Climb aboard the food allergy train

   

Part of my day to day navigating life business, I navigate a silly amount of food allergies. Some for me, some for the kids and our baby.  As part of finding gratitude in all things, I have to say I’m thankful that none of these are life threatening.  However, if I slip up and give one particular child foods he shouldn’t have, my own life is threatened. He loses all control and turns into an aggressive, mean beast, and threatens to kill me. Nice!

The most difficult part of dealing with food allergies and kids, is actually breastfeeding a baby with suspected allergies.  The early days are the trickiest when you aren’t sure exactly what is upsetting their system.  You cut out the usual suspects of chocolate, dairy and soy (most of this family can’t handle those foods). The reflux and unsettled behaviour improves, but you can tell something is still upsetting them. They have a particularly bad day and you blame yourself, desperately trying to analyse everything you’ve eaten in the last few days.  This is a rather difficult task when you are so sleep deprived. You are already doing silly things like accidentally reaching for a nappy to put on yourself instead of underwear.  Trying to remember what you ate yesterday is a hard task, as is remembering to write down everything you eat to help you track it. Anyway, I’m over having to analyse what I eat and trying to cut out suspect foods.  I’ve been doing this for 8yrs and it doesn’t get any easier. So far, we are dairy, soy, chocolate, banana and gluten free.  That’s all the good things.  But, oh the guilt you experience when your baby has a flare up and is chocking because they can’t breathe because of their reflux response to whatever you’ve eaten, helps you stick to this silly diet. I’m trying so hard. It’s just hard to see milk that should nourish this little guy’s body, cause pain and discomfort. It’s not fair.  Even if I decided to give him formula, the hypoallergenic one he’d need is about $40 a can. That is just not an option.

So, as I starve because I’m out of food ideas to eat, and plough through the food detective game filled with guilt and sadness to see a little one in pai, I will continue to work on being thankful for our little guy and foods that we can actually eat without pain. Just praying that all milk he drinks will be a blessing to his little body. Who would’ve thought breastmilk would need this kind of prayer?

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Shout it from the rooftops, the introvert is lonely!!!

Interestingly, I haven’t been too phased by the relocation.  I guess in many ways, it is fun.  Exploring a new place, trying new foods and setting up home are fun and stimulating to all the senses.  It’s the day to day stuff I’m finding very tough.  The everyday walk with four small kids, special needs thrown in there, homeschooling to help us through the summer, much single parenting, increase of food intolerances, fairly housebound working around baby naps to ensure we don’t have horrible nights,  and to be honest, bitter, bitter loneliness.  You know it’s a problem when the introvert screams out, I’M LONELY, I need people.  That’s a problem.  A problem that I know isn’t going to last long, it’s a season, I know.  But like being in the middle of a bitter cold winter, aknowledgement helps in knowing why you are cold, but it doesn’t make the cold go away, or make it bearable.  I’m trying to find a casual babysitter to help out and give me some respite, but I haven’t got one yet.  I do know I will sort out this problem soon and this will help somewhat, but having a break will mean me going off by myself in a different location.  Hmmm, not solving the loneliness problem here.

As I sat to write I had so many things to write, including a huge desire to share, but there’s  a massive brain fog in the way.  My food intolerances to Amines and Salicylates have been at their worse since Laila’s birth, getting lots of tummy upsets and other physiological things happening.  Laila is also very sensitive which has meant many a night has been spent having her wake 1-2hrly.  Trying to cope with this on top of the other stuff made life extra tricky and grumpy… Something had to change…

I read about the GAPS diet, particularly the GAPS intro diet as a way of healing the gut and helping it to be able to handle foods again.  Great idea right? In theory, yes. Being the impatient person I am, I jumped in and decided to give it a shot.  I should’ve read more before starting that’s for sure.  It’s basically only having easily digestible foods.  For the first few days, stocks and soup and if you are awesome at that, you can add an egg yolk. Yipppeeee, freakin yippee.  So, if you imagine, I’ve got all the stuff happening that I explained above, but put a mum and Bub in picture on a detox diet.  Lack of sleep and desperation makes us do interesting things.  The good news is, while on this diet, I’ve learnt I’m way more intolerant to Amines than I first originally thought and this is the cause of my chronic sinusitis.  I’ve been trying to be super careful seeing I’m breastfeeding, keeping up my nutrients, but it’s super hard when you can’t have a lot of foods allowed in this diet.  More healing has to take place first.  That’s all good and well, but I have a cranky baby covered in detox rash, and a mum trying not to, but losing weight too quickly (hello, premarriage weight, seriously!), and coping with a detox brain, fatigue and emotions.  It’s no wonder two weeks in, I cracked and had pizza with the kids last night.  I’ve realised, I was expecting too much from myself and now was not the right time to do this diet (it’s soo hard working out what Bub is reacting to when they are eating solids and breastfeeding, way too hard!).  I’m not enjoying the reversal stomach cramps and sinusitis that has come back 6hrs later and I’m not sure yet what’s in store for Laila, but it was all just too much!! 

This little burnt out and lonely introvert must soldier on, find some more time to pray (I’m very thankful we’ve found a great church and look forward to the interactions every week), and try to sleep (thank you sinuses for sleeplessness at 4am, I haven’t missed you!), knowing that next month we have a holiday coming up. I can’t wait and I wish it could come sooner.