Almost two months ago I made the decision that 'no answers' and 'try this' were no longer acceptable answers for my Ellie. 'She will outgrow it.....we think.....at some point....' was beyond frustrating, when coupled with an allergist who saw through my eyes when her patch testing showed an intolerance to corn. 'WHERE IS SHE GETTING CORN?' he firmly had asked in a very demanding tone. Where? Her formula. 'We need to get her off.' Yes, I know. But how exactly?
Doctors are not trained in nutrition. In fact, it is so much NOT apart of their medical school that there is a separate degree for it, and they then refer you to a nutritionist. This is not something I am bitter about. The rise in information and advances in western medicine have created a situation where no doctor could know everything, and specialists have evolved in an effort to deal with exactly this. The new problem is body parts are connected and affect each other. The heart does not exist separately from the brain that tells it to pump, and the intestines do not exist separately from the blood that uses its nutrients.
So now what? There was not a doctor that could counsel me on creating a home made formula for Ellie. And our team of doctors all panicked for Ellie, using what information they had. This makes me appreciate them all, but did not give us answers.
Allergist: Get her off the formula. Put her on home made almond milk and see the head nutritionist at the hospital. She should be ok for a couple weeks like this and at this point needs to be off bad enough that we need to risk lack of nutrients and weight loss. (I am supposed to be ok with starving my child for a couple of weeks?)
Pediatric Gastrointerologist: Speak to our in-house nutritionist about what foods to trial and getting her off the formula, and keep the formula because at this time she is growing and appearing to 'thrive' where she is at. (I am supposed to be ok with ignoring the other symptoms I am seeing and the fact that she is steadily getting sicker?)
Pediatric Nutritionist in GI office: Transition her off of the formula and give her homemade almond milk. Try hemp milk and lamb and a vitamin and she should be fine. (I am supposed to be ok with taking at least four weeks to get her onto any kind of food, assuming she passes them all and we are not set back a couple of weeks with a fail?)
Pediatrician: Just looked at me in what appeared to be wide-eyed frustration as I told him about what the other doctors had said. He nodded his head as he listened to my concerns, and what I thought I was going to have to do. He said the equivalent of 'you do what you have to do for your child' and 'what I can do is give you an additional referral to the head nutritionist for help'.
Where did this leave us? Getting a referral to Stanford would take weeks, and getting in to Dr. J in New Jersey could take months. We didn't have this amount of time to wait with not even a guarantee of an answer.
What I did:
It was day seven of feeding Elianna only home made almond milk. She threw up every third or fourth bottle, was white in color, had sunken eyes, and barely walked. Her weight was dropping fast, and her eyes got cloudier and cloudier. I was told to persevere. That night, while on my knees crying for my child who I felt was dying before my eyes, I realized the answer had been right in front of me all along. For two years the information kept popping up from various angles.
And at that moment I resolved that things would be different. What did I have to lose? Nothing. It certainly couldn't get much worse. She was starving before my eyes.
I got up, made her a bottle of formula to buy us time, and risked the reactions she would have on it. Reintroducing the formula after her body had the time to rid itself of it meant her blood would react harder and faster when it was reintroduced. But it was better than no food and would buy us some time.
And I emailed Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. In the morning I would revisit my GAPS and SCD books.