Mothers Intuition

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, December 11, 2011

FPIES Island

An FPIES diagnosis can be like being on an island. At first, it feels deserted with you standing alone, when you start to explore, you find out there are others on the island, they help find food, and nourish your survival knowledge and coping skills, and help to feel a little less alone in this new world. And you are assured by others that have been there that there are ways off the island; and you know you too will someday find your way off, and you feel less alone. Then you need something from off the island, and you find a bridge or two and you take them, only to be thrown back to that solitary place, on your island. Bridges to nowhere, bridges that don’t work, bridges to solitary islands themselves. So little is known about FPIES, and Doctors trying to help and yet unable to in this clinical diagnosis with misunderstood mechanisms and complexities, are also on an island- an island often with no bridge connecting to anyone else to help the FPIES patient/family.

Too many times on this journey, we have found ourselves alone on this island. In the beginning, we didn’t know anyone else lived on the island and we didn’t know to look for ways off or invite someone else on for help. Then it became clear that our little man needed more than what we could give him, his illness was becoming out of my scope as a mother. That instinct I had all along that something was wrong, was now a burning fire, and the need to find more bridges to connect our island became the mission. We quickly learned that a clinical diagnosis, was easier to file under “mom not coping” (ie mom is crazy) than to say medical science did not know, understand, much less be able to help. We tried so many times to connect bridges between different islands, but the complexity of little man’s FPIES needed a strong bridge to a specialist….which, after much searching and persistence, we finally located that bridge. We were happy to finally use it and didn’t know if we’d need any other bridges.

Unfortunately, it soon became clear that we were in need of other things for survival on our island so we went in search of other bridges - only to be quickly sent back to our island- our little man has an illness no one wants to touch…..even though he has needs for these bridges to work, they do not. A corn allergy with an allergic symptoms to even an elemental formula is too scary for most to deal with, so it becomes easier to simply send you back to your island, even though this little boy still needs help. It is left up to the parents to find that way, keep searching for another working bridge. Some really, really long bridges are found- but the cost is very high and the journey long to use those bridges; especially when the shorter, closer bridges should work. Last week we found a bridge that other FPIES families have been using, we hope to be able to as well….maybe we don’t have to travel on the long, long bridges; but maybe we still will……

I don't mind the island, I just want off this island long enough to get what is needed for survival….which bridge is that on?

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