We’ve had a rough couple of days.
Most of it is non-FPIES related, so I won’t bore you with the details, but let’s just say I’ve been feeling very shaky.
Even if I’d been feeling great, though, yesterday would have brought me down.
Yesterday, Zac reacted to the pork.
It’s been a fairly mild reaction in a lot of ways; no vomiting, no lethargy, nothing at all scary or frightening.
But starting two days ago, he began eating less and less of the pork that was served to him at each meal. Yesterday, he only ate a bite or two at breakfast, and flat refused all pork I served him the rest of the day.
After breakfast, the diapers started.
Nearly four years into the mothering gig and I have to tell you, I’ve never experienced the dreaded “blow out” diaper before. Just lucky, I guess.
Until yesterday morning, when Zac presented me with two such diapers – one so bad I had to hose him down from neck to toe in the bathtub. He stood there screaming, and actually physically shook while I rinsed him off.
Everywhere the poop had been, the skin underneath was bright red. The red faded quickly, for which I was grateful, but it was there.
By the third diarrhea diaper, he had a diaper rash.
I HATE changing my sweet boys diapers and having him squirm to get away from being wiped. HATE IT.
I didn’t see any blood, but his stool color had changed and it could have blended in somehow. I didn’t test the diapers, either. So I don’t know if he had any blood in his poop. It hardly matters; the other symptoms he had are enough to know the truth.
He seemed to lose his appetite for quinoa, too, for most of the day; by dinner time, he was hungry again and ate a ton of quinoa.
He comfort nursed all day long. Forty and fifty minutes at almost every nursing session.
The worst part is, while the food was making his insides a wreck, the NUTRITION from the food was making him blossom!
He is absolutely a different child than the boy he was last Friday.
He’s doing things he has NEVER done before, using his tongue to make noises and sounds, trying to say words, and energetic in a way that makes me think that IF we could get him enough nutrition, his energy levels would make Jed seem like a low-key child (when he is anything but a low-key child!).
It kills me. It absolutely kills me that Zac can’t eat pork any more.
The worst part is, I don’t know if it is the pork itself, something the pigs ate (barley is in their diet, and barley is a common FPIES trigger), or something in the processing.
Christina is A-MA-ZING! She works SO hard to raise healthy, GMO-free animals, and she truly cares about her animals and her customers. So much so, that she spent a day this week at her processors observing their methods and asking questions so she could confidently answer questions from severely allergic people like us about how the meat is handled.
Turns out, her processors, in order to appease USDA standards, spray the carcass of the animal with citric acid.
That’s corn, y’all.
They clean their equipment with chemicals that have bleach and chlorine, and use an isopropyl alcohol mist at one point.
That’s maybe (probably?) corn, too.
She said they cut the outside (the part sprayed with citric acid) off and don’t put that part in with the cuts that are packaged, but I have to wonder if that is enough for a child as sensitive as Zac.
Darrel and I are now debating whether we should buy a whole pig from her and somehow get it to a safe butcher so we can see if it is the pork or the processing that Zac reacted to.
It would be expensive and maybe a tad extreme, but it could answer a lot of questions about Zac’s sensitivity levels and what he can and cannot tolerate.
In the meantime, we ordered the expensive chicken feed for my parents and they started feeding their chickens a corn and soy-free diet, so in the near future we can trial eggs for Zac. This is nerve-wracking, because eggs are a tricky FPIES food.
I also ordered some raw sunflower seeds from a place that seems to have the least potential cross-contamination possible and plan to do whatever you have to do to turn that into sunbutter to trial for Zac. If he’s okay with sunbutter (even if I have to make it from total scratch), that would be wonderful; Jed eats sunbutter all the time, so then the boys could have the same food on occasion!
Also, it would potentially give us a safe “fat” in the form of sunflower oil.
I’m also planning to sprout quinoa to see if Zac will eat the sprouts for a more nutritious form of quinoa. At least it’s SOMETHING green.
And as soon as possible my mom and I are planning to grow spinach and beets, so they’ll be available to trial.
I’m feeling a bit defeated lately.
Some days you just can’t win for trying.
I hate FPIES.