Wednesday, April 4, 2012

My Inspiration

This is my inspiration for this blog: my son Nathan, AKA Nate. He was diagnosed with multiple food allergies when he was about 8 months old. In this picture, taken prior to his diagnosis, he has a large rash on his face that came from eating products with both wheat and dairy in them. I was also breastfeeding exclusively so he had been ingesting these ingredients, albeit in a more diluted form, since he was born. As you can imagine, I felt extreme Mommy guilt when I found out that I had been giving him the foods that attacked his body without really questioning the constant rash on his face or other symptoms that came and went. I just didn't know what to look for with regards to a food allergy.

After a full week of being up all night with him in early May 2011 and a very scary incident with a half swollen left eye from eating a teething biscuit, I went to my pediatrician. With my spirit broken and sleep deprivation setting in, I cried as I told her what had been going on. She immediately suggested that we see an allergist for some testing because something wasn't right with my baby boy. The allergist ran skin tests on Nate and found out he had multiple severe allergies to wheat and dairy, along with less severe allergies to green peas and green beans. We immediately cut out all of the offending foods from both his diet and mine since I was breastfeeding still. Almost overnight, you could see the change in him, both physically and behaviorally. His rash cleared up on his face for the first time in his entire life and he started sleeping through the night again.

After dealing with the guilt and the "why me" issues I had for awhile, I brushed myself off and realized that this little boy was depending on me to keep him healthy and feeling good while still eating yummy foods. So I started reading labels, researching food allergies and allergy friendly products, and talking to all of my friends. I am still so thankful to all of them who helped me get started because I really did not know what I was doing. They gave me cookbooks and magazines, referred me to helpful websites and shared their recipes with me. I started experimenting in the kitchen, making my own baby food purees and converting some of our favorite recipes into Allergy Free, Nate-Friendly recipes. By doing this, I rediscovered my love for cooking and now get excited about trying new recipes to feed the whole family.

Over the last 11 months or so, Nate has thrived. He is now a healthy, happy 19 month old who loves to pester his 5 year old sister Olivia, wave to every bird and dog he sees or hears and dance in circles. His wheat and dairy allergies are still severe and he has added eggs and peanuts to that list. He also has garlic and apple allergies that are less severe, while green peas and beans have faded. We are hoping and praying that all of these allergies will fade away with time, but until then I will continue to find ways to help Nate experience and enjoy many of the same foods that everyone else does!

1 comment:

  1. Cute picture!! When's the next post coming?