Thursday, April 7, 2011

Contemplating the future ahead

I typically have a very positive outlook on things, especially the health of my children.  I am always completely convinced that they will be well, even healthier than most NT people, when we are through with their detox program.

For the first time, I am scared about raising children who eat differently in this harsh world.  We have recently found out that Grayson has been eating gluten and casein, and who knows what else, while on the bus.  A friend is giving it to him almost daily and no efforts to remove tv privileges or play dates with friends is even making him hesitate in taking another bite....or half a sandwich, or a bagel with cream cheese....not even the tummy and head aches that result!

We have lengthy conversations about the reason gluten and casein, among other foods, aren't good for him.  He just isn't capable of self-control, so no conversation results in compliance.  I know that one factor is that he is five, and five year olds developmentally experiment with truth and lies anyway.  But the fact that a gluten infraction will stay with him for 6+ months in the form of gut and brain inflammation as well as immune disruption makes this a very serious topic for us.  We can't continue to trust a five year old to control himself, especially after having had an infraction with an opiate-like food.  It causes a craving beyond our comprehension.  Only a drug addict would get it.  He is addicted to the opiates, so when a well-meaning friend opens his lunch bag up to Grayson, he is going to take the offer, no matter how many warnings, threats or days grounded he gets.

Since this is the first time this is coming up with him, probably because it's really the first time he's had independence and freedom, we need to be sure we set the story straight and make an impact regarding how serious this is.  He needs to understand that we aren't bending, this isn't optional, it's his health, period.  So until we find out, if there are options available through the bus company or school, we will be driving him every day, grrrrr!  It means getting Gavin up and dressed in the morning to have breakfast with Grayson so we can run out the door and it means having to wake Gavin from his nap an hour early every day that I have to pick Grayson up.  It's definitely disruptive, but what can we do, it's his health.  I haven't budged on any particular part of his healing program in the past, nor will I start now.  I've even considered home schooling, which may become a hot topic, if the school or bus company doesn't do something to assist us in providing a safe environment for our child.  For now, we only have a few months of school left, so even if we had to drive him daily for the rest of this year, we will make do, but next year, Gavin will also be in school three days a week, and he will require driving to and from school.  It just won't be possible for us to handle both.

I also fear the idea that Grayson won't take responsibility for his health.  What if he really just doesn't care about what we are doing for him, if he truly doesn't grasp it, ever?  The idea that his gluten sensitivity causes health consequences for 6 months from each infraction means that everything I am doing in that 6 months feels like a waste of time!  I'm feeling very doomed right about now.

I think it's time for some Bach Sweet Chestnut and Cherry Plum flower essences:

Sweet Chestnut: For extreme anguish, the feeling that one has reached the limits of one's endurance. Teaches one to believe that change is possible, to trust oneself and the benevolence of the universe.

Cherry Plum is one of the five flowers in the rescue remedy formula. It addresses emotions of desperation and loss of control. This remedy helps one re-connect with a higher power when the tensions and pressures of life are overwhelming. It brings calm and emotional encouragement, allowing stresses and fears to be overcome. 


Anonymous said...

I worry about my son not caring about what he eats in the future too. Then I watched this video
and understood why our children have these food intolerances and how to overcome them, so that with a healed gut and balanced flora, oneday he will be able ot eat pizza or a burger with friends without suffering for it.

Jessica said...

I would love to make that happen, as well, but the GAPS diet is SO restrictive. I have tried broths with both boys and I just can't get it down. I'm not sure how to make something this strict happen with two very young and picky eaters. I am already having trouble with our five year old eating, I can't imagine what would happen at school, if I told him that he couldn't have any fruit and could only eat broth....? I would love to hear from other moms who have made this happen. I'm normally ALL for diet changes to help kids including doing anything possible to heal them, but this one seems very hard. I would love to know the ratio of children who heal with and without the GAPS diet.

Anne said...

Hi Jessica, I can't say I have any word of advice, just that I hope you manage the last bit of school, and who knows, maybe next year will be easier. I understand that you worry about whether your - now - little guy will grow into a health-responsible teenager, I know I've been thinking the same things. My "bonus"kids have no issues with food, thank god, but as you know, I've worried about having my own kids. Two things tell me that whatever happens, all your work now can never have been in vain. Firstly, growing up as healthily as possible will give him the strongest possible foundation, even if he has been more "challenged" than other kids. Filling his depots, building his bones, making the foundations that his body is going to rest on for the rest of his life - some of that can never be taken away. Secondly, in my experience, what you eat as a kid will be the things you return to for comfort later in life. So even if the unlikely should happen and he turns into a pizza-eating teen, I think he will, consciously or not, return to non-gluten foods and healthy eating habits, if not for good or forever, then at least as a "default". These are just my two cents, based on mine and others' experiences - I just know how easy it is to feel that "all this work is in vain", and especially with a kid: I never think it is. Take care :-)

Jessica said...

I REALLY appreciate your comment. It struck a cord, because I really do think you are right about the comfort foods. We all resort back to our childhood foods for comfort, some more than others. I think at some point, I will have to work hard to let go (when he is older, of course) and trust that he can find his own way. My being overbearing will just force him the other direction. Thank you for opening up this perspective!

Anne said...

I'm glad it was useful to you :-)! Have a nice weekend with the family.

Anonymous said...

I read your blog today, and I can imagine how you feel. I just wanted to share some of my experience, in case it helps, or gives you hope. I had so many rough years with my son after divorcing his dad, because his dad was abusive to him and my son blamed me for sending him there (I was court ordered - had no choice).

I also felt I was fighting a losing battle getting him to eat
healthy. All he wanted to eat was pizza, Kraft mac n' cheese and pasta. We had so many fights about eating vegetables and "green" food. He is now 12, and I recently had him watch 3 movies with me that I consider very important. 1 - "Supersize Me" 2 - "The Beautiful Truth: The World's Simplest Cure for Cancer" by Steve Kroschel 3 - "Dying to Have Known: The
Evidence Behind Natural Healing" by Steve Kroschel. I got so much mileage with him out of these films! Much more than all the words I told him - because for the
first time, it wasn't mom telling him. It was a movie.

I had to wait a long time, but he has made so much progress and understands so much more as he has gotten older. He now refuses to eat McDonalds at all, and for the
first time, understands why I've been so "weird and picky" about my kids' eating habits, and he is slowly beginning to make healthy choices. The "choices" I taught him when he was much younger.

I believe our kids choose us (and we choose them as well) when they come into this life. They have lessons they plan to learn in life, and part of these lessons come with the biology they inherit from their parents. Some of the responsibility does rest with your son, and when he is older, he will understand that better, and because you have laid an amazingly wonderful foundation with him, I
think he will he will return to that. My son has really "come around" to my values, and the values I taught him his first 2 years of life - before the
abuse started. It does take time, and it is not fun, but I encourage you - he definitely will "come around" and understand. He will make the good choices for his body. You have done amazing things with him, and provided him such a strong foundation that he will remember it when he gets older. I
remember how hard it is with a 5 year old - that was probably one of my son's most difficult years. Remember, with kids, a lot of things are "stages" they go through. He won't be here forever - he will grow to the teen and young man you intend him to be.

From the outside, I see that you
are an amazing wonderful proactive parent. Both your sons are so lucky to have you and our husband for their parents. They chose you and your husband - to learn certain lessons. You've given them a strong basis, and I believe they will find their "home" in your values.

Best wishes to you and yours,


Jessica said...

As usual, thank you for your wise words of wisdom. I often forget that he will be a different person as he matures, thank you for that reminder! He has already watched "The Beautiful Truth" with us, it was an amazing movie. I even commented on it in my blog.