After getting home with our new diagnosis I went to our local natural food store (yes, not even the regular grocery store) and spent 3 hours trying to find anything that Little Miss could eat. I was in tears wondering what in the world I was going to feed her. She ended up crying right along with me when we found a gluten free pizza dough only to find out it had eggs in it and we couldn’t get it! She loved pizza and really wanted some.
The first few weeks of attempting to cut out all of these items from her diet was overwhelming. I cried too many times to count; balked at the prices of specialty food and the need to revamp my entire pantry and kitchen.
I searched the internet and found a few helpful articles and began printing them out. I created a little folder that for most of the first year went with me everywhere. This folder had my food lists, allergy safe/avoid lists and other pertinent information. I can’t tell you how much it helped to just be armed with this information.
I went in search of new cookbooks and found good choices for gluten-free ones, but they didn’t help when it came to the other allergies. Eggs in particular are used in almost every gluten free recipe and product. Then I hit the library and came across a whole section of cookbooks related to food allergies, so I dragged a bag full home and began to pour over them. Slowly the pile got smaller and smaller and in the end only a few that ended up being good enough and one that has been my life-saver.
Time continued to march on, day after day I became a little less overwhelmed and a little more confident that I could handle this curve-ball. After our first month of being allergy-free an amazing thing ended up happening. Little Miss’ behavior began to change significantly. She screamed less, slept better and I was shocked. Even the rest of the family noticed a difference. After our first full year of changing her diet, she was not getting every cold or fever under the sun, her eczema was gone AND she stopped having major asthma attacks that ended us in the hospital. She still got sick a couple of times and did have asthma issues, but we could take care of it at home. By the second year she was hardly sick at all and her asthma was significantly better. She would wheeze, but if we caught it early enough she wouldn’t have a full blown attack. Her third winter, she wasn’t sick once and the only time she started having breathing difficulties was when she ate gluten.
We are still on a journey and learning more each day. Oh, and Little Miss did get her pizza.