A Child…is not a Hostage

…unless you’re talking about food allergies/intolerance/sensitivities.  I spent my birthday night being held hostage to the intestinal pain brought on by something I ate.   But I’m not sure what’s worse.  Being held hostage by this unfair craziness, or watching a child suffer the same fate.  Sometimes life feels very unfair.

When KnightJester was a baby, there were some “issues” with his digestion.  He spit up a lot.  I mean A LOT.  He also had horrible diapers…diaper rash that made his poor little backside look like hamburger.  It was a nightmare.  We knew something was not right, but it was almost 2 years before there was almost complete resolution.  Part of the problem was we had moved just after he was born, so he was seeing a new doctor.  The other part of the problem was me.  Even though he was my third baby, I still felt like a newbie mom.  I had very little confidence in my own mother skills.  (Thankfully I’ve grown up quite a bit since then…unfortunately poor KnightJester had to suffer for my lack.)

Things sort of came to a head when his weight dropped off the chart.  You know…those nice little growth charts at the doctor’s office that are supposed to look like a half hill?  His looked like the drop on a roller coaster.  What made it worse was the (so called) doctor brushed off my concerns.  “Babies fluctuate in weight” and “babies spit up” was all he said.  FAILURE TO THRIVE was all I could think of…so we found a better doc.  The new doc took one look at him spitting up like a volcano (all over her nice carpet…the first day we saw her…can we say “mortified”?) and reassured me that this was not normal.  With testing and trials we learned that he couldn’t digest milk fat.  Started feeding him rice milk and poof!…no more spitting up.

Unfortunately, it didn’t change the diaper issue.  This is where I became completely frustrated with so many people.  KnightJester was subjected to many tests…allergy testing.  Blood tests, prick tests and more blood tests.  The result?  It’s not an allergy.  Okay….???

“Good News.  It’s most likely just an intolerance/sensitivity.  No big deal.  He’ll probably out grow it in a few years.”

No big deal…good news…

NO Big Deal?  GOOD News????

Really?!?  Seriously?!?

First off…let me say that I’m grateful my child does not have an allergy…like peanut or wheat…and I’m not in any way trying to down play the seriousness of a child having a serious allergy.  I can only imagine (and trust me, my imagination is pretty good) the stress that that kind of issue can cause on a mom.

But I’m so very very very tired of everyone downplaying intolerance/sensitivity issues in my child.  If they had to change the bloody diapers over and over again while my baby was screaming hysterically…or watch them suffer through gut wrenching pain…they might think twice about how serious this really is.  A child with an intolerance/sensitivity are being held hostage just as much as a child with an allergy.  They might not run the risk of dying from this issue…but there are times they think they are…or wish they were.  Plus intolerance/sensitivity issues effect the family just as much as allergy issues.  The worry and stress and tears and guilt are just as real.

Thankfully, with some proactive elimination testing on our part, we discovered that KnightJester can’t digest cottonseed oil.  Removing that from our diet has been difficult…but made a HUGE difference almost immediately for our little boy.  Then when his sister started exhibiting some of the same reactions, we knew right away what to do.  We also knew how to work through the elimination testing when she started going through some behavior issues.  She has an intolerance/sensitivity to blue food coloring.  You’d be amazed what has blue food coloring in it!  Pudding…marshmallows…really and truly.

It’s amazing…or maybe sad…that there are so many “substances” in our modern diet that we never really pay attention to…that can cause intolerance/sensitivity issues in a child.  These issues seem to be becoming more and more common.  Or maybe it’s just that people are finally starting to understand that being held hostage to these kinds of issues is really a big deal after all.

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