Have you ever had an instinct? An instinct that begins as a gnawing...Then grows into a raging burn; a burning instinct that something is wrong...
Your baby continues to get sick from the very foods he is supposed to thrive on. I did. I am a mom of a little boy just diagnosed with FPIES.
And that burning feeling now? Extinguished. My instincts? Stronger than ever. Guiding me, with my faith, as we navigate through the murky waters of our new world created by something called FPIES.
"Faith is not about everything turning out OK; Faith is about being OK no matter how things turn out."
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Halloween Screams and Probiotics
Little man was on a 10day course of antibiotics after being discharged from the hospital for the line infection. That course was set to finish Oct.26th. I began to think about how this long course of antibiotics, plus the multiple antibiotics during the hospital stay, would be robbing his body of bacteria- good and bad gut flora. Ridding the body of the “bad” gut bugs is a good thing, now how to ensure the “good” gut flora flourishes so that there is homeostasis in his gut: where the beneficial gut flora reigns, the “bad” gut flora remains to do its job keeping the fungal’s at bay.
We had stopped the probiotics he has been on since March, in August after a switch in brands caused some questionable symptoms and coincided with the scurvy he developed. The beginning of his probiotics last March was very favorable for him, he gained weight, his appetite increased, his labs leveled out, his hemoglobin was stable, he was at a baseline we hadn’t seen him at in a long time. However, he quickly hit a plateau so I set off to find a better fit- first I gave him the probiotic in 2 doses, a morning and an evening and that seemed to help; then I thought if that was helping, I wonder how he would do with the probiotic in his formula so he was getting a continuous “feed” of it all day, and so the probiotics were in his gut in an environment (with the food directly) that would support their growth at optimal levels. I can’t change his diet to encourage that (with foods referred to as ‘prebiotics’) so this seemed to be a good answer; and he again responded well to it. I don’t remember exactly when he seemed to be having a plateau or something again, but I thought he needed new strains- maybe the strains I was giving him was creating more dysbiosis within the beneficial bacteria. I tried adding a strain (bifidi) and he had too many symptoms to continue, I tried adding a new line (ProBioGold)and he developed symptoms, fevers and even an ear infection (his first and only!). Back to the CD-Biotic (3strain probiotic from Kirkman labs). Then, following advice from the Functional Medicine doctor we saw, he was concerned over this combination of probiotics and felt Sam needed custom probiotics; he had a guy (the “bug guy”) that did this very thing; so we switched to Custom Probiotics. That brought us to August when he had symptoms and then developed scurvy.
Now, the antibiotic brought us to a great baseline; all to see it slipping away with reintroduction of the probiotic? Does this make sense? Is this die off or is it a reaction (maybe one he was having chronically all those months) to the filler ingredients in the probiotic or even a reaction to the strains? Initially I started with the CD-Biotic, which is the one he responded so well to in March and the one we felt he did well on for a long time- even putting it in his formula mix. He had symptoms and I worried the long course of antibiotic was too much and 3-strain probiotic was too much to start him off with; so I switched to a single strain I had gotten to try and add to his 3strain a few months ago, or try in place of it since something seemed off. Dr.Jyonouchi, the research MD we saw in NJ (in Feb) had said he would need to be on a low strain (single would be preferable) as his system was so severely dysbiotic. After trying a few days of CD-biotic, with these symptoms of uncertainty, I thought I’d give it a try this time around….
Which brings us to Halloween screams. I had given it to him that morning for the first time (I worked over that weekend and I didn’t want to do anything while I wasn’t home). I thought it was attributed to him being upset that he couldn’t have the candy he saw us pass out to the trick-or-treaters. It was a bit irrational and extreme; when he had it the next night over not letting him dump water on the floor- was starting to wonder if we were seeing a pattern? That something simple was setting him off because he was having some underlying pain/inflammation/whatever-happens- in- his- body- during- a- reaction. I skipped the next day and he was fine. So, I gave it one more time- somewhat reluctantly…and, like clockwork, ~8hrs after he consumed the probiotic, he is screaming and screaming and screaming. Irrational, inconsolable. Other things I notice is that he is sweating (from the fit) but cold, also he is gagging every few minutes- kinda like you would hear from a typical kids’ crying fit when they are sobbing so much they begin gagging on their snot…only he doesn’t have snot and he’s not crying as much as he is just pure screaming. And the gagging is more like he is throwing up in his mouth and then swallowing it. And even his brothers recognizes the screams and the pattern, and say “first it was the Halloween candy, then the next night over the water/ice, and now this? What is going on?” Also, in the night on these nights- he is crying in his sleep and even crying out “help”, it takes a lot of rubbing his rock hard belly and patting his back to get him consoled for sleeping.
I didn’t give it to him yesterday and he was great all day; until he sucked on the Sorry board game when I wasn’t looking (or expecting)…and 8hrs (at 4am) came the screaming – that was fun. And today he is a little clingy. Most cardboard products like that have corn and potentially soy in them- and it becomes more clear that the probiotic is the same pattern of symptoms. His pattern of symptoms. Now what?
This got a little long, and complex- but this is my thought process as we go through the day(s)….everything needs to be trialed, anything could cause reactions. I’m tired.