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Sensitivity

claire outside the labyrinth
There are always things going on outside of the frame of the photo. Sometimes this is good. The entire internet does not always need to know about my every insecurity, random obsession, fear, doubt or sniffle.

But right now I’m pretty much fully absorbed in the task of figuring out what is going on with Claire’s sensitive belly. For many, many weeks I’ve taken note of odd symptoms and dismissed them as “a tummy bug” or “growing pains”. Then I realized that they were showing up together; the same pain, fatigue, and digestive issues every time.

Two weeks ago I realized that I couldn’t dismiss these episodes any longer. Something is going on, and it’s my job to find out.

So I’m staying up late reading about food allergies and gluten intolerance, eliminating foods from Claire’s diet and trying to think of things to cook that we can all eat. I’m sure it will all get easier when I actually know what’s going on, but right now there’s a lot of hypothetical thinking and fretting over meal planning.

The weird thing, the thing that I keep coming back to and just can’t resolve, is this: neither Tom or I have any food intolerances or allergies of any kind. What makes a food intolerance arise out of the blue like this? I suspect that her symptoms are all coming out now because she stopped breastfeeding in November, and the gut-calming effects of breastmilk have worn off. But that still doesn’t tell me where this sensitivity came from in the first place. It’s easy to see how a parent in a situation like this could very easily point to something like a vaccine and attribute causation there. Because it could have been that, or toxins in any other part of our environment, or just random chance. I’ll probably never know.

Of course, it could just be the stomach flu! I could be worrying over nothing. At least I’ll find out whether it was the flu or the food over the next week or two, as I slowly and carefully reintroduce cow’s milk and gluten.

For now I’m going to go read my library book (Susan Cain’s Quiet – I am loving it so far and gobbling it up as quick as I can) and try not to think about food sensitivities any more for a while.

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{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Emily March 22, 2012, 10:52 pm

    I find that food intolerances are quite random – that’s from a sample size of one, me. I have a fresh fruit allergy that just appeared randomly one day when I was 11. My mom had cut me an apple and told me to eat it. I started to complain about an itchy mouth/throat and she thought I was just making up excuses and forced me to finish. Soon, my lip started to swell and after having a bit of toast, I felt that I had trouble breathing. (At that point, I was rushed to the medi-center and she knew I wasn’t lying) After that, one by one, almost every fruit I tried gave me the same reaction. I had no problems with any type of fruit before that day. It was just… random! Over the years, I’ve tested fruit on and off to see if the allergy was still there (and it was, usually) until I got pregnant with Adelaide and realized that I could eat some fruit again! I ate SO MANY strawberries and blueberries (my favourites before the allergy appeared) over the rest of my pregnancy and a few months after. Then the allergy came back :( This pregnancy, I can’t do strawberries and blueberries aren’t in season yet so haven’t tried… but I can eat pineapples and mangos! Again.. random which ones “turn on and turn off”. My fresh fruit allergy rare enough (no family history – from my knowledge) that people don’t immediately believe me when I tell them. As a nurse, my mom hadn’t heard of it until me. So my conclusion is it wasn’t passed down and there’s not enough of “us” (fresh fruit allergy sufferers) out there to blame any environmental thing consistently. Again, my vote is it’s all just random…

    • michelle March 26, 2012, 9:59 pm

      The other cause that I hadn’t considered until now is that either Tom or I have mild or silent gluten intolerance that we haven’t noticed, and that has been passed on to Claire, who is showing stronger symptoms than the parent she inherited it from. Life is full of surprises.

      I remember hearing about your fresh fruit allergy, and how it went away when you were pregnant. I had a friend in Ireland who had the same allergy – she found out about it after she broke out in enormous hives at work. She’d taken an aspirin-based painkiller and it’s there’s something in fresh fruit that is similar to aspirin, I think. The hives were scary, I can only imagine how scary it would be to have trouble breathing! I hope you can eat blueberries again this summer. :)

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