Despite Jake’s mild immunodeficiency and slight gut inflammation, I want to stress that I am 100 percent full of gratitude that I have a remarkably healthy child. With the right diet and environment, his problem is not severe and is very manageable. For the most part, I believe he will always have to eat healthy and watch what products go on his body. I do hope he will improve as he gets older his immune system gets stronger.
In my opinion, Jake suffers from gut inflammation and allergies because he was born with a sensitive system that stemmed from a combination of genetics and our evolving toxic environment. After all, there are 85,000 chemicals floating around in our society today; I think his body has a hard time filtering these toxins out of his body. I also believe the vaccines, steroid creams, breathing treatments, and antibiotics that he had before the age of two, worsened his condition.
I believe Jake is in the gray area that conventional doctors for whatever reason will not typically admit exists. I believe more precautions should have been taken. I believe these same doctors let his health slip through the cracks because he didn’t fit into their neat little box of effect (sickness) and solution (medication).
I have spent a lot of time over the past few years, feeling sorry for myself and worrying that my child could die if he comes into contact with the right food. I used to worry that he would feel different from other kids when he wasn’t eating the same food that they were.
I have come to realize that there is nothing wrong with eating fruits, veggies, good protein, healthy carbs, and sweets in moderation. In fact, Jake has the eating habits that everyone is striving to achieve … and it’s the only life he’s ever known so he doesn’t feel deprived. I have also come to realize that there is not one little thing wrong with being different. Actually, being different creates many teachable moments for others.
And most days, I feel like the threat of anaphylactic shock has significantly been reduced. While IgE levels are variable, I don’t think in my heart of hearts that we’re ever going back there.
This is the first year that we have not had to use the nebulizer for occasional breathing treatments and so far ZERO seasonal allergy symptoms! Also – Praise God – as a whole, Jake has only had two allergic reactions this year. I have not had to use the Epi-pen and Benadryl was sufficient both times.
We still have work to do. My gut tells me that even though the biggie allergies – dairy, gluten, and egg – test negative, there is a good chance he is still intolerant to them and will never be able to consume these products on a regular basis. BUT, intolerances and a peanut allergy that allows him to sit at a lunch table with his friends without an anaphylaxis threat is a heck of a lot better than where we were. I will count my blessings and praise God not for what we still lack, but for the many, many miracles that have occurred over the past three years.
Thank you for letting me share this experience with you. I know it has been a lot of words, so I really appreciate those of you who stayed with me through the process. Quite often in 2014 I felt crazed … and unsure … and scared.
I felt like I was going to have an anxiety attack the first few days of school because I didn’t 100 percent know how Jake would react in a classroom full of food that used to be deadly for him. But, he has done excellent. I am proud to report there have been no allergic reactions – not even a runny nose or a cough – and each day his body and my confidence builds.
Best wishes to all of you in your own journeys to heal your children.