Thursday, February 17, 2011

A little cooperation please

Sooooo.... an update on the eczema trail.

If you're feeling I'm dwelling on a very minor issue, you may be right. I feel, compared to the hardships many people face, that this is a relatively small blip. But, as a physiotherapist once told me in regards to Seth's mild, mild cerebral palsy (comparable to most cerebral palsy conditions in name alone), that to me it is a big deal, because it's happening to my child and that makes it a big deal to me.

We took Max for allergy testing and discovered he's allergic to gluten, among other things. Upon beginning a gluten-free diet (me, not him, as he's still exclusively breastfed), HE SLEPT! And we slept, and life was grand.

Seriously, within two days of me eliminating gluten from my diet he was able to sleep as normal as babies do. He stills eats once or twice a night, but mostly just... sleeps. Without waking up kicking his legs with belly pains and diarrehea, without being awake for hours upset and obviously tired but in pain and unable to sleep, like we had dealt with for most of January. Even better, his rash has become 'manageable'. He has had little flare-ups and his cradle cap is being persistant, but even these are a thousand percent better than it has been. His chin is a bit of a mess, but I'm pretty sure the constant teething drool is the culprit. He has mostly clear skin, most of the time, and the cradle cap and rashes that we're dealing with now are so very much less severe than before.

I'm still frustrated with... our medical system? Our culture? Not being able to cure him? I'm not sure at what exactly to pinpoint my frustration, but this whole process is making me crazy. Medical doctors (the ones revered and pushed as go-to source for our health information), only give me drugs to soothe his symptoms while they poo-poo alternative medicine. Yes. I just said poo-poo. The alternative practioners (who I admittedly tend to trust and appreciate more since I don't see them as salespeople to drug companies), work diligently to help me find the cause of the problem rather than just bandaging the symptoms, but also work hard to scare me off using drugs for his symptoms.  

Can we just have both sides work together to help me take care of my family please!?!

I believe that our body is a complicated, intertwined design, and that the true implications of drug use are not really known. On anyone's body, let alone a very little developing baby body. But, I also believe we are lucky to have medicine and doctors knowledgeable in it available to us when we need it (although 'when we need it' is highly overdiagnosed in our culture). I'm not sure what poor Max would still be fighting without the steriod creams and course of antibiotics it has taken to get his body back to some kind of acceptable state where his immune system can cope and keep up the fight.

I also believe nutrition, and all the minut details that food entails, is the key to our health, and that it's a conversation mostly ignored in the average visit with our doctor. Of course what we put in our bodies affects, may I even say causes, the output our bodies give back. Why, over the course of many doctors visits with multiple doctors over two months, resulting in a hospitalization, antibiotics, and bottle after bottle of steroid creams, did no doctor suggest looking into food allergies? When a homeopathic visit (where we had the allergy testing done) brings it up first and foremost as accepted and obvious knowledge and helps us combat the problem very effectively in as short as two days?

May I repeat, can these two fields please work together? Please stop damning the other and help me help my family? 

I'm just a mom.

I'm just a mom, trying to sift through so much information in areas I've never even thought of before. I'm not a researcher, a biologist, a nutritionist, a medical doctor, or a naturopathic doctor. I know a bit about art. But I can see what's happening with my kids. And I'm a bit of a cerebral chick, attempting to piece together their little clues and all of the information I can get my hands on.

Max and I met with our family doctor this week, just a bit of a follow-up appointment so I feel like I have one common thread in this series of appointments. I do really like her. She patronizes me much less than most doctors, not judging or lecturing when I disagree. She was saying how much better he looks and listening to me list all the avenues we've been down to get here. How the gluten elimination has been key. How we discovered his allergies through computerized electro dermal screening with a homeopathic doctor. How we're now beginning allergy elimination treatments through a form of auricular acupuncture, a very non-invasive treatment done with a similar instrument as was used to test for allergies through acupuncture points in the ear. To which my doctor said "Great! If it works...", conveying quite clearly she thinks it is a hoax.  

Our naturopathic doctors lead us to a Vitamin B cream that works the best for his cradle cap, probiotic drops to boost both of our immune systems, discussing vitamins I should add, areas in which my own body may be low, why my adrenals and immune system may not be up to par that could have caused him to be born in the same state (I digress, but I'm pretty sure the stress of a move, a new job, extensive renovations, three kids and a new baby in a year might have something to do with my body being a bit run-down) and what we can do about it. Information and aid none of the medical doctors produced. Not to mention leading us to the most important discovery, that food allergies are at least the primary trigger of his eczema, and a path to treat allergies. All in a non-invasive, complication free, no risk of negative unknown longterm effects path. I really just don't think alternative medicine is a hoax.

On another note, I'm tired. I'm tired of hyperanalyzing and monitoring Max's skin and patterns. I'm tired of sounding like a crazy, strung out Mom who can't seem to string a conversation together that doesn't involve discussion of allergies, symptoms, and medical series of events. And probably poop. Poop always seems to make it's way into the conversation. I've caught myself daydreaming of Max being three, of that magical birthday where I'll wake up feeling the desire to shower, realizing I have hobbies and projects I enjoy, and a husband who wants to go for a run with me. Where diapers have no part in my day, my little people can all use words and spoons, and can put themselves in their own carseats and most likely even buckle up themselves. I vaguely remember that point happening briefly between Seth and Claire, and I'm holding onto it tightly.


  1. Victoria, I just can't imagine how difficult all of this has been on you guys. Our son has a few somewhat minor, ongoing health issues and even though they are minor in the grand scope, they are major to us! Something that affects the whole family and causes worry about little ones is major, no matter how minor it may be in certain context.
    I am glad that you are finding avenues to help Max. I agree that it is a shame that there isn't more focus on combined medical care between "standard" medical practice and alternative medicine. It shouldn't be that we are the ones who try to figure out how to mesh them ourselves. That should be the job of the medical professionals. Take care of yourself and your babes!

  2. Thanks so much Kerry! I really didn't realize just how long this post was everyone, when I rant late in the evening I should really learn to wait until after a next morning read over before pressing publish! I told you, crazy strung out version of me keeps appearing, the tired foggy version that feels the need to include every tiny detail. ;)


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