I originally wrote the post I'm sorry my kid sucks in September of 2014. I really was at the end of my rope. Our home felt like a warzone. We avoided anything that may upset our youngest child. We avoided trying to take him anywhere. I did have an appointment with our doctor and the only thing I wanted was medication.
I truly hated myself. To have a child whom you love with all your being and at the same time you hate him. Tears were becoming a normal part of our daily routine; mine, his, and our other children.
The appointment I had was cancelled and grandma asked if she could make an appointment to take him to the same doctor we had taken our daughter the year before when she was suffering from IBS. Realizing I hadn't even thought of this as an option, I agreed. I was willing to try anything. I knew I should have thought of this myself but when you're in a middle of a warzone, rational thought tends to go wayward.
They came home from that appointment with a little sack of vitamins and supplements and a new diet and weekly appointments to see this doctor. He told us that it may be 6-8 weeks before we saw improvements. His diet was to exclude gluten, wheat, limit dairy, no milk, and limit highly processed sugars, especially apple juice.
This time we attacked the diet for the entire family. Anything processed with wheat and gluten were either taken to the food shelf or thrown out. No more "regular" crackers, breads, and snacks. No more apple juice, no more milk. We went back to making our own coconut milk yogurt and ice cream. Everyone was now going to eat the same thing. Our middle child initially complained stating that he didn't have a problem with gluten, so why couldn't he have it. Our simple explanation was that Em was old enough to know and understand what she couldn't eat and why, Little Man couldn't understand it yet.
What happened? Within a couple of days, he was calmer. He stopped constantly hitting and rubbing his head. Amazingly, he stopped screaming and began hugging and kissing. As we continued forward, there were no more temper tantrums in the morning or raging fits at bedtime. Meal times became more relaxed. He started playing independently and following directions. Within a couple of weeks, other people started commenting that he was calmer and happier.
That's not to say that it hasn't been easy. Anyone can attest to moving to a gluten-free lifestyle that it's hard. There are no more cheats on letting your children eat hot lunch at school on those mornings you're running late. It's having to find time each week to bake and prepare snacks and treats for the upcoming week. It's having to make sure you have snacks prepared for when you go places where food is going to be and you're certain there won't be anything you can let your child have. And there have been many nights where dinner has become fruit and popcorn because dinner was a bomb.
Gluten affected our oldest physically, gluten is affecting our Little Man physically and neurologically. Our best guess is that he was having headaches and stomach pain and giving him general discomfort. But today, it's definitely worth it.