MY GLUTEN FREE LIFE
I started this blog to share my writing trials and triumphs. It's been a couple of years and I've really stuck to that, but it's time to branch out. I'm not just a writer. I'm a Christian, wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend.
Recently many people have asked me for gluten-free recipes and tips. So, I've decided to expand my writing blog and share about my gluten-free life.
HERE'S WHERE IT ALL BEGAN:
At the end of November 2013, my son developed a rash under both his arms and on the back of both his knees.
I put lotion and aquaphor on it for about a week, but it just got worse. We took him to the dermatologist and they gave us a prescription strength cream, but no answers as to why he had the rash.
I didn't really care too much at that time, I just wanted him better.
The cream kept the rash from getting worse, but didn't make the rash go away. After using the cream for two weeks, the lotion was gone but his rash wasn't. At night he tossed and turned, scratching and clawing at his skin. I tried letting him sleep without clothes in case he was hot.
It didn't help.
I tried keeping clothes on him to make him stop scratching.
Still didn't help.
We went back to the dermatologist. They gave us a stronger prescription, but still no answers as to what it was and why he had it. I brought up the possibility of testing him for allergies. Numbers were tossed around in the $700-$1,100 range. An elephant came and sat on my chest.
We don't have health insurance because my husband is self-employed. I'm a stay-at-home mom with two little ones, trying to get by on my husband's small income.
I had two internal voices yelling at me. One shouted, "We can't afford this!!!" The other scolded, "My son needs it! What kind of mother thinks about money at a time like this?"
I declined at that time and told myself I would research and compare prices and when the time came, I would choose whatever he needed, no matter what the cost, but I would make wise decisions, not hasty ones. But I still felt like I couldn't breathe. The elephant on my chest wasn't going anywhere.
So, we tried the new prescription and I couldn't believe how quickly it helped!!! His rash cleared up under his arms and behind his knees, where we applied the cream.
BUT WITHIN A COUPLE OF DAYS IT SPREAD TO HIS CHEST AND STOMACH. Where we applied the cream was clear, but whatever was wrong with him wasn't fixed, it just had to find a new place to expose it's ugly head.
The elephant on my chest was gaining weight.
His body screamed at me to help! His skin shouted, "I'm hurting! YOU ARE DOING SOMETHING WRONG AND I'M SHOWING YOU! NOW STOP POISONING THIS BODY!!!!"
But what was wrong? Why was it getting worse? How was I going to figure it out before my child had permanent scarring?
ELEPHANT. ON. CHEST. CAN'T. BREATHE.
One night I locked myself in the bathroom, ran a bath of hot water, and sobbed. I've learned in my lifetime that there's only one "person" I need to cry to.
This mommy thing can be hard. This mommy thing can be scary. I'm reminded in these times how much I need God. I felt so helpless. All I knew to do was pray.
The next day I told my husband I was putting Wyatt on a strict diet and if it didn't help then we'd have to get him tested before his skin was permanently scarred, not to mention the damage that might have been going on on the inside.
I took him off of eggs, ham, dairy, gluten, and anything I could think of that might be an allergy related food. I explained to Wyatt that it would be really hard for him but it was just until I knew what was causing his rash.
He ate fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, and grilled chicken.
Within 48 hours his skin was nearly spotless!!!!! This rash, which had progressively gotten worse for 6 weeks, was gone in just 2 days!!!!!!
It was an answered prayer! The elephant got up and walked away. My son was better and there didn't appear to be any scarring once it cleared!
Slowly I added foods back into his diet keeping a close eye on his skin. We started with eggs. I allowed him to eat eggs for a few days and the rash didn't come back. So I added ham back into his diet. (The kid loves ham)
A few days passed and he was still clear.
Finally I added dairy. I was sure by now it was either dairy or gluten. So I picked one and prayed for the best.
Still no rash!!!!
By process of elimination, I found out my son was allergic to gluten. And just to prove that it wasn't a fluke, from time to time Wyatt's skin breaks-out again. His rashes are mild and we can usually trace it back to a slip-up where he was exposed to gluten.
For example: We ate at Buffalo's one day after church. We ordered Wyatt the grilled chicken (plain) and corn on the cob. The next day the back of his knees were broke-out.
I knew I hadn't prepared anything that would cause this (because by now I was a pro in the kitchen at gluten-free meals) so my suspicions were on Buffalo's.
We went there the following week, ordered the same food, and got the same results.
The third week we went and I asked the waitress how they cooked their corn on the cob. She said they fry it in the frier.
I'd found the guilty culprit! (For those who are new to gluten-free, they fry all sorts of breaded foods in the frier and people who are very sensitive will have a reaction. Corn is gluten free; Restaurant friers aren't). We ordered broccoli that time and he didn't break-out!!
So I'm learning as I go. Sometimes we have to test things and see how his body responds. Somethings we don't even try--if I'm certain it's gluten then we just don't risk it.
We bring gluten-free brownies to any kid event that will include cake or cookies, this way Wyatt doesn't feel deprived. I send gummie snacks to his teacher so she has treats for him whenever she gives out treats. I made sure he had his own Easter candy to replace the candies in the Easter eggs he found. It takes work and time and I have to be one step ahead, but it's worth it to see my child happy and healthy and enjoying all the things the other kids do, just with gluten-free foods!
I'll start posting recipes and all the yummy things we've discovered over these past few months. I'm in no way an expert, but I'll gladly share my trials, errors, and gluten-free successes. I'd love your recipes and stories as well!!
Thanks for reading!