After 575 days on GAPS, Carter is offically healed. Now he eats everything!

After 575 days on GAPS, Carter is offically healed. Now he eats everything! Well almost everything! He's still eating a real food/non processed diet for the most part and we will stay away from soy in all forms and cauliflower, mainly because Mommy is still scared of those foods. We are sticking with the 80/20 ratio of foods because now he can indulge in a cheat every once and awhile and he's just fine!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cauliflower Part 2

Ok, where did I leave off? Oh, yes. Carter was sleeping peacefully . . . until 8:30. He woke up withering in pain. I brought him downstairs and he just laid his head on my chest, drew his knees up into the fetal position and kept pushing on his tummy. There were a couple, “My tummy hurts” and then it happened. A full stomach emptying vomit session. Even at a moment like this, Carter still managed to make us both laugh. “Plu-yuck! It doesn’t taste good!” Followed by, “I feel better” with a big smile on his face.  How I love this little boy!
You may be asking how I knew it was an FPIES reaction and not the start of the flu or a stomach bug. There are two things for Carter that are a dead giveaway. The first one is his mood after he throws up. He is immediately happy. He throws up and then starts jabbering away as if nothing even happened. The second giveaway is the up and down cycling his body does. Sometimes he may only throw up once, but his body cycles between a happy jabbering UP and a lethargic, unresponsive DOWN. It is as if his body is fighting itself, trying to find the balance again.
Carter ended up in the shower with Daddy. I went in to check on them, and Eric said I needed to look at Carter’s belly because something didn’t look right. When Daddy gets concerned, I know there’s something wrong! Carter’s belly was HUGE! It was descended and his belly button had gone from and innie to an outie. I have never seen his tummy so swollen! I later learned that the sweet, fermented smell of the vomit and the swollen stomach are from the candida overgrowth in his system. The very thing that we are trying to kill off using the GAPS diet. The candida literally started to ferment the offending food, producing an enormous amount of gas.
His stomach stayed that way for almost 3 days and the dumping diarrhea continued for 2. All of this from cauliflower. Less than a quarter of a cup eaten over 3 days. But there is good news!!! If we had trialed cauliflower before the introduction of the GAPS diet, I am sure we would have ended up in the ER and would probably still be there, trying to keep him hydrated. I am amazed at the difference we have seen in only 3 short weeks. The hard work is paying off!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Bye Bye Carrot. Bye Bye Cauliflower!

It’s been 3 weeks since we started Carter’s journey of healing. We have learned a lot about his body, the way he reacts to foods and the overall state he was in before we started GAPS. Before we started, he didn’t know what it felt like to be hungry. I had no idea this was the case until he started to complain about tummy pain right around mealtime. He didn’t know that the pain he was feeling was his body telling him he was hungry. He is learning now to ask for food. He is learning to be hungry.
It took me a week to make this realization. Carter has NEVER touched food that wasn’t his. He’s NEVER gone into the fridge or freezer or pantry looking for food. He’s NEVER stolen food off of someone else’s plate . . . Until last week. I found him, freezer open, eating a frozen waffle. He stole a cookie off the counter. He opened up Tupperware sitting on the island and ate some food. He took leftover chicken nuggets off his brother’s plate and ate them.  It was an FPIES disaster! Food he has never even looked twice at, he was now desperate to eat. We had a classic vomiting reaction from all the junk he got his hands on, we were all a mess. But it helped me to realize that he needed to eat much more frequently than I realized. He now eats every 2 hours, which amounts to one pound of beef and 2 small pumpkins a day!
We also had 2 fails: Carrot and Cauliflower. Carrot was an uncertain food from many months ago. It used to pass through undigested, but I was hopeful that time had changed that. I was wrong. They were causing low level inflammation as evident from his bright orange and mucousy diapers. So we pulled carrot.
Cauliflower seemed like a safe choice. Low sugar content. And he’s never had it before. 2 big pluses. We introduced it boiled and pureed. He did not want to try it. He took one tiny taste and then refused the rest, going so far as to wipe his hands off immediately if any of the cauliflower got on his fingers. He had his first serving on Saturday. Sunday I mixed it in with his beef and got him to eat some more. Today Carter was obviously hungry and sat down at the table to eat dinner. I gave him the same thing he had for lunch: Beef mixed with cauliflower. He looked at it and screamed. He refused to eat it. It took almost 15 minutes before he finally ate, due to a large addition of salt. Half an hour later, we were greeted with a #3 or poop soup, as a good friend calls it. It happened over an hour ago and the smell is still lingering in the house, a mix of cauliflower and death.
Carter had some obvious tummy pain along with an escalation of cranky’s and clingy’s today, but he’s sleeping peacefully for now. Needless to say, we have pulled cauliflower and he will not be eating it again. Makes me wonder, was the flat out refusal to eat his dinner tonight because he knew the cauliflower was bothering his tummy?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Today is Day 6!

So we have reached Day 6 of the GAPS intro diet. Did I mention that it would get worse before it got better? That’s where we have been for the last four days. Day 3 began with Carter refusing anything, including water. We ended up syringe feeding him some broth and water just to keep him hydrated. He was tired, weak and clingy. By Monday, he hadn’t pooped and it had been 4 days. It is important that his system cleans itself out. That is the biggest way the body expels all the candida (yeast) overgrowth that has taken over his body. So what did that mean? It meant an enema. Clearly not an experience anyone wants to have with a 2 year old, especially when they aren’t feeling well. It was an experience that Eric and I will never forget, but one that I hope Carter forgets quickly. It brought us all to tears. On the plus side, the enema did its job and cleared him out.
He was crying that his tummy hurt, but still refusing water. Carter normally loves water. Did I also mention that he’s stubborn? Eric suggested we add honey to his water, which is GAPS approved, but not recommended at this point in the diet. We were desperate. Carter needed fluids. I made him a bottle of water and honey. I will never forget the image of Eric sitting in the bottom of the shower rocking our little Car Bean and feeding him a bottle of honey water. It broke me and yet strengthened me all at the same time.
We continued to give Carter bottles of honey water, but started to change the ratio. He is now taking 25% water and 75% chicken broth with just a tiny bit of honey. He was up a lot last night, but it was ok because he was drinking his “honey” as Carter calls it. 2 sets of jammies, 3 soaked diapers and 4 bottles all in a four hour period. But he is drinking!!
Carter also went to preschool yesterday. He was tired most of the day and didn’t want to drink anything, but he did eat some boiled carrots! More nutrition in his body! And he loved getting the extra snuggles from his teacher and the preschool director. They have been amazing in the willingness to walk this road with us and with Carter. At every turn, when I expected them to say that we are asking too much of them, they instead pull us closer, help hold us up and   continue to persevere on this journey.
He is tolerating beef broth and meat, chicken broth, pumpkin and now maybe even carrots.  What will tomorrow hold for Carter? I do not know, but I am certain it WILL be worth it in the end!