Sunday, March 23, 2008

An Easter "shiner" for Jennica

Happy Easter to all!

This weekend has proven, once again, that there is never dull moment at our house. Saturday morning, Jennica was standing on the toilet dancing and fell off, hitting the right side of her face on the bathtub on the way down. She's got one heck of a "shiner." The attached photos were taken this morning in her Easter finery on the way to church.

Which brings me to another point--Some of you that read my blog know that Jennica has always been a very heavy milk drinker, and can be a "challenging" kid at times. With much skepticism, we visited a naturopathic doctor a month ago. (I only say "skepticism" because this is not a medical path that Mike and I had ever really considered before, and have virtually no experience with. We only considered this option because I have recently spoken with several parents who have seen significant health and behavioral improvements with relatively minor dietary changes suggested by this doctor.) In any case, the doctor suggested that we cut ALL dairy products from her diet for a month, just to see what would happen.

To make a long story short, the first week was a disaster and its pretty easy to say that things got worse before they gradually began to improve. Late in Week #2, Jennica and I declared war on each other one day, and out of sheer stubborness and an absolute will of iron, I won. (Neener neener neener!) Between this re-establishing in her mind who are the parents, and the diet change, Week #3 was the absolute best that she's ever been! Perfect?-----No. But she was rational and reasonable, far less whiny, and much less argumentative. A glimpse of success!

Now, with any diet change, at some point you have to "test" to see if there is really any dietary relationship to the changes in mood and behavior. So on Friday, she had some cheese and on Saturday morning, she had a tall glass of milk. Late yesterday and today, the child from H-E-Double Hockey Sticks is back with a vengeance. YIKES! Its rather amazing to me how quickly I had forgotten just how bad it can be!!

So.....its unanimous here at home that the dairy products are right back out the window. That is the only dietary change we have made, along with the addition of just a couple of low-dosage supplements, but it sure seems to have had a drastic effect. Without consistent and appropriate discipline, I'm sure it wouldn't be a solution, but we're committed there also, so we'll see if things improve again as we change her diet back to no dairy. I also had a chance to talk to an old friend this morning at church that has pursued far more aggressive dietary standards for her son, who is just a couple of months older than Jen. It was fun to hear her stories! We briefly contemplated switching kids for a week, but ended up deciding that no matter what your problem is, there is an advantage in "knowing" your problem. :)

This week, we have a one-month appointment with the naturopath. I'm looking forward to going and reporting our progress! Its going to be interesting to see if she says to continue status quo, or if we gain something "new" to try. I'm sure she'll be impressed with Jennica's black eye.

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