Blessings can come in small bottles

Acetylcarnitine_structureJust when you think you are falling faster and faster towards rock bottom, a current comes up from underneath, sometimes from out of nowhere, to slow you down.  This current doesn’t necessarily stop the pending fall but sometimes it puts on the breaks enough that you can start to climb back up towards the opening and resupply yourself with what you need, before a downward current pushes you back towards the bottom.  So far we have never reached the top since having kids but we have skimmed the bottom a few times.

Thankfully though we have become some-what experienced on how to protect ourselves as best as we can within this hole of life but sometimes we are at a loss.   We know to wear extra layers, and to keep a surplus of food and water on us in times of need, and you would be amazed at how having a sense of humour can ward off the risk of falling further.  We have even been great at building walls around us to overcome the idiots that we sometimes face along the way.   We even see the value in sending London to rock climbing lessons with the plan that she can hopefully teach us a thing or two about effectively navigating the course of life.  She is learning to belay, unfasten the hooks, problem solve and through all her lessons and experience to date she has repeatedly made it to the top.

Now the recent upward current that has given us a break comes in the form of Acetyl-L-Carnitine. For the last few weeks Reilly fell into an awful sleep pattern of easily falling to sleep but then would wake up literally several times throughout the night, sometimes it would be for an hour or two at a time.  It became so bad that Mike and I would agree to take turns sleeping with Reilly and the other could go off to the spare bedroom, close the door, and try to get one good nights sleep every 2-3 nights.  On top of this, Reilly was refusing to eat a lot of foods that she previously enjoyed.  The list of tolerated foods by Reilly was becoming smaller and smaller, where you could start to count the acceptable items on one hand.  Her hair was staring to fall out and we had one foot out the door in taking her to emerg and demanding a G-tube.  The last thing we ever want to do. We strongly suspected that her eating and sleeping were tightly related and weren’t making much progress on either front until a call was made to our former Ontario doctor about another issue.

Sleeping and eating were not uncommon issues associated with Reilly over the years but when I mentioned the latest symptom of hair loss, it triggered the suggestion to consider adding Carnitine into her diet. Apparently when you take Valproic Acid, which she has been on for 4 years now, it could trigger hair loss due to insufficient levels of Carnitine.

We have introduced Carnitine a week now and the bottle says “a minimum of 3 months may be required before observing an effect.” Not sure what specific effect the company is referring to for it is supposed to help with a range of different issues including reducing fatigue, supporting cognitive function in the elderly, maintain cognitive function during aging and relieving pain with diabetic neuropathy, etc.   All I can say is that for the past 4 nights, Reilly has slept through the night and we have as well.  Yahoo!  The first night this happened we were so startled and ran to make sure she was still breathing.  Moreover, her appetite has increased dramatically.  Again the timing of these improvements may just be coincidental but this supplement is the only thing we have changed and you just don’t go from weeks of being in one extreme to a major breakthrough without it being related to something.

Admittedly I didn’t do much research before giving it to Reilly for we were fairly desperate to turn things around.  I did read somewhere that it can aid sports performance, hmmm maybe I need to start taking some.  In the mean-time I am grateful for this little particular current that has stopped the free fall path we were on.


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