I may get shot down just for that title alone, but bear with me and let me explain before people start thinking I have lost it!
There are occasions when your child having a nasty bug, that is treatable with medicine is actually a good thing, or at least the lesser of two evils so to speak. Here is why I’m hoping my sweet little O is actually poorly!
Upset, swollen and windy tummies, along with rushing to the toilet have been par for the course since LV started weaning off the breast 7 years ago. We were told by the GP to go away and figure out for ourselves what was giving him issues. We realised quite quickly that his problem was milk. When we went back and told the GP she had a look of, so you know what it is what do you want me to do about it? on her face. That was it, no offer of help or guidance, zilch.
If anyone asked we called it lactose intolerance but actually I think it was more a milk intolerance as even the lactose free milk upset him. We were lucky that he mostly seemed to grow out of it by the time he was five or six and now at eight, unless he has an excessive amount of milk products he seems just fine.
So when O started showing the same symptoms at the same sort of age, I didn’t even bother taking him to the GP. We switched out everything to dairy free and he seemed to improve.
About two months ago he stopped sleeping through the night again (by night I mean midnight to 5am!) he would scream and be windy and bloated. His nappies were occasionally getting mucousy again. I know TMI, but that’s the way this post is going so run away now if your squeamish. You have been warned!
Still with us? Lets continue…
Over five weeks ago he caught Gastroenteritis and was really, really poorly. He had a temperature, vomiting, diarrhoea you name it. I think our record for dirty nappies was 20 (yes Twenty!!!) from midnight through to 7am one Thursday night! After a week we took him to the surgery to get checked out and were told that he was no longer contagious but might have some symptoms for another week or so.
So here we are five, actually it may be closer to six(?) weeks later. O still has mucousy (and very smelly!) diarrhoea, he still needs changing through the night some nights and his poor bottom gets red raw because of it. He wakes up at 11pm almost every night and screams and writhes on and off with tummy pain until 3am. After he has eaten his tummy gets really distended and you can feel and hear it gurgling even when he’s just sat on your lap. You see his discomfort and the relief on his face when the trapped wind makes its eventual exit!
Having had enough of seeing my little boy suffering, and with plenty of time passed that they wouldn’t just send us away to ‘wait 10 days’ I took him back last week. The locum that we saw asked lot’s of questions, her first thought was milk but obviously that is already taken out of the equasion.
She asked whether anyone in the family had a vitamin B12 deficiency but then never explained what difference that made (My father has actually been diagnosed with this in the last year)
She asked whether his nappies varied in looseness or whether some were worse than others. They vary, on some occasions I have been tricked into thinking thins are getting better only to get a nasty shock a few hours later.
She commented that he was very busy and happy but did look pale and had dark circles under his eyes.
She asked me to collect a stool sample.
She explained that he could have a bacterial infection but would have expected him to be generally unwell, to not have a change in stool consistency and to have blood in his stool.
She said that she couldn’t rule out that he may be Coeliac.
That isn’t something you grow out of.
Allergies and food sensitivities have always been a part of my life. I have had to do many exclusion diets, personally as a child and also for four of my children (myself, E and Ff have/had trouble with fruit and tomatoes). I spend longer than the average person does when shopping as I read every single label out of habit. Even if it’s stuff we buy every week, just in case the manufacturers of tinned sweetcorn have suddenly decided to put a milk product in there!?!
But Coeliac. That is a whole new kettle of fish for me, gluten has never been on my radar before. But since that appointment I have realised that it is in pretty much EVERYTHING! Don’t get me wrong there are plenty of gluten free products around nowadays. There are also plenty of dairy free products. But finding both together in the same product seems nigh in impossible!
I don’t actually tend to buy much processed food so it will be easier at home but how would we ever eat out again?
So for now, although I know if he is Coeliac we will just learn to deal with it and carry on regardless just as we have everything else, I am actually holding out hope that he has a nasty tummy bug that is hanging around and a dose of antibiotics is all he needs to get him better!
Is gluten an issue for anyone in your family? Or maybe you have to deal with other allergies/food intolerances? I’d love to hear about them!