A friend of ours quoted Rush drummer Neil Peart this weekend: “Adventures suck when you’re having them.” I whole-heartedly agree.
I didn’t post last week mainly because I didn’t have anything to say. I haven’t really increased Logan’s probiotics levels, yet he still has had a couple of really rough days. Almost every morning has been either simply a struggle to get him moving or a complete meltdown, and almost every day we hear reports that he has been aggressive at school–even hitting two different teachers last week. There doesn’t seem to be any cause for this, and it also doesn’t appear to be a regression, exactly. Aside from these meltdowns, his behavior has been pretty typical for him–not bad like when we introduced the probiotics, but I also can’t say we’re seeing any improvements, either.
It all adds up to be hugely disheartening. And confusing. On one hand, I know we are still easing into the diet and aren’t completely sugar-free, so I don’t think I can write off the diet just yet. On the other hand, I keep running into skeptics–most notably, our new pediatrician who told me there was no evidence diet helps autism. I understand most physicians are trained to rely more on pills than nature, but I’d hoped this one would be different because he has a son with Asperger’s. I also keep reading conflicting opinions on autism support pages with people claiming the bad science of GFCF has got to go, that it’s doing more harm than good because it robs children of nutrients, and that parents who buy into these alternative treatments are all delusional. It’s hard to know what to feel–gullible? Or progressive? Add in the fact that I’ve also heard that to have any effect, this diet needs to heal the gut before the mind completely forms or “the cement dries,” so to speak, which seems to happen around 4 or 5. Logan turns 4 in two weeks. Are we too late? Have we missed our chance at helping him (if it even existed in the first place)?
Granted, adopting a dairy-free, starch-free, and sugar-free diet is probably healthy even if it doesn’t cure autism. One of the foundations of this diet is that 80% of each meal should be vegetables, which is obviously a good thing–for me, my daughter, my husband, and Logan. And it is seeming easier and easier, in theory, at least–actually finding the time to get organized to do it is another story. I tried to tackle the natural food store again, deciding that going on Monday would be less hectic than Sunday, and I could wander around and explore or ask questions. Instead, the place was so packed, you could barely squeeze through the small aisles, and the lines for the few cash registers stretched halfway to the back of the small store. I left without half of the items I’d gone to hunt for. We also tried ordering some lakanto (an acceptable substitute for sugar) online, only to find out it’s on back order with not exact estimated arrival date. I know I detest cooking, but at this point, it’s not even a lack of cooking knowledge that’s preventing us from following the diet–it’s simply finding the ingredients!
I could go on and on–more stress at work, stress from school, stress in the marriage, stress from cold season and a toddler who’s molars are coming in … it’s definitely easier to bitch that adventures suck than it is to proclaim that this is the most wonderful time of year. But I’m trying. And I hope, like all adventures, this makes for a good story one day.