Friday, April 8, 2011

Life with EE, EG, and Food Allergies

Hanging out in the back yard with Lucas.  We just put 3 new goldfish in our little pond.

Keandre's diagnosis has pretty much stopped us in our tracks.  It's not that his health issues are worse today than they were last week or even 3 months ago.  Rather, it's the fact that an official diagnosis us forced us to realize that this issue is not going to go away easily, and we need to focus as much energy as possible on helping him heal. 

Our day-to-day schedule includes serving up medications, supplements, and vitamins many times a day.  Nine times a day, to be exact.  (Wow -- no wonder it feels like a lot!)  The good news is that it is helping.  His eczema is improving dramatically, and he has been off of daily allergy medications for a month for the first time since he was less than a year old.  That is no small miracle!

We have to be very careful about what Keandre eats.  We avoid his life-threatening food allergies -- dairy, eggs, nuts -- as well as coconut and other foods he has reacted to -- like fresh blueberries.  It takes planning to make sure he has a balanced diet.  We focus on lots of whole, fresh foods and home-cooked meals.  We are learning a lot about healthy fats, traditional cooking, the importance of buying organic food, etc.  This has been good for the whole family!  I am so very thankful that Keandre likes vegetables, since they are a staple in his diet.  ("Steamed butternut squash or sweet potatoes, anyone?")

We track his symptoms very carefully.  How does he feel when he first wakes up?  Did his medication seem to help at all today?  How much pain is he experiencing, and how often has he thrown up?  It is time consuming to track all of this, but we are hoping to see a pattern that will help.

With all of the prayer and effort we are investing into Keandre's health, we feel it's realistic to be hopeful. 

We hope for healing.  And we hope that someday we won't hear phrases like this on such a regular basis:

"Mom!  Keandre is throwing up in the backyard!"
"Keandre, stop running around or you'll throw up."

"Daddy, my tummy is hurting.  And my throat."
"Mom, is it okay for me to try eating again?"
"I'm sick today.  I have a tummy bug."  (Said almost daily, first thing in the morning.)
It is heart-wrenching to watch our little guy suffer this way.  And it is exhausting to wrap our minds around the reality of this condition in combination with his food allergies. 

But we trust God with all of this. 

We are still hopeful.

And so very thankful for our doctors -- traditional and naturopathic* -- who are helping our sweetie. 

Thank you for your continued prayers and support.  It makes a difference.
*Did you know that in Arizona, naturopathic doctors have four years of medical school as well as their other naturopathic training?  I didn't!  What a blessing, considering there are states where alternative approaches are not regulated and an online degree can suffice!


Rachel said...

We're praying for him and for you! I can't imagine what he's going through - being so little and having to deal with so many issues. (((hugs)))

Katie said...

(((HUGS))) for the whole family as I can tell this will have a huge impact on all of you.

One thing: don't forget his teeth. The acid from throwing up so frequently can have horrible effects on his teeth. You may want to look up info on oral health related to patients with eating disorders as they have similar challenges (specifically, bulimia).

Take care.

Nadia said...

Kiara, can you explain more..if you know...of what exactly EE, and EG are..I did read the links to an extent..(I'm SO not a medical term person LOL) but I'm curious if this is something treatable, or what the prognosis's a bit confusing to me..even though I think it's what our f-baby was diagnosed with..she left us before the diagnosis so we never learnt!!

Lachelle said...

We are continuing to pray for healing for Keandre and strength for the family as you all provides what he needs. Let us know if we can do something else for you all. J enjoyed going to the zoo with L & D.


Jamie said...

You are SO on top of things. I am sure it's not neasy, and some days you want to cry, but you are amazing :). I pray every day is a little better than the last! What naturopathic dr. do you go to? We see dr. vitaro :)

Andy and Kiara said...

Rachel -- thanks for the continued prayers!

Katie -- You are right -- I need to look into that more! For now, I reminded Andy that we need to be taking extra care when brushing his teeth.

Nadia -- You are not the only one asking this, so I'll be sure to do a short post on that soon, with some basic explanations. Your poor foster baby. I hope her next family was able to get good care for her! EE is often misdiagnosed as reflux/GERD.

Lachelle -- Thank you! And the kids had a blast at the zoo. Thanks to you and J for taking them along when I desparately needed that down time to process the news we'd just gotten about Keandre.

Jamie -- We are seeing Dr. Mitchel at SCNM. Usually we go on the student shift since it costs much less, but at some point I'd like to just have private appts. since it's more efficient. :)

Denise said...

I just keep praying that you get some answers and some healing. It breaks my heart that Keandre is in so much discomfort, and I know how exhausting it is for you to try to keep on top of everything.

I didn't know that about naturopaths in your state. I think they should make that a standard in every state!

You're doing such a good job with Keandre's health needs!

AdoptionMom said...

I joined your blog, had no idea you were dealing with health issues with kids.
I have a dairy allergy and it's HARD to deal with. I get sick on McDonalds french fries and their grilled chicken sandwich, both have Casin in them (a form of milk) that bothers some with milk allergies and not others. I had a nurse friend of mine assure me that a dish she made was dairy free, I got really ill after eating it. She had used those Veggie cheese slices they have casin in them (right on the label in small print it says 'not a dairy free food.' lol. Another friend with a DS with milk allergy was feeding him Ragu pasta sauce (no milk/cheese in certain flavors), her DS was getting very cranky afer eating spaghetti a few times, she told me and I said check the lable again, maybe they changed something and sure enough it was labled "new improved" and it had Paramasan cheese in it :O(
Can't be too careful.
Hugs & prayers for you and your family. Come over and and talk chickens on my blog. Ours are about 2/26/11 and the others were born on St. Pats day. So we are pretty new at this.

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