Sunday, January 4, 2015

Back to Writing

Hello old friend! I look back at the last post and I am reminded of the time that has passed and how much has changed. When I last posted I didn’t know but my life was about the drastically change. I entered a time of nonstop cooking and unbelievable stress.  To begin with the camel milk didn’t work and I wasn’t able to give Patrick any milk until he was about 14 or 15 months old. Even then it had to be goat’s milk and in small quantities. 

Around this time I began experimenting with stock. I was reading how good it was for the body – especially bone stock. I went out and found some bones for sale at the Farmer’s Market and boiled those with an onion, a few carrots, and some garlic. I strained it and put it in the Vitamix to puree. When I was done it was as white as milk. I added fresh goat milk yogurt and made his bottle with both. 

We ran out of yogurt after a few days and I switched back to Elecare. By the end of the day he started vomiting and having diarrhea. It was now the weekend and I had to wait until Monday to get into the doctor. It wasn’t until I was talking to the doctor at that appointment that I realized the correlation between started Elecare back up and the vomiting and Diarrhea. 

I immediately went home and stopped the Elecare and gave him only stock as that was all I had. Within two hours the continuous diarrhea and vomiting stopped. I was shocked. Filled with fear, I threw away the last container of Elecare and began my walk into the unknown. I had never felt as completely alone as I did at that moment. 

What would I feed him? Would I be able to get him enough nutrients? I called his gastroenterologist and he did some research while I was on the phone with him. He gave me some tips on the types of food to eat. I asked him how long Patrick could eat stock and he said indefinitely. I hung up feeling more grounded but still unsure. I began to pray. I prayed for guidance to make all the right decisions in order to give Patrick the care he needed.

I remember distinctly that day arriving at the supermarket. I stood in the middle of the produce section and said, “God, what should I buy?” Within a few moments I settled on kale, spinach, carrots, onions, and garlic. I started to feed him only one at a time for a couple of days. I started with carrots and I poor kid wore that orange shade for what seemed like months after that. 

A few days later I then added kale and so on until I finished adding all those ingredients in. I would cook them really good, for maybe 20 minutes and then I would puree it in the Vitamix and then strain it. I then would put into individual containers (1 cup canning jars) and have that for the whole next day. He ate one cup every hour or so. 

After a couple of weeks I was able to slowly add in gelatin from the beef bones and the marrow meat. He couldn’t eat it at first but after many weeks he had no problems. Everything was trial and error. I realized if I didn’t have enough fat in the broth, Patrick wouldn’t eat it. One time I saved an entire broth batch by adding in fat from the butcher shop. It took about 8 hours to melt into it but afterwards Patrick ate it.

It seemed all I did was cook and clean for months. I got really good at making broth but by 12 months I began to worry. He still wasn’t able to eat any solids. His height and weight was doing fantastic and he measured in the 20th percentile for his age. This was phenomenal considering he was barely in the 1% when we started the broth regime. 

I attended a group at church and I asked the ladies to pray for Patrick before we said the rosary. I was nearly in tears when I begged them to pray that Patrick be able to eat solid food. That was a Friday. Now, I must add that during this time of cooking I wasn’t able to clean the rest of the house; things were pretty dirty. I am ashamed to admit my floors had lots of crumbs and various unknown objects all over the floor. 

Patrick was crawling around and starting that following Monday he began putting those things in his mouth. I was horrified. Not only was the floor dirty and he was crawling on in with his hands and knees, but now he was putting no-telling-how-old food in his mouth! Thankfully he would immediately begin retching and I would run all over looking for him thinking he was choking. 

By Thursday, I started to find objects in his mouth and he had stopped retching. Slowly after this I was able to feed him small amounts of food without him projectile vomiting. That was a year ago and we are 100%. I feel we were given a miracle. He is still small, back to the 1% in height but 20% in weight. He is smart, active, and very much like a two-year-old in temperament.

I read stories about children with feeding tubes and I realize how fortunate we were not to have to face that traumatic decision. Nothing prepares you for a really sick child. Afterwards you are definitely never the same.