Please give a warm welcome to Em, an amazing mom in Omaha, NE who will stop at nothing to give her boys the healthiest life she can. I had the pleasure of meeting Em recently, and I’m thrilled that she was willing to share her story with all of you here! I’m sure many of you will relate to her journey…from realizing that her boys’ health was suffering…to struggling for answers…and then putting in the hard work (and finances) it takes to implement the natural solutions she believes in so strongly…
“My life changed after the birth of my oldest son in November of 04′. Born with many issues, one of our struggles became something called MSPI (milk soy protein intolerance). Which, after all was said and done from surgeries to NG feeds (Nasal Gastric feeding tube) left a lot of stress and confusion in our home, where new parents had to maneuver through a new food world. All that being said, when he hit 2 years old, we were told he’d out grow his MSPI and to feed him regularly – Even though he failed a conventional milk challenge with pasteurized store bought milk, we were told to feed him normally and see. By the time he was 4 years old, he had been diagnosed as “Failure to Thrive” for his entire life, had a diagnosis of Functional Abdominal Pain and was just a few days away from being in the hospital. He had no energy, was lethargic really, dark circles under his eyes and only wanted to eat macaroni and cheese and ice cream!
It was during this time that my youngest was born and also diagnosed with MSPI! I breastfed the entire time with him. Though he was so sensitive I literally was allowed to eat less than 10 types of food the entire year. None of these foods came from a box or can – this should’ve been my first clue!
Beside myself with worry over my oldest son, I was talking with a friend who jogged my memory of an article I’d read when he was first diagnosed. The article explained that we begin to crave the things we’re allergic to. So, I took to the internet to find what I could and recipes that I could use if I removed the milk from his diet again. This is around the time I stumbled upon the holistic online community at Completely Nourished. I found a few recipes and promptly removed the milk proteins from his diet. Within two days, he was asking for second helpings of food. I added liquid vitamins that were easily digestible for his tummy (all gluten-, casein-, preservative-free, etc.). Within one week, the dark circles under his eyes were gone, he’d put on 2 pounds and most of his personality changed!
Diagnosed with Asperger’s, Tourette Syndrome, ADHD, OCD, etc. I pretty much couldn’t think about his future – I knew what all of these diagnoses together meant. Well, just removing the gross processed milk proteins changed a majority of his issues! His tics were so bad that it would take him 5 minutes sometimes to finish a sentence because he’d tic, stop talking and have to start the sentence over. He was beating himself and had just expressed the desire to have coprolalia (This is what people think of when they think of TS). It was really bad. We removed just the milk and in 3 years, I have not seen his tics come anywhere near that degree anymore. Truth be told, now, when his tics are on a downswing, you wouldn’t even notice he has TS! To top that off, he went from 8 medications down to just 5!!
So, I went back and read Christy’s story again. I followed a few of her recipes and started to slowly cut out all those additives in his food and his brother’s food. We’re still not 100% additive-free, but we’re probably 99% additive-free now. We also made sure that their food was organic whenever possible as well.
Flash forward 3 years and my son was again being tested for Celiac. So, standing there holding him down for yet another blood draw, I realized that rather than keep doing this, it made more sense to just go gluten-free for him. So, we went gluten-free, too. Within 4 days he had what one neurologist termed “withdrawal” symptoms! It was awful really but, by the next day, just like when he was removed from milk, he was almost the little boy I knew at 2 years old!
Which prompted me back to Christy’s story here, where I poured over anyting that I could get my hands on. Then I went went back and got my geek on. I researched for hours sometimes on the internet about foods, GMOs, preservatives, etc., After a little over 2 weeks now casein/gluten free, my oldest is being titrated down on the dosage of 2 of his medications with the hopes that he can get completely off of them! My youngest, who was diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) in November of 2012, was originally put on ADHD meds during the day and awful Clonidine at night to help him sleep. Today, after just this short time off of gluten too, he’s now medication free! Unlike my oldest, who you wouldn’t even know had Asperger’s, you will notice my little guys eye contact problem and sometimes his communication issues, but, overall, his whole personality is different. He’s still a little wilder than the neighborhood kiddos, but nothing like he used to be.
On a side note, before I took them gluten-free and as preservative-free and additive-free as I could, I weighed almost 300lbs on the dot. I got whooping cough last year and couldn’t shake it. Went in a second time to the ER and had pneumonia. They sent me home with some antibiotics and strict instructions. Two days later, I got a call from my GP’s nurse. She told me that I was hands down diabetic, but that they needed to perform another test to be thorough. She read off my entire CBC to me and explained what all these numbers meant. While she did say that my illness would give some of these higher readings, it wouldn’t account for how high all of them were or why they were all out of control.
I found out that I had metabolic disorder, my adrenals were running on empty, etc. I sat there and realized that with two parents who had congestive heart failure, one of which had died at 61 years old from it…and my mother at 64 has already had numerous heart attacks, a stroke and 2 stents put in her heart…I had a choice to make!
As I sat there listening to my numbers being read off and listening to my children digging through their Legos in the other room. I realized that I could keep going the way I’d been going or I could die younger than my parents. So, I headed back to the Completely Nourished online community to find recipes and as much information as I could to get myself healthy enough to take care of my boys. To date, I’ve lost a tad over 40 pounds in 2 months! I have way more energy than I have had in years, and I’m emotionally happier and more together than I have been. My whole life has changed!
Had I not found Christy’s site or story here, I have no idea where we would be now. THANK YOU Christy! We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you! And, for anyone out there reading this…KNOW that diet DOES matter!”