Day 3 of our ghee trial went down like this:
- Ellie woke up at 5:30 a.m. This was her M.O. during the bad old days and is always a bad sign. Just the other day she woke at 4:55 and let me nurse her and put her back down for another stretch of sleep, but today she was up. Not good.
- For breakfast I decided to have ghee myself but not give Ellie any and see how the day played out, thinking I’d likely give her some ghee after her nap.
- Over the course of the morning Ellie became obsessed with nursing. I’d guess she nursed close to a dozen times between waking up in the morning and going down for her nap. And she asked to nurse at least twice that many times. Frequent nursing and getting obsessed with nursing is always a sign of a food reaction for her. When she’s doing great she can go from her morning wake-up nursing session to her going down for nap session without needing anything in between.
- At lunch she hardly touched her food. This was a big warning sign for me because she has been eating enthusiastically ever since starting Intro.
Because I’m a bonehead and couldn’t interpret all the above warning signs, I decided to feed Ellie some ghee after her nap. We got downstairs and I told her we were going to have some chicken broth and I asked her if she wanted some ghee in her cup. She got very upset and said “NO! NO GHEE!” And suddenly it was all crystal clear. I can’t believe my 22-month-old needed to tell me she was having a reaction to a food. On the other hand, I am incredibly grateful that my 22-month-old can tell me she’s having a reaction to a food. It’s so nice to hear it from her – the first time ever!
Over the course of the afternoon, as my breakfast ghee worked its way through my breastmilk and into her system, Ellie developed more symptoms, including a terrible rash on her face and pain when she went pee.
So, ghee is out.
Next time Ellie vomits less than an hour after eating a questionable food, I plan to give it more credence than I did yesterday.
I hate it when this happens. I can’t tell you how many times a generalization about food allergies has not applied to Ellie. And I quote:
“Ghee is usually well tolerated by most GAPS people, regardless of diarrhea or constipation and regardless of reactions to other dairy products.” – Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, Gut and Psychology Syndrome
ARGH! I don’t know how many times I have to learn that if a statement includes the words “most people,” it will not apply to Ellie.
An interesting side note that has nothing to do with ghee: I have been astonished at the changes I have been noticing in myself. I don’t write much about myself here because the point of all this is to heal Ellie, but I have gained a lot already from doing GAPS with her. After trial and error I’ve discovered that I can’t tolerate butternut squash or carrot juice (a small amount of carrots in soup seems fine) because I become extremely fatigued, achy and irritable (Candida side effects?).
Anyway, after getting those foods out of my diet I have experienced a real change in myself. I feel calmer, my thinking is clearer and most remarkable is I am developing the ability to keep it together when Ellie melts down. A few weeks ago a day like today would have sent me reeling. But I was cool, calm and collected through the whole rollercoaster, I was able to see the situation objectively and really enjoy the happy moments that were peppered throughout the day.
GAPS Intro is so much more restrictive than what we were eating on our elimination diet. Before we came to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and then GAPS we were not eating: dairy, soy, eggs, gluten, corn, nightshades, citrus and probably some other things I’m forgetting. But with GAPS it’s easier to say what we ARE eating rather than what we aren’t. Nonetheless, I feel much more grounded now than before. Fascinating, huh?