the limp in your life

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“When God does not take the limp out of your life,
we must trust the wisdom that is behind it.”

We all have struggles. Some of us may even have amazing victorious stories that triumph over those trials. There are some battles, however, that aren’t meant to be won. These are the thorns in our sides that don’t seem to go away no matter how hard we pray and how hard we “do” to make them disappear.

I experience this first hand on a daily basis. My three children have been diagnosed with food allergies and one with the autoimmune celiac disease.  I have spent a decade of my life either running my children to this doctor for allergy testing to that specialist for another allergy diagnosis. My kitchen is a lab. We are careful that peanuts don’t graze across the cutting boards and countertops and gluten containing foods don’t touch the gluten free pots, pans, and utensils. I have an epi-pen in my purse, at their school, and in the house. Each person who cares for my precious little lives is given “training” on how to  administer the epi-pen and how to cook the “gluten free allergy free” way.

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I have rolled with the punches, if you will, with vigor and persistence by accepting these allergies and helping my children as much as I could. I even have tweaked my diet and have found some relief for certain ailments due to food sensitivities. But recently, I have had some dissention in my gut beyond the normal aches and pains that come with food allergies. Something just didn’t sit right with me.  Accepting that allergies was a life long limp for my children to endure was making me angrier and angrier. Seriously, why couldn’t my children be healed by the God that I love and trust? The God the is bigger than these allergies. The God that can perform miracles in an instant. I have prayed and prayed for their healing. Yet no answer and the list of allergies continue to grow.

I am tired. This limp in my children’s lives is in my life.  Since they have been diagnosed with having allergies, they are considered special needs, since they require special care when it comes to lunches with friends, snack time, and holiday dinners with friends and family. Something happens to a mom when they are told that their child is not “like all the other kids” – in a bad way. That they won’t be able to “have fun with food” just like Sally that sits next to them celebrating her birthday with a yummy {gluten} cupcake. Or that Halloween candy must be inspected and pass the no gluten, no food dye, no peanut, no soy test. {By the way very few to none fall in that category} To see the look of disappointment on your little blessing’s face when they are told they “can’t have this” and “can’t have that”. Ugh! Enough is enough! This mom wants to put them in a bubble and paint a perfect allergy free world on the walls and let them eat freely! I know, not reality.

The reality is that this world is full of negativity already, I just want my babes to enjoy the simplicity and joy of childhood while they can. It is a burden, a true burden. I’m not that mom that wishes their kids to have special needs because she thinks they are, well, special. I am that mom who desires for her children to not be pointed out for their indifferences to food and identify with their peers. Especially at their current ages of 10 and 7 where friendships are so important.  I don’t know why God has chosen this burden to not be lifted from them {me}.  I have been on my knees, praying, praying, praying. Does he hear me? Doesn’t he know I can’t do this anymore? I have a 6 month old that was diagnosed in the NICU at 24 days old as having a milk protein allergy. Really? Really? God? Are you listening? I told you I can’t do this anymore.

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Last year, in September 2012, I attended an Food Allergy Blogger Conference. This was the first of its kind. The convention gathers all “its people” in one space to talk about the latest and greatest in protecting and feeding our families that have food allergies. There are classes and food and product vendors there to educate and inspire the allergy friendly community. The best perk is to see my social media gluten free BFFs. There is no one like this community to me. They just “get” our life. The struggle of balancing the safety and feeding of our allergy families is not foreign and they celebrate our simple victories like making the best gluten free chocolate cupcakes! The support is unreal and I am forver grateful. It can take just one simple thing to bond people like super glue. We truly will be forever friends.

This year I am approaching our allergy life a little differently. At the convention I could not shake that there was more to these allergies my children {and I} have been diagnosed with. I have never been 100% convinced that these allergies are not curable. So more prayer and research ensued. As I continue to protect and feed my family safely, I am slowly incorporating the GAPS diet. The Gut and Psychology Syndrome diet created by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride has been proven time and time again to heal food allergies {and other autoimmune diseases and neuro-psychological and psychiatric diagnosis}. The premise is that the gut {intestinal lining} is not healed. It is leaky. The leaky gut syndrome {or increased intestinal permeability} is the result of a damaged intestinal lining causing bacteria and their toxins {incompletely digested proteins and fats}  to be “leaked” out into the bloodstream. This triggers an autoimmune reaction that causes {to name a few} food sensitivities, chronic inflammation, chronic fatigue, join pain, skin rashes, depression, ADD/ADHD, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, dyslexia, dyspraxia, and OCD. The key to this diet is trying to achieve well functioning gut flora by first healing the gut, then establishing healthy gut flora and then reintroducing the “allergy” foods.  This plan usually takes up to two years of being on this special diet to achieve the healed stage. Two years is our plan.

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What would you do to heal your kids allergies? For me {as a registered dietitian who has a major and a masters in biology and science} it just makes sense to heal from within.

Allergies are a “limp” in my and my children’s lives. They can cause anxiety, frustration and disappointment for both my kids and me. BUT, I have a God that is bigger. He is silent, but He knows what he is doing. This limp has kept me close to Him. Relying on Him to navigate this often confusing and frustrating journey. He knows they have allergies and he knows its hard on all of us. He has not healed these allergies yet, for a reason. I must trust HIS plan. I must give that struggle over to him so he can use it the way he needs to use it to further his kingdom. He has a special plan for his special people. When God does not take the limp out of your life, we must trust the wisdom that is behind it.

Meanwhile, it does not mean I am to remain paralyzed. I have faith my kids will be healed and faith without works is dead. Right? I believe that we have been led to this diet for a reason. I was not called to be a dietitian by accident and I believe that God is doing something incredible in our lives. Meanwhile, I will follow my “gut” {pardon the pun}-which is leaning on my God, studying, and implementing the GAPS plan for the entire family, even my 6 month old. He is showing all signs to eating beyond the breast and we are ready. Following the GAPS approach for a baby is like trying to write with my left hand {I’m a righty}. It’s not natural. I am ready to heal his gut and his milk protein allergy. I look forward to seeing what God has in store for our family and their allergies int he next two years.

Even though this diet can seem overwhelming, especially with a newborn and the fact that I have declared that “I can’t do this anymore”, I will trust His plan and His wisdom over my children and my family’s life. I AM expecting a miracle over my children. I AM expecting to tell you how we overcame this struggle with victory! For now, I will limp along and lean upon my Savior and trust that I know what he is doing.

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My plan {and I say this loosely because we know who is ultimately in control} is to just move forward. If you want to see how its going, you can follow our journey on facebookinstagram and here on our blog!

I have started with probiotics, digestive enzymes, bone broth 3 times a day and deleting grains from my diet. I feel amazing! I lost a ton of water weight I had no idea I was carrying around. I am nursing at the moment and will not be able to go full GAPS, but the kids and dad can go full force….soon.

My plan:

1. I have started the baby on meat broth, carrots, and squash. So far so good. Next week is pureed meat. Since he has a milk protein allergy, and the diet calls for whey and eventually yogurt, I am still researching what is the best approach.

2. I am fermenting sauerkraut to give the juice to the baby in two weeks. It is a probiotic source for him. I dust a little of my probiotic on my nipple before nursing as well.

3. I have been a bone broth making fool since January 1 and feel that I have enough reserves to start incorporating this into the rest of the family’s diet.

Meanwhile, I will continue to update our progress with feedback and hopefully victories! Hugs to my gluten free community. We are all on this journey of safety and now on a journey of healing our bodies together.  We are thankful for the opportunity and ability to do so with you!

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Beautiful Photo Credit Brandy Potts: Heartwork

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