Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Never Ending Corn Story: part 1

Each step adjusting to Ellies FPIES diagnosis has been a steep learning curve, and each home change has required serious work. Except for corn. Corn granted me my first official panic attack.

Ellie recieved her diagnosis of extreme corn intolerance from her allergist. He read the results of her atopic patch test (APT), and knowing her extremely limited diet of amino acid based formula and pit fruits at the time, he sharply turned to me and said WHERE is she getting corn??? Of course I replied that she wasn't. I was not feeding her corn! He insisted she must be. He believed the reaction could not be so severe without continued exposure. YES she is. He insisted. WHERE is she getting CORN!?

I was offended! I was baffled! He promptly reached into my diaper bag and grabbed her can of formula, flipped it over and began reading the back. I was ticked he had grabbed into my bag.

RIGHT HERE, he declared. The FIRST INGREDIENT. He tossed the can at me and then said: We have to get her off of that. What else can she have?

My jaw hit the floor at that point. Well, lets see. She couldn't have breast milk. She reacted violently to two other amino acid based formulas. And oh...that's right. EVERY baby formula made in the existence of the WORLD (this is not an exaggeration) has a corn base. Yup. Thats right. Corn.

This was not going to go over well with the GI. I knew it. It was very rare to find an allergist that believed a child could have a reaction to the highly processed corn base in the hypo-allergenic prescription grade formula. But hey, thanks to Ellie we are all about breaking those assumptions. After all, the formula is HYPO allergenic, not NON allergenic. And if it was not possible to react why would there be so many different ones with various degrees of soy oil, MSG, and other lovely ingredients?

I was suprised to find the GI somewhat supportive. The actual problem was figuring out what to feed her. I was also surprised that it did not go over very well with me. At this point I should have been used to adjustments.

After this information I headed home and began to process how to remove the corn from my home. I googled and found some living corn free sites, and then all of a sudden I couldn't breath. I actually had to get up and pace back and forth, tears streaming, and feeling suffocated. I called a good friend and said help! talk me down! And she was able to...somewhat.

Since that time about 5 months ago, I have found my fear and anxiety turn into anger. A corn allergy is a frightening thing in today's world. Lotions, shampoos, preservatives, plastics, medications, salt, bottled water, department store meat, disposable diapers. Citric acid, dextrose, distilled white vinegar, fructose, vanilla extract, MSG, alcohol. All of these things can leave burns on Ellie's skin. Our entire home has been flipped upside down.

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