Aug 27, 2014

again #dairyfree

You can hand me any label for any food and in a few seconds flat, I can scan the allergy warnings, read the ingredients list, and confidently state if it is acceptable for Davy to eat or if that snack is potentially deadly. I am an expert at label-reading. I can scope out ingredient lists and in the midst of the unidentifiable ingredients and chemistry laden symbols, find the key words that tell me if any food has milk protein.

This confidence and assurance in my label reading expertise comes after 9 months of being dairy free while breastfeeding and since then an additional 8 months feeding and worrying about my darling boy who is allergic to milk protein. I've written about this before (see here for diagnosing a milk protein allergy and here for my fears when he switched to solid foods).

To be honest, his food allergy has introduced a level of fear into my life that I don't completely know how to handle. This isn't an irrational fear. It isn't something we can just avoid. How do you avoid food? Now that Davy is a toddler and eating completely on his own, he has potentially-dangerous foods around him all the time: snacks at Sunday school (part of the reason we haven't been regular church attenders lately), the free cookies at the grocery store, the goldfish every mom pulls out at the park, an errant sippy cup on the ground during playgroup. There is a chance that any where we go, someone could inadvertently or unknowingly give him something that will make him sick, very sick. Even the indoor play spaces with posted "no food or drink" signs can be dangerous due to the number of moms who blatantly disregard them.


Well, apparently I will get to live this again.

You see, in April of 2013 when Tripp and Davy were three months old, my mom went on a three week cruise. While she was gone, we found blood in Davy's diaper and so began our adventures with MPSI, which became a full blown milk protein allergy. Davy is still allergic to milk protein today.

On Saturday, my mom left for a three week cruise. Last night, poor James had blood in his diaper. We took him to the pediatrician today and she confirmed that James has a milk protein intolerance.

This is James most of the time. We now know it is because he is in pain.


We are on this path again.

Even down to the timing of the diagnosis while my mom is totally unreachable for support.



I just can't.

But, this is the easy time.


This is when I am in complete control. I will stop drinking milk. I will stop snacking on cheese sticks. My beloved Talenti Gelato will probably get freezer burn sitting unloved in the freezer before I have the heart to throw it away. I will go back to reading labels and trying to remember what I can order on menus (not that we eat out much with three kids under two!). I won't eat any chocolate-y delicious Halloween candy. I won't get my very favorite chocolate mint squares at Christmas. I'll only get to eat fruit off the MOPS breakfast spread because I won't know the ingredients in anything else. I won't go to the state fair because all of the fried goodness gets a milk bath. And now, I'm just whining. Back on track Alexis! I can control what I eat. I understand the consequences. I can read the labels. This is the easy time.


If James doesn't outgrow this. If, like Davy, he enters into solid foods still unable to digest milk, that's when it gets scary. That's when it gets truly hard. And that fear is why I'm crying this afternoon.




Philippians 4:6 says "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done." So, this afternoon I'm trying to pray. I'm trying to hand my fears and concerns and worries over to God. Because my fear is rational. My fear is okay. God doesn't tell me to not have fear. God tells me to hand my fears over to Him. (1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.)

And, when James is 9 months old (April 2, 2015 - I'm already counting the days!) we will do a dairy challenge and see how he reacts to dairy. Until then, I'm leaning into God. And I'm learning that I have to choose, over and over and over again, to lean into God.


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