Friday, February 27, 2009

Results, sort of

So I called the doctor’s office to find out the results from Sweetsie’s lab work and the nurse told me that the test for wheat came back negative but the one for milk came back positive, “So she should avoid all milk,” she said, “and that means everything, including butter, buttermilk, casein, cheese, cream cottage cheese, curds, ghee, hydrolysates, lactoalbum, lactoglobulin, lactose, all forms of milk—malted, powdered, evaporated, condensed, goat’s—rennet casein, sour cream, whey, and yogurt.”

When I got off the phone, I freaked, phoned some friends and my mom, freaked some more, and then tried to forget about the fact that the whole bottom shelf of my refrigerator was filled with white foods (milk, cream, butter, cheese, yogurt) while I helped the kids with their chores and studies. But after sending them out to play, I took up the freaking out where I had left off. I decided that I had too many questions about the whole diagnosis, so I called the doctor and made an appointment to chat with him for later that afternoon.

The doctor, who I finally got to see after waiting for an hour (I’m really not at all resentful), said that he doesn’t really think she has a milk allergy. Excuse me? Do they blithely inform all their patients of false information? He said that the positive result was a weak positive, and therefore possibly a false positive. Once he realized that I wasn’t going to be satisfied with simple answers and that I knew a bit of information myself (“Whatever you’ve been reading is right on the money...”), we had a good conversation, brainstorming the problem from all angles.

The verdict is this: omit milk from her diet for two-plus weeks and then return to the office to reintroduce milk using lactaid milk to rule out the possibility of a lactose intolerance. If we don’t notice any difference in her energy levels/crankiness and/or she has no trouble drinking the milk, then he recommends that she see a GI specialist to run some tests for celiac disease (intolerance for gluten, not to be confused with a wheat allergy).

On the way home I stopped by the grocery store and purchased milks—soy, rice, and coconut—as well as some old bananas to add to her smoothies and some nuts and a bag of pretzels for her own special snacks when she can’t have what everyone else is having. (Re the spending freeze, for those of you ready to pounce: this is medical.) However, we’re not cutting out the milk until after we celebrate her birthday today (one day early due to some other weekend plans) because she’s requested Lucky Charms for breakfast and ice cream cones for dessert.

I’m only partially freaking out at this point. Maybe it’s not a milk allergy (though I’d definitely prefer a milk allergy to celiac disease), but on the other hand, if she shows marked improvement without the milk, then that would be good news, too. I hate to think that we’ve been pumping her with milk for the last five years and subsequently making her miserable.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. I would definitely prefer a milk allergy to celiac disease, too. My firstborn is allergic to milk, and once you get your bearings and explore a bit, there're are quite a few alternative foods. My father-in-law just found out he's a celiac, and that's quite a challenge. But food allergies are real lifestyle changers. If you discover it's the milk thing for sure, I can maybe help with some food alternatives. Will keep you and Sweetsie in our prayers.

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