Monday, September 16, 2013

Sad News...Dairy Allergy Returns

Witt "outgrew" his dairy allergy at age 2 1/2. We lived as a dairy-free family from the time he was 6 months old (when we found out about his his life-threatening allergy) until then.

After that, we slowly introduced dairy products into his diet. There were no reactions. He LOVED cheese and yogurt! We switched to raw milk and he drank that fine as well.

Then, about a year ago (around 5 1/2 years old), he started having stomach pains after he ate.  They were random and not every time he ate.  Then after a few months, the pain got worse and more frequent.  He wasn't finishing meals.

I began to narrow things down in his diet and watch what he ate and when the pain would come.  I had it narrowed down to gluten and/or dairy.  Then, one morning before he ate anything, I gave him a small glass of milk to drink and nothing else. I set the timer for 20 minutes to watch for a reaction.

Within 10 minutes he was in pain! He wouldn't eat anything else and went back to bed to wait it out. Poor little guy.

He had a doctor's visit and I brought up the possibility of lactose-intolerance turning up.  Dr. P said given Witt's history, he would not classify it as intolerance, but as an allergy.  He recommended keeping as much dairy out of his diet as possible.

I posted this new information on my food allergy blog, Must Follow Recipes, asking for suggestions. I got a response from Lady Makes It saying that her husband cycles through from allergy, to being able to tolerate milk in small amounts with Lactaid use, and then back to full-blown allergy. This gave me the idea to use Lactaid with Witt... and it worked beautifully!

For awhile.

Now, the Lactaid doesn't even help. He is even having stomach pains from baked-in milk and from cultured milk, like yogurt. :(

So now, I'm back to reading labels for hidden dairy and re-learning how to cook dairy-free for him. It's not as intimidating this time because I know I've done it before, but I am so not excited about this (for him or for me). However, at least now, at age 6, he is able to ask if something has dairy in it and (as of right now) the allergy is not life-threatening.

THAT is a HUGE blessing!!!

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Will, (no longer age 10) age 11

I try to include the boys' ages when I write about them. No more zeros for Will for awhile.  He's the big ONE - ONE. I suppose that makes him a "tween" now? Sure does feel like it anyway...

About two weeks before Will started public school this year, he was testing out some boundaries.  He didn't want help, he didn't want reminders, he didn't want suggestions. He wanted to do everything on his own. And he said so with ATTITUDE.

This continued into the school year... especially regarding homework and studying for tests.

The teacher sent out a text to the entire class' parents reminding about a spelling test the next day. That night, I told Will he needed to study for the test and offered to help.

"Mooooommmm! Ugh. (huff puff) I don't need to study. I don't need your help." blah blah blah. ATTITUDE.
I finally told him that there was a much better way to say that, "Mom, I appreciate you wanting to help, but I'd rather do this on my own."  
He nodded. I continued to give him another chance at changing his attitude, "Would you like some help studying for your test?" 
Shaking his head profusely, "NUH-UH!" 

We had a similar conversation the following week about a History test. I told him that if he is choosing not to study for a test that he would suffer the consequences if he made a bad grade:  No screen time until he brings the grade up. He looked a little shocked, "But that's a whole week before I take another test!"  Me - "Yep, but it's your choice".  He didn't study.

I'm actually proud that he is wanting to do his work on his own, but the ATTITUDE needed to go!

Now, of course this boy is extremely bright and he did just fine on all his tests so there hasn't been much in the way of consequences, but the attitude continued into chores and just general conversation. I felt like I was losing my sweet boy.

This week, when he brought his binder home I started to look through it in case there was any information from the teacher and I began to ask about his day. He jumped all over me - he didn't want to talk about school or work or anything. I lost my cool and slammed the notebook shut. I slid it across the table I told him, "Fine. You do it all yourself. I will help you only if you ask. I will leave you alone if that is what you want."

He teared up. "No, Mom. Don't say that. You are making me feel bad."

He continued, "I... I ... I just don't want to talk about some of the bad things that happened today like when I cried in class because I didn't know how to the worksheet. Finally the teacher came over and gave me individual instruction."

Oh I felt terrible. Both our attitudes calmed and we talked for awhile. Then he came across the room to initiate one of the best hugs I've ever gotten from him. He even sat in my lap for a bit and cuddled with me. (Can't remember the last time that happened!)

I told him I was so proud of him for sharing his feelings with me and that I was here for him whenever he wanted to talk. I told him that it was normal for there to be some times that he didn't know what to do because public school is different than home school and that it is okay to ask for help.

He said, "Thanks Mom, I feel so much better. Like a weight has been lifted. I've been keeping it in for so long."

That was about three days ago.  He has been so much more pleasant since then! Last night he even let me help him study for today's History test! No complaints. No attitude. It was wonderful.

I love my little boy, but he's growing up and not so little anymore.  He's learning to be more independent and I'm learning to let him. :)  I'm so thankful for the moment he and I shared. I just can't put into words how much it warmed my heart.

Today he turned 11. Just 7 more years to teach and guide him. Going to try to treasure all of it.

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