January 12, 2010

My Disdain for Laundry

I’m not a fan of doing laundry. Quite frankly, the only reason I do it at all is because I’m a pretty big fan of clean undies.

But this post isn’t about my underwear, and for shame on me for sharing something that intimate. 😉

This post is about allergies. It’s about why most people on the spectrum seem to have a ridiculously long list of the what-nots in their lives. It’s about my son, and oh, it’s about me too! 😉

Speaking of allergies…

I’ve been sensitive to milk for as long as I can remember, but as a child, I drank it anyway. And at times, I’ve even tortured myself to have a taste of real ice cream.

I also have my allergies to cats, rabbits, fresh cut grass, and pollen. I even have freaky allergy attacks whenever I let someone get on my last nerve! 😉

Not having read every book on child-rearing, I would have never thought that maybe I’d have a kid who was also sensitive to some of these things.

But Nicholas’s allergy list is significantly longer than mine, and it’s often put me in the frame of mind that I really should contemplate building him a bubble.

He’s allergic to corn, wheat, gluten, dairy, soy, nuts, certain fish, certain grasses, pollen, mold, certain trees… even some people if they’re too “perfumy”.

A list this long could send any seemingly rational minded person to the loony bin! I mean, what the heck was he to eat? Where the heck could he play? And I couldn’t afford to move to outer space!!!

Putting him on a strict diet of rice and water seemed beyond cruel! And telling him he couldn’t go outside to play was just to Children in the Attic” for me!

And OMG… was I going to have to start cooking… from scratch????? That thought not only brought on panic, but it would often make me so light-headed that I feared I would live the life as a chronic fainter!

Then an allergist mentioned a rotator diet, and that really didn’t help matters. I mean, Nicholas craves the very things he should steer clear off… and he craves them all the time.

But through my panic, I realized that things weren’t as bad as I feared them to be. What I realized is that I was given another opportunity to change. Control freak that I am… change was what needed to take place.

You’re probably wondering why some folks are uber sensitivity? Well, here’s a simplified explanation about food allergies and autism…

In recent years, various studies — mostly in the alternative medicine literature — have suggested that food allergies play a role in causing or worsening autism. Specifically, gluten (a wheat protein) and casein (a milk protein) have been blamed for worsening symptoms in children with autism. These food proteins are felt to be broken down into smaller proteins (peptides) that function like narcotics in children with autism, thereby worsening the behavioral changes of autism.

It’s not completely clear that foods do worsen autism, although there are many theories about how this could occur. It’s been suggested that autism could result from a loss of regulation of the immune system, causing an increase in inflammatory-causing chemical signals from white blood cells. It is felt that these chemicals (cytokines) may be responsible for the neurological abnormalities seen in children with autism.

Recent studies suggest that children with autism may respond to certain foods, particularly gluten- and casein-containing foods, by producing more of these inflammatory cytokines.
{Source: Allergies.About.com}


So, how have I survived? Well, it’s been a long road, but I’ve smartened up and since bought some good travel gear.

It has been a long road because I’m a caver! I caved whenever I saw how joyful he got whenever he ate “regular bread”. I caved whenever I saw how quickly he devoured “regular” pasta. I caved more times than I should have.

But beating myself up over the decisions I’ve made won’t do me any good… and every day is a new day to do something better.

So, although, I’m not a fan of laundry, this is one laundry list that requires daily “due diligence”.

Caving doesn’t serve Nicholas… and he doesn’t understand that most of his beloved foods don’t feel the same way about him.

I’ll keep donning my explorer hat… seeking the Holy Grail of “diets”. I know diet is the key to anyone’s well-being. Heck, if I hadn’t eaten all those bags of Wavy Lays, I wouldn’t be sitting here looking at my butt and saying, “And you are?????”

I’ll keep testing the waters on this one… time to do the laundry!



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