From the archives - PT Session Jan. 2007
I just came from school where Ethan's teacher informed me that today he was a totally different child. They were wondering how long he's been on his new medication because it appears to have really had a jaw dropping affect. I poked my head in and noticed that he was sitting on the circle with legs crossed paying attention to one of the aids as she was signing and telling a story. His aid was not seated behind him for some reason. I stayed and watched and he continued to sit still and pay attention. None of us have ever seen this type of behavior from him and we were all pretty taken aback by it. Not only that, he also focused on his work today and they were able to see (finally) that he has his ABC's mastered. He actually followed directions while his teacher assessed his knowledge, thereby showing her what we've known for months. During circle time he was asked to bring a numeral up front and match it with the corresponding number. I guess he followed the instructions and matched up the numbers, causing all the kids and adults in the room to spontaneously start cheering for him.
His inability to focus and follow directions has been extreme. We've been hearing terms like ADD and ADHD and have been bracing for another hurdle, another mountain to climb. But if he has many more days like today, he may actually be able to get by without a one on one aid.
Ethan has had a lot of lab work done recently to get to the bottom of what is going on in his gut and it seems there's a whole lot of ugly going on in that little tummy. He has a yeast overgrowth and 3 strains of bad bacteria taking up residence. He has begun developing intolerance's and allergies to foods the way I've developed a penchant for soy chai's at Starbucks. Poor, poor fellow.
Shopping and cooking for Ethan has turned into a science. I contemplate the labels of every single thing that I buy and due to the extensive list of things we have to avoid, most of the items I look at go right back on the shelf. Basically, he can eat meat and veggies. Fruits and carbs aren't looking so good as they both feed yeast. Sugar feeds it too, so now I'm investigating the sugar content of nearly everything. He can no longer tolerate rice in any form, so that has seriously impacted our pantry as I was using rice flours and rice milk. He's allergic to all nuts. He's even allergic to sunflower seeds and safflower oil. I could go on, but you get the point.
So the only actual medication Ethan is taking is Nystatin to kill the yeast. He's taking probiotics twice a day and eating a digestive enzyme tablet before each meal and snack. He continues to be on a gluten and casein free diet. He's on vitamin C and a B complex with folic acid. Eventually when his tummy is showing signs of healing he can start taking iron as he is also anemic.
I've heard it said many times, that we were meant to become Ethan's parents, that somehow God hand selected us for the job. I used to just smile and nod at that comment, as if it were my duty to show some humility, some modesty. But now I can say with great assurance that yes, we were meant to parent this little guy.
I don't know anyone else who is better suited to the task than his father and me. And we're so thankful that he's ours.