James’ last two months have been interesting! He had a really beautiful three weeks in October, and then something switched right before Halloween. We’re not sure if he was having a reaction to eggs with too many banana pancakes, if he had an issue with the autumn leaf mold…apparently that’s a thing, or if there was some other unknown environmental trigger. But there was a big change- he had lots of eczema and the edginess and irritability returned. And it just stuck. We couldn’t figure out how to kick it, even after removing the eggs, reducing/increasing supplement doses, etc.
After about a month of this flare, we decided to ditch the homemade yogurt we had been holding onto for perhaps too long. Though the 24-hour yogurt fermentation process is supposed to just about eliminate any casein or lactose, we thought it might be worth trying. Especially since the first thing anyone tells you to do in most of these healing diets is to get rid of gluten and dairy. We had previously been scared of eliminating the yogurt when he struggled to eat much of anything else, but the lack of progress prompted us to go forward with it.
The two weeks following yogurt elimination, we wonder if he went through a little dairy detox. He seemed really unsettled–lots of pacing and extreme mood changes. His teachers reported breakthroughs regarding gross motor development, language, and cognition, but also would share how he needed much more prompting, had trouble focusing, and had more trouble transitioning between activities.
Then after two weeks, he seemed to be settling! And open to trying more foods!! Until I watched one too many Hallmark movies with gleeful children and their Christmas cookies, and the mom guilt told me maybe it wouldn’t hurt to give him a bit of organic dark chocolate. And Georgia snuck him more. And then we thought he had the stomach bug. Though as it continued on, we realized it most likely was a reaction. His gut bacteria overgrowth perhaps had a huge party with that chocolate and cane sugar!
When he got his appetite back, he strangely requested every carb he could think of… “I want….pasta! Christmas cookies! Birthday cake! Cheerios! Pizza! Pretzels!” Though I was thrilled with all of these verbalizations, many of these things he hasn’t had in over a year. It’s so interesting what sugar can do.
So we are still recovering from the dark chocolate incident, but it is indeed improving. And I am grateful for the ability to bounce back and to simply know that we can and will bounce back from these hiccups by God’s grace. We’ve come to the realization that we’ll always need to be careful, and food is probably always going to be a bit of a challenge. But then I think about where this journey has taken us so far.
Things that may not have happened if we weren’t on this journey:
- Thomas just finished his second course in his post-masters certificate in human nutrition and functional medicine.
- James has gone from a little boy who used to catch every virus that was near him to rarely being sick (from viruses ;)..maybe from food one day!)
- I’ve shifted my mentality from germ avoidance for my family to equipping the body to fight off germs through diet, vitamins, and a healthy environment.
- Through a few close friends and their gentle guidance, I’ve learned the importance of taking care of myself, which makes setbacks much less scary and more like opportunities to problem-solve, learn, and grow.
- I’m getting the opportunity to interview and learn from truly incredible guests on the upcoming podcast.
- I’m watching my daughter turn into such a caring, empathetic little human.
- We’ve met countless amazing people I’m not sure we would have encountered, if not for this path.
- I’m completely humbled by the fact that you, dear reader, care enough to take the time to follow James’ story. ❤ Thank you.
I know there are many more, but I’ve already gone on longer than intended, per usual.
Wishing everyone many, many blessings in the upcoming year. And even more importantly, the perspective and mindset to see the blessings, even through the setbacks!