If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been feeling a bit stressed out lately. I am slightly over-committed on the volunteer side of things, but we have also had some hard issues on the home front.
You know all about the GFT, now let me introduce the Middle Child (MC) – she is 10 years old, adorable, and the sweetest creature you have ever met in your life. Really, she exudes God’s love for all mankind. She is love in its simplest form.
Unfortunately, she also has stomach issues. She was tested for Celiac 4 or so years ago when we first began this journey and she was negative. She has been tested once this then, thankfully negative again. She is also a very healthy kid. While we eat GF at home she has continued to eat school lunches, gluten food at parties etc.
When we started back to school this fall, she started having a lot of stomach aches. We are talking in the nurse’s office 3 – 4 times a week wanting Tums and Pepto. She was also getting bad headaches. I have suspected that she might have a dairy issue for a while for the simple reason that she really has never liked dairy (I think we learn a lot by listening to our bodies), and at times (this may seem the crazy part to some of you) she just seems checked out, aka brain fog. Having suffered from brain fog myself, I know it to be a real result of dairy intolerance/allergy.
Having had great success myself with a naturopath, I decided to go that route with the MC. I think some people get a little carried away with the entire naturopathic medicine. I believe it has its place. If you have a kid who has a food allergy or intolerance, then definitely eliminate the food. But I know some people who have kids avoiding so many different foods, and doing bowel cleansings and so many different supplements, that I wonder about it.
Anyway, I was suspicious of a dairy and/or gluten issue so I took the MC in for an Elisa food allergy tests and a celiac test. A couple of weeks later, the celiac test came back negative and on the food allergy test she had almost no reaction to gluten. She did have a reaction to dairy, so we decided to eliminate dairy thinking we had answer.
Eliminating dairy is no easy thing, especially when you have kids who love cheese pizza, quesadillas, and macaroni and cheese (all GF of course). But we eliminated it thinking we had the answer.
Unfortunately, not much changed. She seemed to have fewer headaches, but she still had stomach aches that even the Pepto did not clear up. And she was still going to see the nurse pretty regularly at school complaining of stomach issues.
Yesterday they sent her home from school because her stomach was really hurting, so I decided it was time to give my pediatrician a try. It took my pediatrician a year to diagnosis my very sick GFT, so I was a little leery and I had a heck of a hard time getting an appointment. They wanted me to wait a week to come in since this was not an "urgent" or "day of" problem but rather a long term problem. We finally got an appointment after my husband called and said "see us now!" Only to have the doctor actually inform me that her role was that of "day of" care and this was really not the type of appointment she handled!
Breathing deeply now, I explained that this had been going on for awhile, but her stomach hurt so badly TODAY, she needed to be seen today!
Thirty minutes later after finally conducting an exam of the MC, we were on our way to the ER. They were concerned she might have a bowel obstruction or appendix issues.
I don’t know if you have set in an ER lately, but it was definitely not G-rated. You have the flu patients hacking away in the back, and then the guy using the most obscene profanity because he was tired of waiting (weren’t we all). I had to cover my daughter’s ears until security finally removed him from the ER.
So we are sitting there, waiting and waiting. The MC is uncomfortable but managing. She has her head in my lap and I am combing my hands through her hair when I see something . . . black . . . and moving. "You have got to be kidding, she has lice!" At this point feeling like we basically fit in with the rest of the riffraff in the ER, we finally get called backed to a room.
I ask two nurses to look at her head, but they did not know what lice looks. They draw 4 or 5 vials of blood and decide she needs a CAT scan. This involves her having to drink the barium, get iodine shot into her blood veins while a huge donut-like contraption spins around her. Of course, this did not happen in a matter of minutes. Six hours later, we were checked out of the ER.
The issue it appears is constipation – Praise God, it was not something more serious and after all of this a diagnosis of constipation may seem trivial but a great amount of peace was derived from knowing her insides all looked okay. While constipation may sound somewhat trivial (compared to what we were preparing ourselves for) it is still something we have to deal with.
The follow-up, I will take her into our regular pediatrician to get the appropriate medicine for constipation and see where we go from here. An apple a day obviously, but we will do whatever else we have to get her flowing more regularly and over the terrible stomach aches.
Naturopath vs. Pediatrician – You decide. If I had gone the pediatrician route first, I would have had a diagnosis a couple of months ago which would of meant less suffering for my kiddo and fewer blood draws. Yes, I still suspect dairy is somewhat an issue, maybe the dairy is what causes the constipation, but taking her off dairy did not really help so we will have to experiment and weigh her options on that one for a while.
Did we really have lice? Oh yes. We ripped all of our kids out of bed close to midnight for a late night inspection. Luckily no one else had it. Two hours later the Middle Child was hopefully lice free, her bedding had been striped and washed, her room, the family room, the family room furniture all vacuumed and me, exhausted!
I think I forgot to mention that while all of this was going on, the Weekend Chef and I were actually supposed to be at a big party that I had been excited about for weeks (ok I don’t get out much). And that I had even bought a new dress for the party – luckily I did not have a chance to take the tags off.
This morning we are happy to report a lice free head and, more importantly, a significant bowel movement. The over use of my washing machine (it is well over 10 years old) caused the middle part that everything spins around to snap off.
What does all of this have to do with having a clean oven?
I was pretty good about taking all of the above in stride, but was really feeling near my wits end, by the end. So what did I do – drink a bottle of wine, some therapy shopping, book a one-way ticket to Mexico. I seriously considered the last, but instead I cleaned my oven.
When I get stressed out, I clean.
When my husband ran over (but only severely injured) my new puppy (he's doing better now), I cleaned the garage, top to bottom.
I am sure it has something to do with having control over just one little thing in my life –
We may have lice, stomach issues, a broken washing machine, but after a few hours of elbow grease (my oven was actually pretty dirty), I have a sparkling clean oven. I know... oh so domestic. So provincial. But so amazingly satisfying. To open that door and see that sparkling clean oven with the light bouncing off the clean racks! Well, it makes me feel like everything will be okay. Crazy - but maybe we should all spend more time cleaning our ovens.
So now I think I am going to make a batch of GF corn bread to bake in that sparkling oven!