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Boy Out of the Bubble – Tommy’s Story

by Erin on January 26, 2012

Every time we go to the doctor I’m afraid she’s going to say “I’m out of solutions, I’m going to prescribe a bubble!”

I’m only half kidding.

The only thoughts I ever gave to what went into my grocery cart were: is it a great price and will my husband and daughters eat it. I could get through the store in half an hour flat! Not anymore!

Our son has turned our world upside down (we wouldn’t have it any other way <3 ) from the second he was born!

When we finally made it home from the NICU, we relaxed a bit. Every follow up appointment brought us closer to normal. Then, she kissed him! Yep…..kissing girls causes problems at a very early age…..5 mos. to be exact! I panicked as I watched his head break out in red splotches before my eyes! Then I saw it…..a trace of peanut butter left behind by his little sisters mid lunch show of affection.

No testing required, diagnosis : peanut allergy.

Rx: epipen jr.

We remove all pb products from our home and carry on.

Starting solid foods was like being on a rollercoaster we couldn’t get off. Some days were good, some weren’t. Testing revealed noting food related. So, we stayed on the ride. The harvest came (we live in a rural town) and that brought BIG problems!

More in-depth testing revealed tons of fertilizer/pesticide issues. Proposed solutions: air purifiers in the house, limit time spent outside when the grain elevator is running, bathe him right when we come in, switch to organic produce, ultimately…..sell our house and move.

I drove to the nearest big city to shop for air filters and veggies while my husband contacted a realtor. At the same time we switched to cloth diapers as he was allergic to several components in disposibles. We saw improvements almost immediately, but it wasn’t a cure all. Fastforward to today.

We still haven’t sold our home…..but we’re trying everything we can in this market. We have tried going gluten free with no changes in symptoms. Tommy eats about 7 different foods and that is all. Finally we got the answer we needed (and dreaded) – he is allergic to corn.

Our grocery budget has gone out the window!

Grass fed beef & dairy products are pricey. Organic vs. conventional produce is crazy!  However, I have found a sources to buy meat (beef, pork and chicken) in bulk at reasonable prices. I have found a few organic CSA options and will fully embrace the farmers markets this year. We joined a food co-op. We have also decided to let our Sam’s membership lapse in favor of Costco after a trip there with my mother-in-law. They have alot of organic and natural options that you can’t find at Sam’s. I cook mostly from scratch now, and will continue to do so. Some things I buy especially for Tommy, but most of what comes into this house is corn free.

It’s more expensive, but it’s just plain easier! I have also noticed positive changes in all of us with our new diet. Research has lead me to see corn is in more things than not…..and in a million different forms. Not only did our pantry, fridge and freezer get a total makeover, but so did the rest of the house!

We had to change laundry detergent for all of us, his shampoo, lotion and toothpaste (yes…toothpaste!) and I’m sure I will discover more as I go.

This is definitely a journey…..and I think we’re doing well. One day at a time!

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