I’m so glad it’s Sabbath and the week is over.
My husband was gone for a few days, and it’s always a little bit tough being the only adult in the house. Plus, I like the guy and I miss him when he’s gone.
That wasn’t the really bad part of the week, though.
Apparently, although Baby Guy’s eczema has drastically improved with my dairy-free diet, the minor gastrointestinal symptoms he’s been having for the past few months have become less minor, and yesterday I had to call the pediatrician.
Of course my pediatrician was not in, but another doctor who is familiar with my boy called us back and very patiently listened to my description of his symptoms. (Yes. For months I have been scrupulously examining his diaper contents for such a time as this.) He told me to take my son in for a blood draw ASAP, and that he wanted to see me the next day (today). He also referred Baby Guy to a pediatric GI.
Well, after a few hours of me crying and envisioning the terrible experience of another blood draw for my little guy, the GI’s office called and said they’d had a cancellation and could get me in today, so the pediatrician called off the blood test. I was so thankful. We’d been through a veinous draw with the baby guy when he was about 3 weeks old, and it was fairly traumatic for all of us. Now he’s so alert that things like that are much worse than they used to be, so I was completely thrilled to avoid it.
Anyway, my husband got home yesterday afternoon and I cried to him about the whole thing, because by then I’d moved on from the horrors of a blood draw to worries of being forced to formula feed my son against my will and imagining him sedated for a colonoscopy at the specialist’s office. This was largely unfounded, but I couldn’t help it. I had also texted my super cool GI doctor friend, and he’d advised me to calm down and quit soy.
As it turns out, the specialist did not try to make me quit breastfeeding or scope my son’s intestine. He made it clear that it was obvious we were first time parents, but we’re used to that; and when I asked if he’d like to see photographs of my son’s poop, he seemed pretty impressed that I’d thought to take them. (No one is ever allowed to make fun of me for this ever again.)
Anyway, the verdict is that it’s an allergy of some sort. Since I’m already off dairy and the GI symptoms seem to be worsening, I have to quit soy. It’s the next allergen on the list. So it turns out that all the experts agree, and I am on a new diet.
I’m here to tell you that if you are allergic to soy, your life is not an easy one. I was chewing gum to ease the hunger pangs that were stabbing at me at the mere mention of new dietary restrictions. Just for kicks, I read the ingredients, and there was soy in it. There’s soy in everything. Everything. And if there’s not soy in it, there really is soy in it, because it’s masquerading under a bunch of horribly sneaky names like Vitamin E. Yes. I said Vitamin E. Also MSG. Also vegetable oil. The only vegetable in my vegetable oil is a soybean, apparently.
I mean, nothing terrible happens to me if I accidentally ingest some soy calling itself tocopherol, but if you actually are allergic to the stuff you should just stay home and grow your own carrots, because it’s everywhere.
If you actually do find something that’s truly soy free, it probably also has a disclaimer on it somewhere that says “processed on machinery that is regularly bathed in milk and soybeans.”
I challenge you to look at the ingredients of any meal you eat and see if it is completely soy-free. Only our totally veggie-from-scratch meals qualify, and I can’t think of even one of those that wouldn’t have to be modified. If you already have meals like that, congratulations. You are probably fabulously healthy and too busy actively shunning processed foods to even read this.
Anyway, I’m glad the week is over and my stress over my son has been relieved. His allergies, whatever they are, are pretty minor, and he’ll be okay. My dietary woes are very minor in the grand scheme of things, too.
There was a poster in the doctor’s office that showed a whole host of possible diseases of the digestive tract. My sister had one of those, and it was horrible. It was pretty awful to think about the moms and dads who’d gone into that office and left with news a whole lot worse than what my little family got today. I’m going to try to be thankful for my new diet because it means that my son has a problem that’s relatively easy to fix. I can be thankful that there is something I am able to do, because not every mom has the chance to do something to help her baby feel better. Honestly, my baby doesn’t even seem like he feels bad, and I’m just trying to make sure that his symptoms don’t get worse so that he never has to be in pain because of his allergies.
I’ve got a lot to be thankful for, and I’m so glad for the Sabbath to spend with the One to whom I give my thanks.