Thursday, July 19, 2012's a dance you learn as you go...

...don't worry about what you don't know...lifes a dance you learn as you go..

Oh how I wish life could be that easy..."don't worry about what you don't know". This statement is something I can't do. I can't not worry about what I don't know anymore. Everywhere I go I worry about what Lillie is eating. Worry worry worry.

This week has been hard (as in, bang-your-head-in-to-a-wall hard). Lillie started acting like she was coming down with a "cycle" this past Thursday...we now know her "cycles" aren't cycles at all, but her bodies way of reacting to gluten. The only thing is, I've been really strict with her diet and couldn't think of anything that might cause her to react that way. So, I swept my concerns under a rug and kept moving forward. But, Friday evening she began getting violently ill...waking up in vomit, horrible accidents, sensitivity to light, lethargic, food not digesting at. all. ...all the same symptoms. I knew. I didn't want to admit it to myself, but I knew. But, because this is life and well, life is just rarely black and white, Shep got sick on Monday. Followed by Rauly and I being sick on Wednesday. It was mild compared to what Lil's had been dealing with for 5 days straight, and our symptoms only lasted for 12 hours or so, but left me scratching my head and thinking maybe this was all just a stomach bug?? However, day 6 and Lil's is still sick. And I know...I just know. She's reacting to something she's eating. Probably she had a stomach bug at some point, but everything about this week has screamed "cycle" to me.

So, back to researching and sure enough, I confirmed what I already knew. Our family has to give up the last grain I've allowed in the house. Rice. Wheat contains 67% gluten...corn contains 55% gluten...rice...sweet wonderful rice...contains only 5% gluten. I have hoped against hope that Lil's could stomach rice. There's all kinds of "traditional gluten free" food that contains rice...frozen waffles, frozen pizza's, crackers, kid-friendly cereals and an assortment of snacks...Rice has made this transition SO MUCH easier to bear. And I'll admit that I cried a nasty cry this afternoon as I accepted the fact that our family is going to have to say goodbye to all these foods that have made Lillie feel more normal...and have made my life so much easier.

After less than 10 hours of me cutting out all grain from her diet today, she has improved drastically. No bad diapers, no vomiting, no gagging, no stomach cramps, no sensitivity to light (which means no migraines)'s amazing and heart breaking all at the same time as it confirms my suspicions.

People, I don't cook. Food has never been something I've focused on...maybe I'm too adhd?..maybe I'm too lazy?...I'd eat frozen pizza or cereal for every meal if I could get away with it! I've come a loooong way since this journey began, but I still have a looooong way to go! So the realization of having to shop, prepare and cook grain-free meals that will interest 3 kids and their plethora of friends for the next two decades scares the bejeebers outa' me! I so badly want to pass this burden on to someone say, someone who maybe enjoys cooking??... (hey, I never claimed to be a saint!).

Some of you might be thinking that these ramblings are over-dramatic and maybe even a bit selfish, but before you pass judgement, you try cooking grain-free for a family of 5 in a grain filled society, you try telling your children they can never eat at McD's or Chick-Fil-A, or Domino's or the Loop again (or at least they can never eat their when they're with their lil' sister) try cooking meal after meal only to have your kids turn their noses up at you and say "thx mom, but I'm actually not hungry" when you know that meal they don't like cost you $30 bucks and lots of time to prep and all that, and then get back with me.

This is life for us now. Below you can see us at a friends gathering - these are all the kids (including Shep and Rauly) eating normal food...just chips, crackers and salsa (normal stuff that 4 months ago we were eating every day). And below is Lillie Anna...eating her seperate food (which incidentally is rice crackers which I now have to elimate from her diet) at the opposite end of the table by herself. She's adjusted really well...she picks up popcorn off the floor at the movie theater, holds it up and says "momma, this hurt my tummy?". I trust that she won't try to sneak foods any more, or cry when I tell her she can't have something she sees her friends eating,...but let me just state this a mom, seeing your child seperated like that, sucks!

 I know I sound frustrated, and honestly, I am. I'm frustrated my sweet little girl is having to deal with this. But then I remember her name...Lillie. We named her after the lilies in the field. And I hear God whispering to me that He loves my little girl. And I believe that. And I'm grateful that she's able to eat good, nutritious food and that there is an abundance of vegetables and fruits and meats and nuts that she can tolerate. Truly, I'm grateful for that.

I've been told that accepting a gluten free/grain free lifestyle can take years. "Life's a dance we learn as we go...". My heart is heavy, but I'm thankful for the fact that Lil's has a bright future and a healthy diet we can follow. Prayers please as I move forward...prayers for a renewed spirit and a zest for cooking!


Kimberly said...

Lindsey, even way before Lillie came along I thought of you as a Super Mom. You always seemed to be able to do it all and I looked up to how you managed everything with grace. Having three kids myself now I know it is constant chaos. We aren't even faced with the challenges that Lillie has and I still wonder sometimes how I'm going to make it through the rest of the day. I can't imagine how difficult it is for you all and you have every right to vent for sure! Even though this may be a HUGE adjustment I know God won't give you anything you can't handle. I just wanted you to know that I still think you are even more of a SUPER mom now and that we will be praying for you and Lillie Anna.

Teresa said...

First, I will say we enjoyed visiting with you last month. I remember thinking - she has got this situation "under her belt" like a pro. I wouldn't even pretend to know how to deal with such a restrictive family diet. It is a difficult one to be sure. So cry all you want,girlfriend. You will figure it out. I have faith in you because I know you have faith in the One above! He will provide you the strength to get over this hurdle. Lillie Anna is a special little girl. God knew exactly what he was doing when he placed her in your little family. Prayers continue! Love you!!

Chad and Lindsey Eason said...

Thank you Kimberly, that is such a sweet comment you left and your encouragement means a lot!!

And Teresa, we SO enjoyed our visit with you and Larry. Wish we could do that more often! I appreciate you're uplifting words more than you know...thx for letting me vent. :-)

Marie said...

I have been praying for you. I can't even imagine what you all are going through, but I also know that (and don't kill me now, or say-gee thanks, Marie..I truly believe in what I am about to say), God will not give you more than you can handle. Sometimes you are refined by the fire before you immerge on the other side. Lillie has the perfect mom...the one who will do what it takes to help her. I know you are scared and stressed...we all would be (and I like to cook!). Just remember to breathe, pray and keep "swimming". Take time for you, to cry it all out and to replenish. If you ever need a shoulder, I am only a time zone away and will never mind listening! Hugs, prayers and vibes of confidence heading your way, friend!!