Monday, May 20, 2013

New Challenges (MSPI)


When Little Boy was a little baby, namely at around 6 weeks, he had a pretty bad rash and green poop. Some online googling and then a check of the medical literature had us convinced that we were dealing with a food allergy. I started an elimination diet and was relived to see the symptoms going away. Little Boy's egg allergy was quite strong for the first year of his life, when even a bite from a baked good resulted in his rash popping back up. Slowly at around 18 months the rash wouldn't appear anymore, but his immune system was still compromised and he would be quick to pick up any little cold. Just now as we're approaching two years, it seems like the egg allergy is finally going away. 

When I was on that first elimination diet my only hope was that it wouldn't be dairy: cheese is one of my culinary loves. Low and behold, three weeks after Baby Brother was born he started getting extremely fussy. He had gas, and difficulty pooping, and he was spitting up insane amounts. Worst of all though was that I could tell how uncomfortable my poor baby was: kicking, cringing, scrunching his face and twisting his little body in pain. I knew before I even started an elimination diet that we were probably looking at a milk intolerance. Indeed I quickly confirmed a mild reaction to chocolate, full on vomiting in reaction to dairy, and lastly a mild reaction to soy as well. 

It has been about two months since I began avoiding those three things and boy has it been tough! My difficulties have been baking without butter (it's not the same), dessert without chocolate (still craving it daily), Asian food without soy sauce (not to mention finding bread without soy in it), coffee with no milk, and cheese (good on everything and nothing is the same without it). While I don't like complaining I also don't want to sugar coat this: I'm finding it hard to eat a balanced diet with enough protein to feel satisfied,  the dwindled variety makes it hard to be excited for cooking, and breastfeeding leaves me constantly hungey. All those have not left me feeling "good", despite daily walks, plenty of sunshine and seemingly lots of other "healthy" foods. 

If there is a silver lining then it is that my recipe repertoire is expanding as I scrounge to make dairy and soy free meals. The real light at the end of the tunnel, however, is that I accidentally had a couple bites of cheese last week (in a sandwich, after I requested no cheese but didn't actually open to check) and his reaction was much less severe than in the earlier weeks. Now it's a waiting game...

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