The indirect path to healing: Lessons from my tantruming daughter.
This week’s post is a guest post from my friend and colleague Kristi Brown, NTP, RWP. I can relate SO MUCH to her story about her daughter’s healing journey – and if you are a parent to a child with mysterious health ailments, I’m sure you will, too. I’ll turn it over to Kristi from here…
“MOMMY, NO! I NEED YOU! I WANT TO GO HOME! MOMMY! DON’T GO! I NEED YOU!”
Red-faced, flailing arms and legs, hysterical. My daughter was just outside her kindergarten classroom, screaming at me. Her out-of-control tantrums were now fully exposed.
My daughter had been having epic tantrums since she was two and a half and the phase I thought would pass, just didn’t. These tantrums were not small or short. They were big, full-on, all-encompassing, exhausting tantrums.
She also struggled with chronic constipation, fatigue (she really needed her down days) and was having increasing tummy-aches. I suspected food sensitivities, possibly gluten, maybe dairy, but I didn’t have any hard proof. She was almost six and this had been going on for a long time.
I was determined to solve this puzzle.
I set out to figure out her triggers and how to better support her. I headed back into more nutrition training, this time for functional testing.
After testing her, I learned her digestion was off and she had 29 food sensitivities, I felt some relief. I felt we had some answers. I put together a supplement protocol and a two-week meal plan to alternate our meals for the next few months to allow her little digestive system time to rest.
With my own healing process as my template, I anticipated her healing would look similar to mine. In two weeks her digestive complaints would go away and in a month we would see some big improvements in behavior and energy. I was banking on things being better in a month. I wanted to solve this little puzzle, put it in a box and shelve it. I just wanted my sweet, compassionate, easy-going little girl. I daydreamed about the call from her teacher saying how much her behavior had improved.
At one month, I did get a call from her teacher. But, it was not the call I’d hoped for. Instead, she called to tell me my daughter had drawn all over a table and was now refusing to clean it up. She had a major meltdown and would no longer speak. She was missing lunch and recess with friends. She was headed to the Principal’s office.
Over the phone I told my daughter I loved her and knew she could make the right choice. I hung up the phone and cried.
I was devastated.
I was working desperately to find relief for her, for me, for all of us in the family. I felt I wasn’t doing enough. I wanted digestive healing to be the answer. I wanted her healing journey to be simple, straightforward and done. A straight line.
30-days into her protocol, it was clear we had some more pieces to figure out. She wasn’t detoxing appropriately, and now it was time to figure out why. Our next step was genetic screening.
Even before the test results came back (she is compound heterozygous for MTHFR) we started her on some methylfolate and B12 at the advice of her practitioner. Almost immediately, I knew this was a game-changer. She was calmer, her energy levels were more consistent and we could finally talk through her frustrations without a big meltdown.
The relief was amazing. I could exhale.
We continued on her digestive healing protocol that spring along with supplementing with the methylfolate. Six weeks later, she earned a Student of the Month award in her class for her positive attitude. Her tantrums went from weekly to once every 3-4 months.
Things are better, but some symptoms persist. Through the past year, we have become clearer on her triggers and that information is gold. We’ve learned she doesn’t tolerate soy, peanuts, dairy or gluten. She needs her methylfolate just as much as she needs her sleep.
Healing is a journey.
Through my daughter, I am finally coming to terms with that. I can push myself endlessly for the next level of healing, but I can’t do that with my daughter. Time and patience are imperative. This winter, we are embarking on a new layer of healing. But this time, I am not putting such a heavy burden or expectation on the process. Instead, I look forward to what new nuggets of information we learn to better support her and continue to strengthen her.
If you are a parent trying to find answers for your child, take heart. Here are some key ideas that will help you persevere:
- Hold onto your intuition and be patient.
- Kids today need a new health paradigm. There is no quick fix. Keep asking, keep searching, and keep researching.
- Parenting is hard enough as it is, we need to share these stories more, so that we realize we aren’t alone and we can support one another along the way.
Are you a parent searching for answers for your child? What is your story? I’d love to hear it in the comments below.
Kristi works with women who are frustrated with sugar and their digestion and looking to resolve the cycle of cravings and bloat for good. By bringing clarity to what the cravings and symptoms mean, she gets to the root of the problem, finds simple changes and gets her clients to finally feel good again. Kristi is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and Restorative Wellness Practitioner utilizing both a holistic and functional approach to support her clients. Kristi is also a STOTT Pilates instructor, mom of 2, military wife and therefore, no stranger to the challenges of finding healing in the real world. She brings her determination and passion to make it happen anyway to each of her clients. You can find her at KPB Balanced Wellness.
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