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Itchy Mistakes

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We have switched our sun screens to more natural options.
Gluten free. Of course.
We got
Spritz bottles and creams and lots of options for our vacation, which was to involve a lot of pool time!
So after day of spritzing and wiping on sunscreen for 8 kids and 2 adults… An event that took 30 minutes plus…
I buckled.

I missed my spray on sunscreen.
We had been wearing gluten-free sunscreen last year. Just not natural brands. (Business idea for someone?)

I tried to remember which brands we used. In my haste I grabbed Neutrogena SPF spray for the pool for kids and ones for adults.
Looking back. We only used the specific one for the face that was specified gluten-free. We used banana boat brand aerosol sunscreen.
Whoops.
Just like with my strange delayed auto immune response… My kids are similar.
When they ingest gluten, the rash shows up on their hands, feet, knees, elbows, etc. bi-laterally. (Matching, both sides of their bodies.). The older the child is, and closer to puberty, the worse the rash seems to be.

It isn’t something immediate, which is unfortunate, as I had applied it later one afternoon and the following morning before they started complaining… later that evening.
Ugh.
You know those moments you just really dislike a shortcut you took?
That was me. Major regret.
The kids have been so forgiving.
I, however, have a hard time forgiving myself!(especially when they are scratching so many days later!). My oldest daughter is covered everywhere but her face and where her swimsuit was. She drew the adorable picture on her iPod for me.

Thankful for our Lord and Savior and His new mercies each day. I will get this right one day…

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Dermatitis herpetiformis is different than hives. Similar to my armpit rash from a few months ago, these are like blisters and don’t show up immediately like an allergy. Itching makes it worse, and it takes a few weeks to subside.

The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Psalm 103:8-12

I’ve Lost It

Nature’s “Energy Bar”… eat more fruit!

I’ve gone bananas.  Yes, it’s true.

I’m officially a gluten-intolerance crazed person.

Not a news flash you say?

Well if it’s possible, I’ve taken it to a new level.

I am now, not above talking to complete strangers about gluten intolerance.

Uh oh.

Yep.  I know…

We went to the pool this weekend, and during our normal “everyone goes potty before we step foot into the pool area…” I see this mother, with her child…

and the rash on her elbows was UNmistakable.

My heart sank…

“I wonder if she knows….”  I thought.

She walked out, and I gathered my 4 bathing beauties and headed out to relax and have fun.

I settled into my chair… minutes went by… then an hour.  I saw that lady… again, and again.

The Holy Spirit kept tugging on me.

Sara… what if she has a gluten intolerance and has no idea?

Sara…  what if you’re the person who needs to talk to her?

Sara… are you going to just NOT say anything… and let her struggle… when you could maybe help point her in that direction?

Do you ever wonder where that button is to shut off that conversation in your head?  Well, we don’t really want to shut off the Holy Spirit, but sometimes we do try to avoid the conversation.

When it’s something I don’t like doing (like talking to complete strangers…)…  I really would have rather NOT spoken up, and that’s how I know – it’s not of me.  I would have stayed in my chair.

I’ll never see that woman again… I reasoned.

But I knew, God knew…

How could I NOT say anything?

Sara… I’m here with you…

OK.  We can do this.

As I got up, and walked over to this woman…I prayed… “Lord, help me have the words to say – to just mention this… Lord please help this woman to seek more answers for her health.  In Jesus name, Amen.”

“Excuse me,” I said.

“Yes….” the woman turned around.

“I couldn’t help but notice that rash on your elbows…” I started.

“Oh the psoriasis?” she answered, then crossing her arms in defense.

“Well, I noticed it, because my son had that… and well… we found out it’s more than that, and it’s from a gluten intolerance, and often goes with psoriasis,” I studdered to get the information out.

“Is it bothering you?” she touted back, still with her arms crossed.

“Oh no…no, it’s not bothering me.  Not in the least.  Like I said, my son had that… and several of our children actually… ” I comforted.  “We had been treating it topically and searching for an answer as to what was causing it, and some other problems.  It never seemed to go away.”

“What did you say it was again?” she inquired.

“Dermatitis herpatiformis,” I repeated.  “It’s very itchy, and gets worse when stressed, and the ingestion of gluten is the cause.”

She nodded.

I continued to tell her about other symptoms caused and related… and she patiently listened, as did her husband, as he also nodded – wide eyed.  She started to share other symptoms she had in line with the things I spoke of.

She shared that only one time the bumps had gone away, when her doctor put painful shots in them.  But within a month, they were back.  She also said that her doctor just recently ordered another, more powerful drug for her to get rid of it… that nothing was helping, but she was “so sick” in so many ways.

I share with her that my children’s rashes, AND my husband’s psoriasis went away after we went gluten-free.  As in, gone.

She just stared at me in amazement… “So what did you say the medicine was again?”

“No medicine,” I restated.  “Just avoiding gluten in all food, products and medicines…”

“Wow,” she said, standing in shock and turning to her husband.  “Wouldn’t THAT be something, if this was all caused by gluten.”

“Just look into it,” I prodded her.  “It might be worth your time.”

“I will…” she said.  “I definitely will… thank you.”

I apologized for interrupting her day, but I felt at peace knowing I did the right thing.  She seemed genuinely appreciative.  I’ve been praying for answers for her – and for an open-minded doctor who will listen, and truly help her get lasting help.

I’ve been telling my husband that I need a card for weeks (and no, NOT for my blog… ) But something I can give people to point them in the right direction when it comes up in conversation… because amazingly it seems to keep “finding me” – and I want to be prepared.  I don’t believe that’s chance.

The best part of the conversation was when she looked down while I was talking and mid-sentence said, “I like your necklace.”

(It was the necklace I usually wear… a brushed silver rectangluar shaped charm with a cross shape cut out of the rectangle.)

I just pray God will use this situation in a way that brings Himself glory.

Did I mention I can’t believe I did that?  Oh wait… it’s because I didn’t.

Thank you God for the strength to do the impossible.  Not my will but Yours.

“Everyone who believes that  Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and  everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of Him.   By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.   For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.  And His commandments are not burdensome.   For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world.  And this is the victory that has overcome the world— our faith.   Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”

1 John 1-5

Mommy, My Tummy Hurts.

My daughter shared her drawing with me this week. She told me that gluten makes her feel sick – so these are her enemies.

It’s never a good thing, when a child tells you their stomach hurts. Most moms might think, great – a stomach bug is coming on – bring on the barf pails and Lysol.

At our house, it’s been a regularly occurring saying for quite some time. Years actually.

I’ve just assumed most of it was in their heads… After all, my stomach hurt most of the time – that’s pretty normal in my mind. Just relax, pray, think of something else.

All the while – I realize, it’s not like pushing the “easy” button when something is going on inside your body that you can’t control.

Last year I thought my daughter had really started stressing out more, having more anxiety, and I was just SURE she had inherited my digestive system… I figured it was hormones. When my 5-year-old son started in with the “my tummy” hurts (and he’s had GI issues, since age 1), and refusing some snacks recently… I really started thinking something could be going on.

But what?

Little did I know in a few short months, we’d be connecting the dots for our family…

That rash my oldest 4 children get, that seems to never go away… is more than just eczema. The tummy aches, head aches, asthma and behavioral issues REALLY could be all connected.

My 12-year-old son’s dermatitis herpetiformis – elbow.

My daughter’s dermatitis herpetiformis – elbows, knees, hands. Yes, it itches something terrible.

When I inquired about it being a celiac rash (dermatitis herpetiformis) last month at the Dr’s office, I was about 100% positive that’s what it was. Even when my daughter’s blood test for celiac disease came back negative, I<already knew differently.

Apparently, again, the blood test doesn’t allow for what a skin test would show. Her body was saying, “Stop feeding me gluten!”

I’m happy to report, after only one week off of gluten – there has been much improvement at our house. My children with the rashes have almost NO burning, itching rash … which is the first time in YEARS.

Yes, that confirms what I suspected…celiac disease. But I’m happy to have an answer, and way to help them. As my friend said – our food IS our medicine.

All of the children have been so happy to feel well, and have been great about all of the changes. Personally I just want to cry with joy, I’m so thankful to have all of the puzzle pieces fit and KNOW how to help my kids, and myself.

Yes, they may be living without some things, according to the world of indulgence. However, the gift of health will be worth SO much more.

Praise God.

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”

1 Peter 5:7

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