At least a month ago Ellie reached the maximum dose of her probiotic. This would sound fantastic except for the fact that this probiotic is not strong enough for her healing, and that we have been using it as a 'gentle start'. Simply put, she has been receiving a maintenance dose while we decide how to push forward. Then she had the acorn squash incident, and now the elk broth incident, and it has made her fungus issue glaringly apparant.
Because that is what I do - fall back into old patterns and often forget the obvious - I had gone back into waiting for Ellie to be symptom free before starting her on anything new. This is one constant brain battle when going GAPS, because conventional medicine is based on symptoms and not on the root. By the time I 'found' GAPS, I was trained to watch for baseline, which is the term used to describe an FPIES child who does not appear to be symptomatic.
The problem with this is that it does not take into account that sometimes we have to get worse before we get better, or that in the case of bad body flora and toxins, the body has to get rid of them. An obvious and often unrecognized example of this is a fever. The fever is a natural immune system response used to burn the tar out of any little buggers that have invaded the body. Allopathic medicine prescribes fever reducers to help us feel better, yet to medicate a normal fever can handicap the natural healing process.
In Ellie's case, I have been waiting for her recent illness (from elk broth or possible virus) to clear before moving forward. I have been moping and bummed and watching the calendar thinking of wasted time. And her eczema has not been going away.
While talking with another FPIES GAPS mom, she mentioned the next steps for her kids, and commented that 'they are going to get sick, but that is just the way it is.' It was a jarring comment for me. It made me realize I had fallen back into waiting for baseline. You see, when Ellie failed acorn squash it became very very apparent that her eczema was largely due to an entire body take-over of fungus. The next steps are to get that under control, or she will never be able to eat more foods.
Raw organic coconut oil has amazing anti-fungal properties, and is the next step we have decided to venture forward with. I have been waffling on which coconut oil to use, and over the last week one of our favorite coconut oil companies (Tropical Traditions) had a fantastic sale which included a free jar of their top raw organic coconut oil. So I grabbed the jar and decided it would be the one.
Since we have been using coconut oil on her skin for months now, I did not take the time to do a sensitivity test (GAPS lingo for patch testing).
Today is day three of our new routine. I have added 1/4 teaspoon of coconut oil to one bottle a day. She also gets a full body rub down of coconut oil every morning, and additional applications for problem spots throughout the day as needed.
So far so good. She is tolerating it very well, and tomorrow I plan to increase her dose to 1/2 teaspoon. The goal is to get to 1 teaspoon per day.
Such a wonderful thing to feel like she is making progress once more!