So as per the Naturopaths suggestion we put Sara on a Paleo diet. She is no longer consuming wheat, barley, rye, corn, oat, rice, quinoa, millet or dairy. I was shocked by how easily she took the news. I was literally tripping out!!
The first day I went shopping (to figure out what she could eat for breakfast) I almost burst into tears in the grocery store because literally EVERYTHING I picked up had either corn starch, corn syrup or corn maltodextrin. Every gluten free product was made with a rice based flour so there went everything I had learned the past 2 months.
So, I grabbed some nuts and seeds, some lentil chips and some Paleo “energy bites” and headed home with $62 less in my pocket and nothing that could easily be identified as “breakfast”. She was unfazed and happily munched away on some almonds and lentil chips. And she never looked back.
I told her about my “near tears” shopping trip and said “Sara this is a VERY restrictive diet. I didn’t grasp how many things you can’t eat. I’m not sure if you even realize it yet?”
She replied “I know, but I don’t want to think about everything I can’t eat. There is nothing I can do about that – I’m just going to focus on what I can eat and stay positive”.
Let me tell you…I have MAD RESPECT for this kid! She has lived a thousand lives in only 13 years.
I said “You just want to feel good again don’t you?” and she just nodded and said “Yes”
In that first week she was hard core committed to the diet and even began to regularly ask for smoothies and fresh fruits. With such a drastic dietary changes I expected to see immediate improvements and was disappointed when the results were nothing significant. It is worth nothing that the day BEFORE she began the Paleo diet she was “glutened” and as a result she actually declined that first week.
But, she bounced back and the second week was significantly better in terms of her energy and sensory issues, but she did find it harder to stay on such a restrictive diet. After a conversation with the Naturopath we decided that we would allow a few items with “trace” amounts of corn in them. So if a product has a wee bit of cornstarch she is eating it. That little adjustment really gave her so much more freedom in choosing foods and gave her the mental boost she needed to stay committed.
Health wise she is still improving daily. That second week she went to school 4 days in a row which is a bit of a record breaker based on what it has looked like lately. Her energy stayed high in the evenings and she is sleeping significantly better again! She is dealing with daily stomach aches and nausea but they seem to be getting better every day.
One frustrating thing (for me – she seems unaware) is that her hearing has NOT improved like when we first went Gluten Free. When we first began this journey the improvement to her CAPD was profound. I think we all agreed that it had pretty much gone away. It was the most unexpected result and the one that had the most impact on her daily functioning. The fact that she was now part of the world again (in an auditory sense) had an amazing trickle down effect on almost every aspect of her life. In fact, it wasn’t until I realized she wasn’t able to hear us anymore that I knew something in her diet was affecting her again.
So naturally I have been HYPER aware of the fact that she really can’t hear shit right now. Nothing. I don’t want to say it has gotten worse…but it is definitely as bad as its ever been. Last night we had a conversation about her and she was sitting right there completely unaware. I can be standing right beside her and make a joke under my breath and she hears nothing. So, I wish I could report that her hearing was miraculously cured again but sadly that is not the case.
But, her personality is back. She is funny and bright, cheerful and making jokes again. And her laugh…its magical. We’ve missed it. She is laughing again. Not the polite “tee-hee” laughs but the kind of deep belly laugh that sends her into hysterics and makes her eyes water. The laugh that her brother works so hard for and the laugh that makes my husband close his eyes and say “I love that sound. I could listen to that all day”.
Fingers crossed that she keeps improving!