(how's that for a title, eh? ha ha!)
Gluten-free for 7 weeks today, folks! (I don't know why I feel the need to celebrate every Wednesday that we hit another week of this...)
Forgive me for bragging a bit, but I must admit I'm still pretty stinking proud of myself for this accomplishment! As someone who previously knew (and honestly, cared...) extremely little about cooking and nutrition, you wouldn't BELIEVE some of the things I'm doing now! I mean, really FAR-OUT things like chopping REAL garlic... :) And using REAL lemons for lemon juice... And eating RAW fresh veggies for snacks... And buying more fresh produce at each grocery store run than any other type of food... And cooking meal after meal after meal... (I know. I know. Many of you ladies are simply amazing in the kitchen and I feel embarrassed for even admitting all of that, but cooking just ain't, well, it wasn't my thing.)
But you better believe when your kid gets sick and her health is dependent upon you getting her the nutrition that she needs, it's AMAZING the lengths you'll go to. And in less than 2 months, I honestly look back and can't BELIEVE all the major lifestyle changes that we've made! (And we're still living to tell the tale...) :)
So enough of my bragging & here's a brief update on things for any of you who are interested:
Tomorrow our new pediatrician's office will be doing some bloodwork on Caroline to test for delayed food sensitivities. We are hoping that it might show us if there is another particular food that could be aggravating her system & keeping her gut from healing. (the thought is that if we can get her intestines healed, she will then be able to absorb all the nutrients & vitamins that she's being given in her diet and it will help with her gastro issues, eczema issues, hairloss issues, and strengthen/calm down her immune system overall. Wierd how all those things are related, huh? But we are hoping that once everything in her gut is healed, in the long-term we might be able to begin re-introducing foods that we have had to otherwise forego right now when her digestive system is strong enough to handle them again.)
And as you can probably guess from the title of this post, her digestive system ain't doing so well right now...
But we are also seeing some TEENY TINY beginning of scalp regrowth. Just like when her eyelashes started coming back in before we went gluten-free, these little 1-millimeter-long hairs are white in color and to see them, you've gotta look at 'em at just the right angle in the light, but hey- we'll take it. Since her eyelashes seem to be slightly darkening over the weeks (they are still extremely light colored, but at least they're there!), hopefully the scalp hair will continue to grow in and also darken in time as well. We'll see...
I know this is going to be a long-term healing process, (especially if you're waiting on hair to grow...) and that's hard. The sacrifice to make all of these gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, egg-free meals at home day after day (and also figure out what WE'RE going to eat, too!) does not come without grumbling. (from me, not from her) The dying-to-self of not being able to do simple things that we used to enjoy together-- going out for ice cream or pizza & putting her hair in bows and ponytails are just to name a few-- makes me so, so sad at times. As a "performer"-type personality, it just isn't all that glorious to spend an entire DAY when all you can say at the end of it was, "well, I kept my family fed." (I know that it IS glorious and not-to-mention my God-given calling right now, but you understand...)
In the past 7 weeks, there have been some GREAT weeks and there have been some heartbreaking ones. And of the MANY MANY things God is teaching me through all of this, one of them is that we all just want a quick fix to our problems, and He simply doesn't work that way. But amidst all of my tears, I'm praising Him along the way for all the things He's teaching me, both about things in the kitchen and things in my heart. He is mysteriously working this for our good and His glory, and on my good days I'm able to rest in that promise. Regardless of my feelings which are ever so fickle, He remains faithful to us, whether my child has a head FULL of hair or a beautiful shining bald one. And with a child Himself who suffered FAR more than mine is, I'm thankful He knows exactly what I'm going through.