… makes the heart grow fonder – at least that is what I hope!!
Huge apologies for my absence of late – it was not planned. Aars has been struggling with his health and weight for about six months. When your child has multiple severe food allergies it’s easy to blame them when your son is “struggling to thrive”. However, Aars worst time of year is Spring due to his severe allergy to silver birch pollen and it’s cross-sensitisation with multiple foods. He tends to lose weight and there is an obvious struggle with his health and wellbeing.
The Autumn and Winter are when he normally builds up his weight, grows in height and is generally healthier. However this has not been the case this year, and with symptoms which had been increasing in ferocity and frequency we went to the Docs to see what they had to say. Because we have a strong family history of Coeliacs Disease the Doc wanted to test for it. I told Aars that he wouldn’t have Coeliacs as well as severe food allergies as that would be REALLY unfair… (fool that I am)
Blood was taken in half term (Feb) and we got the results of the blood tests on the 16th March – the day I stopped posting! Aars had a strong positive blood result for Coeliacs disease and elevated counts for three of his five white blood cells which also indicates an auto-immune disease.
I was taken by surprise by the blood results which the Doc gave me over the phone whilst Aars was in his Wing Chun class. He knew we were expecting a call that day with the results, so I gave him the thumbs up that there was a diagnosis. Staying positive I assured him that now we know what are dealing with we can do something about it; change your diet, manage it and get rid of the symptoms… when I had a moment to myself I cried!
The Doc gave me the number of the referral service to call and inform that Aars needed to see a paediatric gastroenterologist. Which I did.
In private I was very overwhelmed – Aars has always eaten a lot of carbs, many of which are full of gluten! I am gluten-free, but I can eat lots of foods that Aars can’t. My experience of shopping for gluten-free foods is that many of them use egg to do the job of binding which the gluten normally does.
Then our referral appointment came through – for Aars to see a paediatric consultant who deals with childhood obesity and diabetes! Totally the wrong end of the spectrum for him. So back to the docs… basically it has been a bit of a fight and a struggle to ensure that Aars gets the help he needs. There is conflicting advice about wether to cut out gluten immediately when a child gets a strong positive blood result – our GP advised us to cut it out as Aars had lost a load of weight and was suffering with severe migraines, fatigue and dizzy spells… She also referred us to a specific paediatric gastroenterologist and we have now got an appointment booked in with her next month. Which is a relief too!
I spent the Easter hols experimenting with gluten-free flours trying to create starters for sour-dough, and then make sour-dough breads. I am continuing this project and the breads are improving which is encouraging. We made a lot of gluten-free pizzas, Aars’ experimenting with stuffed crusts and multiple free-from cheeses. We also made an insane amount of gluten-free pancakes so he did not feel deprived or like diet was changing too radically.
But my blog fell by the way-side as I was focussing on staying afloat, keeping positive for Aars and trying to hold it all together as we lost another huge food group from his already limited diet.
Now I am back! Having regained my perspective, I know I am blessed to have a good, open and honest relationship with my son. Coeliacs Disease is manageable and gluten doesn’t pose the same threat to him as eggs, dairy, soya…do. Yes; we do have to eat and I cannot bury my head in the sand when it comes to food allergies or auto-immune diseases. Yes it has just gotten a bit more complicated and restricted… But I am determined to keep on baking and develop a delicious gluten-free, egg-free… bread for my son. I am energised to experiment and create many other free-from treats! Any advice from experienced others would be very welcome, and as soon as I have a good gluten-free, egg-free… sour-dough I will pass it on 🙂
Unless I am posting old recipes which did not transfer from my old website pretty much everything I post from now on will be gluten-free as well as dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free… JOY!