Elimination Diets and Slow Stakes

October 2, 2012 by Rieshy

For the record, linking the word elimination with the word diet is just gross.  I must live under a rock but earlier this summer when my 6 year old's pediatrician mentioned putting said son on an "elimination diet" I had to blink a few times before I got past thinking she was talking about some new twist on EC.

We were in the pediatrician's office for poor asthma control.  Which was weird because my 6 year old's asthma is usually only triggered by cool air.  Cool air in June in TN is not exactly an issue.  It wasn't asthma, it was reflux- or at least reflux that was aggravating his asthma.

Who knew?  He's always had reflux but only lately had he begun coughing/clearing his throat explosively.  ALL THE TIME.  Just try sitting close to a little boy to teach reading (already an activity that requires nerves of steel, coffee, and the ability to astral-project oneself to the beach) while the little boy slowly sounds out words which are punctuated at maddeningly random intervals with explosive cough sounds.  Go ahead, try it- I dare you.

You might lose your mind.  You might find yourself saying-in an uncalm manner, stupid things like, "You are not allowed to cough anymore, ever again!"

First we tried allergy meds.  Great, just what I wanted to do, adding more medicines to my little FOD'er routine.  They didn't work.  I was glad.

Pediatrician's office again, that's when we tried reflux meds.  Wow, immediate relief.  Except we don't want our son on reflux medication. Thus the afore mentioned suggestion of an elimination diet in the hopes of being able to cut out whatever was causing his reflux.  Now because of our son's FOD he is on a low- fat diet that doesn't include most of the foods that people with reflux are supposed to avoid.  I heard myself telling the pediatrician how healthy he ate but at the same time a little voice in my head reminded me that for the first time since his diagnosis he hadn't been eating great.

A Little Caesars had opened near us in May.  Do you know how cheap their pizza is?  Bad mom.  In countless other ways I realized I'd slowly slipped into easy food rather than healthy food.  Sure his diet was low-fat compared to the general public but I had started making all sorts of exceptions.  He wanted the exceptions- I liked saying yes.  I liked being liked.

This is part of the journey of raising a child with a chronic illness.  He's gotten old enough to want to eat what everyone else is eating.   Eating the wrong foods doesn't always immediately make him feel bad.  It can slip up on people with FOD's. Eat wrong for a few months and lose some energy, develop reflux, get a little puffy and a have some low-tone issues, none of which are compelling or linkable in the mind of a 6 year old when he's being offered birthday cake and ice-cream.

Eating wrong throughout childhood for a FOD'er is not about weight but about developing a fatty liver, heart problems and even blindness.  It might be the difference between having the energy to grow into the strong and smart man I know he can be.   That doesn't even include the health problems that can be caused by constant reflux.

The stakes are huge, just imperceptibly slow and they have nothing to do with being liked.  Parenting is so often like that.


1 comment:

Melanie said...

Parenting is SO often like that. I wish someone had told me that before I had kids. Good luck!

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