WARNING: the foods we cook for Abby are safe for her, but not necessarily for everyone. Please confirm any ingredients are safe for you before using in your diet. Food Allergies can kill and the best policy is complete avoidance. Read this post for more info.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

If I Could Do it Over...

I was digging through photo's the other day and thinking a lot about the various choices we made raising the girls and I could not help but feel a huge stab of guilt over a few choices I made. When "everyone" else including the Drs. are encouraging or reassuring that your decisions are good ones, you tend to ignore that "gut" feeling telling you to do your own research, telling you to wonder why that other smaller group of families is telling you to think twice before just going along with the masses.

1) Think. I have a brain that is perfectly capable of reading medical research. We all know that depending on the outcome wanted, research can be tweaked to support one side or the other. Looking back I wish I had trusted myself to believe what I read.

2)Trusting Drs.
I should have never. Abby had chronic ear infections even though she was breast fed. The Ped was often hostile to me and even said that if I was really breast feeding her then it was impossible for her to have all these ear infections(which she took multiple antibiotics for)I fought for months to get her to an Allergist because the Ped at the time said it was "impossible" for a baby under the age of 1 to have food allergies. (I have heard other Mom's even today say they have still been told the same mistruth). She wasn't normal, I had been around a ton of other babies and I KNEW something was terribly wrong. Again we questioned the Ped who blamed me for her delays. I was told I held her "too much", that she needed to "cry it out" in order to develop properly. My "gut" said that in Abby's case that particular advice was child abuse.. At that point my "gut" said don't trust the Drs. advice when it conflicts with your gut.(I did continue to hold Abby whenever she wanted and also refused to let my girls cry when crying clearly means they needed Mom or Dad) As she hit puberty I was told to "push her".. she was just being dramatic,needed to toughen up, she was just sensitive.. The worst advice was Public School was the best place for her to get stronger.. Hardly. Abby listened to them as well and when we pushed, she broke. She trusted their advice and felt she had failed when she got sicker, not that the advice was wrong in the first place. My "gut" said, keep her home, let her rest, and instead I trusted the Drs who were WRONG.

Not as safe as they tell you. My gut said - "don't do it", and I did not listen. I will regret that decision until the day I die.

4) Medications. Asthma, allergies, sensitives.. she was prescribed an extreme amount of medications. If one did not work or caused reactions instead of just cutting it, the Dr. would quickly replace it with another. She got sicker. Looking back? I would have trusted what I saw in Abby and not the Dr or water down side effects listed on the insert. I still remember the moment that I "knew" all the medicines were creating as many issues as they were treating.. As we were leaving the Drs. office one afternoon and the Dr. as he walked by said " oh and you might want to have her eye's checked in a couple months because it can cause glaucoma." I will never forget his nonchalant attitude.. That was one of many wake up calls.

5)Food. When you have a baby allergic to what seemed like everything you learn pretty quick about food. I did learn. 20 years ago it was a whole lot easier though to remove allergens. It was still easy enough to find single ingredient food that wasn't grow,sprayed,treated and cross contaminated with everything. The last few months I nursed her I ate a lot of rice and drank a lot of lemonade and though it wasn't easy the ear infections slowed and she was happier, cause and effect and I was glad to do it. That lesson alone should have been a blueprint forever to food in my home,but I ignored the evidence and trusted the Drs. As she got older all her Drs. said she had "outgrown" those allergies and to "let her eat whatever she wanted.". Her leaky bladder, trips to the bathroom, were just her, they had NOTHING to do with what she ate. When she got so sick again at puberty I removed a few of the old allergens without much result. When I asked the Specialists whether food could be contributing to her health crash I was told "absolutely not". I grew up with a food aware Mom and a food aware community. My friends ate carob and their parents bought food through co-op's. My Uncle drank soy milk.. farmers markets were a joy. My hubby on the other hand grew up in a family where a bag of chips and a big gulp were at least a weekly if not daily event. The girls friends ate pizza hut and McDonalds and went out to eat for dinner constantly. Ate white bread and shockingly orange mac and cheese. All the commercials on the TV, and the grocery stores were full of these things, everyone else ate the stuff so it had to be safe right? Not when your child is an orchid and not a cockroach. My "GUT" knew food was contributing to her health issues.

The big question is, if I had followed my gut the whole time, would she be healthy? No, probably not. She had issues in the womb. But, I ABSOLUTELY BELIEVE, if I had listened to my gut she would NOT be as sick as she is today. Maybe she would have been able to finish college. To go on a date. To have a boyfriend.. even to be well enough to go out and shop whenever she wanted.. Heck, maybe she would even be well enough to go for a Dr. checkup without ending up in bed for a week. If I could go back in time, I would have made very different decisions.

I share Abby's struggles on this blog partially for her and I. I have been humbled by so many truly caring folks who reach out constantly who have gone through the exact same thing. Or who have learned some terrific tips and tricks to help keep her body as healthy as possible. This blog is kind of our way of reaching out and trying to find others like Abby. I also share her journey as a WARNING. You have a choice. You can make your own decisions based on what you know is best for your child, or you can ignore your gut. I made horrid mistakes, if I cannot go back in time, I always hope someone who is faced with one of these decisions will read this and know they have a choice. They don't want to be in my position today, knowing that had I just listened to my gut, the outcomes for Abby could have been much better.

Never, 'for the sake of peace and quiet,' deny your own experience or convictions." -- Dag Hammarskjold, Swedish diplomat


Clarissa said...

thank you!

Anonymous said...

Just remember my friend....hindsight is 20/20....forward sight....or now seeing....not always so good. You did what you thought was best at the time...no one can ask for more.....I am sure Abby agrees.

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