Friday, August 28, 2009
A Long Journey To Find Answers
Whew. What a long journey Alexander and I have been on. I haven't mentioned too much on this blog what a time Alexander and I have had since his birth. We've had a difficult time of it and being a first time mom one always second guesses oneself. From the beginning he was said to be "colicky", which is a term I believe just means something is wrong and we don't know what that might be. About 2 months in, my best friend from home got me onto her midwife who advised me to give up all dairy and wheat. He started to improve greatly, I suspected that wheat wasn't the problem and I went back on it. He did better for a while but was never easy in any way all along. I realized this when a Swedish friend came over and saw how he would scream and suggested that there was still some underlying issue, she suggested going off wheat again, but I was unsure too if that was the problem or yet something else all together. I took him to my GP right about the time I went off of the dairy and wheat. She told me that he didn't have an allergy/intolerance to dairy and that if he did he should be throwing up, etc. She wanted me to supplement him with formula and I didn't want to, but because he had a continual stuffed up nose he never fed properly enough to get enough from me. I did a lot of research and told my doctor that I would supplement only if I could put him on Neocate which is basically the only formula safe for a baby with food intolerances. I got the prescription from her and that was good. Later, she referred me to a peditrician from Sydney who just gave me creams to put on him and said that intolerance were only for throw uppy babies.. Then, a few weeks ago my GP refused to refill the prescription of Neocate again. After I had become dependent on it, plus it is a very unpleasant tasting formula and takes a while for babies to get used to. She wanted him to go on milk formula saying that he was now old enough and should be fine. Basically, just saying that I was wrong to believe he had any food intolerances and she would no longer support me. I was so upset because I knew that if I even tried giving him formula to test his reaction that it would be very difficult to interest him to take the Neocate again and I knew it would make him sick again anyway. So, I said to her, "What if your wrong? It's going to be me that spends all night holding a screaming baby, not you. I want to see a skin specialist!" She is a good doctor in many ways, don't get me wrong, but stubborn about believing she is right. And so am I! Luckily, I got Alexander in to the skin specialist right away due to a cancellation. He spent an whole hour with us and the first thing he said was that it was excellent that I supplemented on the Neocate as that was what he would have recommended. Within 10 minutes we knew from the skin test that Alexander is very allergic to dairy, but also to egg, and possibly wheat and peanut (borderline). He wrote a long informative letter to my GP re-educating her about eczema and food allergies in babies!!! And, I have to say I feel so much better since all along when I said he had a food intolerance people looked at me as if to say I was making it up! I did not feel supported by anyone, except my best friend who has dealt with this with both her kids. Also, the looks and comments you get about it being your first baby and how you seem to be having a hard time coping because you don't have the hang of raising kids yet... Etc. etc.
Well, it has only been a few days now since I've gone off of all nontolerated foods and he is sleeping at night, taking naps (he never did this well from the beginning), he's happier when he is awake, his skin is clearing up and life is so much easier. I now know that having a baby is Not as hard as I thought, but that I have been dealing with an unwell baby for 7 months now. This is such a relief. The photo in this post shows what he looked like just before going to the skin specialist. I hope in the next post to show you how much he has improved since then. In the meantime, I'm off all foods not tolerated and we will trial them one by one to see how severe his reactions to each are. This is much safer than actually giving to him directly later on so it is very good that I am still breastfeeding him. Hopefully his reactions will not be too severe and that he will in time outgrow all of these allergies. I feel that he stands a better chance to outgrow them if his system isn't bombarded with what he is allergic to!
There. I just needed to vent.