We’re back after the summer hols and looking forward to international chocolate day tomorrow! There are a load of chocolatey recipes at the bottom of this post to help you celebrate this wonderful day too 😉
It was a strange Summer this year, we had a mini break in Cornwall, and lots of fabulous days out – making the most of our proximity to London and the seaside! But the whole summer was over-shadowed by one consultant, who’d told us Aars would need to have an endoscopy this summer. She did not communicate – post appointment in May – you can read about that appointment here! Neither did she did communicate pre-endoscopy or post-endoscopy. So I feel like I have expended a lot of energy this summer, futilely trying to wrangle some information out of the woman who is meant to be aiding Aaron’s health.
As you know Aars has had plenty of experience of hospitals; in A&E, admitted and as an outpatient. Everyone we have come across on these occasions has been incredible. But the consultant we have been interacting with (rather not interacting with) this summer has bucked the trend.
Aars got sicker and tireder, it was a miserable way to spend his Summer holidays. He decided that he was going to stop eating gluten on the 18th August after he had completed the three months she had required for the endoscopy. I had called her secretary to ask about the date of the endoscopy and had spoken to her a few times after that initial call – every time I was told that the consultant had not yet responded to my messages. By the 4th August we were well into the final month and still hadn’t heard from her about the endoscopy appointment.
Thanks to Aars’ wonderful GP’s effective pestering, we finally got a letter from the hospital on the 8th August with the date of the endoscopy. He was booked in for Monday 15th August.
The consultant told us, both immediately before and after the operation, that Aaron must continue to eat gluten until we got the results. She said that she would call us with the results on the 19th of August, 23rd of August at the latest. So Aars carried on eating gluten.
We did not hear from her, and I had no joy ringing the hospital and her secretary daily. Aars set a deadline for himself/her as all his symptoms were worsening; the 30th August. He didn’t want to return to school feeling weak, tired and ill… By the 30th August we still had not received the results from her, I checked with the GP to see if the consultant had written to her rather than us (as she’d done this previously). But no word. I’d been calling her secretary’s number at least once a day – by the 30th (Aars’ deadline) I was up to 10 calls in one day. The phone was either engaged or rung until it was cut off.
Aars returned to school on the 1st September having spent his entire summer feeling knackered and ill due to all the gluten in his system. He’d had enough, and had lost any remnants of faith and trust in the consultant. I spoke with his GP and she agreed with Aars cutting out gluten – even if that means we do not get the definitive diagnosis of Coeliacs Disease. It is very clear that that gluten has a really negative impact on his body, and the month when he cut it out between April and May had a hugely positive impact on him. He grew, he put on weight, his energy levels soared, he went from the bottom ten of sixty boys in cross-country to the top ten – it was remarkable.
We still have not heard back from the consultant regarding Aaron’s biopsy results, in three days it will be a month since he had the operation, and she said we’d have the results in four days! The GP has written to her again – but no results yet! By the end of the summer I was very stressed. It’s frustrating when all you want is for your child to be healthy and under the orders of a consultant you are feeding him something that makes him sick. I obeyed on trust – trust that she would inform us of the results, inform us of the plan and how long this would continue… instead all there was was radio silence.
So Aars is gluten-free. We have given up on the consultant. If we ever get the biopsy results that would be a bonus – but I have stopped calling her. It’s a shame that he spent his whole summer eating a food that makes him so ill. It’s a shame that she didn’t keep her word and communicate the results so that we could make an informed decision about how to proceed. I really hope that his eating gluten for nearly four months does count for something – but I’m pretty sure it won’t, and it was a waste of his summer holidays, and a waste of my time pestering her to let us know when the operation would be, followed by futile calls trying to get the results of his biopsy.
From now on the recipes I post on free2bake will be gluten-free. If you use normal flour – it will work well in these recipes especially if you’re egg-free like us. If you do have any questions about recipes using normal flour please get in touch as for most of the food I have cooked Aars previously has had normal flour in it so I have a mass of recipes which will work for you.
I am going to be experimenting with different types of gluten-free flours too which is exciting! In the meantime, did you know that it’s international chocolate day tomorrow? Very exciting!! So here are some of our fave chocolate recipes for you to enjoy 🙂
recipes for international chocolate day YAY!
these are our favourite little chocolate bites – we call amazeballs ‘cos they are amazing!
our delicious Mexican free-from proper hot chocolate
some yummy, healthy chocolate smoothies
a naughty but nice gooey chocolate cake (with gluten)
And the gluten-free version
And some scrummy chocolate brownie biscuits
I hope that there is something lovely and chocolatey there for you to enjoy tomorrow!
Smiles and love,