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services last week (September 21, 2015), and you can view that presentation here:


It may be idiotic (heaven knows my personal budget thinks it is), but I have always done this as a volunteer thing, and received zero compensation for it. I have devoted full time effort to this since January after a "blessing in disguise" situation occurred and I was laid off in December from my contract IT position at one of the automotive companies; I thought I just had to finish the report, and I could put the whole thing to rest, and then it was "just do this research poster" and then "just do this presentation in Lansing" and...the reward for a job well done always seems to be more work! Lol!

I am luckier than most in that my beloved husband has been extraordinarily supportive of my efforts, but we are used to being a two-income household, and while the sacrifices I have made may seem mild to others, they are real to me. At the end of the day, I cannot justify asking my family to lose $9,500 from our family budget so I can go to New York City so I can "spread the word" that SOME children with neuromuscular issues may actually be misdiagnosed and suffering from correctable micronutrient deficiencies.

So, I am asking for help. I don't sell ANYTHING. I have never charged a dime for my information and/or knowledge. If I don't raise at least $4,300 by Friday morning, I will have to wait until the next event happens in April, and that is an opportunity cost in unnecessary loss and suffering that makes me cringe.

If you can donate, please do so. If you are willing to share the link, please do so. If you can only offer up positive thoughts or prayers, I will take them as well. If you can only kick this thread, I will accept that with gratitude. And if you, or someone you know needs this information, I will be happy to answer your questions (but please do me a favor and look at the presentation first - I am working on a more "parent centric" shorter version, and hope to have variants done before I head off to New York, assuming I am able to do so).

Thank you in advance, DU. This matters. Please help. Thank you.

Again, the GoFundMe link is: http://www.gofundme.com/idabriggs

Woo Hoo! Our favorite state sex scandal made it to HBO!

Yeah, John Oliver!

And for non-Michigan residents, the Franklin Cider Mill is awesome!

Oh. My. Goodness! HOW Did I Miss This in 2011?

DUer "phantom power" posted an AWESOME thread about President Obama DESTROYING birther fan Donald Trump at the White House Correspondence Dinner in 2011 while behind the scenes he had the U.S. military busy taking out that guy who ordered 9-11. Apparently, Trump was Not Happy and the thread by "phantom power" discusses the titillating rumor that Trump is really running because Obama is a Meanie who Laughed at him.

You can view that thread here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10027172324

But it sent me on a hunt for the YouTube video, and it is AWESOME, MUST WATCH, HYSTERICAL...

Enjoy! I did!

Practice Presentation in West Bloomfield, MI EDIT: AUGUST 26, 2015

August 26, 2015 @ 6:30 p.m. (Eastern Time Zone)
West Bloomfield Public Library
4600 Walnut Lake Road
West Bloomfield, MI 48323
"Saving Babies: An Emerging Treatment You Need to Know About"

"Ida Briggs and Michael Sheehan will be doing a "practice presentation" as part of their preparation for the Big September 21 meeting. Come to offer encouragement and constructive commentary - can the whole thing really be kept to 45 minutes? Join us and find out!"

This is the "big presentation" we will be making for some VIPs in Lansing in September, and represents the last six years of effort on my part. The topic is dry, so we will consider it a success if anyone other than family shows up. If you can't make it, please send some good vibes our way, please. Oh, and if you want a sneak peek of the presentation, send me a PM and I will forward you a link - bonus points if you can find the two typos we've already caught!

It has been a rough couple of weeks. **UPDATED**

I have been dealing with a young (23 years old) family member who appears to be suffering from an undiagnosed mental illness.

On Tuesday I stood in front of a judge with copies of half a dozen police reports to explain why I am legitimately in fear of her harming herself or others. The reports range from an "abuse/neglect" case involving her then boyfriend causing her 22-month old son to require brain surgery (the baby is now in the care of her mother, or as the family member calls her, "the devil") to larceny charges incurred by stealing from her 74-year old grandmother, with a bonus "kicked the window out of a police car when placed under arrest", through last week's suicide threats, which she made multiple times but denied when questioned by police officers.

The judge signed the order very quickly. I don't think the suicide plan from last week (two days of hell that started when she was fired after eight days on a job due to "attitude") was what did it, or the menacing/breaking the "no-contact" order with the grandmother; I think it was when I explained that foster care had put in a "no contact" order after she had verbally abused her mother in front of them by stating "you used your vagina to put a roof over our heads, and I am not going to do that." Do I have to add that her mother is an office worker/not a sex worker?

She and her partner - her baby's father, not the boyfriend who put their son in the hospital - are currently homeless/living in her car. He works at McDonalds. Family cannot / will not take them in due to her unpredictable mental state. She verbally abuses her partner at levels I simply cannot comprehend, and nearly brags about how she has at least six domestic violence reports against him from when they lived on the other side of the state. She waved this in front of me during our last talk as her "security" - she told me she could always go to a domestic violence shelter, and they would take care of her. Her partner would have no shelter or transport, and is controlled by her as a result. (They only have one incident together here - her trying to get her grandmother arrested by hitting herself in the face/claiming grandma did it doesn't count, right?)

My plan was to have her escorted for evaluation at her next court appearance (Thursday morning) but she found out Wednesday evening. A very nice deputy took the paperwork and escorted her to the facility; he then explained to me that she and her partner didn't want any further contact with me, and if I did attempt to contact her, I could be charged with harassment. They were done with me now.

I nearly burst out laughing, but contained myself lest it become hysterical. I had already dealt with her earlier screaming threats aimed at me and my children ("I will ruin your life! I will open a CPS case! I will make sure you regret this forever! You are a liar! You said you would help me! I have always triumphed over my enemies and I will triumph over you! I will destroy you!" Etc.) so my instinctive "Promise?" is understandable, but I did not say it out loud. I heard "stay away" multiple times during the suicide drill, and she texts it frequently in between asking for help/meeting for meals, etc. This was the first time a police officer had relayed the message, along with the implicit threat, and I was torn about asking him just how seriously he was taking it, considering the place where we were at and the paperwork he had seen?

But I didn't. I could see doubt in his eyes - she can present "calmly" on occasion, and maybe he thought she was being persecuted or something. Heaven knows she does. I finished making sure the staff was aware of her issues by high lighting important bits, and left. HIPPA means I will have to rely on others to know whether they decide to keep her for more than 24-hours. She had told me she would kill herself if she was forced into a hospital, and I am trusting they can keep her safe. I had made arrangements for her boyfriend to have shelter (the car is hers and he has no license/his last arrest was for driving on a suspended license), but after the policeman's warning, I didn't call him again. (I did make sure the helper had his number, so hopefully he is going to be okay.)

It has been a rough couple of weeks. I did not take this step lightly, and am confident it was the right decision. The up/down mood swings have been getting shorter in duration and more violent in intensity. She cannot understand why the world isn't working the way she expects it to - she *knows more than EVERYBODY* and they should listen to her! - and when they don't, when the police officers and the doctors and the lawyers and the shelter workers and the social workers and her supervisors and anyone in authority tries to tell her how to behave, or that her decision making might be in error, she just cannot Get It and she explodes in epic verbal tirades. The number one question every time law enforcement has had to deal with her: is there a drug problem? And the answer is no, we don't think so - she is tested regularly during the supervised visitation, and also during the week she spent in jail last month. It doesn't seem to be a drug issue, and she is in the age range when these types of issues traditionally start to manifest....

I am left with the questions that have me awake and posting on a message board in the middle of the night. Will she be able to fool them? Am I wrong about her being mentally ill? Will they be able to help her? Only time will tell.

It's been a rough couple of weeks....

ON UPDATE: They released her within hours. The cycle continues....

Thank you, everyone for your support. I wish there was a better system for getting people who need help what they need.
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