Another day has passed, still no news on Emily's appointment, although the nurse I spoke to said don't be surprised if our appointment is scheduled for next MARCH. Umm...okay. Well, I can still do some reading; after all, being informed can't hurt. So here's the second installment of what's on my mind concerning Emily.
A lot of the info I've come across has discussed that in addition to the problem of autism or allergies or ADHD, a lot of the kids presenting with these disorders also have stomach and digestion problems. Many moms, including me, think that the link between the two is more than coincidence.
I know my kids have tummy troubles. They are plugged up like, oh I don't know, something with a cork. Anyways, since neither one of them has ever had runny poop, I didn't think they had an issue. Well wasn't I wrong. After doing some reading I decided to talk to Nora about her potty habits, since she can talk, and her diapers were always similar to Emily's. (A good mom knows everything about her babies). Nora informed me that she didn't go potty everyday, and when she did it hurt. I started timing her, from the time she first felt like she needed to go to the time the cork popped, so to speak. Sometimes it would take her 24 hours to make one BM. Oh my goodness, that is just terrible.
To save you all from unnecessary details, take my word for it that Emily has the same problem. And so now for the solution. Coincidently, step one of project "Save Emily from the Short Bus" is also helpful for Nora, who I believe is lactose intolerant, like her dad.
STEP ONE: REMOVE DAIRY FROM THE HOUSE.
Read that again carefully: I removed dairy from the house. No more ice-cream, yogurt, or milk. No more mac and cheese or Goldfish. No more bread made with milk, no more fake meat products since many of them have caesin or whey, a milk derivative. No more eating like I know it.
It's been two full weeks since I've had the kids off the big D completely. They are adjusting, thankfully, better than I. The first few days were really rough. Both girls refused to drink the almond milk, and were literally hanging from my legs crying for ice-cream. Emily started to have these bizarre hyper-active fits, in which she'd kick her legs for an hour at a time. She couldn't be still to save her life. She is still having those fits, although they have lessened in frequency and duration.
As far as stomach pains go, the kids are doing great. Ryan said he hasn't felt better in years. Me? Well, I think I'm having the hardest time with this because dairy doesn't make me feel sick, it makes me feel full. And soy milk, well it doesn't sit so well with me. I've increased my Starbucks latte intake to make-up for the lack of milk at home. Its not what I planned to do at all. I wanted to stand by the kids and go dairy free with them, but I actually felt so hungry without dairy I couldn't sleep. After a week of being awoken by my growling stomach, I had to concede defeat and purchase a latte with milk. (Irony? Yes, that I'd need coffee to sleep does seem backwards).
So that is the happy medium we've achieved thus far. These changes are hard, but we are getting used to them. I imagine in another week or two going diary free will be as natural as being a vegetarian has become. Once we hit that point, we will initiate phase two, which is to remove gluten from our diet. I haven't quite figured that out yet, since the literature states you cannot be meat free and gluten free. So we've got some choices to make around here, but whatever we decide, it will be with Emily's best interest in heart.
For further reading on the links between developmental delays, autism, and diet, please check out the following sites:
Talk About Curing Autism: http://www.talkaboutcuringautism.org/index.php
Generation Rescue: http://www.generationrescue.org/home
Do Toxins Cause Autism?: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/25/opinion/25kristof.html?_r=1