Monday, February 15, 2010

in memory of the wheat allergy...

Okay, so remember Tali's wheat allergy?
You know, the one that cured her chronic stomach aches? The one that forced her to happily eat bread made out of tapioca and macaroni and cheese made from rice noodles? The one that made grocery shopping a sort of scavenger hunt type experience where I had to carefully read labels and get all creative about new dinner recipes? Remember how we've had sushi for dinner at least six times in the last three weeks because besides nachos, it's the only meal that all of us will eat (and it's slightly less of a heart killer than said nachos).

Oh, and remember how it was all worth it because Tali's chronic stomach aches finally ended? She went weeks without mentioning belly aches at school and everyone, including her, felt relieved because we'd solved the problem.

And remember how the only bad part of the whole diagnosis was the EXTREME parental guilt because for this whole time I'd thought it was all in her head--that it was emotional--and that we had to teach her how to deal with her feelings. But in the end, it turned out it was an allergy and I had to feel like a totally neglectful parent for not. even. noticing. that. it. could. be. an. ALLLERGY????

Well, that was then and um, this is now.
Apparently, she's sort of over being celiac.

I took Tali to the doctor's last week to talk to her about nutrition and getting tested for celiac. But the funny ha ha thing is that when you don't eat wheat for a month, you can't get tested for celiac because you don't have it in your system! Yeah... Smart mom, huh?

Doctor M. asks Tali about her symptoms and nodded when Tali said definitively, "I feel so much better. It must be the wheat." And I nodded proudly, knowing that we'd solved all of our daughter's problems.

"Well, sometimes you can get over a wheat allergy," Dr. M. tells us.
"Really?" I ask. "That'd be nice. That tapioca bread is awful."
"Maybe you should start testing out little bits of wheat..." she says, giving me a funny look.
"Wow, really?" I ask. "It's barely been a month."

But when Tali runs out to the bathroom, the doctor says to me, "Give the girl some wheat and don't tell her you're doing it. I'm not sure by her symptoms that's what's going on."

I nod and say okay, but inside I'm thinking, "Nope, no way, uh uh. You are WRONG, Dr. M."

The next morning, I sleep late and when I wake up, Boaz is making pancakes for the kids. They smell delicious and look pretty normal.

"Look at these wheat-free pancakes Daddy made me," Tali says proudly. I taste one and it's really good. And really not wheat-free.

"Her stomach ache is yours today, Buddy," I whisper to him.

But the thing is, she never gets that stomach ache. That night he gives her noodles and tells her it's okay to eat them. Again, no problem. And then yesterday she eats a burrito.

"Is the flour tortilla bad for me?" She asks. And then before I can tell her that it's probably okay, she says confidently "I'm just going to eat it. I need to start working wheat back into my diet."

She ate wheat all day today. And when I came home from work, I asked her how she felt and
she said fine. "My wheat vacation did it for me," she said proudly. And then she went to bed without a stomach ache. "Dr. M. is really smart."

Huh. Okay... So that's it? I'm bracing for what's coming next.

In the meantime, I've got a whole arsenal of wheat-free goodies. Anyone want some donuts made from tapioca?


Becky said...

OH MY GOD! I'm so happy for you guys... really! It's not a life you'd want for her.

Now, let's talk about the mental stuff. Uff! :-) Welcome to the family Tali. Welcome...

Ann's Rants said...

Oh happy day! We went through this with my husband and kids--and all eventually were able to eat normal foods again.

If I NEVER have to eat rice noodles, quinoa, or tapioca ANYTHING again I will be a very happy woman.