A promise of Health and Happiness at the Park

Ian had his check up with the pediatrician today.  It’s always nice to hear that the boys are growing well.  Health is such a huge gift.  It was an extra relief to hear that Ian’s eyesight and ears and really everything checked out fine since he has also been dealing with health issues the past months.  Likely it’s been more like his whole life, but I’ve just caught on in the last couple months.
He was a very fussy baby (Oh, I WISH now I would have tried eliminating dairy like people recommended I do.), had a record number of ear infections and colds and unexplained fevers.  He didn’t babble much as a baby.  He was a late talker.  Any of those things can be easily brushed away.  And truthfully he did outgrow them to a degree.  He did start talking and now talks not stop. :)
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In the last several months, though, there were MORE symptoms.  He’s been complaining about his knee hurting, his leg hurting, and his stomach hurting.  Often it was after a nap or when first waking and I thought his leg or arm must be “sleeping.”  When he sometimes called us from bed in the morning to carry him downstairs because his knee hurt, we knew there was more going on.
The one day his knee was swollen and red.  He didn’t want to walk for three days.  At one time I would have probably rushed him to the doctor, but after m.a.n.y visits for unexplainable rashes and whatnot, I’ve become more of a wait-it-out mom.  Okay, and maybe I’m also beginning to lean toward alternative medicine–because I did take him to see our chiropractor. :0 :)
The next stop would have been the pediatrician, but after the adjustment the inflammation and swelling started lessening.  However, I started digging around for more information.  Our chiropractor suggested I start giving him Omega 3 and have him see my natropath.  I did that along with praying for healing and wisdom.
Looking up his symptoms online wasn’t reassuring since he had the classic signs for juvenile arthritis.  It was something the pediatrician had mentioned we should watch for when we had been trying to figure out the unexplained fevers. :(
Ian has been very lethargic in the past months.  He would often lay around for hours.  Sometimes Zachary would ask him to go outside and play and Ian would say, “No, sanks.” Once we walked to the park and he wanted to ride in the stroller.  A four year old should have energy to run especially to some place fun, but, okay…not a big deal.  Then we got to the park and he wanted to rest in the stroller instead of play.  Hmm.  Not normal.
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He also would sometimes have little temper flare ups that were completely out of character for his personality.  He had difficulty falling asleep, dark circles under his eyes, frequent stomach aches, he wasn’t gaining much weight.  Sometimes it seemed as though he wasn’t hearing well. Sometimes his gait was uneven.
The natropath had me keep a diet diary and quickly connected the symptoms to dairy.  A few days after eliminating dairy we had a different child!!!  He has energy to play, he is happy, and the temper flares are gone.
As soon as he has milk we see dark eyes.  He has had knee swelling once since then (probably because of cheating with dairy) and his hearing is improved (less inflammation, most likely).
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Our pediatrician is great, was fine with what we’re doing through Dr. Lebon, and said to keep going with dairy elimination.  If more symptoms such as joint pain come up again I could give them a call, but they trust my judgement.  (Felt soooo good!)  I was almost surprised that Ian’s height and weight both continued with the regular growth chart as they should.  He’s still in the very lower part of the growth curve, but he’s growing appropriately.
I was glad we had an appointment when we did.  Paxton started a rash Sunday night on his left check.  Yesterday it started spreading down his legs and by this morning it was also climbing up his trunk.  I was a little nervous since we have him on an alternate vaccination schedule.  The doctor took a look and said it is definitely hives.  He’s been on Benadryl today now and they are slowly lessening.  We just don’t know for certain what caused it.
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After the appointment we had a picnic lunch at a nearby park.  The pediatrician’s office is on this street that is almost like a mini city–a collection of restaurants, real estate, a gym, and a few shops.  Then there is this awesome subdivision, but instead of looking like cookie cutter houses they completely mixed styles.  They have influences from colonial to southwest, but somehow they blend together.  There’s a small park in the center and since it’s really        mainly there for the people living in that area, it was pretty much empty.
At first there was one other lady and child there.  He kept coming over to our picnic so his mom and I started chatting.  We found out that he and Paxton are twins!  I wish I would have taken a picture of the two of them together.
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The boys played afterward and I lay on the blanket in the sun with the leaves rustling around me–interrupted often of course by jumping up to retrieve Paxton or push a swing–but still so nice!!  Hearing the boys gathering bags full of leaves to make a leaf pile at home (Yes, they are scarce and precious here), watching their brains think up new ways of playing with things, watching Ian run–these are riches that sink deep into my soul.
“While here I stand, not only with the sense of present pleasure, but with pleasing thoughts that in this moment there is life and food For future years.” William Wordsworth
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19 thoughts on “A promise of Health and Happiness at the Park”

  1. I am so behind on blogs, so I am typing this a whole 15 days after it was posted. I’ve just come through a week of doctor visits and health stuff going on with Jena, so I am so feeling this post. Keep us updated – I love hearing about your life. And to stop giving milk to one of my kids would be so hard-kudos to you!

  2. I just took my son to a pediatric rheumatologist to check out his recurring swollen knees. It never occurred to me to try dietary changes. Doc is concerned about Lyme disease, as it manifests in swollen joints in children sometimes. If the lab tests come back clean on that, I may need to do research on the food issue… Hope the diet change goes smoothly.

  3. Wow. Children having health issues is a scary thing! I’m so happy that you were able to figure some things out, and that you have a happy energetic Ian back again! But I feel for you too – no dairy is not an easy diet! Much grace for you these days! xo

  4. Health is something to truly be thankful for…and yet I so often take it for granted.

    I miss you and your boys.

    The picnic looks delightful…but it is missing me and the girls. :) haha

  5. Poor Ian! I’m so glad you found out what was wrong with him. Hummm… now on to a new menu for him? Sounds like it could get interesting cooking at your house – with your diet (sorta, right?) and now Ian’s. :)
    It’s amazing how valuable health really is! Praise God your little men are on the mend! <3

    1. Yes, the cooking is getting rather complicated. :/ It’s good for me to think in terms of whole food more. My big challenge right now is soups. We loooove soup and eat it all the time in the winter. Now I’m finding some of our favorites are milk based. :/ I’ve made several and took out a dish before adding the milk part. Then I feel sorry for him because it looks so boring. He’s so sweet about it though.

        1. I need to experiment with that. I had tried lactose free milk (Lactaid) a long time ago and it tasted HORRIBLE. Since then I’ve been scared to try again and ruin a whole batch of something. I do use almond milk in baking. Rice milk is a good idea for soups, I think. Oh, by the way, the potato soup with hotdogs you made when you were here is legendary at our house. Zachary dreams of it often.

  6. I’m so thankful that you found something so clear to help! I had my first appointment with a Dr. of Osteopathy this week. I’m really looking forward to the journey, and sure enough. We discussed what a difference dietary changes make! No defined food sensitivities for me at this point but testing is possible before this is all done. We raked leaves today. We put them on a tarp and hauled them into our woods. There’s a huge pile back there-wish we could share it! That neighborhood sounds beautiful. There really are fun places in the city aren’t there?

    1. I hope you find answers for your health needs. And, yes, send us a big box of leaves. :) :) The city is just FULL of fun places. I just love finding new places and enjoying our favorite spots.

  7. Aww Christy I’m so sorry to hear about Ian’s health issues! I’m praising the Lord with you that there seems to be improvement and that you have discovered what is the reason for some of these issues.
    And I just have to say that when you were writing about Ian I BADLY wanted to see him again and hear his cute little(or big:)) voice telling a story in his delightfully expressive manner.:) He is such a sweetheart as are the other two!
    Blessings to you this weekend! I’m praying for y’all.

  8. So glad things are getting better for him. Reagan often has aches and pains and her knees hurt a lot. Never connected it to her diet… now I wonder.
    If the boys want leaves, tell them to come on up. We burned a HUGE pile the other day, the rest we blow into the woods. At the moment the ones that are left on the ground have a little snow speckled over them!

    1. It would be worth checking into. Zachary is mildly lactose intolerant. When we took him off dairy he became so CALM compared to uncontrollable wildness. Not sure why I thought of that just now. ;) :) It really is pretty simple to do a one week trial eliminating one food. In my experience the improvement has been so drastically better so fast that it is VERY worth the sacrifices it takes to cook differently.

      I have thought of your leaf piles when the boys are collecting them by the handful. They would LOVE to come to your place. It makes me kind of sad that jumping into leaf piles is just a dream for them. Zac asked me (like really devastated) WHY people would burn leaf piles. :) I told him they rake and burn them and the next day their lawns are covered again. :)

  9. so glad you found out what was bothering Ian! we had problems with Kierra for awhile- she started complaining frequently about hurting, especially her stomach. Once I put her on acidophilus, she completely quit complaining about physical ailments, and her stomach also got smaller- she apparently was bloated.

    I am envying your warmer weather right now!!

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