do or do not…there is no try

After a couple of months of consideration, we’ve decided that we need to just make a decision and give it our full effort. Our family is going gluten-free for the month of October.  I don’t know exactly how that will work, yet, but I’m inviting you along for the journey.

You see, our oldest son has been struggling with a gastrointestinal problem for about five years. We’ve treated it all kinds of ways and although it has seemed to settle down at times, it comes back with a vengeance before too long. For the past year, there’s been no relief. We’ve consulted with a pediatric specialist who came highly recommended and have spent thousands of dollars on therapies, appointments, over-the-counter treatments and prescriptions.

But it’s really weighed heavy on my heart that we’re just not getting to the core of the issue. A mama knows when something isn’t right and she knows when she just has to do more for her child. Being the girl I am, I’m determined to find the root cause of his condition. Playing along and treating symptoms just isn’t enough for us any more, it’s robbing our family of our joy, and that’s where I draw the line!

So, I’m doing what any mama would do. I’m determined to find a way to give my son a normal life without pain and ugly side effects. I’m researching – reading books, journal articles and blogs til my eyes cross.  I’ve looked up all of his symptoms. I’ve joined on-line communities and facebook groups to glean information. Most of all, I’ve prayed…a LOT! I’m not the smartest girl in the world, but I’m smart enough to know that God-given wisdom is the source of the solution. I just KNOW that this isn’t living to our fullest potential. I know God has more for Simon.

About a month of serious searching into this, I’ve decided that we need to try a gluten-free diet. I was super reluctant to go this direction. It’s just so trendy. It seems like every problem has a root in the evils of gluten – autism, ADHD, gastro issues…I just didn’t want us to fall victims to the hottest idea and invest time and emotion in something that would ring just as empty as all the other “cures”.

Now I preface the following statement with this disclaimer: I am not in love with Dr. Oz. I find him to be a bit much. However, his show yesterday was dedicated to gastro issues and the gluten connection. And the link included a symptoms quiz. Simon is suffering from about half of them all the time, sometimes more. Time to dig further.

So, here we are. We’re standing at a crossroads and we’re praying that God’s leading us towards a solution. It’ll take some serious commitment. Getting a 7th grader to drastically change diet isn’t easy. It’s not like he’s a toddler. He has friends and sleepovers and camping trips, lunch at school and hanging out with friends. I had to get his buy-in for this to work. Fortunately, he’s over the suffering, too…over it enough to jump in.

Here’s the timeline. I’m publicly declaring this for some accountability. We’re beginning our month-long gluten-free experiment on October 6th. Why wait a week? Several reasons.

1. We are not wealthy – our paychecks are due a week from today and there will be no large grocery trip before then.

2. A piggy-back to the first reason – we have to eat up the food we have in the pantry.

3. This weekend is a scout camping and canoeing trip as well as dinner with friends, so we won’t even be home.

4. This is a HUGE shift for me, so I have to meal plan and budget like it’s my full-time job. There can’t be any cheating or giving up after a week. This is a full-on, month-long commitment. We need to know if a gluten sensitivity or intolerance is the key to his struggles.

I’m committing to posting every Friday about our journey – what we’re eating, how it’s going, and how we’re feeling about it all. If you or someone you love is living gluten-free, please chime in. We’d love to hear what’s working for you, tips and even recipes.

This is a big deal for our family. We’re so blessed that we’ve ruled out a serious disease, but this condition isn’t fun and it isn’t even healthy. So please, above all, keep us in your prayers.

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