Monday, April 22, 2013

Half way done!!

Well it's been a little over two months and we are half way done with the NAET allergy elimination treatments. It's been hard, but we are trying to take it one week at a time. Step by step, trying to be patient with the process. Trying to live in the moment and learn what we need to learn in this step of the process. I have found a few things to help the treatments and avoidance run smoother. I am half writing this for me. So I can document this journey. But also, for any of you reading this who might be doing the NEAT with your kids too. When I was researching this treatment for kids, I was hoping to find more resources like what you CAN eat, or tricks to make it more bearable, but couldn't really find any. So I hope this can help someone...anyone.

For one, before his treatment on Friday afternoons, I make sure to give him everything he won't be able to eat after his treatment. So usually his Friday lunch consists of a peanut and butter sandwich, fruit, veggies, and TWO gluten free chocolate chip cookies. I try to get him as full as possible before we go in, to cut down on the crankiness after the treatments. I have asked around, and being in a bad mood seems to be the norm, especially with kids. He is cranky for a lot of reasons. For one, his body is being exposed to things he is allergic to, and that always affects his behavior and mood. And then, his body is working hard to eliminate the allergy. This is exhausting business! Then, he can't eat his favorite foods. And lastly, he can't go in the kitchen. Whew...I'd be cranky too! So disracting him is completely necessary! So here's what have been doing. I write a list of the things he CAN have and put it on his table. So whenever he says he's hungry, I show him his "menu" to choose from. The other thing we try to do is stay busy. I usually try to get a new movie from the redbox. He loves to watch movies over and over again, so this works well. Another thing we do is play outside...a lot. However, the last couple of treatments for vitamin b and c, you have to avoid grass, flowers,plants and trees. So we have been stuck inside and that's rough!! So on those days we rented a new game for the wii from the redbox too. Another thing I try to do is save the foods I know he can eat during avoidance only for Fridays. He can usually eat jasmine rice and steak with every treatment, so I save those foods for Fridays. Also, he loves hard boiled eggs, so those are a special Friday treat too. We seem to be getting the hang of this now. So the treatments get a little easier each time, with less crankiness.

And speaking of crankiness. Between his diet change of no gluten, dairy, or food dye and doing the NAET treatments, his fits of rage have completely stopped!! I cannot tell you how much this has changed our lives. I no longer feel like I need to walk on eggshells around him. He can now handle everyday disappointments with a normal and appropriate reaction. Before, the littlest disappointment would send him over the edge. His legos falling over, me telling him he couldn't have a snack, or his sister saying something he didn't agree with would send him into a 30 minute meltdown. He would scream, cry, kick, hit himself while saying he was a bad boy, and so on. I would try to talk to him and try to get him to look at me. He could not. His eyes would glaze over and I could not get through to him. That is a scary thing to watch your kid act like that. And even scarier to think of him acting like that as a teen or adult. The amount of damage he could have done as a full grown man sends chills down my spine. I am SO thankful that those have stopped. Our life is forever changed now. And it makes my heart so sad to think about all the kids with these same rage attacks. All the kids who are on medicine to calm them down when a simple diet change could help so much. It makes me look at the "bad" kids so much different. My outlook on behavior is forever changed. Now, don't get me wrong. He still has bad days, he still throws hissy fits, but they are so much less severe. He can talk and reason with me. And usually calms down in a few minutes. So thankful.

I am very excited to get done with all the NAET treatments in the next couple of months, and start reintroducing foods. I'm hoping that by his birthday, he will be able to eat "normal" again. I'm scared for this part though. His behavior and rage have gotten SO MUCH better, that thinking about reintroducing foods makes me feel a little ill. The good thing is, he really doesn't mind being gluten and dairy free on a normal basis. It's only on the special occasions that it gets hard. Class parties, (which happen way too much for my liking) team pizza parties (I actually caught him trying to take a bite of pizza at the last one we went to) and fun outings like the bike classic are the hardest. He's fine until everyone else is chowing down on a shaved ice, pizza or a donut, then it gets a little harder. It's hard to see him get bummed. As a parent, you just want your kid to be happy and healthy. And when making sure your kid is happy and healthy includes not eating crap, well them that's just extra hard. And also to think that the things I am going to be reintroducing and the stuff that I dont like him to eat anyways, makes it a little harder too. But I have to remember that there is a balance. There is a time for crap food and a time for healthy food. Let me tell you, this kid is going to out live us all though. He eats fruits and veggies with every meal. Asks for them if I forget. Actually loves healthy food. Its so nice to not have to worry about that. One less struggle in life right?!?

Saturday, February 23, 2013


We have started a new journey. It's the next step of the allergy elimination for Toby. It's called NAET. Here is what the website of the naturopath we are going to says about it.

What exactly is NAET?

NAET is a safe and effective technique in detecting and eliminating or desensitizing all types of allergies. NAET combines Kinesiology (Muscle Responsive Testing), Chiropractic and Oriental Medicine to clear allergic reactions through a reprogramming of the brain. Our brains have a natural built-in subconscious function controlling the immune system, which has the potential of keeping us allergy free. What has been developed is a technique that consciously focuses the brain on a single allergen while clearing the blocked energy formerly associated with that allergen. This technique can successfully desensitize the body in order to achieve an allergy-free state. NAET is non-invasive and painless. A revolutionary treatment that is gentle and effective.

How does it work?

Research has shown that when major allergies are eliminated and the immune system is strengthened, the body resumes normal healing and homeostasis. The basic idea is that we have cellular memory. Our allergies are actually physical manifestations of a memory of being sensitive to something. When we neutralize that memory, per se, we actually clear an allergy. By stimulating the spinal nerves and other specific acupuncture points, in the presence of an allergen, we are desensitizing our bodies and minds to this said allergen. It sounds confusing, but it's really quite simple.

How these treatments go is that he gets treated for a certain mix of foods, he has to avoid those foods he was treated for, for 25 hours. The first treatment two weeks ago did not need any avoidance. So that was easy. Last week he was treated for eggs and chicken. So that was all we had to avoid. He was perfectly fine with fruits, veggies, rice and steak! But this is the third treatment this week. And it was for calcium. The avoidance on this one is really hard for him. A ton of foods have calcium, so he is limited to chicken, steak, rice, rice pasta, and cooked vegetables. (Which he can't stand, he will eat raw veggies all day long, but just does not enjoy them cooked.) So needless to say, only eating those things for 25 hours, especially for breakfast is hard. I caved and gave him a banana for breakfast because I looked it up and it said he has VERY little calcium. So I'm just hoping and praying that it doesn't mess it up. Because if his body gets exposed to too much of it, it cannot heal and his brain will not be reprogramed. He will have to do the treatment and this avoidance again. So I'm really hoping a didn't blow it. But chicken, steak, rice or vegetables are just NOT breakfast foods!! He understands, but that doesn't mean he's not upset and frustrated with that fact.

He had a melt down last night because he was hungry and didn't want to eat any of the approved foods. He was so upset. So was I. I had a little melt down too. I tried to explain the best I could that this is for his own good. And that one day of not eating good food is totally worth it if he can eat it for the rest of his life. And that yes, it sucks, it's not fair. It's just not. But this is how it is, and that we can learn to be so much more thankful for our health once this is all over. I just kept telling him I am sorry he has to go through this and that he can cry and scream its not fair for as long as he wants. Because its not. But that God has a plan for us through this and all we can do is go day by day and look forward to the end result. That (hopefully and prayerfully) by his birthday August 1st, he can eat anything his little heart desires.

After I put him to bed, I went to just sit with God. Just to feel the peace of His presence. I needed it desperately. And He revealed to me that His feelings for me are the same as my feelings for Toby. He lets me go through these things, these storms, but He's doing it for my own good. He allows me to cry and scream that its not fair and He cries with me because its not. He knows its not fair, but that it has to be done for my own good. I got a taste last night of how my Heavenly Father feels for me and with me. What a blessing that was. This journey is hard. And exhausting. But getting little reminders like this one is what keeps me going. All I can do it go day by day, doing the best I can. Not getting frustrated if I mess up. And completely leaning on the One who created me and knows exactly how I feel. God is good. All the time.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Its been a rough week

This food allergy stuff is not easy. As we are coming up to almost a month of being gluten/dairy and now food dye free, the newness is definitely wearing off. And while knowing the right foods he can eat is getting easier, the fact that he cannot eat certain foods is not. Friday at school they had a birthday. All the kids got donuts. I didn't know it was a birthday so I was unprepared. I had trail mix in my car. So he ate trail mix. When I picked him up, he said he didn't care, but he was grumpy. I know that it has to bug him. Especially because he LOVES donuts. Friday night we went to a birthday party. It was a movie night party with pizza, popcorn, and treats. So I fed him dinner before we left, popped our own popcorn, (most of the store bought stuff has yellow "natural" food coloring...thats no where near natural) baked him some gluten free brownie cupcakes and headed to the party. He was fine with his stuff but I could tell he was looking at that treat table the whole time. There was sour patch kids on the table. He loves sour candy, so I looked it up and they are gluten free!! I know that he is very sensitive to red and yellow food dye so I kept those out. So i gave him the green and...wait for it...the orange ones. Mom FAIL. Did I not go to kindergarten and remember that red and yellow make orange. So I paid for it immediately. He was crazy hyper. Could not sit still. Kept giggling, repeating certain phrases over and over, couldn't keep his hands off of me or Olivia. He even said at one point (speaking as fast as humanly possible) "Mom, I think I had too much sugar, I should never have sugar again" On the way home, he had a panic attack because he had to pee and it took us two whole minutes to pull into a fast food place. His panic attack, coupled with the food dye, game him an asthma attack. This was the the first time time the entire month that he had to use his inhaler. We were both so bummed. He kept saying "I don't need my inhaler anymore, I don't eat gluten. Broke my heart. It was my fault. I didn't think it through and fed him something that is like poison to his little body. We paid for it for the next 24 hours. He didn't feel better and get back to his happy self till he woke up Sunday morning. hard.

So Monday comes, he goes to school and when I pick him up, one of the moms asked him how he liked the vegemite. He said he liked it. Ut-oh. I asked him when he got to the car what she was talking about. He said she talked about Australia and then they had some food from there. Vegemite and something with coconut on it. Here we go again. He said "I had it on a spoon instead of a cracker so I wont throw hissy fits" I looked it up and the main ingredient is barley. Gluten filled barley. And the coconut thing? A coconut cake. The mom didn't know, and his teacher was not out there with him. And since its so new, she's not used to this either. I don't blame anyone, but it's just frustrating. That day was bad. He cried and flopped on the ground every time I asked him to do one page of homework. He was moody, angry, and mean. He had a huge hissy fit when I told him it was resting time and needed his inhaler again. It is SO crazy what food can do him.

The last two days have been really hard too. He comes home from school and is just grumpy. He has thrown hissy fits both days but insists that he didn't eat anything from school. It's SO hard to do this when I am not around him 24/7. He's 5, he loves food, and is used to being able to eat anything. So when he eats something he is not supposed to, I can't get mad at him. We are learning. All of us. And I'm hoping that he continues to see how he feels when he eats something that he is not supposed to and decides he doesn't want to feel that way. I just have to keep giving him grace. I have to understand that even if he hasn't eaten something he is allergic to, he might just be having a bad day. I have to remember that he is 5 and will still get upset and make bad choices. I try to remind him that he still needs to treat us with kindness and respect even if he isn't feeling good. I tell him I know that it is harder to be nice when he's feeling bad, but that it is not an excuse to lash out on everyone. And while I understand why is he doing it, its still not ok. When he yells at us, or throws a hissy fit, he always runs to his room and says "I'm a bad boy". I have to constantly remind him that he is not a bad boy, he is just making bad choices. After he has calmed down, he has asked me if I am going to get sick of him. This breaks my heart the most. Every night I have to reassure him that I love him no matter what his choices, and that I will NEVER get sick of him. I have to give myself a little grace too, but that is not as easy. I get very frustrated and sad when he throws fits. I blame myself for feeding him the wrong thing, or not handling the situation right. I get so bummed that I work so hard to feed him the right stuff and when he's away from me, one little thing ruins the next 24 hours (or more) for us. All that hard work down the drain. Its emotionally and physically exhausting for all of us.

Now I want to talk about my husband Kevin. He has been my absolute rock through all of this. He is amazing. He has so much patience and tenderness with Toby. Once he saw that it really was the food making Toby act this way, it really changed his heart with regards to Toby's fits. He used to get totally frustrated with him, as did I. But now, Kevin sees it in a much different light. In the middle of a fit, Kevin has been able to go in and just talk with Toby. He stays in there even when Toby is screaming at him to leave. He just sits, listens, and talks about his day, legos, star wars, army men...anything. He talks calmly and quietly, without emotion. Just two boys, hanging out. And this is EXACTLY what Toby needs. He calms down so much faster. And always comes out with a smile and an apology. I now call him the Toby whisper-er.

Olivia is also having a bit of a hard time. She has started lashing out by talking back and yelling at us for little things...big things...anything. I picked her up from school early yesterday for a mommy coffee date. I asked her how she's feeling and she told me that she feels like we pay attention to Toby and not her. Talk about a dagger through the heart. Its totally true. We spend so much time and energy trying to get Toby healthy. She is healthy, she can do things by herself that Toby cannot. So she gets less attention. I am trying to fix that. One day at a time. I want her to know that she is just as important, just as attention worthy, just as loved.

And that...takes more energy. I feel like I am out of energy. So if you are the praying type, could you say a quick prayer for me...for our family today? I am tired, and spread really think these days. I am trying to remain positive and thankful.I WILL get through day at a time.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Tobys New Journey

So Toby has been gluten and dairy free for two weeks now. I cannot even tell you how beneficial it has been for him. (As well as the rest of the family) Wow...where do I even start???
Toby is a happy kid. Like...a REALLY happy kid...till he's not. There are two Toby's. There is the sweet, kind, easy going and happy kid that he is when he is around most people. And then, there is crazy Toby. And this Toby only comes out at home. Anything at all could set this Toby off. A TV show being turned off, me telling him to do something simple like get dressed, or even a tower of legos falling down and breaking when he wasn't ready for it to. These are normal life things that happen. Things that normal kids can handle. But sometimes Toby just could not handle life. He would have the worst melt downs. When he throws a fit, I mean, he takes things to a whole new level. He screams...SO loud. Cries hysterically without any chance of calming himself down. He would cry and scream for so long that he would give himself asthma attacks. He would be coughing and hyperventilating, gasping for air. He would scream irrational things over and over like "I just want my door open" when it was open. He would go on like this, flopping and rolling all over his room, running into walls, kicking and hitting the walls. Hitting himself in the head saying "I'm an idiot" over and over. (I am in tears right now as I right remembering some of the worst ones where by the end of 30 minutes we would both be sobbing and I would be begging God to help us just get through this) One day, after a really bad one, I asked him what I could do when he was like this. I felt like there was nothing I could do to help him. He looked at me with the saddest eyes and said to me "Mom, just pray for me". He went on to tell me that he hates throwing hissy fits and just wishes God would help him stop. As a mom, my heart was broken. My kid does NOT want to act like this. He does NOT just need to be spanked/disciplined. He could NOT control himself. He needed help.
After lots of thinking,praying, and researching, I realized that the times that he acted the worst, was when he ate something he was allergic to. He is highly allergic/sensitive to red food dye and he always seemed to be the worst after ingesting some of it. Even waking up with a fever one night after giving him a bite (yes, a bite!!) of red velvet pancake. It was affecting his body. And now it was affecting his mental health. It was time for a change.
*After two weeks of gluten and diary free I am so happy to report: The hissy fits have stopped completely! We have only had had 2 melt downs (mini hissy fits)in the two weeks. One happened after church one Sunday. I was really discouraged till I realized I forgot to tell the people at church that he couldn't have snack and he ate goldfish and pretzels (both use red dye no. 3 as a preservative) He literally came home from church, laid on his bed crying, flopping back and forth repeating "I don't want to go to sleep, I don't want to go to sleep, till he eventually passed out after 10 minutes later. The other happened after church because they gave him red koolaid. (which is gluten free but again red food dye). We spent all day waking on egg shells around him because everything made him cry. He even said to me "Leave me alone mom. Im grumpy and just sick of myself" I cannot BELIEVE how much the food he is allergic to affects his mental health. And it gets me really sad for all those "bad" kids out there, whose behavior could be completely changed with small diet changes. (But thats a whole different blog.)
*His asthma has also been non existent since he's been gluten and dairy free. Not one asthma attack in two whole weeks!! That might not seem like a lot, but he needed it almost every day before. Especially when the weather goes from cold to hot like it has been. He has even been out running around twice for over 20 minutes (which again, might not seem like a lot but that is a long time to be running around for an asthmatic kid) and I would go grab his inhaler because in the past he would have needed it, but nope, he didn't. Its been AMAZING.
*He has been so happy, so much more of the time. He still has has moments, where he gets upset or agitated, but it is manageable. I can talk him down, where before nothing could talk him down. When I tell him to do something, he jumps up and says "ok mom". It catches me off guard every time because before when I would ask him to do something, I would brace myself to get ready for battle. But no battles, the worst he does now, is ask me if he can do it in a minute when he is done with whatever he is doing. WOW...such a change.
*He is sleeping better. Over 12 hours a night without waking up. He had stopped taking naps in October, but has napped, without complaining 5 times in the last two weeks. He even put himself down for those naps!! Even he sees how much this diet is helping. It was actually a blessing that he got the foods he was allergic to those two times because I was able to point out his behavior after he ate those foods. He understands. So he doesn't complain when he cant eat certain foods. I tell him they have gluten in them and he doesn't ask again. He sees how much better he feels. Our house is SO much more peaceful. I am SO thankful that certain information and experiences have been put in my path so that I was educated on this stuff. I am so greatful to everyone who gave me support,tips, and their knowledge when I was researching this stuff. Everything is coming together and feeling much more normal after two weeks. Praise the LORD!