Saturday, February 11, 2012

A life without... DAIRY???

Summer has had cradle cap basically her whole life.  I really never thought much of it when she was a baby, because it just seemed like one of those things you go through with babies.  And let's face it... there were two of those sweet little babies, not just one.  We were dealing with making 16 bottles a day, changing 20 or more diapers a day, a little cradle cap wasn't going to get us down.  It took my baby girl quite some time to get big girl hair.  When it was still short and baby fine I was able to use baby oil to help the cradle cap, but it never entirely went away.  As she's gotten older, it has gotten completely out of control.  She has also suffered from chronic sinusitis and ear infections, resulting in surgery to insert tubes in her ears and to remove her adenoids.  The ear infections stopped, but the sinus infections did not.  Another strange happening in her life, sporadic exorcist style vomits.  I had asked the doctor several times about this, but because it was one time here and one time there... they thought nothing of it.
Last year, everyone that I came into contact with  told me that she was constantly sick because they has just begun daycare and that this winter would be much better.  Well September hit and guess what she was sick again and the antibiotics weren't taking away the disgusting ooze streaming constantly from her nose. In November we entered the world of allergies and asthma and began to get answers to the problems that were plaguing both Summer and Cole since they were babies.  Summer was diagnosed with allergies and Cole with allergies and asthma.  I was hoping that we would learn what their specific allergies were, but our allergist explained to me that at their age there are many false negatives and he preferred not to put them through the testing so young. One day I was reading an article in my Parents magazine about dealing with and understanding food allergies.  The article spoke to me when it said that a lot of food allergies are initially dismissed by parents and doctors as common ailments and one of the examples was CRADLE CAP!  Well for anyone who knows my obsession with google... I went GOOGLE CRAZY.  Trying to find any information that I could to connect Summer's symptoms with a food allergy.  The most common one that kept reappearing in my research was DAIRY. 
At our next allergist appointment after discussing how much better the kids were now doing with our daily medication cycle, I raised my concern about a possible allergy to dairy for Summer.  The doctor examined her scalp and said oh that's just cradle cap... and I imploded. I tried to rebuttal with the fact that I had tried every suggestion for cradle cap and had not been able to make any sort of headway, but it was no use.  He continued with his stance that even if there was an outside chance that she did have a food allergy that she was too young to be subjected to allergy tested.  He wrote her a prescription for a stronger shampoo and said that should do the trick and sent us on our merry way. 
A good friend encouraged me to just stop the milk anyway, but I decided that I would try the shampoo for 1 month.  Plus it was almost Christmas and the thought of attempting to go through the holiday festivities reading every label and telling a 3 year old that she couldn't eat her favorite things (having no idea how she'd react to this) made me cringe. 
Guess what? The shampoo didn't work!!!!!!!
On January 23rd, Summer went dairy free.  I had a talk with her that she wasn't going to be able to eat anything with milk, butter or cheese in it.  I wasn't quite sure if she got it until the next morning I heard her screaming at Jim as he was making her eggs for breakfast as he attempted to let me sleep in.  "But. Mommy. Said. I. Can't. Have. BUTTER!!!!!" she bellowed!  Um... yup... I'd say she got it.  I told myself we'd do this hardcore for 2 weeks to see if there was an improvement.  Nothing with even the hint of milk in it if possible. 
And Guess what???? It's WORKING!!!!!
After just one week on her new diet there was a dramatic improvement with her scalp.  Now after 3 weeks, she told me that it doesn't itch anymore!!!! (I almost cried like a baby when she said that to me).  It is still taking time to heal completely and scrub all of those stubborn flakes off of there, but I can't even tell you how much better it is getting every day.  I've start pulling back on her oral and nasal allergy medications as well, but not sure if she can handle giving those up yet completely.  We are almost due for a recheck with the allergist in a few weeks.  After taking to another mother who takes her kids to the same practice, I have rescheduled my appointment with the other doctor.  I've been told his philosophies are different, so we will give him a try. 
I'm now giving this my all to find Summer alternative foods to enjoy.  I've had some great finds from another mom that does dairy free.  Even a shredded "cheese" to make pizza and mac n' cheese with.  While it is challenging to find things that don't have any milk... I am so proud of my little girl.  She doesn't cry or get upset if I tell  her she can't have something that she wants.  She knows that she can't have anything with milk and if I tell her something contains it, she doesn't want to eat it anymore. 

1 comment:

  1. It was a good read, Jackie. And I am so glad the dairy-free diet is working for Summer.