There is a reason I haven’t written anything in the last week and a half… Honestly, I’ve been really overwhelmed with my son’s new diagnosis (eosinophilic esophagitis) and all the questions (and lack of definite answers) that come along with it. The first round of allergy testing showed he might be allergic to chicken and apples. There went 80% of his diet, in one conversation, one hour and a half-long doctor’s visit. The doctor recommended an additional test. That one came back positive for tomatoes, rice and peanuts. He doesn’t eat tomatoes, but he did eat and enjoy one product from each of the other (potential) allergies. He still can’t tolerate dairy (AFAIK) and now that he can’t have any of the things I just mentioned, we are pushing soy because I haven’t seen him react to soy in a long time. He’s getting more than half his nutrition from his formula now and the possibility exists that the doctor will recommend an all-elemental diet in the future. We just can’t know anything for sure at this point.
Any of those five foods could be false positives. Any of the 25 or so foods they tested for that were not positive could be false negatives. It’s no use asking anyone what’s coming for him: No one knows right now. They can’t. The doctors don’t have a time machine they can use to go back and scope him when he stopped eating to see if the EE started then. They can’t tell me if it’s gotten better though right now my gut tells me it has. They told me to immediately stop his PPI and H2 Histamine blocker meds and start swallowed asthma medicine. It’s hard to really understand what’s going on when the only symptom he’s ever shown is lack of interest in eating.
And I know my kid’s lucky, at least he is so far. Many kids apparently end up with feeding tubes and all-elemental diets. I’ve heard of so many children who literally cannot eat food because they are just allergic to everything and though I can’t claim that I feel blessed, I know we are fortunate.
On my good days, I still believe that God is using this trial to perfect me, and I feel happy that I do not worry about the aspartame in his diet or all the convenience foods he eats. Our society sometimes seems to be built upon the idea that we mothers are all doing something wrong. Someone is forever telling us, either in the media or in person, how we are causing the obesity epidemic and poor lifestyle choices, moral slackness and poor mathematical skills (OK, they blame teachers for the last one). I haven’t been saying much on the Internet lately because I see so many posts and articles about food, food, food and more food and it just reminds me of how different my parenting experiences are from normal. But truthfully, who benefits from making us all spin our wheels and second-guess ourselves? What if you just fed your child something based on what you eat and made sure you gave him or her ample opportunity to play outdoors or at sports? What if you quit listening to all the people telling you that you’re doing it wrong? What would your life be like if you just got off that whole parenting-guilt-ride? Will you join me?
Do your best, but forgive yourself too. I believe this is the way to contentment, perhaps happiness is just beyond it. Tell me what parenting guilt-trip you reject.
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