Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Here we go!

As a long-time ICU nurse, I am trained to believe in Western medicine. And I do believe. If someone told me six years ago that I would be persuing alternate medical solutions for my daughter's asthma, I would have laughed in their face. Or snickered behind their back, anyway.

Enter Sophia.

We should have known from the start that she would send us down some weird roads. When I was trying to avoid a C-section, we tried all kinds of strange remedies. Including chiropractic adjustments (admittedly not so strange, and it did fix the back pain I'd had for 30 weeks in one visit), acupuncture (a little strange), and moxibustion (straight up crazy).

You aren't familiar with moxibustion? Ah. Well, that is the one where your spouse holds a burning stick of flaming mugwort next to your pinkie toe for 20 minutes a day to convince the head up baby to turn head down.

One C-section and five and a half years later, here we go again with the weird remedies. This time it's food intolerance testing with an extreme change in diet for a few months.

When my sister suggested a couple months ago that doing some food elimination might help Sophia and I finally get healthy after illness after illness, I nodded with tolerance and said something along the lines of, "Yeah, I'll have to look into that!" Snicker.

Then winter continued, and Sophia had yet another asthma exacerbation, and John and I thought we might loose our minds if we didn't get some sleep EVER. And the doctor increased Sophia's medications AGAIN. To the degree that the new pharmacist refused to give us her prescription without speaking directly to her physician about the dosage until I convinced him that yes, she had intentionally prescribed that dose. And Sophia went for allergy testing again and they discovered a dust mite allergy, which essentially means that I need to keep the house actually clean, instead of just appearing clean. Which are two very different things with a 3 month old in the picture. Goodbye, cushy wool rug, and non-HEPA vacuum. So glad we don't have carpet, though if we did I would have immediately pulled it up and painted the subfloor something cool until we could afford hardwood.

And so John and I decided we need to do everything we can to maximize her health, even things that might be a little weird, because when your child is struggling for 6 months out of the year even on a slew of meds, that's what you do. Enter the naturapathic doctor. (Who I might add, we fully disclosed to Sophia's pediatrician and pulmonologist. The pulmonologist was particularly enthusiastic about involving the ND, to our surprise.)

One blood draw later, we've set out on this strange little journey. But the thing is, what I am discovering is that we are simply eating a healthier diet.  We already ate pretty healthy, with most meals cooked from scratch. But I'll be the first to admit that post-Dawson pancakes or scrambled eggs found their way onto the dinner plates a little too often. And lunch had gotten pretty boring. VERY boring. With peanut butter figuring into the equation pretty much daily.

Now lunch is a bit more exciting . . . Acorn Squash Risotto on Monday and tuna on cucumber slices with a piece of gluten free bread and apple slices yesterday. I was a little heavy handed with the cayenne pepper in the risotto, but have learned my lesson after having to push the kids to eat it. But the tuna and cucumber was a huge hit, which I didn't expect at all. I have never given them tuna outside of tuna casserole, just assuming they wouldn't like it. Serve it up on cucumbers and call it "Chicken of the Sea," then it's a hit!

Snacks are up a notch too . . . kale chips, roasted garbonzo beans, fresh fruit, and veggies with pinto bean dip.

Dinner? My favorite so far was the Kale Soup with Pork Sausage and Sweet Potatoes. I had firsts and seconds for dinner and the next day for lunch. Though the Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Rice and Buttered Beans last night was pretty great too.  And the kids gobbled it up, which was the best part.

Of course, the other thing I have discovered is that eating this way is freaking time consuming. I am in the kitchen for most of the day. And also craving cheddar. And nachos. And ice cream. But if there is even a chance that this break from our normal diet will help Sophia get off even one daily medication, it is worth every minute spent making veggie broth and cooking five different vats of beans to put up in the freezer. I would do it forever if it meant a change in her health.

So we'll see. It might end up just being a kooky thing we tried. But I say it's worth the try.

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