Monday, June 26, 2017

A Healing

God is so, so good y'all.

When Levi was about 4 months old I noticed that he spit up a lot... like more than reflux a lot. Took him to the doctor, and they said he just had reflux, and was fine. But he wasn't fine. So every check-up I kept telling the doctor that I really didn't think it was normal. They just kept assuring me that he was fine, that I was over-reacting. Finally just after Levi's 1st birthday, I happened to schedule with a different doctor and explained my concerns. The new doctor agreed that it wasn't normal to puke up an entire meal, and that his eczema was rather concerning too. So off to a gastroenterology pediatric specialist we went.

The specialist put him under, and scoped his esophagus. Turns out the poor kid had scarring in his throat from puking so much. And that he did in fact have something wrong. He was diagnosed with Esophagitis.

Esophagitis (uh-sof-uh-JIE-tis) is inflammation that may damage tissues of the esophagus, the muscular tube that delivers food from your mouth to your stomach.Esophagitis can cause painful, difficult swallowing and chest pain. Causes of esophagitis include stomach acids backing up into the esophagus, infection, oral medications and allergies.Treatments for esophagitis depend on the underlying cause and the severity of tissue damage. If left untreated, esophagitis can damage the lining, interfere with normal function and lead to complications such as scarring, stricture and difficulty swallowing. -WebMD

The specialist prescribed a steroid to bring the swelling down so the kid could swallow and not gag. The steroid worked, but he still had the crazy eczema rash around his mouth. The doctor didn't know what was causing the disease and basically just put him on the steroid for over a year... during that time we moved to Louisiana.
Picture of his eczema taken in December of 2014... on the steroid in this picture.

We ended up finding a new specialist in New Orleans, and she was amazing. Literally the first five minutes of our first appointment and she asked if we tried taking out dairy. We looked at her like she was crazy, but figured we could try. With in 24 hours of no whey, casein, milk, lactose, etc his eczema cleared up, he wasn't puking, he didn't complain of hurting. It was amazing. The NOLA doctor did another scope to make sure that the no dairy was in fact working and it was. We were so excited! No more steroids!

It was hard at first to keep him dairy free. We had to learn to read packaging, & teach others who would be caring for Levi; like nursery workers at church and grandparents. We learned little secrets like to bake with no milk, butter, etc. How to make pizza without real cheese. But we figured it out. There were slip ups along the way, like accidentally giving him goldfish crackers, or mashed potatoes... even McDonalds french fries. Each time a slip up happened the same thing would happen, red itchy bumps around his mouth (eczema), gagging, and complaining that his tummy hurt. And all that within 10 minutes of eating dairy. Thankfully we had emergency medication from an allergist. So we would give him that, and he was fine again.

At his one year check-up from his initial dairy allergy diagnosis, they explained with this type of allergy, how young he was when it started, and how intense it was, that the chances of him 'growing out of it' were so small that we shouldn't even think about it. And that he was more likely to become anaphylactic from dairy than to 'grow out of it.' So we filed that away in the back of our minds.

Then we moved again... to Illinois. I think this move has been kinda hard of Levi because he's been making a few bad choices. One of which was sneaking food... didn't really think too much of it until Benjamin was eating goldfish crackers, and was sharing with Levi. I kinda freaked out, and reminded Levi that he couldn't eat those. As I was digging in my purse for his emergency meds he told me he had been sneaking these crackers for a few days... I was kinda in shock. The next thing I realize is that he wasn't in pain, he wasn't gagging, and he didn't have any red dots around his mouth.... So I let him keep eating the crackers, I mean I had the meds in my purse, so if I saw even a single red dot, I could stop the reaction. But I never saw the dots. The next day I figured, okay let's try a little more milk. Gave him some yogurt. He was fine. Next day we tried a small glass of milk. He was fine. In the past week we have tried everything we could think of. He has had NO allergic reaction at all.

God healed Levi from his dairy allergy. We are so thankful. To celebrate we went out for ice cream as a family... something we haven't been able to do for almost two years.

Y'all, really, truly, God is good.

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