Sunday, May 8, 2011

FPIES as a Garden

Spring is certainly upon us and thank goodness! I thought I would never see anything but a white lawn staring back at me whenever I looked out of our windows! We haven't quite lived in our house for a year now and there is a TON of yard work to do, thanks to the lovely prior owners. SIGH. I do like working in the yard, creating something out of this very messy blank canvas that is out there in the back yard. As I was digging, planting and weeding today, I couldn't stop thinking about how similar all of this work was to our everyday work with building B's diet in a safe and (hopefully) interesting way.

One of the previous owners (I am guessing YEARS ago) seems to have been something of a gardener. I keep unearthing randomly placed flowers and shrubs, and slowly as we clean things up, I see that there were once gardens in these places. Hostas, hybrid lillies, ornamental shrubs. . . I keep finding these in the strangest of places. Last fall, I dug up and transplanted about 40 (!!!!) lillies from various spots in the gardens and yard. There was a huge mass of them in one garden in particular-- becoming root bound and unhealthy. So I separated them, gave them new homes, and now in the spring I have these huge new plants, flourishing. Plants that I was hesitant about keeping in the fall have now become beautiful additions to the garden and are thriving.

With B's FPIES "journey," we have seen a lot of parallels. We are constantly tending the garden, adding in new "plants" and hoping that they will thrive and that the garden itself will improve from the additions. And when the new "plants" fail, we till the soil and try again once the ground is smooth again and ready for planting.  Zantac and probiotics control the weeds and keep the garden as free of harmful pests as possible. And the biggest parallel-- uncovering surprises. As I dig and reshape our yard (with the help of N of course and with the encouragement of B from her station in the sandbox), I find treasure in the compost heap (healthy, beautiful plants), treasure in flowers that I was sure would not winter over (but did!!! Even despite our snowy months!). Sure, most "common" toddler foods don't affect the B garden positively (dairy, wheat, etc), but we have found treasure in things like quinoa, mango, and coconut, foods I never would have expected to be staples in the diet of a toddler. And the hidden surprise of a food that was only tolerated in tiny amounts last year now becoming a staple in B's diet. Now being tolerated by her body, now being welcome in her garden.

Of course, like the garden, tending to our children's FPIES is constant work. But there are rewards amongst the weeds, amongst the compost. And there are surprises! And there is, even in the tiniest ways, eventual growth. So I will, as the rest of you will I am sure, continue to dig, continue to shape and continue to nurture, in hopes that one day, we will see the ultimate growth that we are hoping for, for her body to begin to tolerate more than it rejects, for my beautiful flower to be free of the threats of FPIES.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness, this brings me to tears....thank you for sharing!! Happy Mother's Day!!