On the night of February 10, 2011, I held a dying child in my arms.
Her weight had plummeted, she was dehydrated, and her elemental formula had failed her. I spent that night rocking a screaming child, cleaning up vomit, and staring into her dull eyes. I was paralyzed by fear.
We had been told:
absolutely do NOT feed her animal products
she is horrifically allergic to corn
there are no medical studies
feeding her is by trial and error
We had been instructed to:
take her off the elemental formula
feed her homemade almond milk and her safe foods (a handful of fruits)
try a multi-vitamin with corn as an ingredient
wait for an appointment with a 'top nutritionist'
We had been 'reassured':
she can go at least a month before we need to be concerned about her malnourishment affecting her
Her doctors had always marveled that she continued to grow and maintain her weight in the 90+ percentile, in spite of her medical problems and limited diet. Her lack of hair, puffy body, and swollen joints were just signs of a chubby baby. And now her weight had begun to decline for the first time in her life, and there was expressed concern for her 'entering her failure to thrive'. Her body was tired and worn out from fighting.
We followed the advice we were given, and she dropped 22 ounces in less than 3 weeks time. And on the night of February 10, 2011, I was certain she may not make it until morning.
Fear. I could never explain the fear.
I will never forget kneeling beside my bed in anger and fear and panic, and thinking it completely ridiculous that I would live in one of the richest nations in the world, yet there was no answer for my daughter.
The actual dates are muddy since email dates do not match blog post dates; I certainly was not focused on taking notes. I had already purchased the GAPS book and had skimmed it. My brain was a muddled mess of GAPS facts, what the doctors were telling me, and what I had found in my own research. I look back at my blog posts and cringe: I had no idea what I was doing and no one to ask. There are a lot of things I should have done....differently. And a lot of things I did not understand. But by mid-March, and after 5 weeks, we had Ellie entirely on stage 1 of the GAPS introduction healing diet.
It was hard work. And it was petrifying.
Miraculously there was one other FPIES mom on the other side of the continent who had decided to start her FPIES twins on GAPS the same week, and without either of us knowing. Praise God for miracles such as this. Her support over the last year has helped to keep us moving forward. Never underestimate the importance of support.
Tomorrow it will be a year since I sent my first email to Dr. Natasha, and she responded with exactly what I needed to hear: You can heal your daughter.
One year ago tomorrow, someone I had never met saved her life.
And I vowed I would not be quiet about it.
GAPS heals autoimmune disease. Period. It is not a band aid. It is not a fluke. It is not a trendy diet or a prescription for a select few. It is scientifically backed, time tested, and designed for even the most difficult autoimmune diseases. And in the face of fear, it provides hope.