(I started writing this a few weeks back, so if it seems out of place, keep that in mind!)
A Weird Diet
I have written a decent amount on our efforts to make sauerkraut in the past, with some explanation as to why. But let's go a little deeper this time...
In the spring, one my children started to swell up, almost to the point that he couldn't see. My wife took him in the doctor who did a blood test on him... I got a phone call shortly after telling me to come home so we could take our little one to the hospital, an hour away if I sped... his blood count was way low on white cells and all sorts of other issues; cancer? We got admitted and spent the night. The next morning we had to hold our little one down as they tried repeatedly to put an IV into his body, doing the only thing we knew to do to comfort him as he screamed in an effort to rid himself of the stabbing pain... we sang Amazing Grace. Oh boy, I'm going to need to get a tissue...
The procedure was a bone marrow sampling. This is a procedure I am quite familiar with, as I had it done to myself when I was only in 2nd grade. The difference this time is that they were trying to give him some type of anasthesia, something they didn't do when I was in his condition... thank God he didn't have to experience that pain. The result from the bone marrow biopsy was that his bone marrow was not producing the blood cells like it should be... it was effectively shut down. The next day we got more results from the doctor, bracing ourselves for the worst.
It's not cancer.
As the words hit me, I slowly felt myself relax, letting down my guard... it was a fraction of a second of peace and calm before "HEY, SNAP OUT OF IT! WHAT'S WRONG WITH MY BOY!" came crashing into my moment of peace. It was wonderful while it lasted, but that voice in my head was right, what was causing all of these problems?
Kidneys? The Nephrologist (Kidney doctor) came in and talked to us at one point... the did some tests, but that wasn't it.
Digestive tract? The Gastrointerologist (GI) doctor said there were some issues with his stool, enzymes, other words... eh, okay... so his liver is bad?
That's when things kicked into high gear...Now, nearly 9 months later, neither the primary care physician, the GI doc, the Nephrologist nor the osteopathic physician can tell us why our son swelled up like a state puff marshmallow. They couldn't tell us what caused it. They can't tell us what to do to prevent it! All they can do is send us bills, and boy-howdy haven't they done that!
At this point, I need to take a moment and praise God! Last I checked, I'm still allowed to do that on my blog... if you don't like talking about God, just skip over this part. So apparently there is a program in Ohio, paid for by our property tax, that covers everything your insurance won't cover* until it is determined what is wrong with your child. *There are some limitations on this program, but I won't bore you with them. Anyway, with our son in the hospital for three days and all the tests that were done, we blew through our deductible like lightning! We would have been financially brought to our knees if it were not for this program. God provided in an amazing way and we are grateful for it! That said, there was a large number of individuals who also blessed us during this time with gift cards and other forms of support. If that description fits you, thank you so much!
Now what do we do?
One of the interesting things what has been happening in our lives is the discovery of food sensitivities. I currently am not a huge fan of what I discovered, as it means there are a lot of happy foods that I can no longer eat*, which is a not so happy thought! *Let me explain for a moment... when you have a healthy digestive tract, there is a balance of bacteria, yeast and fungus that keeps you healthy. When this is out of balance, you will not be as healthy as you could be. There are lots of things that can cause this to be out of whack too, like stress and antibiotics... in the case of my family, there has been too much of both! Anyway, when things are out of whack, holes develop in the walls of your digestive tract. Depending on various factors, proteins from these foods start passing through those holes into your blood stream... proteins that normally wouldn't be there! This causes a problem, as your immune system responds, thinking that these new proteins in your body represent an invading force, and the troops mobilize...
The simple story - When I eat things that came back with positive results on the blood work, I get a nasty painful blister in my nose... and I can get grouchy too!
Here's where we have ended up...
I've always trusted the doctors to take care of me and my children. If they get hit with a rock and need stitches, I'll gladly take them to the ER. But with all the things that my son has been through, with the doctors only shrugging and telling me what it could have been, we've begun to look elsewhere... we have begun to take a holistic approach here. First it was essential oils and some books on herbal remedies. One of my books helped my wife solve a nasty bout of mastitis, not antibiotics required! (you can try it it you'd like... take a cabbage leaf, bruise it up - maybe roll it with a rolling pin? - and stick it inside your bra, up against your skin... change it out every 4-8 hours as needed)
As you may have noticed, we are now fermenting fools as well. We've made nearly 100lbs of sauerkraut this fall along with 25lbs of dill pickles (they came out too salty, but still good)... and according to some research I've done, it's illegal to sell it in the good ole "Land of the brave and home of the free." The founding fathers would have so many regrets if they could see our country today... but I digress.
But at the end of the day, we have now learned to appreciate a local holistic doctor... and at this point, she has seen all of us. We're now eating pineapple and papaya for enzymes and learning about how to de-sensitize our bodies to our sensitivities... Anyway, after we have all seen the doc the verdict came out to be...
Intestinal Parasites, Yay! (Heavy on the sarcasm)Okay, at this point I've been writing this up for too long... maybe I'll come back and hit up the topic of parasites another time if there is any interest. Our life right now is an exhausting cycle of buying groceries, cooking all of our meals at home, trying to get young'ns to eat with utensils vs their fingers... "No, don't wipe the squash in your hair, I just gave you a bath!" and cleaning up the disaster zone that is inevitably left behind after we put them to bed... wash, rinse, repeat..
I can't believe I'm thinking about putting in a garden or raising chickens (and possibly sheep) again this year! On that note, anybody want to sign up to buy some pastured chickens raised on organic, GMO free feed? I'm thinking about selling it for roughly $5/lb... which is less profit for me than you might think!
I need more sleep...