Saturday Zac ate another ounce of pork at breakfast. Then he ate another ounce at dinner.
Throughout the day he was happy, pleasant, playful, and perfect.
He pooped a bit more than normal, and had hiccups for a few minutes in the afternoon, but that was it for anything remotely “not normal”.
Jed, being the precious, adorable child that he is, decided he didn’t want Zac to take a nap that day and devoted his energies (with great success) to preventing Zac from a reasonably timed nap.
Poor Zac finally fell asleep at 2:30pm, which is about half an hour after he normally wakes up from his nap.
Jed then proceeded to fall asleep face down on the living room floor while his brother napped and I cleaned the kitchen.
Both boys woke up just about dinner time, which meant bedtime became the stuff of fairy tales; fun to think about, and based in no way on reality!
Sure enough, they didn’t go down for bed until after 11pm.
Sunday dawned bright and early, and Zac ate another ounce of pork.
Then he had a poopy diaper, and, even though it looked fine, I tested it for blood. (What can I say? I’m a little paranoid about food trials right now.)
I thought I was going to vomit when I watched the test change to blue.
Blue means blood is present, you see.
When I told Darrel, he literally just sat down on the floor and hung his head.
We stayed like that, Darrel on the floor, me standing motionless at the counter, for what seemed like forever (but was probably only a minute).
Time felt like it stopped.
Then Darrel looked up and wondered something aloud that I had started thinking at the same time: what if the test was wrong?
At that moment, Zac was sitting in his high chair, screaming for more pork.
He’d been FINE.
Better than fine! Since we’d restarted the pork the day before, he’d been climbing, running, jumping, smiling, making faces, interacting and trying to talk more than normal.
It felt like some big part of his personality, his soul, was finally being allowed to shine.
I took this video about an hour after he ate breakfast. Does this look like an FPIES child having a reaction?
No, it does not. Especially after seeing last weeks video!
HOW could he have an FPIES reaction that causes blood in his stool when there were absolutely NO other signs? Last week, there was no doubt. The test showing positive for blood, the unbelievable behavior and screaming in pain…it was very, very clear he’d reacted to something.
But this? This time around, he’s not screaming in pain for no reason, he’s showing NO symptoms – except for the test saying his poop has blood.
So…could the test be wrong?
Suddenly energized by the desperate purpose of finding any way that these tests could be giving us a false positive, I grabbed the test kit and re-read the instruction manual. Then I hit the internet hard.
For anyone else who uses the at home fecal occult testing kits, here’s what I learned that might be useful to know:
Our tests do not actually test for BLOOD. They test for an element that can be present in blood.
That’s an important distinction! Basically, the paper of the test is made or treated with an acid that can be oxidized by hydrogen peroxide to turn blue. The reaction can be increased by adding peroxidase-like compounds.
The hemoglobin in blood is capable of exerting peroxidase-like activity, and thus makes the tests “do their thing”.
HOWEVER. They also advise us (in our testing kit, anyway) to NOT consume certain foods for two days prior to using this test on a sample. Foods such as rare and lightly cooked meats (especially red meats), cauliflower, turnips or broccoli, horseradish, radishes, cantaloupe, and iron rich supplements and foods high in iron.
Pork is said to be safe for these tests, but surely they’re talking about the horrible pork from the grocery store. The pork Zac is eating is a Heritage breed; as I’ve commented, the meat is RED in color.
A little more reading about Berkshire pigs and I learned that they are often called “the other red meat” by producers.
Perhaps…just perhaps…THIS pork is “red meat” enough to confuse the test!
Then I contacted some friends I knew would have particular expertise in this arena, and based on the conversations we had, Darrel and I came to a conclusion: we’re shelving the stool testing kits and pushing through.
The little bit of mucous in his diapers and one incidence of hiccups would not be enough to make us worry about a reaction had we not tested his stool. So we’re going to stop testing the stool and simply observe his behavior.
Barring any obvious fail signs (like visible blood in his diapers, vomiting, or other symptoms), later this week I will contact our doctors and ask them to order a stool test via a lab that actually detects blood (not elements that are present when there is blood) to see if his diapers are clear after a full week.
Since we trialed pork for 3 days, took 4 days off, and will then have re-trialed it for a week, we may be brave enough to call it a safe food this Friday! (We may be cautious, and give it another week just to be sure, though!)
Sunday night, we gave him another ounce at dinner. He begged for more.
Today, he will get an ounce at all three mealtimes. Tomorrow, if things are still going well, he can eat as much pork as he likes at each meal.
And God willing, things WILL go well, and we WILL discover pork loves Zac as much as Zac loves pork!
As for Mr. Jed, well, I’m a little concerned about him. Falling asleep on the living room floor isn’t exactly normal for him. And if you notice, in the photograph he’s wearing clothes. My little streaker normally hates wearing clothes in the house, but the last few days he’s been saying he’s cold.
He’s not running a fever (I’ve checked), but he has told me a couple of times that his body hurts. He can never point to where his body hurts with any more specificity than that, though.
We’re speculating now…growth spurt, maybe? I don’t know, but we’re keeping an eye on him.
So how was your weekend?