Happy New Year!
Last year was a long and tedious year for us. I spent the entire year cooking two separate meals a day for breakfast, lunch and dinner, almost every day of the year. When I think about just how I did that I’m really not sure, it just happened because it had to happen, and soon it became our normal. I still am cooking multiple separate meals a day, but more and more dinners are coming together and the four of us are eating the same thing. I’m thankful, especially, for those dinners. I’m not a quitter, clearly, and I have a heck of a lot of gumption and this past year (almost 20 months) that we’ve had Raleigh on The GAPS Diet has taught me a great deal about who I am when the curtain closes, and when all the lights go out. If you’ve been reading this blog and following our journey, you know I’ve talked about this before. I’ve met myself many times along this journey and have had many of my own growing pains.
Last year was a hard year but, man, was it a good one too. We saw Raleigh’s asthma resolve itself. As in, HE DOESN’T HAVE ASTHMA ANYMORE, and he didn’t just grow out of it! I feel like doves should be released every time I say that or fireworks should commence! That’s HUGE! Really huge! We also weaned Raleigh off all pharmaceutical drugs, the final one being the compounded version of Benadryl we were giving him at night to help him sleep and not itch. We are actually coming up on a year of that happening just now, February of this year (2019). That was big for us and big for him to be able to get to sleep without the excessive itch preventing him from drifting off to sleepy town. BIG! We saw his eczema change and shift. The skin on his face and neck softened, retained moisture and began to lose the red-hue. He quit itching his eyebrows and they began to grow back. His hands started to soften and no longer felt brittle, cut up and rough. He tried a lot of new foods, reacted to some, and loved others. He played soccer in the summer (2018) without being tortured by the dry heat and the need to itch, something he was unable to do the Summer previous. He got sick far less, and when he did catch a virus, he weathered it well and the duration was significantly less than it had been pre-GAPS. We still struggled with his skin, and we are still dealing with it now, but the eczema is no longer severe.
My hope for 2019 is to see Raleigh come off The GAPS Diet. To see all of his eczema resolve, to re-test his food allergies and see them reversed as well. Even in all we have seen I still struggle in typing that sentence. I struggle to believe it can be true. I do believe complete healing will come for Raleigh, but something in me still battles the fear of all of it failing. When I think about just how long we’ve been dealing with his eczema, realizing Raleigh has no memory of a time before his eczema, or a time before needing lotions, creams and wet wraps, I realize just how long we’ve been fighting this up hill battle. For so long we were losing, but that’s changed now. GAPS has given us the upper hand; GAPS is helping us win.
In January we celebrated Sam’s birthday. I made him a chocolate cake and special Against All Grain marshmallow’s for Raleigh to have a treat too. The cake was taunting Raleigh, calling to him like a siren in the night, and the day after, he decided to wreck his ship upon the rocks and take a taste (a large taste) of the chocolate cake. This is the first time he has done anything like this. I had left the kitchen, and when I returned minutes later, saw chocolate crumbs in a trail from the counter to the floor and all the way back to the kitchen table. I asked if he ate any of the cake and his initial response was the lie. I knew he had eaten the cake. So I asked again and told him if he had eaten it his body would likely have a difficult time with the ingredients since it had many things in it he had sensitivities to. Within a few minutes his face flared and began to itch and he owned up to it. Dang, sirens. I went quickly to start a detox bath of baking soda and made him some ginger tea. I didn’t know how exactly his body would respond, but I knew there would be some sort of revolt.
He spent 45 minutes in the detox bath before he told me he felt like he was going to throw up. His body did a good job of expelling everything it needed to, and for a brief minute, his entire body went stark white. Beyond that, his body seemed to recover just fine. It was an interesting event to watch, and I even wonder to this day if it was enough to help him resist temptation the next time the sirens come calling.
My hope for 2019 is to see Raleigh come off GAPS. I’m not sure he will though. The closer we get to two years, the more I start to think he may need longer than two years. Considering the fact that we didn’t consider him FULL GAPS until about a year ago, and Dr. Natasha talks about spending two full years on FULL GAPS, we may have the entire year of 2019 ahead of us still. But if so, we’re game. We’ve come too far to give up.
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