I obsess over my daughter's food and issues. I wondered if, besides complaining about certain aspects, if she thought about the diet.
First, the facts:
I first noticed her swollen tummy when she was three. Her pediatrician at the time told me she was overweight. I thought he was wrong because it was only her tummy that was big and it wasn't fat, it was big like swollen.
Her new pediatrician had me try several things to treat constipation and bacterial overgrowth. When it wasn't going away and at the insistence of her first grade teacher, we went to a gastroenterologist who has run us through several tests. She treated her for a year for dairy and wheat allergies. Some symptoms got better, but then she sent us to a dietician who had us limit sugar to 24 grams a day. Symptoms (and her reading level, grades, and sleep quality) improved, but still persisted.
This summer, she was put on a strict but successful food elimination called the low-FODMAP diet. In the first week, her swelling decreased four inches.
What's the name of your diet?
I don't know.
What can you tell me about your diet?
It's a diet where you have to eat different stuff like no wheat, no dairy…It's mostly like very serious but very hard.
Why are you on the diet?
Because we needed to figure out what was hurting my tummy.
How did you know something was wrong?
Because my tummy was hurting and I just knew something was wrong because no one in my class had a tummy that hurt all the time like that.
What's been the best part of the diet?
Figuring out the good foods that I can have and that my tummy doesn't hurt anymore all the time.
What's been the worst part of the diet?
My doctor telling me all the things I can't have.
What food do you miss the most?
Braum's ice cream and donuts.
What advice would you give another kid who needed to be on the low-FODMAP diet?
Go on the app and pick out all the foods that you can have and eat all of them.
After asking these question and pausing twice so that she could cry (when talking about the foods she missed), I realized that in terms of the actual diet, she doesn't think much about the process of it. However, in terms of how its affected her life by making her tummy not hurt while also taking away some of her favorite foods she seems very emotionally affected.
It's heartbreaking to know that food can upset her so much, but I can see why she's frustrated. The only hope I have for her is that when she's older, she will be used to the process.