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Hello fellow PANS/ PANDAS parents. Some old-time folks may recognize my name.  Others are likely unaware of the struggles my family has endured for the last decade.

I found this forum in 2010 after a H1N1 hit our family in the fall of 2009 and my son was hit with yet another PANS exacerbation. He was 12 years old at the time and had struggled with chronic sinusitis and  Pans for much of his life, though the preceding 5 years had been relatively quiet as a result of a 2007 tonsillectomy.  The H1N1 set off a major immune response that led us to Dr. B in CT who found a large muscle in his ethmoid sinus and immune deficiency. After emergency surgery, we started him on HD IVIG, which initially triggered a severe PANS exacerbation. After several months of repeated HD IVIG, he showed signs of bartonella infection and began treatment for that.  Around 2015 he seemed to be at a standstill- requiring rifampin and doxy and HD IVIG every 8 weeks.  He was able to attend school part time, eventually finish an alternative HS with a local degree, and take some part time classes at a community college with grades in theC-B range.  Vocational rehab worked with us, but did not want to invest money in tutoring or books for college as he scored so very low in math they did not think there was ANY college degree he could ever achieve.  

In 2017 he started seeing a local immunologist who does work with mitochondrial disorder, who did some bloodwork followed by a muscle biopsy, which showed mito dysfunction. He followed this with a genetic blood test which showed a genetic mutation leading to mitochondrial structural problems.  He started on a mitochondrial cocktail and was soon able to go to community college full time. His grades went from Bs to As and he was inducted into the  honor society. He transferred to a 4- year college last year as a dual major in philosophy and computer information systems. He loves computer coding.  He has a 4.0 average. He has friends, work, girlfriend. He is a nice guy.  He is still on doxy and the infectious disease doc we work with cannot explain why, but thinks it is gut-related. We are still searching to get him off doxy.  He has not had IVIG since January, 2018, and he is fine without it. 

I am not telling you this to brag. I am telling you this because 5 years ago I thought he would never be able to live independently. 

I am also not telling you this to say the your child has a mito disorder.  I have been on these facebook pages and forums long enough to know that there are only two things our kids have in common:  1. Unexplained psychiatric symptoms linked to illness;  2. Parents that recognize #1. 

I know you are the fighter, warrior parent.  I know you know your child best.  I believe you will find what works best for your child.  I don’t care if that is psychiatric meds, mito meds, a gluten free diet, or mold remediation.  I believe you will find it and once you do you will hang on to it.  I wish I could wave a magic wand and just relieve everyone of their worries.  I know how desperate I was from 2010- 2018, I know how many times I logged into this forum and hung on every word I read, and I know how much positive stories helped.  I hope this helps you in your journey and I wish you all the best. 

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Having raised a kid now to college with constant PANDAS struggles, I am convinced immune health is key.  We had a period of antibiotics and then tonsillectomy which seemed to provide some relief.  But continue to manage separation issues and particular obsessions.  Currently using prozac and pretty aggressive CBT (ERP). 

Having recently overcome significant digestive issues, I am convinced the key to strong immunity is a clean and healthy gut.  My kid was exposed to antibiotics at birth, had chronic constipation as a toddler, and was OCD symptomatic at age 3-4.  We have a sibling with anxiety and narcolepsy, another with ADD/ADHD, we had some of these mild tics off and on. I'm sure they are related.

I recognize the parental panic.  The kids need examples of dealing calmly with these issues.  All we can do is find someone good to work with and continue to try the next thing.

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