Monday, January 23, 2012

Ch, Cha, Cha, Changes

Lots has been going on here in the Smith Household the last few weeks/months.

Nate is in full swing in Kindergarten...he's seemingly moved on from the bully incident(s) and I'm finally in (some sort of) a groove to keep up with all his nightly/weekly homework, reading requirements, and projects.  Every day he comes home with some story of kissing Lily or asking Paige to marry him (!)...his idea of the most tragic day ever is when someone breaks his crayon or hits him with a piece of paper at play time.

Dave has (finally!) gone to get a sleep study done, proving once and for all that he DOES in fact have sleep apnea (severe, actually - I won't say "I told you so", but...) and was fitted for his CPAP machine today.  Tonight is his first official night on it and I'm hoping to wake up to a new and improved (a.k.a. well rested) version of my husband.  That might require a miracle, though, so maybe I'll give it some time?

As for Alex...he's been complaining about his tummy hurting for a while and after the hundredth time or so Dave and I thought maybe he wasn't just using it as an excuse to avoid bedtime, nap time, cleaning up, etc.  So, I took him to the doctor's.  His pediatrician ruled out all the major threats (appendicitis, bowel obstruction, etc.) and sent us on our way with directions to monitor what he is eating and when he complains and instill a "do not flush" policy so we can see what his poop looks like.  Fun times.  By the time I got home, however, I had a call from the doctor saying his urine test had shown some sugar in his pee which can be a sign of diabetes.  So off to the blood lab we went the following morning.  We were told not to give him food or drink so we headed in first thing when they opened - 8 AM.  What a torturous experience THAT was!  One cranky phlebotomist, two unsuccessful attempts, and nearly three hours later and we were driving uptown in pursuit of a good phlebotomist who had a knack for sticking children with needles so we could finally feed our three-year-old! 

Long story short, his blood tests came back negative for diabetes (thank goodness!) and didn't show any other problems - if his stomach issues persisted we were to come back in for an ultrasound to check his gall bladder, kidneys, and other stuff.

Then I got a phone call from my mother, who for at least the third time, suggested I look into Celiac's Disease and the possibility of him having a gluten allergy.  I poo poo'd the idea, as I had at least twice before because, as an infant, Alex had been tested for a lactose intolerance and had come back negative on milk, soy, nut, and wheat allergies.  If he's not allergic to wheat, he can't have a gluten intolerance, right?!?!


It turns out the two are related, but not dependent of each other.  You can have one without the other and vice versa.  So, I started reading and just stuff started making sense - his suspected lactose intolerance that suddenly disappeared, his mystery anemia that didn't respond to supplements, his tiny size, his stomach issues, those stinky poops he's had since he was a BABY?  All of these things were indicative of a gluten intolerance.

So, I called my doctor, suggested this theory and was told it was worth trying.  After much reading, learning, and inquiring, some initial resistance from my husband (who has since come around) and a (more expensive than usual) grocery shopping trip, we started Alex on a gluten free diet.  We switched over his cereals, bought rice and quinoa pastas, substituted gluten free snacks, and inspected the labels on a hundred items in our cupboards to find which we could and couldn't feed him.

I'm happy to report (initially, of course) that after a little more than a week of being (mostly) gluten free (the occasional non-gf item sneaks through at school or when he "shares" with his brother or other kids), things are looking up.  The most notable difference to mention is that he's actually EATING.  He's always eaten like a mouse...little bits at a time, all day long.  But now, he'll clean his plate.  He hasn't complained about his tummy all week and seems less "naughty" than he had been leading up to this experiment.

Sure, it could all be a happy coincidence, but it definitely seems promising enough to stick it out - I've seen enough good change to keep going with it.  It certainly can't HURT, right?  

1 comment:

Sherry said...

Oh man, poor little guy. I sure hope this is what will make him feel better. And what a nightmare about the blood doctor not being able to get blood from him, ugh! Keep us posted on his progress.