The Great Food Allergy Crisis of 2016

**Fair warning: This post is not for the weak stomached.**

I’m going to share a rather long (apologies) story about our recent bout with food allergies. A type of cereal that our daughter had eaten before started wreaking havoc when we switched brands, which is why it took us a while to figure out what was happening. If nothing else, maybe some of you will get a few good laughs out of this one. Enjoy!

Last month, our little princess got sick with what turned out to be a food allergy. It was a $#!+ storm…literally. For some ungodly reason, the Beach Nut brand multi grain cereal turned out little sweet pea into a fork-tongued poop demon. For two weeks, our entire house smelled like a state fair porta potty.

It all started with a simple runny nose. I initially thought, “Well, maybe it’s just seasonal allergies that are coming because of the weather changes and will go away soon.” After a couple of days of no change, I figured it must be a little cold, right? WRONG! The snot kept coming and getting thicker. Her nose ran constantly. I mean, seriously, how much mucus could one little nose possibly harbor?  Apparently the answer to that question is a crap ton. The fact that my poor child screamed like she was being tortured every time I had to wipe her nose only made the experience that much more awesome. Every. Single. Time. Which means she would scream bloody murder at me at least 20 times a day.

After the runny nose came the vomiting. I’m not talking  the, “Oh the sweet baby just spit up a little of her lunch,” vomiting. I’m talking full-on Exorcist style regurgitation. I swear, that tiny baby’s vomit could spray a distance of at least 3 feet! And she only seemed to vomit when either my husband or I was holding her, meaning every time it happend (which it did 3-4 times a day), one of us  was giving her a bath and then taking a shower. The good part is that the vomiting didn’t seem to bother her so much. She’d really just puke up whatever she needed to and move on with whatever activity she was engaged in prior to said fluid expulsion.

Then, after the vomiting, came the diarrhea along with the all-day fussiness. For 10 days, every dirty diaper she had was filled a pungent brown liquid. And we would know she’d pooped because it would leak out of her diaper. Every. Single. Time. I’m pretty sure her poo has now graced nearly every surface in our home. And have you ever tried to change a diaper for a very busy near-toddler who has just recently learned to walk and wants to spend all of her time running around and exploring her world? Well, if not, go grab yourself a very angry octopus and attempt to put a diaper on that. I’d almost be willing to pay you $100 if you could do it in under 5 minutes. As you can imagine, changing this girl’s diarrhea soaked pampers was a real challenge. Most times, she’d roll over and crawl away faster than The Flash with poo still streaming down her backside. Each diaper change, including cleanup, had become a near 20 minute ordeal. At one point, after hearing the all too familiar squishy sound of brown fluid emanating from her diaper, my husband casually asked, “Is this hell? Are we in hell?”

Along with the diarrhea came a horrible diaper rash. This leads me to perhaps what is the worst, yet most amusing experience I had with this whole endeavor. In the middle of the day on day 8 of diarrhea, it became almost impossible to get a diaper on my busy daughter. Given that her diaper rash was flaring and she’d just had a poopy diaper, I gave up and figured letting her naked bottom get some air to it would be good for helping the diaper rash. Since she just went, I thought it would be at least another half hour before she had to poop again. That was mistake #1. As soon as she could get away, baby girl crawled into her playroom toward her play mat and sat to play with some toys. A few minutes later, I noticed a clear puddle building underneath her. She had peed. And as soon as I made a move to pick her up and move her, that clear liquid started turning brown. Oh crap!  I picked her up, took her to wipe off her bottom, and put her on the other side of her play mat while I got started cleaning up the mess. That was mistake #2. I should have put a diaper back on her and put her in the pack & play, but I was too focused on cleaning up the toys and such she had just soiled. That’s when I heard her giggle behind me. I looked over, and there she was, slapping her hands in another puddle of pee. Before I could walk over and pick her up, she crawled forward a little, got in a squat position, and pooped…again. She then crawled through said poo trying to reach some other toys. Now I had two diarrhea-laden areas to clean and disinfect. I put baby in the tub for a quick washdown (fingers crossed that she wouldn’t attempt to drink the bath water that she often does), stuck a diaper on that thing, and put her in a play pen for the rest of my cleaning adventure.

Finally figuring out the problem was a God-send. Within 2 days of being off the cereal, my little princess was back to normal. And we’d done a pretty good job of scrubbing everything down so the house doesn’t reek anymore. But honestly, the worst part was knowing my little one was sick and not feeling well, and there was nothing I could really do about it. Not being able to help the ones you love…I’m pretty sure that’s the worst feeling in the world. I wanted so badly to take the pain and sickness from her, to make it go away. But I was helpless. And I thought about all the other parents out there whose babies have it much worse. Parents whose babies are battling for their lives. And I don’t know you, but believe me when I say my heart has been broken for you. I have prayed for you and cried for you. I’m sure I cannot begin to even grasp how unbelievably exhausted you must be. How weary. And I have prayed that God would give you rest, and more importantly, peace. Peace from fear and uncertainty. Peace from the guilt of feeling helpless while your children suffer. Peace and rest from heartbreak from seemingly unanswered calls for help. No matter what happens, I hope you have peace. Peace and love that covers everything. I am standing in the gap with you in the little time that I can, and I hope God works miracles for you. Much love!

*”Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

*”Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

P.S.: Props to my husband for changing the middle-of-the-night diapers, because nothing says “I love you honey” like going in for a screaming baby knowing it will result in hot brown gravy dripping down your arm as soon as you pick said baby up just so your spouse can continue sleeping. He is an amazing sexy man folks!

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