When you hear someone has a food allergy what is your first thought? For me, I was one of those people that immediately thought, “really, a food allergy or just an extremely sensitive person?! Toughen up!” I wasn’t very sympathetic or empathetic and more so just ignorant on what a food allergy meant. I truly believe we discount information we do not understand and do not try to understand.
My first case and point: Our current
pediatrician baby doctor degree man is totally one of those doctors who does not like to be told when he is wrong or to be informed of anything new that he obviously doesn’t know about. When my little boy was 3 weeks old and caught a cold he was stuffy and congested for several weeks. I took him in and told the doctor I was using a nose frieda to clear his mucus. His response was that I shouldn’t rely on a machine to clear him out and the bulb is best. I asked him if he knew what the nose frieda was and he quickly said, “yes you showed me last time. But the bulb is the best way to help him…” For the record I had never brought in the nose frieda and when I explained it to him he just disregarded the information and moved on. Clearly he had no idea what this was and did not care to ask about it. I’m sorry but if you are in the medical profession shouldn’t you be up to date on what mom’s are using to help their kiddos? It would help your patient relationship to want to know more or ask about these “new machines” to clear mucus.
Oh yes, back to my take on food allergies. Well, I admit I was one of those non understanding people when I heard about kids and food allergies. Did I believe they had an actual allergy? Yes. But I never tried to understand what that really meant. Not just to the kid but to the parent or family of that child. Well karma is a… yea you know.
This excerpt from a blog I found sums up exactly how I am feeling: “What’s more disruptive is not knowing your child has food allergies and having them have an adverse reaction on a regular basis, because you have yet to identify the triggers/allergens.”- Amazing and Atopic.
My little guy is now 15 weeks. When he is happy, you can see it from the sparkle in his eye, his wide toothless grin, that eyebrow that perks up and his little legs that kick away. But since he was about 3 weeks old he has digestive problems. At first I thought it was reflux like his sister had but he seemed worse. He would projectile vomit several times a week and would clear his throat a lot all night. He cried and cried some days and could not get comfortable. Basically look up colic and that was everything he had. Well I felt something was wrong and the doctor said since he was gaining weight and growing he was fine. He said it was just a little reflux and he would out grow it. The fact that he gained 2lbs in a week which should have been a BIG red flag to the doctor that something was up. But I knew something beyond reflux was wrong because my baby was miserable all the time. It was his quality of life that was suffering. He was put on reflux meds but I didn’t feel 100% that we found the solution. So I started doing some major googling after my AMAZING midwife brought up a question during my 6 week post delivery appointment. She asked if it was possible to overfeed a baby? And (here is my favorite part)..said that she wasn’t sure if you could or couldn’t but the laceration consultant could probably answer that one. Ummm, did you hear that?! A medical professional admitting they didn’t know but pointing me in the direction of someone who would know! That says SO MUCH about her character and I love her for that simple conversation right there. Thank you for being real and relatable! That really got me thinking and after much research I stumbled upon Lactose Overload. I had never heard of it and you bet your butt the pediatrician had never heard of it when I brought it up at my sons’s 8 week appointment. He
listened was quiet while I explained it but I doubt he took me seriously or what I had figured out about my child.
Basically, lactose overload is when the mom makes an abundance of milk and the baby is getting more fore milk than hind milk at each feeding. The fore milk has the lactose in it and mostly sugars and the hind has all the fat. So it would be as if you ate a handful of oreo’s and then an hour later you were hungry again (because sugar makes you want more empty calories) so you eat another handful of oreo’s. If you ate cookies all day you would gain weight no doubt along with other health issues! That explained his sudden 2lb weight gain and all the fussiness, cramps, explosive poops, throwing up. So to combat that I started block feeding and making sure he ate off the same side a few times before switching. Bam, happy baby was back. I should also mention I did cut obvious dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt) at this time as well because I wasn’t sure if that was a cause of his congestion and overall pissed off all the time issue.
From 2-3 months he had good days and bad days but I figured since we figured out the feeding thing it most likely was just the milk I had in my coffee for the drive up to see my mom or the piece of cheese I ate on my sandwich. I thought if I avoided obvious dairy (since I hadn’t eliminated any processed foods that contained dairy) he seemed to be okay but a slip up and he was pissed off.
Skip to him hitting 3 months old and I thought he was starting to teeth because he had his hands in his mouth a lot, fussy and really moving and grooving around bedtime when he needed to be asleep. He was taking cat naps all day and a cat nap around bedtime, finally falling asleep for the night at like 9:30/10pm. Some days were good and others were days full of no sleep and just wanting to be held. The explosive poop has returned and so has the vomit. It wasn’t until Valentine’s Day when he had a rash that was all over his forehead and scalp that I thought something more was going on here than teething. Funny how one thought starts a trail of thoughts. Baby rash-eczema-causes of eczema-allergy-dairy allergy-elimating dairy-reading labels-flare ups. I started reaching out to a friend
of a friend whose son suffered from multiple allergies. During these last two weeks she has been a TREMENDOUS blessing in my life. I am still severely uneducated with food allergy information but I’ve been getting my toes wet and having a fellow mom friend give advice and guidance along the way is priceless.
I took little guy to the doctor today because the rash had gotten worse and I came prepared with questions and requests thanks to my expert mama friend. Sad to say most of my concerns fell on deaf ears but that’s to be spelled out in the next post.