Saturday, May 21, 2011

Reflections

I have this other blog. I started it before Ellie's, and I never really worked out the focus of it. About 5 months ago I just quit writing on it because it felt like too much of a diary, and I have been uncomfortable putting so much of myself out there. Recently, I decided that I wanted to get back to it and blog more about our home school endeavors and my personal junk, so I was browsing through old posts.

I came across the post I made at the time of Ellie's diagnosis, and it stopped me cold. Not only did it bring up the emotion of that diagnosis, but it showed me how incredibly far we have come in such a short time. Ellie has made progress that was not expected, and we have chosen a path of healing that is exactly the OPPOSITE of what mainstream medicine recommends. I also appreciated the reminder that our favorite GI never fully bought into the 'she will out grow it' phrase. This phrase has been a personal pet peeve of mine since day one. 'At some point their intestines mature'....'They tend to no longer react'....blah ditty blah. Hooray for some children that at some point their intestines have healed, and they can eat. They, by 2 or 3 years of age, have been on an elemental formula that their body can thrive on long enough to see healing, and be able to begin eating food, following a strict method of introducing them one at a time. For those of our kiddos with a severe corn intolerance, we may not be so lucky.

For the sake of insight, and a glimpse into the beginning, here is a copy of this post:

Who Would Have Thought? June 21, 2010

Today I headed to the Pediatric GI specialist for Elianna's follow up appointment. Last week we received the good news that her blood tests came back negative for Celiac and for a whole gamut of allergies. I entered the office and jokingly told the doctor I was hoping I would show up and he would just tell me she had a rough first four months before her dairy protein diagnosis, and that all she needed was a good round of probiotics and would be good to go. He laughed. And then told me, 'yeah....no. We can fake throwing up but we cant fake diarrhea'. Darn.

We love this office. These doctors are incredibly on the ball and always have the latest information on anything random. Dr. Barad can spout random facts about anything such as 'well, yes, actually, Sub-Sahara Africa has the highest incidence of Celiac's in the world with 1 in every ?? having it'. I don't even remember the number he gave. So today I felt blessed to have such a knowledgeable doctor, but not so happy at the diagnosis.

Who would have thought that I would be told my 10 month old daughter can not have ANY protein. None. This apparently occurs in over 50% of infants diagnosed with her dairy and soy processing disorder. What she has is relatively new and is called FPIES (referred to as F-Pies), and stands for Food Protein Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome.

The bad news first:
No protein for now, and most likely at the earliest will be 18 months of age. The treatment is to get nutrition from an extensively hydrolyzed casein formula, which is what we are already spending between approximately $500 and $700 a month on to feed her. She can be on this formula until she is 2 if she has to be, according to the pediatric nutritionist. She may not have grains, legumes or meat. Did you know that rice has protein? There is also a list of highly allergic foods that the lucky 3% of kids with this diagnosis get to deal with. Top of the list are rice, sweet potatoes, and bananas. Geesh. The top things we are supposed to feed when beginning solids! No wonder we are having problems.

The good news last:
Perhaps with this diagnosis we will be able to get the insurance company to say the formula is actually medically necessary and they will pay for at least a portion of it. Food will be easy since she is on a restricted diet of formula and fruits for the next six weeks. We are to start with apricots, plums, and apples, the three least allergy prone foods for all humans anywhere. (again, who would have thought?). The majority of these kids outgrow this syndrome between 2 and 3 years of age. GREAT NEWS. (however there is a long extensive process for introducing these solids successfully).

What now:
We have a referral in to the allergist. Our GI doctor said he is comfortably the initial diagnosis and saying that she is on the FPIES spectrum, but wants the allergist to examine her and weigh in as well. I have been instructed to purchased fresh, organic fruit that is in season and made food for her. And now I begin the process of trying to learn what kitchen items can retain allergens (anyone know about cast iron pots and pans?).

I think that is all. Though my brain is pretty fried from rethinking and processing. I am so happy we have a diagnosis finally. Whew. I need a glass of wine!

I will follow up later with another post explaining how this is diagnosed and how it falls in the allergy category. Time for dinner.

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