“You either walk inside your story and own it or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness.” …
I think the scariest thing for me is revealing my truest self to others because that is how I would sustain the greatest hurt. However, I have also learned that that is how you create the deepest connections.
Bravery is not the absence of fear, it is the complete knowledge of all the risk involved and still exposing yourself to reach the highest reward.
“If you were going to die tomorrow, would you still do what you are doing today?” – Steve Jobs
Because I have suffered trauma through my addiction and because I have found healthy ways of living, I want to help others to recover.
I have read over 50 books in the last 2 years and I have listened to countless podcasts with every intention to heal, grow and learn.
Why do this?
Because not enough men share their stories.
Because I need to commit to being a better person publicly.
Because my wife deserves a better husband.
Because my kids deserve a better father.
Because I can be a better person for my future self.
Because men like Martin Luther King Jr. showed us all what it means to stand up and lead social change.
2020 is going to be a new milestone for me. I have spent the last 3 years in recovery, working on myself, so I can better serve the people around me. I will continue on my self-healing path, but it is time to take on a new adventure and a new task. I will start forging ways to help heal the infected mind.
I have been terrified to post any of my story publicly because it is raw and deep. It does also include mature material. So please, handle this blog with care. I will be writing about pornography and sexual addiction recovery.
I hope to help to create a community. A community of open mature discussion about healthy sexuality. Sex is not easy to talk about. However, it is easy to find sexual content. Modern day media has made it quick, simple and easy to find sexual mature material in a matter of seconds. If kids want to learn about different sexual acts, or different parts of the human sexual anatomy, they can find it and they can learn about it. We need to make sure to curate the material being consumed by the masses. Healthy relationships are required and essential to our human experience. Healthy relationships only happen when we step out of ourselves and care for the other. We can’t step out of ourselves until we understand ourselves.
In a sermon by Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Alabama, on 8 March 1965, the day after “Bloody Sunday,” on which civil rights protesters were attacked and beaten by police on the Edmund Pettus Bridge:
“Deep down in our non-violent creed is the conviction there are some things so dear, some things so precious, some things so eternally true, that they’re worth dying for. And if a man happens to be 36 years old, as I happen to be, some great truth stands before the door of his life — some great opportunity to stand up for that which is right. A man might be afraid his home will get bombed, or he’s afraid that he will lose his job, or he’s afraid that he will get shot, or beat down by state troopers, and he may go on and live until he’s 80. He’s just as dead at 36 as he would be at 80. The cessation of breathing in his life is merely the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit. He died …
…A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right. A man dies when he refuses to stand up for justice. A man dies when he refuses to take a stand for that which is true...
…So we’re going to stand up amid horses. We’re going to stand up right here in Alabama, amid the billy-clubs. We’re going to stand up right here in Alabama amid police dogs, if they have them. We’re going to stand up amid tear gas! We’re going to stand up amid anything they can muster up, letting the world know that we are determined to be free!”
I am also 36 years old. I refuse to stay silent any more about things that matter. Just because something is difficult to talk about, doesn’t mean that we should ignore it or hope that it goes away. Difficult conversations must happen, and they must continue to happen. Our evolvement as a human race must continue to push forward. I will not allow pornography to be the education vehicle for sexual relationships. I am sex positive. I will not package these discussions with religion. I will find language to communicate effectively.
Theo was diagnosed with Autism about 2.5 years ago. Autism rates are growing year over year. In 1975 it was 1 in 10,000 kids was diagnosed with Autism. Today the CDC reported that about 1 in 36 kids will be diagnosed with Autism in 2020. Dr. Zach Bush says that if we keep going at this rate, 1 in 3 kids will be diagnosed with Autism in 2034.
We need to find answers for these kids.
However, in order to do that, we have to take better care of ourselves so we have the energy and the stamina to take on the world that we live in.
Angela and I know what it is like. We have felt this need to race against time to find solutions for Theo before it was too late. We have both had periods of time where we were listening to podcasts daily, reading articles and studies, reading books, etc. We were consuming all that we could possibly get our hands on.
That is why I like to compare parents of special needs kids to extreme athletes. You are always testing your limits. Your energy, your mental capacity, your emotional threshold is all being tested to the max. You are completely engulfed with stress and anxiety. You don’t know how you are going to get the next labs paid for because insurance doesn’t cover it, and you don’t know enough to even know what the next steps are because stress has you feeling tired, discouraged and defeated.
That is why we think it is necessary to tell you to: “Take better care of yourself, so you can take better care of those you care for.”
I imagine this world where special needs parents around the globe tap into their full potential and they become these extra powerful beings. They have the sharpest minds in the world because they are fully nourished body, mind, and spirit.
We can’t be fully nourished in body, mind, and spirit, unless we take better care of ourselves. We are practicing this same concept. We both went to see a Functional Medicine Doctor this week. They ran full labs on us to see what vitamins and minerals that we are deficient in. For example, I am deficient in B12, Testosterone, and Vitamin D. I will be supplementing these things over the next 6 weeks to see how I feel. We encourage you to seek out a Functional Medicine Doctor in your area.
We love you and respect you. We feel what you are feeling. Let’s all challenge ourselves a little more each day to take more moments to care for ourselves.
Just remember, we can’t challenge our kids everyday if we are not willing to challenge ourselves.
We had the loading doses of Theo’s Fecal Microbiota Transplant done July 15th and 16th, 2020. This week marks the 2-month mark from the procedure.
This is a video of Theo being curious about my tongue and sounds that I am making with my lips. This is just one example of Theo thriving. I had spent the weekend at my Yoga Instructor Training. The final part of my course required me to be at Yoga from 12 pm-7 pm on Saturday, and 7 am-3 pm on Sunday. As soon as I came home, Theo wanted me to pick him up and flip him or tickle him. I played with him for a bit, but then I laid down to relax and watch some much earned tv time. That’s when he climbed up to cuddle with me. He spent about 40 minutes playing with me and then fell asleep as I massaged his feet.
Our friends Laura and Abe were over last week with their kids. Their son Kingston had the procedure done at the same time as Theo. We asked them if they had seen any improvements with their little guy. They also said that Kingston was more aware. We were joking about this because whenever we say this to other people, they have this dumbfounded look on their face, like “ok, psycho”.
More aware to us means that he listens to commands better. Whether that is us telling him to go to his room and he listens, or he puts things back in the fridge when we ask him to. This has been a huge improvement that we have seen from the very beginning. It also means that we see more clear moments. Theo doesn’t look past us in a blank stare, there is more interaction with us and with other kids and family.
When we were in Rosarito, Mexico for the procedure I kept telling Theo that we were going to put more good bugs into his belly. That is the visual that makes the most sense to me. Imagine a re-population of healthy gut flora/bacteria taking over Theo’s gut and cleaning house. They eat up and destroy dysfunctional and bad cells hanging out. This will allow Theo’s nervous system to relax. His nervous system has been in hyperdrive for so long, that means logical processing in the pre-frontal cortex wasn’t possible. Now that his immune response is chilled-out, his antibodies aren’t attacking his own body, his cells can go back to doing what they were supposed to be doing all along.
If you want to learn more, I highly recommend Brain Maker by Dr. David PerlMutter.
Dr. PerlMutter has a whole chapter about Autism and the benefits of a Fecal Microbiota Transplant. Here are a couple of really impactful quotes:
“Researching autism means being on the frontiers of brain medicine, especially as the science relates to an understanding of the microbiome…
… for a long time problems with the gut were regarded as a set of symptoms unrelated to the brain, but we’re now discovering how gut health and function- especially gut bacteria- connect to brain development. We are also finally seeing how gut bacteria may contribute to the development and progression of a brain disorder such as autism. As you’ll soon learn, one of the most convincing pieces of evidence linking intestinal microbes and autism is the fact that children with autism exhibit certain patterns in the composition of their gut bacteria that are absent in children without autism.” -page 120
“Today, the CDC estimates that children with autism are more than 3.5 times more likely to experience chronic diarrhea and constipation than their peers who do not have autism- a statistic that just cannot be ignored.” – page 127
“Whether or not gut microbes are a main player in the development of autism, or any neurological disorder, they are vital players in our complex physiology. And supporting them as best we can is perhaps the chief way we can influence our brain’s health, and even our DNA.” – page 138
and my favorite quote out of them all…
“I think the studies I highlighted in this chapter are promising, and could lead to new preventive measures and therapies that can help shift autism from being a debilitating disorder to a manageable condition. And best of all, these new therapies won’t be pharmaceutical drugs that come with side effects. They will, for the most part, come from dietary choices and probiotic treatments to rebalance the microbiome. They will be lifestyle interventions that are highly accessible and economical for everyone.” – page 139
We really believe that supplementing with organic veggies will only help everyone’s gut ecosystem.
In his book SuperLife, Darin Olien says:
“Green foods increase detoxification, balance acidity and alkalinity, lower the inflammatory response, and boosts the immune system.”
Darin is the real star in the Netflix hit: Down to Earth with Zac Efron, and he is the creator behind the amazing product called Shakeology from Beach Bodies.
As you can imagine, giving a kid veggies is really difficult. That is why we offer our Pure Living Greens in an easy to consume powder that can easily be diluted into water, or mixed into a smoothie. Our Theo takes them every morning through a syringe and I have them every morning for my breakfast. Check them out here:
Here is a quick video showing you how I mix them every morning for myself and share them with Theo.
I just sat down with my Business Coach to outline our relationship and expectations moving forward. He asked me a question that I have read and heard many times over the last few years. He said “Imagine the best case scenario… What would that look like?”
I strongly believe that we as a global society do not do this enough. We do not ask ourselves this question enough. I think back at the Monumental Moments in time and how Imagination was the tool that drove us forward in humanity. Going to the moon, finding cures to diseases, overcoming some of the world’s biggest conflicts. There are so many occurrences that could not have happened if it were not for imagination.
We need this now more than ever, especially with 2020 hitting us in the face over and over again. Today in Utah we had 90 mph winds hit our state. 170,000 people have been without power all day today. Not to mention the riots and the pandemic that we are all facing in our world.
Too many times we settle for what we know. Too many times, we think that we are stuck in our realities.
It’s time to dare to dream.
My son has been diagnosed with Autism and PANDAS. Those diagnoses do not define him. He is more than these diagnoses. I will not stop helping him develop in specific areas of his life because he has these diagnoses. Today my son doesn’t talk. That doesn’t mean that I will give up and stop finding ways to help my son talk.
I personally have my own addictions, my own ways of acting and behaving. I have 36 years of history of using different modalities and different behaviors to confront my days. But that does not mean that I can’t find new and innovative ways to optimize my experience and my behaviors.
I believe that we should each take a little time everyday to imagine. Take at least 10 minutes a day to imagine what could be. Imagine your best case scenario in your life, for whatever category that you want to improve. Imagine and envision it with great detail. Maybe we want to start a business, maybe you want to gain some muscle weight, maybe you want to enter a competition, maybe you want to challenge yourself. We can easily find answers as to why something won’t work.
Why not start putting into practice a part of your day where everything starts to go right for you? Envision what your dream world looks like. What would be your ideal schedule? What would you spend your time doing? Who would you spend your time with? Wherever you put your energy, that is where your world will expand.
In my Functional Medicine Coaching course we learn a lot about Positive Psychology. This the practice of generating good thoughts. There has been scientific studies by people like Dr. Barbara Fredrickson and many other scientists that are trying to benefit humanity. They say that it takes 3 positive thoughts to equal the weight of 1 single negative thought. We have had a lot of negative thoughts going around lately. It is time to generate positivity and new positive thoughts.
There have been countless moments in my life that when I was vulnerable and real, I was able to find answers and make a real life deep connection. When I have been public and honest about my weaknesses and my faults, people step forward from the shadows and share their similar experiences with me. I truly believe that God/ The Universe works through other people. The work of love and connection can only be activated when we remove our facade and our masks. When we refuse the ego, and stop protecting ourselves behind a wall of shields, we can find the answers we seek.
Why don’t we speak of our imperfections more? What are we so afraid of from revealing the truth? I know for me it is because of fear of rejection. I want to be accepted, but more than that, I want to be loved and celebrated. Who wants to celebrate someone who is failing in areas of their life.
Over the last fews years I have been obsessed about learning from successful people. I have listened to Podcasts with Tony Robbins, Guy Raz in “How I Built This”, Oprah Winfrey in “Super Soul Conversations”, The Rich Roll Podcast, and so much more. The thing that I have learned from the books that I have read and the podcasts that I have listened to, is that no one is perfect. No one is without fault or weakness.
I just finished the book “Finding Ultra” by Rich Roll. He was almost 40, and by his own description, 50 pounds over weight and out of breathe walking up his stairs before he realized that he wanted to make a change. At the time, he had already graduated from Stanford University and Cornell Law School. He had been practicing as a lawyer for almost 20 years, before he realized that he wanted to address his alcoholism.
He had many opportunities to admit and surrender his addiction, but he clung to it for comfort. If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it.
Rich Roll today is world renown for being one of the best ultra marathoners in the world. He changed his diet to a plant based diet and he credits that change to the turning point in his health and development.
I thought that part was super interesting, when he admitted a weakness and spoke it out loud, he was able to find answers to address his weakness. For a long while, he didn’t listen to the subtle voices that guided him to a plant based diet. His wife had been a vegetarian for years prior.
Tony Robbins said something in a podcast years ago that has stuck with me. He said that we have to feel the pain long enough and hard enough, where the status quo was no longer an option, before we make a change.
So what is it that you are holding on to that you have been debating on letting go? You know in your heart and mind that it isn’t good for you, but the comfort is so good, that you can’t let go.
For me, it is my addiction to sugar and continuing my battle against sex and porn addiction. These things provide me solace and security when life hits me in the gut and face. They soften the impact. I know that these things only harm me. Sex with my wife is healthy and that is medicine. What I am speaking about is sexual thoughts when I objectify other women. These thoughts are not welcome, and they have been automatic in my mind since I was a young boy. I still have these thoughts but I am more aware. You have to be aware before you can address it.
May joy and love help us find a healthy body, mind, and soul.
I have heard this saying frequently: “Learning is not linear.” It has been shown to be true in my life. I have found learning to be like a big puzzle. You start getting the outline of an image, then you slowly add piece by piece. Each story, each experience in your life plays a part in the big picture. There are monumental moments where the picture comes together and it becomes clear what you are to gain and learn.
Growth and progress is the same for me. I have been working hard on my fitness for the last 3 years. I started at 26% body fat, now I am down to 16%. In the beginning I had these stories in my head that if I went out to run 2 miles, that I had to be at a 8 minute mile pace or faster, or it wasn’t worth it, and it wasn’t doing anything for me. Growth is incremental. A lot of us believe that growth is all or nothing. Growth and progress is not Binary. It is not a zero sum game.
We all are where we are. Remove the emotion. Remove the negative stories that we tell ourselves about ourselves. Many times we stress and complain about where we are. I love the saying : “Comparison is the death to Progression.” The only thing we should be comparing is where we were from yesterday. If we measure our progress in micro doses, we can see large improvements over a longer period.
Over the last 4 months, I have taken my son Theo for a run during my lunch break for 3 miles. Somedays, I run the whole 3 miles without stopping. Other days I stop and walk quite a few times to catch my breath. The important part is that I stick to my routine and I continue to go on the runs. Maintaining a routine and a work ethic can sometimes be really difficult. We should give ourselves credit for the work we are doing to maintain our current state.
Only when we are content and happy in our current state, can we have the energy and the courage to move to the next level. Leveling up is challenging.
I said in my blog post a couple of weeks ago this: Remember, we can’t challenge our kids everyday if we are not willing to challenge ourselves.
Yet we can’t always push ourselves all of the time. We have to show ourselves some kindness. We have to give ourselves credit and celebrate the little victories.
Today I am celebrating that Theo slept through the night. That he is eating more. That he is using sign language more often. And most importantly, that he seems to be in less pain lately.
I am also celebrating my progress both physically and mentally. I am the fittest I have been since college, and I am more aware of my thoughts and emotions that I have ever been.
Hello my old and new friends. Thank you for joining us. My name is Shawn Blymiller and I am Theo’s Father. I know that Theo is the star of the show, but I thought that I would share some of my own thoughts here on our website and this blog.
A few years ago, I had this burning desire to change things in my life. I knew that I hadn’t fully actualized and reached my full potential, and I was tired of the excuses that I was telling myself. I had this burning desire to really achieve something meaningful and impactful in my life and in the life of those around me.
Let’s just say that I had reached a point in my life where my soul was being reflected back to me, and I didn’t like what I was seeing. So I made a simple goal to expand my knowledge and experience. That goal was to read 2 books a month. That was the beginning of 2018, and I have read a pile of really good books since.
Why did I make this a goal? Well, I had heard over and over again that the average CEO reads 60 books a year. That is 5 books a month. I knew that I couldn’t keep up with that pace to start, so I edited the goal to an achievable measure for myself.
About this same time, Theo had been diagnosed with Autism. Angela was learning a ton and I was trying to keep my head above water, from all of the material and content that she dumped on me. Angela is the greatest advocate and blessing in Theo’s life, without a doubt. Theo’s doctor calls Angela “A Tiger Mom”.
Angela kept finding groups and conversations to participate in, and different supplements and protocols to follow. I was having a hard time keeping up with all of the information that she was consuming and summarizing for me. I also am not very good at following orders from others. I have to know the “why” for myself.
So I figured there really was no other choice, other than to jump into the study with Angela. For a while, I was in denial. I thought my son was going to grow out of the stage and behaviors that he had been displaying. I am a hopeful person by nature. I can’t be bogged down with negativity or I can’t function.
However, there came a point that there was no denying that my son was different. Soon after we had received the diagnosis from a specialist at the University of Utah, Angela had researched a new diet that she wanted to try with Theo. She wanted to go Dairy free, and Gluten Free to see if it helped our little man. At the time, Theo wasn’t making eye contact, and wasn’t responding to his name. I remember very vividly, Eva coming into our room one night crying, asking us: “Why doesn’t my brother love me?”. Our response was what do you mean, of course he loves you. She said: “He never wants to play with me.”
At that point, I knew, I had to be in to see if we could impact anything for Theo. You see, he was developing normally until about 20 months. He was talking, saying about 10-15 words. He was even using 3 signs in sign language. We have videos of this. At about that 20 month mark, he regressed.
As soon as we went Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free, we saw a difference. It was about 2 weeks after we had started this diet that we saw him begin to return to us with his eye contact, and responding to his name. This was eye opening to me. Ok, maybe, just maybe we can do things to help Theo to progress.
That was over 2 years ago. Now I am in a Functional Medicine Coaching Certification that is accredited through The Institute of Functional Medicine. This is a year long course, and it studies everything in the Functional Medicine Matrix. This could include, Mind + Body Medicine, Positive Psychology, Nutrition (Like Mood and Food), Macro and Micro Nutrients (proteins, fats, carbohydrates) + (minerals, vitamins, phytonutrients), meditation, and so much more. I love this course. It is everything that I need personally. Like my soul has been craving this content for years. It is also super helpful for Theo.
We have been learning and implementing a lot about Gut Health. You see, 60-70% of our immune system is housed within our gut. Our gut mainly being made up of our large and small intestines. However, you have other parts of your gut like your pancreas that produces insulin, your liver and your kidneys that process food and detoxify your body. The health of your gut greatly impacts your overall health. Dr. Andrew Wakefield was one of the first doctors to come up with the term “Gut-Brain Connection”. This has been proven for us as a family.
You have probably read about Theo’s Fecal Microbiota Transplant. If not, check it out here: https://pure-living-family.myshopify.com/blogs/news/a-total-gut-reset. We have already seen incredible results. We did this procedure 3 weeks ago. and Theo is eating better, listening to directions and commands way better, and his overall mood has been happy. Theo has been on antibiotics off and on for the last year, because he was also diagnosed with PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune NeuroPsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcus Infections). Basically his body is bombarded with a strep infection throughout. In the past, you would be able to see his little body cringe from pain when he would have a flare up. Thankfully over the last 3 weeks, we have not seen any flare ups. Please bless that still remains the case.
This brings us to today and this blog post. I know without a doubt that I was spiritually guided to the FMCA (Functional Medicine Coaching Academy). I will be posting once a week about the things that I am learning in my course, and my personal experiences in implementing the different food plans and learnings.
I am also about done with my 200 Hr Yoga Certification through https://settled.life/. Maria Johnson has a rich history and experience to draw from as a yoga instructor. I have thoroughly enjoyed learning not just the yoga asanas (poses), but the history and theology behind yoga practice. Yoga is so much more than becoming more flexible. Yoga is therapeutic and meditative for me. With so much chaos and demands placed on you as a parent to a kid with special needs, you need a balancing practice to take care of yourself. Can you remain calm, when storms are happening all around you? I am getting better at this; however, I still have a lot of practice to do. Perfection might be impossible to achieve, but I can progress on the perfection scale.
I am creating this company and this blog to share our learnings with our people. We have seen how powerful parents can be when they share their experiences together. We as a community can lift each other up, inspire each other as we do everything under the sun to help our kids to reach their highest potential. Just remember, we can’t challenge our kids everyday if we are not willing to challenge ourselves. This is a community to challenge and better ourselves, so we can be our best for the beautiful souls that we have been blessed with.
We have been fortunate as a family to connect with a lot of special needs families from across the globe. We have had many conversations with mom’s and dad’s of kids with different autism diagnoses, and of other ailments or diagnoses, like PANDA’S or PANS.
We have learned so much from so many people. I used to really admire athletes because of their physical abilities. I have been a soccer fanatic since I could walk and talk. I had posters on my wall of Dennis Bergkamp, Ronaldo Phenomenon, and many more. Now I look up to parents of kids with special needs so much more. The way that your mind and heart is tested every single day is exhausting and daunting. Yet these parents just keep waking up and showing up the best that they can for their kids.
Also, when we come together as a community, our collective suggestions and experiences are so extremely powerful. That is why we wanted to create a community of likeminded parents who are in the fight for their kids. The parents that research every spare minute they have to find something, anything that will help support and uplift their kid to reach the next highest level. I consider you my family.
Family doesn’t always have to be blood relatives. Sometimes family is a community of people that understand each other’s experience. Sometimes you can choose the family that is there for you to support you and uplift you. We seek to be this community.
My personal experience has taught me that we need connection in our lives to be thriving. True connection. Not the superficial, shallow surface level connection. I am talking about the deep rooted, I know your struggle, and you understand me connection.
We hope to someday run retreats for parents with kids with special needs. A time where you can escape and connect with other parents, adults. Where we can share our experiences, but more importantly, where we can laugh and find retreat from our everyday challenges that we face to provide the best for our kids.
We hope to uplift and be uplifted.
I saw this wood art piece at one of my favorite stores. I have tried to make it my guide and theme of my life over the last year.
There has been a common theme in all of the books and all of the podcasts that I have consumed over the last couple of years. The differentiator between successful people and others is that they are a different breed. They do things in their own style and their own fashion.
A visionary is someone that can see through all of the fog and haze. Someone who can have a sole focus on the vision that was given to them to carve something out of the earth. A dreamer is someone who just dreams something up and never follows through.
Now the first step into becoming a visionary is learning how to lean into the vision. The visionary has to be so courageous to overcome all criticism’s, critiques, and judgement. People will tell you that your style and that your thoughts aren’t correct, and that you need to do it in another way because they heard that it has to look differently than what you are doing.
Here is what you do. Here is what I am doing. Find people that you respect what they are doing and find out how they did it. Don’t listen to the posers, who pretend to know the answers. In order to carve something out of the earth, you have to have some balls and some initiative.
For too long of my life, I have been deterred by criticism. I have stopped doing what I really want to do, for fear of rejection from someone that I love. The true test of love is know that they still love you, even when they don’t agree with you. Find those people and hang out really tight to them.
I know this for sure for myself. I am a visionary. I am called to do a work of healing. Healing of myself and anyone that I can influence through my own experience. There are voices that I need to amplify, and there are voices that I need to mute. There will be people in my life who will claim to know and try to persuade me in a direction, that I don’t need to listen to, and that is ok.
Here are people that I am excited to hear from in the coming weeks. Darien Olien and Rich Roll. These guys are changing the world and I want in on their wave of change.
We are currently in Mexico for Theo’s Fecal Microbiota Transplant. We need to catch our medical taxi back to San Diego and then catch our flight home later today. I thought while I have some down time and can’t sleep, I’ll put some notes and thoughts together for people wanting to know more about the experience.
We did the FMT with Dr. Jason Klop. I will be posting a video interview we did with him today to summarize the procedure and what it’s benefits and risks are known to entail.
I just want to start out by saying that we are so very grateful for all the people that helped get us here. We ran a fundraiser with the help of our good friends Garret and Arial Jonnson. We would not have been able to make it this year without them and the 300+ people that donated to pay for the procedure. We want to thank everyone immensely. Theo is loved so deeply and greatly and we can feel that energy coming from all different directions.
Now I am sure that you are all dying to know how it has all gone. So let me break it down for you. We arrived in Rosarito, Mexico on Monday night. We arrived via a medical taxi that picked us up at our hotel on Coronado island in San Diego. Driving across the border was quick and simple and it took about 45 minutes to drive from San Diego to Rosarito.
Tuesday afternoon we had a consultation with Dr. Klop and Dr. Santiago. We mainly covered the medical history of Theo and both us parents. We also had an opportunity to ask any questions.
Wednesday and Thursday night we had our main “loading doses”. Basically they had an enema full of feces from a healthy donor. Picture a squeezable tincture bottle that was inserted into Theo’s rectum and squeezed into his colon. We did it around 8:15 pm each night. The idea is to get the enema administered and then get him to sleep. The goal is to keep the feces in him for 4-5 hours. This will allow enough time for bacteria to travel up into the digestive tract of the small and large intestine to repopulate the gut with good bacteria. Theo and the kids just poop it out, like a normal bowel movement later on.
Now keep in mind that prior to coming to Mexico we were on a 14 day cleanse protocol. Theo was on vancomycin and other antibiotics to clear out his digestive tract. That way it would leave a clean slate for the new good beneficial bacteria to graft to the walls of the digestive tract.
Now going home we have a continuation of the treatment for the next 16 weeks. We will be giving Theo a small oral dose daily to help bolster and strengthen the new bacteria that we have introduced into his body.
We will try to keep you posted as the weeks progress. The results from parents have been very mixed. One mother told us today that the biggest benefit she saw from FMT was being able to get a jacket on her kid. While other parents have told us that their kids started talking and their vocabulary blew up just weeks after the procedure. We don’t know what to expect, but we are hopeful that this will help Theo greatly.
So far we haven’t seen any changes or benefits for Theo. But let’s give it a couple days or at least a week before we start really evaluating.
I have read and heard recently that 70% of our immune system is located in our gut. The gut being the digestive tract between the large and small intestine. I thought I would include an excerpt from a book I finished today that talks about FMT. Notice the synchronicity.
Dr. Judy Mikovits says the following in her book Plague of Corruption:
“In 1998, Andrew Wakefield and twelve colleagues published a case series report in The Lancet describing mild to moderate inflammation of the large intestine, as well as swelling of the lymph glands in the intestinal lining of the small intestine in twelve children with autism spectrum disorder. Nine of the parents noted the appearance of BOTH the gastrointestinal problems and autistic behaviors in conjunction with a measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) shot. This is the first known scientific description of what later would be called the “gut-brain” connection in autism. Whatever you may think of Andrew Wakefield, it is one of the most important contributions in autism research.
From my background in HIV-AIDS research, it made perfect sense. Retroviruses love to hang out in the digestive tract. A great deal of the immune system is found in the digestive tract. So, if you’re are retrovirus and you want to disable the immune system, the gut is where you want to go. Not hard to make the connection, right? That’s not rocket science. It’s just common sense.
If these retroviruses are affecting the immune system of the gut (and by extension the brain), you’d also expect to find abnormal bacterial populations as well. This has become a fascinating area of scientific research, and these bacterial populations in the digestive systems have become popularly known as the “microbiome.”
Probably one of the best thinkers in this area today is Dr. James Adams of Arizona State University. He’d been intrigued by reports that when children with autism and gut problems were treated with an antibiotic, vancomycin, both their autism and gut problems improved, sometimes dramatically. However, when treatment was discontinued, the children relapsed. Adams theorized that the children had an abnormal microbiome, and these bacterial populations were not creating the chemicals necessary for the proper functioning of the body and mind. It might make sense to treat first with vancomycin, then provide material from a person with a healthy microbiome. This material would come from the purified human feces. Feces are about 50 percent bacteria. A 2019 article from Smithsonian highlighted this area of research, as well as the work of Dr. Adams. “
I have lately really been thinking a lot about well-being and happiness. Everyone in the world wants to be happy. I want to be happy. However, I have learned that happiness is fleeting. As one of my new best friends says “Moments of Bliss are Not Free.” Moments of happiness come and go. They don’t last long. I have learned that happiness is an actual chemical reaction that happens within our minds and within our bodies that releases hormones and chemicals. Oxytocin is considered the human relationship hormone. The love hormone. Your brain will also release dopamine, which is the happy hormone. These hormones can organically be created from the things we experience.
However, moments and experiences pass, and we are then faced with the mundane world that we live in.
I love this quote below:
“Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he has been robbed. The fact is that most putts don’t drop, most beef is tough, most children grow up to be just like people, most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration, and most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. Life is just like an old time rail journey … delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.” ― Jenkin Lloyd Jones
In my Functional Medicine Coaching Course I have recently read about the Well-Being Theory. It is outlined as follows:
Well Being Theory includes
Positive Emotion (of which happiness and life satisfaction are all aspects.)
Our lives have to be well rounded in all of these areas to be considered to be flourishing. I think this is going to be my new measurement for my life’s success. Because I can’t be happy everyday. There will be days that I am exhausted and frustrated and maybe even agitated. But am I thriving? Am I trying to generate positive emotions for myself and for the others around me? Am I engaged in my work and the things that I am involved in? Do I have good sound relationships? Do I have a sense of meaning and purpose in my life? and finally, Am I working to achieve something significant and important?
This is what I know for sure this week. My family and I are extremely blessed. We are working to help each other and the people within our circle of influence. Our collective family, people who support us from around the world have really come together to help us. That is flourishing.
We leave this Saturday to go and get the Fecal Microbiota Transplant for Theo next week. We had 300+ people donate to Theo’s cause and procedure. Theo is so loved by so many people.
Here is a video interview of Dr. David Perlmutter explaining Gut Health and why the FMT procedure can be so beneficial:
If you want to learn more about our experience with this procedure you can follow myself and my wife on Instagram. My Instagram handle is @ShawnBlymiller and my wife’s is @angelablymiller.
Here is a video that we put together for our fundraiser for Theo. We met our goal so don’t feel like you need to donate.