Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Gluten Free Experiment Update

I really appreciate all of the interest and suggestions many of you have had on my experiment with my mom. It really has surprised me how many helpful tips and stories you have left for me. Thank you!!

Let me fill you in really quick on how things are going. The first couple of days I was here (in Utah), my mom cheated a bit. It is to be expected of course, especially when she was brought back some Fettuccine Alfredo from the Olive Garden. Who can resist that? (I can, hehe). She openly acknowledged that she was reluctant to try anything gluten free. She admitted that she doesn't want to like anything different, or anything she isn't used to. I knew that if she would just try the things I make her, that she would like them, and she has. She has liked it all! Even the GF french toast sticks with honey instead of syrup. She was skeptical about the honey, especially because she didn't think I brought her enough to dip in, but was happy to find she liked the taste better than the syrup and she didn't need a lot of it.

Now, I wish that I could say that she has continued on with eating my gluten free food, but I cannot. Since her release from the hospital last Thursday, she has been doing unbelievably well. I cannot believe how little pain she has experienced, and although she was resting a lot, and not moving around a lot, somehow she has now had a major complication. Last night she began to hemorrhage very badly, and we had to transport her to the hospital on an ambulance. She had emergency surgery last night, and we were all worried that she may not make it through. Fortunately, she is blessed to be resting in the hospital tonight, and she is doing much better. We are not out of the woods yet, because she had lost an estimated 2 units (approx 2 pints) of blood last night and had to of course have a transfusion. The Dr is concerned, however, because her hematocrit levels are still low, and she has a fever. If her levels are not back where they should be by morning, they believe she still may be hemorrhaging, and they will have to do an angiogram to determine where she is bleeding from. In this case, she will need yet another surgery.

I don't mean to go into more detail then you may be interested in, but since this record is for me as well, I would like to keep some detail. Because she is now on a diet regulated by the Dr, obviously he has not kept it gluten free. It would be interesting to see how a gluten free diet would help her increase her iron levels that she so desperately needs. My iron levels have significantly increased, and my symptoms of anemia have virtually disappeared because of my diet. I would love to see how it would help her, but in the hospital, that is not realistic, and it would take at least a month, if not more to see results of that. Maybe I can convince her to continue eating gluten free after I leave to see what happens.

As of now, I am scheduled to return home this Saturday, so I will continue to regulate her diet as soon as she is able to come home from the hospital. Depending on what the Dr says, I may end up extending my stay. In the mean time, I will update again, and let you all know how things are going and if she is interested in trying this out for the long term.

I am so grateful that she was blessed with a successful surgery, and a competent surgeon. Hopefully in the future, we can find a way to increase her quality of life, possibly with a gluten free diet, if she chooses to do so :)

Thank you all, again, for your support, stories, and suggestions! It means a lot to me, and my mom loves to read what everyone is saying!


Olivia said...

I'm so glad to hear that she got through the surgery okay, and that even with complications things are still okay so far. My thoughts will be with you for things to go smoothly concerning the hemoriging. Sending prayers your way...and hugs!

Tiffany said...

Thanks Olivia :) It means a lot. I think prayers are what got her (and me) through the whole ordeal. I have to admit that I was terrified. One minute she was 'grooving' down the hallway, feeling great (pain killers), and the next, she was close to death. It was so fast, I still can't believe it.

But anyhow, I appreciate your kindness :)

GFE--gluten free easily said...

It's so painful to read your story about your mom. I just hope and pray that she continues to do well, whether or not she's on the GF diet. I know that must be very frustrating for you, because I've been there. We see such improvements in our own health after going GF and then see someone close to us who we suspect has the very same issues, but they just are unwilling to go down the road ... I have a mother and a sister who have both been diagnosed as gluten sensitive. I talked them into taking that test, but they won't do any more. Yet, my mom has ongoing health problems and my sister is sick often. It's tough. I just keep cooking GF and sharing my food at family events and having them rave over it and even request dishes ... and they do make lots of food for me that is naturally GF, so they do get it on some level.

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