Sunday, January 29, 2012

We are what we eat (I think) and a rant about health care professionals

If you know me, or you've been reading for a while you know I follow a fairly strict gluten and soy free diet, give or take a few irresistible dessert choices when out and about; cannoli's for instance.  (I did read a gluten free cannoli recipe over at GlutenFreeGirl, but man it looked like a lot of steps.) 
My main issue with food allergies is eczema which continues to come and go despite not eating these foods.
Our youngest has another issue; Hives: alarming, continent sized blotches leaving him looking like a pink and white contour map of the world.  Its pretty intense, about once every 2 months.  They arrive mysteriously, stay a few days, then are suddenly gone.  So far they have not caused any breathing difficulty, or even a whole lot of discomfort, but we're nervous.  He's had testing of various kinds, elimination diets, etc. with no luck in identifying the trigger.

The other day he and I saw a specialist who works at identifying deficiencies and sensitivities.
Her results were overwhelming (to say the least).  Obviously I'm still reeling from all the information and trying to take what I can from her recommendations.  So forgive me a minute while I rant:

Doctors suck.  (OK, not all doctors.  There are some I really like professionally, and some I know personally who I am glad to have for friends.)   Its really my own issue.  I get all intimidated and overwhelmed in the face of medical advice.  Of course I want to do the best thing for myself and my children.  Of course I'm thinking of their best needs when I make difficult decisions. Of course  I have researched, talked with people of experience, talked, talked, talked with friends, and still I get in that room with the Dr. and all the information flies out the window.  I'm in a fog.  Even if what they are saying goes against the decision I've made I find it nearly impossible to articulate my wants/needs.  Never mind the whole issue of insurance coverage and money.  Yuck.  From now on I may make Rob responsible for all visits to any health care professional.  There, Done. For now.

I left her office in a cloud of misery feeling like I  may slowly starve to death with my children sobbing around me, begging, please Mama, just a little bit of yogurt...

The verdict:  no grains, no eggs, no dairy, no yeast, nothing fermented.  Pretty much meat and veggies.  Now, I know people who eat like this voluntarily some because they feel better that way, others for more serious health concerns.  If I lived alone I think this would not be so crushing.  But trying to feed 5 of us on this diet, three of whom would most certainly be unwilling, is exhausting to even consider.  Never mind the global implications of a diet based entirely on meat and vegetables.

Emerging from the fog, two days later I realize that this is one person's advice.  That I am a healthy person and will be fine--even if occasionally itchy,  if I don't follow any of this advice.  That perhaps she is wrong and my body is fine eating all of these foods.  This part of me says screw it.  We'll figure out only what we need to avoid the hives, and deal with a bit of eczema.  Another part of me says lets do this, we'll get rid of all this toxic (to us) food, amp up our ragged gut linings, and go on our merry way (hopefully adding back in a few foods as we go).   Right now I'm still weighing my options.  I'm sure in the end it will be a compromise of the two, or some kind of  lifelong back and forth between strict food elimination diets and more typical eating.  In a world of fad diets and free world wide information I'm finding that its easy to find research and opinions to back up almost any diet you choose.
Convenient, maybe, but frustrating as hell.

Best to stop now before I get worked up again.


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