Friday, October 1, 2010

On the plus side...

We're learning more about whatever Kittyboy's dairy issue might be. Thankfully, we have an appointment with a doctor Wednesday who might be able to sort this out.
Kittyboy was getting 1-2 (sometimes 3) servings a day of dairy, no more than that, and was doing fine. After a WEEK of that, however - backed up again. Soooo - still too much dairy? After a week. Very confusing. Everything I read and hear of actual "lactose intolerance" says the reaction should be immediate, within an hour or so. We had no clue, we just knew that for potty-training to stick, he absolutely had to be regular. Went back to no dairy, period. I went to County Market one late night, read labels on everything, and came home convinced our lives were over, because lactose is in sooooo many things. It's in the flavor packets in ramen, for crying out loud. RAMEN. To say nothing of bread and margarine. And soy cheese is SO expensive. I bought a package of slices figuring we'd try them out for grilled cheese, but to substitute in everything that formerly had cheese? At roughly 32 cents a slice? And he would LIVE on ramen if I let him. Chili Lime Shrimp is our favorite flavor. Has lactose. Chili - Lime - Shrimp. What about that sounds like it needed milk? But it's in there, read the package. I was not a happy camper that night.
In the reassuring light of day, however, the next morning, I remembered something very important. I didn't read labels when we did our experiment. All we did, ALL we did, was not give him milk or anything containing cheese. He had bread, he had ramen. And we got the wonderful result we did, without removing anything more than milk and cheese. Why would we read labels now? All we need is to get him regular.
So we went back to no dairy again, which is where we are now, and he's regular again and doing REALLY well with potty-training. We just don't understand what the problem actually IS. But at least we have it solved. And Wednesday, we can ask what the game plan is. What do we do first? I'm thinking dairy once a week. We won't even tell him, it'll just be real cheese instead of Tofutti (yes, goofy name, but hey, it melts and he likes it!) in his grilled cheese sandwich. Then twice a week, and so on, figure out what the threshold is. There has to be a threshold, it took a week building up before it was a problem again. Right now, we're doing NOTHING, because we don't want to try ANYTHING. We see the doc - we ask our questions - we make sure we know what we're doing. And in the meantime, we need a calcium supplement, because the soy milk is just not going down easily, and I question the importance of fighting over it if we don't actually have to. He's being such a good sport about the whole deal. When he became constipated again, we explained what was going on - gave a word to the reason why he was crying so much - and that we think it's milk and cheese that causes it, and so he's not going to have those. This morning, we offered him toast and jelly for a second course at breakfast (he has a heck of an appetite now!), and he asked for cream cheese instead. We exchanged the look of "Now it begins, poor thing", and said, "Honey, that's cheese, and it might make you constipated..." "Oh. Jelly." Just like that. Looking forward to straightening this out so he CAN have cheese again.


GretchenJoanna said...

Have you noticed any difference in reaction to dairy fat vs. protein? I seem to have a problem with the protein and not the fat -- and don't have any idea about the sugar... At various times milk protein will make me constipated or cause me to have what I call a clogged throat, but I can have all the cream I want with no ill effects. My husband's respiratory reaction is to the butterfat. You might try to notice if cream cheese, with its small amount of protein, is more tolerated than other cheeses. Maybe you already did, but I didn't go back and read all the pertinent posts...just came by here today after a long absence.

Caeseria said...

Dairy fat vs protein...?
Ma'am, you know far more than I do on this subject. We did find out (obviously I didn't get a post written) that according to the allergist, it is most likely cow's milk enteropathy, intolerance to casein. It fit the symptoms and delayed reaction, and acidophilus lets him have dairy, though he gets the bulk of his calcium from calcium-enriched orange juice and tums. We didn't do the actual test for casein, because blood draws have been a huge traumatic deal since a certain hospital stay, and we're hoping to avoid all unnecessary ones until he's older (and has seen my husband and I get stuck a few times without it being any big deal). The allergist said that since what we were doing was working, there was no real need to test anyhow.
I will look up cheeses with less protein (hadn't occurred to me there would be a difference). The reaction, when there is one, is not necessarily constipation, but pain defecating. I HAVE ascertained that yogurt has enough acidophilus he doesn't have to take any additional with it.