As if it wasn't hard enough to do the gluten free thing already, today we took another step toward (hopefully) helping our baby girl get better. You guessed it from the title- no more milk products.
This whole celiac world is ALL new to us! But apparently when you go on a gluten free diet, an overwhelming amount of people also have trouble with milk products, since they are hard on your intestines. (like I said, I never knew half of the stuff I know now...) SO, to help the intestines heal quickly, many people with celiac have to go off of dairy as well as gluten until things heal up. At that point, many times they can introduce dairy stuff back into their diet without a problem.
In recent days, Marc & I (Amy) had been confused and frustrated by Caroline's eczema on her neck, hands, cheeks, etc. Normally eczema wouldn't be that big of a deal, but there is a large connection between celiac & eczema, and you know that "mom instinct" that just goes off in your head? Well, I just didn't think things were right. So this morning I thought I noticed it getting redder after breakfast (which consisted of milk, cereal with milk, and an egg). I could have totally been imagining things, but to make a long story short, I did some quick online research & saw the strong correlation between milk and eczema and celiac, emailed our doctor, who immediately responded with a "yes, gluten and dairy can cause flare-ups and damage to the intestine" and then spoke with the nutritionist about how to get started on a gluten free, milk free diet.
Ugh. Can you BELIEVE this? As I'm typing this I'm wondering how this is going to happen. I mean, gluten was hard enough. But at least we could use milk, cheese, butter, and ICE CREAM! (isn't that in just about everything we eat?? Well, maybe not the ice cream...) In one sense it feels overwhelming again, like it did 3 weeks ago when we began this whole process. But in another sense it kinda feels like "well, we've come this far already, what's one more thing?!"
So it'll be soy milk for us, margarine instead of butter, and soy ice cream, I guess. (if I can find one that's also gluten free as well.) Poor kid! But the only way to know if her gut might be having issues with things is to try this and see what happens. (the nutritionist suggested trying it for 2-4 weeks before we revisit the idea.) And since giving up milk products is typical with celiac folks, I'm trying not to get too freaked out about this one. At least it would hopefully be a temporary change, because I seriously don't know how one could live life without CHEESE.
Someday I'll have to write more about the "great divide" I've seen between people who are into the whole "natural-organic-alternative" stuff (you know what I mean by that, right?) and those that are honestly a little skeptical of the whole thing. It's been quite an interesting journey as someone who was (and still is somewhat) more of a skeptic of what I'll call homeopathic-type-stuff to be brought into that world by force. And there's some interesting observations we've noticed between the two groups, but that's for another time...
In the meantime, I need y'all's prayers.
Pray for immediate wisdom in meal planning.
Pray that if this IS celiac, that these steps would help Caroline to heal quickly.
Pray that she would be restored fully.
Pray that God would keep me from despair and anxiety & bring comfort to my constant broken heart. Pray that I wouldn't struggle with feeling like such a failure.
Pray that we would grow closer together as a family through this.
And thank God for how He is at work in all of our lives.
Thank you, sweet friends.