Well, all of our Duke results are in. And except for finding this chronic parasite, we really have no more leads than when we first started. (maybe the parasite has been around for longer than we initially thought? maybe it's part of the bigger picture afterall? From what I've learned, they can live for years in your gut, wreaking havoc on your immune system, causing all kinds of problems with gastro stuff, nutritional deficiencies, & even the skin, so who knows??? Oh, wouldn't it be fabulous if this was IT?? Not holding my breath...) Even the celiac bloodwork this time showed up within the normal range. (which, after being gluten free for 6 months, I would think it should anyways...)
But I suppose that's a good thing that nothing else came back with huge red flags, right?
So the plan is to continue treating the parasite with the medication (Flagyl) for another week and since there's a high recurrence rate (yep, apparently these babies are hard to kill because who knows how many eggs they've got), we'll do some more stool tests and see if they all test negative at that point. Diet is still very important as these guys loooove to eat sugar and things that turn into sugar in your system: fruits & carbs. So along with giving her the medicine as well as vitamin/mineral supplements, I'm having to be even MORE diligent with Caroline's diet for the time being. I know that ultimately, it will all be worth it and she'll be a thriving, healthy girl one day when this ship gets turned around.
The way I'm coping with all of this right now is kinda similar to looking at a stock report. When you zoom in to look at an individual stock's performance over a particular day or week, it can be pretty depressing. You see the sharp ups and downs, and it looks completely unstable! (And oh, you guys know that I have certainly ridden the waves of emotion.) However, when you adjust the time frame on the stock's graph to see how it has done over the past SEVERAL months, the ups and downs are a little less noticeable because there is a slooooow, but steady, climb upwards. As I step back to look at the highs and lows of this health journey, that is exactly how the past six months have been for us. A slow climb up.
And speaking of adjusting the time frame... I guess I've always been used to illnesses and health problems that are quick fixes: you get strep, you're better in a week. You've got this problem? Take this pill and it'll be "fixed." I get the feeling from others by their looks and reactions to us that they expect the same, too-- as if I'm missing some obvious piece of the puzzle that would just snap! FIX IT. We certainly are a culture that paces around in front of the microwave, aren't we?? :) But what a humbling process this has been to face a chronic, ongoing problem that is going to take not days, not weeks, not months, but most likely YEARS to completely reverse. So now my readjusted time frame is that my daughter might be able to enter kindergarten with a full head of hair and a strong immune system again. Wouldn't that be great?? Of course, we'll see what the Lord has for us... but I guess I am not expecting the quick fix anymore. She's slowly (very slowly) getting better, as we see more and more good bowel movements, and more and more little white hairs growing on her scalp and on her body. That's something. Her little body WANTS to heal! And I know it's not going to happen overnight.
When the Lord let the Israelites wander around the wildnerness for 40 years!, He was not any less faithful to them during that time. He was no less good to them. I don't give my daughter everything she wants at the precise minute she asks. There are more important things for her to learn and understand in the process of waiting and wandering. She needs to trust me. I love her too much to simply fulfill her every desire. It's for her best.
And this journey has been for mine.