Month One is in the Books!

This week so far has been hectic to say the least! Monday was 100% dedicated to Connor and making him feel special. We had his half birthday party at Dave & Busters that night and it was a total success (minus the nerf gun cake fiasco.) We partied hardy for 4 solid hours! I had no idea we would stay that long! He had so much fun with his family, friends, and his best buddy, Connor O. I am so thankful for everyone who came and made him feel special. He was such a trooper through the presents and didn’t even flinch when he got shoes and nerf bullets. He was just thankful. When we got to the Xbox, he freaked out! It was the best reaction we could’ve expected! He had no clue that he was getting his first gaming system. We didn’t get home until 10:15 that night and were exhausted so it didn’t get set up until Tuesday.

The food situation was not near as bad as I had anticipated at the party. I brought Chloe her own food and the only real issue was when she saw the birthday cake. She knew she had her own cake aka GF brownie and that helped.  I got everyone’s cake dished up and took her back to the games for distraction. Totally worked!


Tuesday morning rolled around and it was just as chaotic. Chloe had her one month check up for the Allergy Doctor and we had to be in deep Scottsdale by 11 (roughly a 40 minute drive each way.) So I had to round up the troops and get everyone out the door by 10. The business phone was ringing nonstop and I had answered it 17 times before we left. I also dealt with the biggest and scariest poop of Chloe’s life. It was traumatizing. I was left shaking and scared to shower because of what might happen with her.  I went to my master bathroom and had a scared cry so she couldn’t witness this. I got myself thrown together and we were out the door on time…..I have no idea how!!!

Then, I dropped Connor off at Melissa’s and she took him to see Cars 3. Melissa, you are a freakin’ lifesaver!!! Thank you so much!!! Then, Chloe and I headed to Scottsdale. We got to her appointment and I was eager to see her levels and changes. She is doing much better than a month ago, but her liver, kidneys, and gall bladder are still not functioning properly which is why she is still somewhat backed up. Soooo, we need to incorporate more fermented foods into her diet. Such as pickled beets, kombucha, lemon water, and sauerkraut. Yikes, please tell me how to make a 2 year old eat this shit. I mean, I love this kinda stuff, but Chloe….? It’s iffy.

I left the appointment kinda sad, but not surprised. I knew she still was not 100%. I know this is going to take a long time, but I just feel so bad that she is still struggling. I have to remind myself how far we have come. I have to remember where we were 6 weeks ago and trust the process.

Today, I am spending the day at home cleaning and cooking like usual. I bought some dill flavored sauerkraut in hopes she will like the flavor. It does taste like dill pickles. I have also started adding fresh, organic, squeezed lemon into her water and her sippy cup.

I am hoping when we go back in another month, she continues to improve.

Please pray for this little girl!

 

 

Gluten Free/Allergy Friendly Expo

So, I was beyond ecstatic to be able to spend the day with my friend Kelly. Let me just tell you a few things about this wonder woman. If you think my life is hard and/or busy than times it by 10 and this is Kelly’s life! She has been my “go to friend” for the last 2 years and I have not seen her in over a year until today. We have so many similarities that it’s nice to bitch to someone who understands your crazy ass schedule. We are two very busy women! I can’t thank her enough for all of her help. 

Her hubby and self run a business just like us. Her job is way more in detail than mine, she also has three kids instead of two, and auto immune diseases as well. No matter what hell is going on in her life, she is always here for me. I pay attention to these kind of people!! You should too!! I call them my tribe. I have texted her at 7 AM and at 12 AM and every single time she responds as quick as possible. Not that I need it (always), but I know that she supports me and is here for me! That says a lot. I have really needed her. For strength, for wisdom, for guidance, and for spiritual growth. She has been a big chunk of my rock!! 

So, back to the GF Expo. It was amazing! We learned (and ate) so much Gluten Free food. There were so many vendors that we walked around like 10 times. All vendors had their allergens listed so before you even tried it, you knew what Top 8 food allergens were in it and you could avoid it. I wish life was like this!! But Kelly and I stuck to our normal routine and read every damn label. It’s quite funny. 

I found some useful information on all products and learned that xantham gum is derived from corn. SHIT!!! I’ve been giving Chloe things with this in it. Not a ton, but still. Shit. 

Then, I walked to the Norwex booth and saw Erin. I have never met Erin until today but she has reached out to me SO much to help and guide me on this journey. I saw her, ran up to her, and hugged her. I instantly broke into tears. She held me and she knew I needed it. Like I said, we have never met until today. She is amazing. Everyone who sympathizes with me on this journey, I TRULY appreciate the efforts, but until you have to make these MONUMENTAL changes for the health and safety of your family, you just don’t get it. She gets it. 

Everyone should be using Norwex products by the way. I found out today that dryer sheets are cancer’s best friend. I just threw mine in the garbage. I am probably going to have a party sometime soon. Please let me know if you want deets!

What a great day today has been! My heart is so full of gratitude, that it came out in tear form. Three times I believe? When you find these deep connections with people, you feel it. When you have to make these life changes for yourself and your family, you grow so much as a person. I am so thankful for Kelly and Erin and Haley and Mara and Julia and everyone else I am forgetting to name…(sorry, not intentional!) Thank you to all that have sent me recipes, random info, websites, Facebook or Instagram feeds to follow, and just for your deep understanding of this and what I’m going through. You guys have been my rock this past month and I am so thankful for you all! 💜

Summer Break? What’s that? 

So everyone plans on fun vacations with their families for the summer. That’s what normal people do. Someone asked me the other day what we were doing this summer and where we were going on vacation. I laughed. I laughed hard. What in the hell is a vacation? With everything going on in my life, I don’t see a vacation in the foreseeable future. It’s reached 120° in Phoenix and I have only been in my pool twice. I could have my own personal, mini vacation every day outside, but I have been stuck inside cleaning, cooking, juggling 2 needy children and the business phone. 

I am very lucky that I am able to work at home to run our business, but it is also a struggle to put in 10 to 15 hours a week at home while you have two kids who want attention and entertainment. I work at midnight or 5 am most of the time. That’s when I have time to concentrate. Fun life right? Owning a business is so glamorous! 

I keep thinking about if we would’ve found out Chloe’s diagnosis before the summer break and would that have changed what’s going on in my house right now? I don’t know if it would’ve helped to have Connor gone at school while we figured out all of this or if it’s better that he’s here and we are all learning together.  

Since the day Connor got out of school, we have been to dentist appointments, doctors appointments, the ER, and then all of our diet changes. Poor kid has not had a fun summer. I feel bad for him. His Uncle Jon and Aunt Candy have been asking to take him camping and this weekend was the perfect opportunity to give him some freedom. It will be especially nice for him to not have to deal with a grumpy mom. 

I admit it. I haven’t been fun lately. My summers usually involve lots of swimming, Pinterest crafts, board games, late night movies, camping trips, and junk food. None of that has happened (except his father-son camping trip only to come home to chaos and another ER trip for his sister.) It’s been a Netflix and iPad summer. I know in the scheme of things that Netflix and iPads are not the worst that could be going on, but I wish I could do more to entertain him. I seriously have done nothing but cook, meal plan, and work. It doesn’t help that summer is our busiest time of the year. My husband has averaged between 50 and 60 hours a week and I am at home juggling the rest. 

It is getting easier. I have all my meals planned for next week and am prepping for Connor’s 1/2 year birthday party on Monday. Poor kid has a December 26th birthday. It sucks, so we decided this would be good for him. We had no idea how badly he would need it! 

So Darren and I decided to do what any guilt ridden parent would do. We are spoiling the shit out of him. He’s getting an Xbox One and we told everyone to buy him games. BOOM. Done! I am also going to attempt a Nerf Gun cake per his request. I mean, I am basically Betty fucking Crocker at this point, might as well try a cake! 

Miralax

Boy, this has been a hard one for me to post. I’ve been hesitant to say much about this laxative due to the people who are in the medical field. 

Please, hear me out. 

Chloe had severe constipation starting at one years old. After lots of family advice and still no progress, I went to our pediatrician. The pediaticrician suggested a 1/4 capful of Miralax per day for 2 weeks, just to get the bowels moving. I listened to my doctor. Then, we reduced the dose to 1/8 capful for an entire year.

I gave this laxative to Chloe for an entire year. It worked, kinda. After a year of pediatric visits and no concerns from them on habit forming or behavioral issues, I started to see the craziest child I have ever seen. Also, I started to wonder if this was why. 

I’m not a first time mom. I’ve dealt with terrible twos and tantrums. This was not the case. 

I saw an article posted in a mom’s group about Miralax connected to Neuropsychiatric side affects on children and my heart sank. I knew this was what was going on. 

I did a lot of investigating and I did not sleep for almost 3 days. (This also caused one of my panic attacks.) This stuff has caused so many horrible side effects on some kids that children have lost eye sight, developed tics(Tourette’s Syndrome or OCD), extreme behavior issues, Lyme Disease, and so many LONG TERM side effects. There are reports of almost 20,000 adverse affects from this drug to the FDA. Some including death. 

Please, please, please if you read this, DO NOT EVER GIVE YOUR CHILD THIS POISON!! 

Doctors can prescribe something called Lactulose that is supposed to be much healthier and with much less horrible side effects for constipation. Please ask for this. 

I watched my daughter behave like a demon was inside her. It was pure hell and I now know it was because the miralax was entering her bloodstream through her leaky gut and the poison was making her psychotic and lucid. Makes total sense once you’ve done as much research on this as I have.  

Also, NOT EVERYONE who takes Miralax has these side effects. These side effects go hand in hand with the leaky gut. 

Please don’t reach out to me to argue. I don’t need your advice or medical terminology. Go read the FDA reports. I’ve witnessed this all 100%, first hand, as a full time mother. I haven’t left my daughter’s side in months unless it was with my husband or close family. I know what has worked and what has failed. Miralax is straight up poison.  

They are starting a study at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in the neuropsychiatric side effects that Miralax has had on children. You can’t tell me that this is a good thing….

If this blog helps one parent to choose another route than Miralax, I will have done my job. Please!!! I beg you. 

I pray every day that Chloe’s side effects from this go away. Every day her vocabulary and learning improves and I hope that we can soon be back on track to a normal and happy toddler. 

Bye Felicia!

So when we started this journey, it was completely for Chloe. Everyone in my family was not going to make this change. Then, once we realized how damn hard this is, there was no way around us making changes too. I bit the bullet and jumped in first. I knew Chloe needed my support. Plus, it is not like this is BAD for any of us!!!

So here we are, Day 22 and we all have had significant health changes. All for the better! Ask anyone who has seen my family. Chloe is basically a different child, Connor has calmed down with a better attitude, and Darren is the healthiest I have ever seen him. His diet and habits have changed entirely since we met and that makes me a happy wife. He even said last night that he feels younger than he did when he was 22. This man used to smoke 2 packs a day and drink a pot of coffee or Monster drinks to survive. Now, none of that crap exists in my house. We have coffee and it hasn’t been made in 5 days now? I tried to drink 2 cups of green tea the other day and felt like I did cocaine. It was hell.

Then there is me.

My difference is the most noticeable. I have lost so many inches and pounds that clothes that I wished fit 2 months ago are falling off of me. I have worked out ONCE. Yep! Once. I am too damn busy cooking, cleaning, running a business, chasing 2 kids around and so much more to find time to workout. This usually would make me feel so guilty. I had been working out 4-5 times a week for most of the year, but no guilt now. I am as active as I always have been, but the body changes I did not expect to be so drastic. I now understand why you are supposed to do Paleo and Whole 30 for a month, after 30 days you don’t want to go back. I am a different person!!

My red, blotchy skin is completely gone. My inflammation is so much better. The weight loss, HELLO! My sinus pressure that has bothered me for YEARS is gone. Seriously, I would have to use essential oils and neti pots weekly. I have lived on Advil Cold & Sinus, Flonase, and Mucinex D for far too long. I average about 3 sinus infections a year to the point hard core antibiotics don’t work for me anymore. THAT PRESSURE AND PAIN IS GONE!!!!! I will let you know once Monsoon season hits and if I get my 1,239th sinus infection.

Now, let’s talk about my anxiety. That crazy, little bitch I call Felicia.

Biggest change!!! I have struggled with anxiety and depression my entire life to the point of medication. I remember getting told as a kid that I needed to relax or I would have an ulcer by 18! Well, I have had many ulcers. Dammit. I have been diagnosed with pancreatitis at 22, had ulcers, been medicated for anxiety, post partum depression and so on. A month ago, I would have never shared this with anyone. I was not strong enough to say that I struggle. I don’t like admitting I ever need help, especially with that fucking Felicia bitch. So, the middle of May my anxiety was at its all time worse. I had 2 panic attacks in May. I have had 5 my entire life. They were bad. Before this post, only 4 people knew about this. Life was so hard at this time that I didn’t know if I could make it through. I was struggling so bad before I had answers for Chloe, that I didn’t know if I was strong enough to be there for her. I am so thankful for the people in my life watching me struggle and were there to help. I had multiple blessings from my Father in law and Chloe did too. I reached a point of no return when I finally said I can’t do this anymore. I broke. It brought me to my knees and I had the most powerful prayer of my life. I picked myself back up and knew we could make another day.

The next week, we found the doctor that changed our lives. This was so scary, but I had already come to terms that this might be a gluten problem. I just didn’t want to accept it. Now, I can tell you how amazing this has been for us. Now, I can say that this is the best thing I have ever done for myself and my family. My anxiety is gone. Even through all the hell I am going through, I know I can hang. WITHOUT MEDICATION! I always hated the way anxiety/depression pills made me feel and I made sure to wean myself off as soon as I could. They make me dizzy, nauseous, and very upset guts. Why do we always take a pill instead of fixing the problem? Why do these damn pills take weeks and months to get off of? They are horrible and anything else you may take with them can cause serious reactions! YUCK!!! So, I can honestly and happily say that my anxiety was rooted from my diet. 100% I no longer pace my house late at night worrying about so much stupid shit I can’t control. I am sleeping better and no more racing heart. No more hormonal night sweats. Actually, hardly any sweating at all. That is cool. Especially since it hit 120 degrees in Phoenix yesterday.

I started writing this in hopes to help someone who wants to do this or has the tools and just lacks the ambition. I get it. No one gets it better than me. But this has been the best change for my entire family. I can honestly say that. I have never had this level of peace and grounding that I do right now. I can look at all of these changes and know that they root from diet alone. I have read articles stating this for years, but why would I listen to doctors or science?? Silly Torrie…

BYE FELICIA!

Just a few things I need right now. 

As I continue this journey to learn more everyday, I have also learned there are a lot of things I need to make my life easier. 

A bread maker would be super cool. Two more dishwashers. New cooking spices. An Insta Pot. A new washing machine. A maid. An assistant. A nanny. A 3 year vacation to the Caribbean. Ya know, that kind of stuff. 

I’m getting better with this cooking challenge. I get frustrated so easily if I haven’t meal planned. So we have figured out that we do best when we try to plan 3 days of meals at a time. With all of the fresh produce and poultry we are buying, it doesn’t last long anyways. So then one of us heads back to Sprouts for 3 more days of food. I’ve never used so many eggs, cloves of garlic, celery, etc. in my entire life! It is awesome!! 

I made roasted broccoli and cauliflower in the oven the other night and I will never cook them any other way! So delicious! Just sprinkle them on a cooking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, Himalayan pink salt and a little pepper. Cook at 400 for 20 minutes. Voila. Even Darren told me he liked it!! I’ve never seen this man eat a piece of cauliflower. Ever!!!! 

Sprouts is super close to a Walmart so I go get my toilet paper, paper towels, toothpaste, and everything else that’s cheaper there. Then I head over to Sprouts and get the goods. I’m trying to balance this all while not breaking the bank and actually eating food that tastes good. Most meals have been pretty tasty and some have been big fails. Oh well. Life goes on. 

Chloe is remarkably better every single day! Her vocabulary has sky rocketed, she is rosy and chubby. She doesn’t say her tummy hurts anymore and she’s not grumpy. She’s is happy and it melts my heart. Every single challenge and set back have been all worth it to see how she is today! 💜

Real life. Day 20 ish?

Gosh, I don’t even know what to update about! That’s a good sign for me, haha. 

Chloe is trucking along and eating awesome. Everyone who does this told me it would take a month to figure this all out. It totally HAS! I kept telling myself I would have it down in a week, but no. I make mistakes all the damn time. Not with gluten, but the other crap. Corn starch especially. 

Today, we made eggs, turkey bacon and various fruit for breakfast. Lunch was a GF hot dog, and dinner was GF spaghetti. Wasn’t the tasty meals from the weekend, but still did the job. Too much damn work. I’m tired. 

Today, Chloe went into the bathroom (crying), but on her own knowing she had to poop. She was scared, but she didn’t fight it. Such a relief!!! I jump for joy for poop in this house. I never in my life envisioned the amount of shit I would have to deal with. Literally. 

Every time it is getting easier and every time she’s less scared. I feel like we are finally back to healing! (*knock on wood*!!!) I physically can not handle another ER trip. I will be in there with her. No joke. 

I am still absolutely terrified to go anywhere or do anything. My social life went into the shitter. One of my best friends just moved here and I have barely seen her. Sorry Melissa! But I know she gets it. She has witnessed some horrific shit here that has brought her to tears. She knows what I deal with. 

Watching Chloe get rid of her separation anxiety from mama and watching her be HAPPY is worth every second of hell we have dealt with.

I’ve had so many challenges in my life and I can honestly say this is the hardest one yet! I have to worry about every single thing that enters my daughter’s mouth for the rest of my life. Swallow that pill and tell me how it tastes. 

I know it’s going to be a battle for life and I know we can do this. I feel so blessed to be able to stay at home with her so I don’t leave these restrictions and stress on anyone else!!! I would be crawling out of my skin if she had to go to day care! I hope by kindergarten we have this down to a science. 

All we can do is hope and pray for the best. Every day gets better, every day gets easier, and every day my little Chloe-Bug gets happier and healthier!!! 💞💜💞

Our first family outing Gluten Free…

So the last month has been weird to say the least. I am trying to find a balance of normal life and I do not have one yet. I have been dreading every meal and stressing about every single thing that’s entered Chloe’s mouth. It has been weird. 

Today was the first day since her diagnosis that we have tried to be somewhat normal. Darren’s family had a Father’s Day party at my sister in law’s this evening and we were nervous. We did notice that they changed the meal options for us. That was so damn sweet!! 💜

Darren’s family has been beyond amazing through this whole experience. They want to learn and they definitely want to help. That support from them is something I haven’t felt in my entire life. Their love for me and my kids is above and beyond love. It’s beautiful. 

We had deli meat sandwiches and all the fixings. Darren’s mom made sure to check with me multiple times about the meat, the slicing, cross contamination, and just questions about what Chloe can eat. This makes my heart so happy to have that support. Darren’s sisters also tried to buy things they thought she could eat. Damn corn starch fucks everything up with this stuff. But it was so damn considerate!! It’s funny that 10 years ago I didn’t even know these people and now they are my family support 100%. 

Chloe ate a giant bowl of sliced turkey and didn’t even flinch when bread, Doritos, soda, and cheese were around! This was such a relief. I think she’s starting to catch on to what hurts her tummy.  

Then the kids swam their hearts out and we came back to our sanctuary knowing we can handle normal again. Such a relief!! 

Thank you Kidd family for being the genuine, amazing people that you are! 

Now, if we can just figure out how to handle Connor’s half year party next week, then we are set!! 

Post Gluten

Yuck. I am still so mad at myself for eating gluten last night. Mostly because I feel like my sinuses are about to explode, my skin is still red, and I broke out. Yes. I blame gluten 100%. Not cool. 

I spent the entire day downing way too much coffee. I was exhausted from my stupid gluten filled meal. Then I bit the bullet and cleaned my house. It’s been a disaster lately and I’ve had no drive to clean it. When your options are sleep or cleaning, you choose sleep. Always. 

I swept, vaccuumed, dusted, cleaned out the fridge, made beds, did laundry, cleaned the pool, scrubbed toilets and bath tubs, and even cleaned base boards. 

All of this made me so happy! Why? Because getting back to tedious housework made me feel somewhat normal again. Sweating out my gluten overdose made me feel good again. Having a clean house calms my anxiety. I’m weird like that, but my hubby loves it. He deals with hoarders and cat people daily. I’m glad he gets to come home to a clean house. It makes me feel like I’m doing something right. 

I took Connor grocery shopping with me and let him buy a toy with his hard earned tooth fairy money. He deserved it so I didn’t even make him spend his money.  I’m so proud he’s my kid. He is a stud. I make him get up every morning and do his 10 chores before tablet time or television. He cleans up dog poop and sorts his own laundry. He is truly a great kidd. 

Chloe is back to my happy little cherub. She’s been wrestling and playing all day.  Her cheeks are rosy and full. I love seeing her get a little chubby!!! She acts a little uncomfortable because she’s holding another poop back. We are getting there. Today she’s eaten the healthiest out of this entire journey. Scrambled eggs, bone broth spaghetti and even 8 ounces of straight up water! So awesome!! I am making Cornish game hens with rosemary and lemon for dinner and I pray she eats it. 

Today was an overall good day. We are back to healing and every time I meal plan it gets easier. We got this. 

Oopsy! 

So after I cooked my 6th meal for the day and completely ruined tacos, I developed a case of the fuck its!!

Connor was so awesome and tried to choke down my horrific beef tacos with way too much garlic and not near enough seasoning. The corn tacos fell apart and tasted like cardboard. He even gagged and didn’t complain. I was so impressed with him! 

Darren just got home from work and I told him to watch sleeping Chloe while Connor and mom had a date. 

Connor was so excited! I took him to Wendy’s and let him have whatever the hell he wanted. Root beer, fries, frosty, and a 10 piece nugget. 

While he was choking all the gluten down, my hanger got the best of me and I ordered Burritos from Top Shelf for Darren and myself. I immediately felt guilty like I was cheating Chloe. Connor finished his meal and I went to pick up my food with so much guilt. Why??! I haven’t had any gluten for 17 days and I don’t have a problem….well do I? I might have a slight addiction. Plus, PMS doesn’t help those cravings. 

So, I picked up the food and came home feeling guilt ridden from gluten. 

Chloe was still asleep on the couch and I went to town on the chips, salsa, and burrito. 

I now feel like total shit. I went from feeling the skinniest I have felt in a long time to instantly bloated, gassy and looking 4 months pregnant. I am mad I slipped up, but I am also happy I did it. I don’t like feeling like this. 

This was a good test. I obviously have an issue with gluten. My skin is red again and my heart is racing. What the hell?! Yuck.