Friday, 21 October 2016

Fall Happenings

I can not believe that in a few short weeks my little boy will be three years old! Things have been busy around here as we prepare for his party and a visit from Grandma (my mom). She will be flying out on November 3rd and I can't wait. I haven't seen her since May so a visit feels far overdue.

I also wanted to give an update on a couple of things.  We found out a few weeks ago that W tested positive for Celiac in the tTG-IgA blood screening. We have a follow up appointment in early December with a Paediatric Gastroenterologist.  Until then, we are to continue giving him a normal diet with gluten.  Jay will also be tested early next week as we suspect there is a chance he could also test positive.  The odds of a false positive for a toddler are fairly rare but the gold standard for diagnosis is a biopsy. I am not thinking about that right now and will deal with it as it comes.

But, guess what! Weston is having such great success on the potty! His lactulose combined with daily Lansoyl seems to have been a magic potion for us. Thank goodness.  If you want to know more about how thing are going feel free to send me an email.

In lighter news, I have been taking part in a one-month HIIT challenge and have to date completed 10 of the 12 classes required to finish the challenge! Exercise is helping me focus and forget about all this other stuff at the same time.

I also saw a new physio who gave me some new exercises to work on my glutes.  On a positive note, when he tested my strength I was much stronger! I have come terms with the fact that tendonitis is just going to cause pain.  He told me to try to stop thinking about it because sometimes that can make it worse. I laughed and asked if that meant I was imagining it (at this point anything is possible) and he went on the explain the mind/body connection. I am a bit sceptical, but I am trying to not feel down about it in the morning when it hurts and I swear it might work just a little.

I am sharing the quote below because it has been a powerful mantra for my Fall.  I am looking forward to the rest of the season and preparing for ALL the holiday things.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Let it go

So far 2016 has had its shares of ups and downs for our little family. I have talked about injuries and minor medical issues, and less so about changes at work and refocusing my career.  It can be challenging for people who like to plan and take charge to handle the uncertainties that life has for you.  My dad has always said, “You can’t plan your life”, but oh, how I try. After a moment of “I hate everything and nothing is working out”, I decided to focus on what I do like (after some much needed advice from a professional).

What makes me truly happy?  How can I get back to those basic things and get rid of (where possible and within reason) those things that were dragging me down.  I have realized that perhaps I should focus less on coping and more on change.   Bear with me as I try to explain what probably seems totally vague with an example of how I have implemented this in my own life.
My Bike
There is a season of my life when I lived in the UK, learned to ride downhill and became all about riding. Fast-forward a few years and I was in a new relationship (why is it always about a boy), began to ride more XC and less DH and eventually stopped riding all together due to time constraints and shifting priorities.   I had mostly come to terms with that, but my bike still sat in the garage, unloved and abandoned, literally hanging over me every time I got in the car.  It bugged me. A lot.
So two weeks ago I finally said enough is enough and decided to sell my bike and buy a city bike that I can fit with a toddler bike seat. In two days, I had checked off both those tasks (see type A reference above).  
Why am I telling you this? Because I hung on to that bike and what it meant to me about who I was in the past, not who I am now.  In all honesty, I was a little bit sad when the new owners drove away with it. I felt like I was closing a chapter and I had to deal with that for a couple of hours before reveling in the excitement of a new bike.
While it seems minor, I think the lesson is important. It is ok to give yourself permission to move on. It is ok to admit that you aren’t what you were at one point.  I have felt this profoundly in a number of areas of my life recently.
It is ok that you aren’t racing for a season.
It is ok that you are slower when you run.
It is ok to not have a goal.
It is ok to sometimes yell at your child. You have not failed as a mother.
It is ok to not LOVE your job.
It is ok to let go.  Maybe you are supposed to. Maybe you will get back there at another time. Maybe not? It will be ok.
I promise you this: for every little thing that you can’t control, there is something that you can. And choosing to focus on the “cans” is a much better space to live in.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Trials and Tribulations of Potty Training

I haven't been doing a lot of running these past months. Partly due to injury, but more so due to all of my attention being diverted to W's potty issues.

I mentioned previously that we have had a couple of Dr's appointment due to withholding and functional constipation. I have been reading everything from peer reviewed medical articles, naturopathic articles and mommy blogs to try to help him work through it.

While our Dr. initially prescribed Miralax, I have reservations for a couple of reasons. For one, it didn't help us. His blockages remained but watery poop passed around them, leaking into his diaper up to nine times a day. I also found evidence that Miralax has many adverse side effects. Most concerning is the fact that it has never been approved on label for pediatric use.  You can read more about that here if you are interested.

I am sharing a short listing here of potential remedies for other parents who might need help navigating this tricky issue.

More water: If you are going to add fibre you need to increase water. In an attempt to get more fluids in W we also give him juice once a day. This is something I hadn't done before but there is a water content and many juices have a laxative effect (papaya and pear if you can find it). We have also tried to make it more fun with ice cubes and new water bottles.

Lansoyl or mineral oil: At our last appointment our Dr. was very receptive to our concerns and suggested we try Lansoyl - a fruit flavoured mineral oil jelly that can easily be mixed with jam at breakfast time.  *mineral oil should not be given to infants.

Flax meal: I try to ensure W has a high fibre and nutritious diet. That said, I have been making a concerted effort to sneak in additional fibre where possible.  Flax meal in peanut butter is one solution. While peanut butter can be a binding food (= leads to constipation), we do give him it once a day mixed with flax meal and topped with the Lansoly/jam mixture mentioned above.  I also made these muffins on the weekend and they were a quick family favorite.

Reducing binding foods: through research on naturopath and health food focused sources I have read that there are a number of foods that can contribute to constipation in children.  Frequent offenders in our house include bananas, too much dairy, and apple sauce. In retrospect, I realized things used to replace eggs as binding agents often make the list.

Increase beneficial foods:  We have all been eating more pears, prunes, coconut oil, figs etc. in an attempt to model healthy gut behaviours.  There is some great information on this site and some pin-able reminders too.

Calm Magnesium Supplement: This powder is easily mixed in water or juice and has a lemonade taste. 

Magnesium, a gentle laxative, helps to prevent constipation by relaxing the walls of the colon. This role of magnesium is very relevant when you are under stress, have anxiety, or have too many worries. Magnesium, normalizes tension on colon walls allowing for a normal peristaltic action. Also magnesium attracts water and allows you to bring in more water into your colon.

Additional remedies: Aloe vera gel apparently works quite well but I have yet to find a way to disguise it enough for W to take it.  Ex-lax will work in a pinch (I have used it past the 7 day mark) but it is habit forming.

I also suggest keeping track of all bowel movements using a calendar. There are some really good resources online (see here).

We have had small victories. We went from 7-8 days to a 4 day gap. Still too big, but I am hoping with time things will improve. As always, advice would be great!