Friday, January 18, 2013

ENT, Dynamite!

(Still the best of buds, Nolie and Calvie, with similar hair styles too - Nolan has a cowlick so his bangs never appear to grow and Calvin moved around A LOT when I cut his hair last weekend!)

Calvin is doing so so well!  I am so grateful to God for this.  God is for sure the one in control of that.  I do think God has given me the ability to be very open-minded and motivated to get the best possible set up for him.  And, I have my own personality, so I am definitely motivated by the things I find important and interesting AND possible for our family.  What I mean is I have always been fairly focused on Calvin's nutritional health.  This seems to be my main focus with him.  I teach him as well but I sort of let that go naturally, like with the other boys.  I wish I spent more time teaching him or was specific with his play.  BUT, I do not.  I didn't with Nolan as much either.  Evan?  Yes, I did a lot of 'teaching'.  I could.  I had one child :)  Honestly, I get bored sitting and just teaching over and over.  I'd rather move and cook and, yes, eat :)

So, now I am spending a great deal of time in the kitchen.  Something I envisioned for my time as home vs. time at school was to be able to have a greater impact on Calvin's nutritional health, and hopefully his physical and mental health would naturally follow suit.

I am happy to say, though winter and his childhood, and well, his life, are far from over, looking back I am very pleased with how Calvin has weather the storms of illness this season!

I will start with now and go backwards and connect the dots of my thoughts here....

On Tuesday I brought Calvin to the ENT for a follow-up to his April ('11) adenoid removal and ear tube replacement.

I had suspected the outcome, to an extent.  Calvin did very well with the audiologist and we noticed he did not respond to the left as well as the right BUT he fell within normal range of hearing (and was perfectly behaved might I say?).  So, I said I suspected something was up with that tube because when he had drainage last fall it was only out of his right ear.

And?  Yes, his left tube was pushed out and he has some scar tissue where it was (not thrilled about that part but is normal with tubes).  His right tube is in and just a bit blocked with ear wax - nothing warranted further work on Tuesday.  His left ear does not have fluid behind it so unless he were to have problems, it will stay as it is.  Great news for Calvin :)  Going back in 6 months.

Okay, going back: Around Christmas Calvin had a couple of colds.  He healed so quick and normal!  I am pleasantly surprised to be honest.  Nothing like last year (and I have some ideas as to why that I'll share next).  Calvin had a fever like his brothers and healed just as quickly as them.  Even with relatives with influenza, the boys each did well and did not seem to either get it or did and just got through it quickly.

Part of that could be using the amber teething necklaces (which are said to help immune systems as well), the use of muco coccinum (homeopathic influenza support), and Calvin's diet.  I have been learning more and more about the connection between what we eat and how we feel.

My naturopathic doctor and Maria Emmerich have been my main resources these days.  I have nearly completely cut out added sugars and grains in my and Calvin's diet.  I did this back in September but in a restrictive-diet sort of way.  Now I just changed what we eat (ex. Miracle Noodles vs wheat or rice pasta). I am slowly working on it with my other boys as well.  I made grain free cereal yesterday and we are rarely going to be buying cereal, for example.

I think I could blog all about sugar but the fact is there are books on it which means there is that much information.  I am slowly working my way through learning about it and simply put, the average American diet consists of WAY TOO much sugar.  For Calvin I no longer say he is gluten free.  He is grain free, or nearly.  He does get some processed starchy foods, Veggie Straws, on a limited basis and I know it is not healthy but I am also realistic about balancing out life with diet.  I plan.  Planning his meals is soooo important.

(By the way, I am talking about sugar, but that is not the only health change we have made.  I mainly cook with coconut oil now.  No more damaged oils.  Simple and healthy ingredients.  And, I look at labels for sugars (corn, fake, or added) and oils and soy - trying to limit as much of that as possible)

Sugar promotes many illnesses, including inflammation.  So, I strongly believe cutting out sugars and grains in Calvin's diet has helped him fight viruses this season and not allow them to develop into bacterial inflammation (like ear infections or lung infections).

The fact is Calvin has a harder time with his already compromised immune system.  I will do anything to keep his diet in check so he can be healthy and learning.  And, seeing as he is up to nearly 30 signs and continues to learn new ones, I will take this all as an indicator that what I am doing with and for him is working.  I will not minimize symptoms in his life.  He cannot afford any road-blocks.

Calvin continues to take his Nutrivene vitamins and probiotics.  He has a healthy business going on in his diaper - another sign that his diet is suitable for his needs.

I am slowly trying dairy now and then.  He does have some reflux/spit up but not as much or as long.  However, to me, any amount is a sign it is still an issue.  No worries.  We are well beyond adjusting for this lifestyle.  It adds some work but nothing that is any issue, especially now that I am home.

If anyone wants to learn more about a healthier lifestyle, I'd recommend checking out Maria Emmerich.   It is amazing how our agriculture drives our very inaccurate food pyramid.  There is a lot of research and sound science to support what I am doing for Calvin.  It is not to be rebellious or different.  Doing this creates stress in my life.  I would not do this if I did not feel strongly about the reasons I do what I do.

Calvin and I eat waffles and other treats.  I can eat pizza and cheese cake and the number of carbohydrates is very low!  Not only that, sugars such as Just Like Sugar and Swerve are low on the glycemic index and do have positive impacts on our health (ex. chicory root found in Just Like Sugar helps GI issues, Swerve as prebiotic properties).   Check them out!  Swerve is very yummy, no aftertaste and used just as sugar (1:1 ratio).

I also have been healthy and continue to nurse my GI issues.  Healing takes time and patience and knowledge.  I believe it also takes an open mind, motivation, and resources.  I am grateful to God for equipping me with an open mind and a patient, motivated personality.


  1. Good job mama!! I 100% agree that we eat has SUCH an impact on our health. When I changed our family over to more real foods I definitely noticed we were all a lot healthier! Luca doesn't seem to have food sensitivities thus far although I mostly avoid dairy for him. Both the boys RARELY get sugar though. (Trying to convince the girls it is bad has been hard especially when all their friends have candy bars in their lunch. ugh!) You are doing a great job!

  2. I am so glad to see things are going well. What a cute photo of those boys...getting bigger all the time! :)

  3. They looks so much alike!!! Glad things are going well. You should write a cookbook with all your recipes:)

  4. Great post. This inspires me to do better. I am interested in nutrition & know a lot about what to do,but Levi is interested in so few foods, I don't work as hard as I should in that area. We are doing a low GI fruit smoothie made with almond milk once a day, but I need to do better all the time. Thanks for the boost in the right direction!

  5. I love reading about everything you are doing with nutrition. You are a faithful momma who works hard to do what's best for her family!