Saturday, 1 September 2012
A Touch Of Natural
As I sit here updating my blog I have a hot coffee within smelling distance and a smile on my face. Usually I am dissecting the positive from a negative situation but this past week has welcomed some nice positive things for Maxwell.
After a wait of nine months a space opened up at the preschool that Maxwell attended when he got sick this past winter. I love this school, its the one that both Nick and my younger brother attended as wee ones and their teacher at the time is now the programming director. Its Christian based programming which I like.... there isn't a God pushing attitude but instead they promote virtues and morality - basically teaching with a do unto others attitude. A bonus is that although he will now be in a different classroom then he was last year he will have the same teacher and many of the same friends.
I contacted the cardiologist and got her opinion..... with some modifications in place its ok for Max to attend!
We have ordered his heart monitor, printed out the list of warning signs and precautions and now we just wait for his start date. He is very excited!
The other good thing is that Max had his ECHO at Sick Kids Hospital. Dom came with us because I was not comfortable driving in downtown Toronto and that has not changed. I could honestly feel my anxiety rising in the traffic. Cars everywhere, people running everywhere, bikes weaving in and out of traffic, constant horn blowing, people coming right up to your window asking for money and homeless people sleeping on sidewalks while others literally stepped over them as if they were spat out chewing gum.
The tech that did Maxwell's ECHO was older and clearly experienced. You could tell that this had been her field for a very long time and she had a take no shit attitude.... this test was important and it was getting done tears or no tears.
She seemed taken aback by Max's clear terror and my response of "he's been in and out of the hospital alot" only provided further confusion because she had read that this ASD was only recently discovered. I explained about all the GI stuff, the lactase deficiency and the failure to thrive and her reply surprised me. Without skipping a beat she said doesnt surprise me one bit, kids with an ASD as significant as this often have other medical issues. She explained that the heart is just overworked and the body naturally protects the important stuff like the heart, lungs, brain etc and there are just things that have to get overlooked like the digestion system and the immune system. Her matter of factness got me thinking and so I began to research.... what I was finding was confirmation of what she was saying and yet none of the medical professionals had mentioned it. I decided to contact a "health & wellness adviser" at our doctors office who promotes a more "natural" lifestyle. She explained that the gut naturally has both good and bad bacteria but they often co-exist without much problem but when there is a problem with the immune system (as there is with a heart condition) the bad bacteria can overtake the good bacteria and then things like malabsorption disorders such as anemia, lactose intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome and other issues like gas, bloating, constipation or diarrhea and a general feeling of unwellness can occur.
My inner anti-Jenny McCarthy was still on high alert, surely if this was all common then why wouldn't our GI doctor, dietitian, pediatrician or general practitioner have mentioned this..... seemed a little strange to me but regardless of my doubts I asked what she recommended.
She said to give Maxwell lactase enzymes prior to eating anything that may have come into contact with dairy because its possible that hes being exposed due to cross contamination when having take out and processed foods. She also said to start him on a probiotics twice a day.
What do I have to lose right.... The worst that would happen is nothing and we would be no further ahead so I followed her advice and something surprising happened. After a few days Max seemed to have a happier belly. The diarrhea was gone, the lime green color was gone, the bathroom urgency was gone and so were the complaints about the tummy aches. He was sleeping for longer stretches at night and was crying less in his sleep. I woke one morning so confused because I had slept for 7 straight hours and that hasn't happened in years. While I am still a bit of a doubting Thomas about many natural lifestyle claims my interest has been peeked because for the moment it seems to be working.
There are still many things that Maxwell deals with because of his heart like fatigue, body aches and moodiness (mostly due to not feeling so great) but if he even feels a tiny bit better then I am all for the natural approach.
Just don't expect me to become the next Jenny McCarthy.
Image courtesy of The Changing Buzz