Tag Archives: Benjamin

Gluten-Free Gratitude – Let’s hear your RAVES

GFK in soccer camp at age 4

GFK in soccer camp at age 4

Stacy was a casual church acquaintance who became a life-long friend because of a food choice and a soccer camp almost 6 years ago.  Back then my son, the gluten-free kid (GFK) was only 4 and severely allergic to more than 35 foods.  Food allergies and Celiac Disease were not as common as they are today and I felt alone and scared to let my GFK participate in things that most parents don’t think twice about.  I remember trying to let the GFK go to the soccer camp Stacy was running. The only problem was the popsicles served at break time.  I was nervous and explained the situation to Stacy. She went so out of her way for us that it still makes my teary thinking about it.  She hit the stores knowing what ingredients the GFK had to avoid and came back with a special box just for him.  She says it was a small thing, that it was no big deal, but I was so thankful and happy that I brought her a small trinket of a thank you gift the next day. We have been dear friends ever since.

I am happy to report that I am collecting more and more happy and thankful stories like this one as time goes on.  A more recent incident involves my good friend Pam who planned her son’s entire 10-year-old birthday sleepover party around my GFK being able to participate and feel comfortable.  She took 6 boys to Beau Jo’s for gluten-free and dairy-free pizza and even made gluten-free Fruity Pebble Treats for the birthday cake.  My GFK was so happy he was able to go to a party and feel normal.  There aren’t enough words to describe my gratitude for good experiences like these.

More shout outs need to go to my neighbor Emma who keeps a “safe food” box on hand for the GFK and last weekend bought a box of Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Brownie mix to bake while he was over for a play date.  And, of course my family.  Here in Colorado there are 7 grandkids and the GFK is the oldest.  My family only brings safe chips to family events and fills the Easter eggs with safe candy or toys instead of the typical chocolate favorites.  My Mom even called this week to report all of the “safe” Halloween candy she picked up.

So, while I love Gluten-Free Steve’s Rant post on his blog, I thought I would give you all a chance to post about your gluten-free or food allergy related RAVES here.  Let’s celebrate all of the great people who go out of their way to help those with food allergies or a gluten-free diet.  Tell me about your angels and let’s celebrate our gluten-free gratitude.

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Our Wild Ride – Diagnosis, Part 1

It was an ordinary evening in July 2000 when I first knew something wasn’t quite right with Benjamin, my then 4-month-old son.  I had just fed him mashed potatoes made with milk – one of his first solid foods.

Moments later, his face and body erupted into angry hives, indicating an allergic reaction.  A bath and a dose of infant Benadryl cleared up the problem quickly, but it would prove to be the beginning of a very wild ride.

At age 2, Benjamin was diagnosed allergic to 35 different foods, including most proteins.  To this day, he can’t ingest many legumes, peanuts, tree nuts, poultry, beef, pork, eggs and dairy.  He has twice experienced anaphylactic shock, where his throat shuts down,  causing shallow breathing.  More often, trace amounts of allergic foods induce violent vomiting. 

Once Benjamin was on a controlled diet, he stabilized for two years and we were hopeful he would outgrow most of his sensitivities.  But at age 4, he developed a constant cough. I could tell something wasn’t right again.  Our pediatric GI doctor confirmed my worst fears:  Benjamin had Celiac Disease.

Celiac Disease is a lifelong, digestive disorder affecting children and adults.  When people with Celiac eat foods containing gluten, the protein in wheat, oats and rye, it creates an immune-mediated toxic reaction that causes damage to the small intestine and prevents food from being properly absorbed.  Even small amounts of gluten can cause problems for a Celiac sufferer.

Benjamin will have Celiac Disease for life and as a consequence, he’s changed our lives.  We’re for the better as a result and dealing with the condition made it easier to deal with another troubling diagnosis, the one we received with our third child.  I will share that story in my next post.

Do you have a diagnosis story?  Share it here.