A Bushel of Brooks

A Bushel of Brooks
Us as we are ...

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Allergy Work ...

I grew up with no allergies or asthma in my family. Never thought about it too much. I remember having a friend growing up, though, who often had to make sure she had her inhaler with her. Many years later, I married her older brother = )

Eli has seasonal allergies and is allergic to some pets, mostly cats and dogs. Reuben has the same tendencies. I think I remember him being about 18 months old and we started to see that he exhibited seasonal allergies, and seemed to react to cats. It only progressed from there and last year we ended up in the office of the asthma and allergy specialist, hopefully to work on allergies, to have him diagnosed with asthma as well. He now takes two medications a day, and has a rescue inhaler, and we have Claritin on hand for days we know we're going to be around dogs or cats, because those really trigger the swollen, running eyes, dripping nose, and general discomfort. He is a great little sport most of the time! We used a nebulizer many times in the past, and once he got on his regular medications, haven't had to pull it out. The doctor felt that with regular maintenance, we wouldn't see near as many big flare ups as we had dealt with in the past.

He is much better than even before he was on his daily medications, but we want to see if he can improve even more. So, based on reading up on it, talking to people and seeking advice, we're cutting back on his dairy intake (about 50%), and slowly eliminating gluten entirely. Once we get to complete elimination of gluten, we'll give it a good three weeks and see how his symptoms are.

I've grappled with this a lot. Yes, it is NOT convenient for us. The child loves his kiddie squeeze yogurts every day, milk, goldfish cracker, pasta, and you all know I love to bake! BUT, if it can improve the quality of his life, is it worth it? We've decided it is. So, cutting back this week and starting the adjustment period. We got him some coconut milk - which went over great! He loved it, so I didn't even have to trial and error that change! Working on getting him to try the almond milk yogurt ... he keeps eying it with distrust = ) We bought a replacement for his goldfish crackers, and I've pulled out the rice cooker and we've got brown rice on hand this week. Thankfully, he has always been a fairly good eater, likes chicken, fruits, and many things.

I'm not going to force the rest of us to go entirely gluten-free. Jonah loves his pumpkin bread, and we can keep that for him because Reuben doesn't even care for it all. But, we'll all have to make some changes around here ... I don't pretend to be even close to any kind of an expert on the subject, but it does make me think: so many genetically modified things out there! I recently read that in the coming years, Whole Foods has committed to completely eliminating products from their stores with GMO's, but even that is going to take some time. Obviously the regular grocery stores aren't there yet. And I know my family consumes it's fair share of normal grocery stores products. But even in the few weeks that we have made this decision, it has made me think more and more about what I use to cook with, and what kinds of foods I want in my family's bodies.

My grocery budget is going to take an adjustment too! Many of the products that I will use for Reuben will cost a bit more (or a lot more!), and I know there will be some trial and error as I offer new things to him. But, I also have lots of help from other friends and family who have gone dairy-free or gluten-free for various reasons!

Interested to see where we are at in four months ... hoping I can keep the determination to work at this, and stick to our decision even when he might be throwing a fit for his regular graham crackers! Keep you posted ...

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