Hi All, I have been promising to do this since Paige started the blog; sorry it took so long. Before I begin I would like Paige and Kathy to know how grateful I am to both for helping us get this far… Thank you ladies.
My name is Angie Bralick and I have a 13 year old son with Crohn’s. Austin was formally diagnosed in August/September of 2009. But, like many of you, I strongly believe he has had Crohn’s for much longer. I recall many years earlier the stomach aches, ulcers in his mouth, lack of appetite, and poor weight gain to name a few symptoms. And for years my concerns were “dismissed” by pediatricians. I have found that not all Crohn’s patients experience the same symptoms and that surprised me initially.
Austin’s first severe “flare up” was originally diagnosed as anal fissures. The pain started slowly and quickly progressed to severe pain and diarrhea. The pain was unbearable for him. I felt completely helpless as he screamed in pain with the 15-20 bm’s per day. He was already skinny and pale but the flare up took a hard toll on his body. Needless to say, I was desperate for help and after a second Dr. visit and trip to the ER, we were referred to Dr. Cohen. The diagnosis was both devastating and comforting. Finally, they could help him…..right??? At the same time I was devastated that my baby had such a horrible disease and had probably had it for years. Talk about guilt….. all those times I fussed for him to eat and he would complain of no appetite, or stomach pains and I thought he was just a picky eater.
The colonoscopy showed the Crohn’s, but the pill cam truly confirmed the diagnosis with inflammation, ulcers, bleeding etc in his intestines. So began the medical treatment for Crohn’s. We took prednisone, and the anal steroid foam, suppositories and some pain pills. All of these medicines did help, but as you know, you can’t stay on prednisone. Plus, my sweet boy suddenly had terrible mood swings, which I had to contribute to the prednisone. Once the “flare up” was under control, we began taking immuran, an immune suppressant drug and have actually been on it since 2010.
Alas, early 2011, a chance to enter the medical study for the SCD diet. (Thank you Kathy Chancey!) Since immuran suppresses the immune system I was eager to try an alternative to “drugs.” Plus, I really liked the idea of seeing before and after pictures. What is it they say “the proof is in the pudding.” I wanted to see my child’s insides. He had been on the medicine for a year and we had pretty much controlled the flare up, but he still wasn’t eating well, gaining weight or generally feeling well most of the time.
Like all of you, I was willing to try anything I could to help Austin heal!! We (me, my husband, Bill and Austin) were in this together. I also have a daughter, Addison, who is 11 years old. Now Addison loves her brother (most of the time) but wanted no part of giving up her favorite dish…. buttered noodles. We really had no idea how difficult it would be, but “surely we can do anything for 12 weeks” I told Austin . And we did it, strict SCD for 12 weeks with great results. The proof was in the pudding… his before and after pill cam show remarkable results. Also, he gained some color in his cheeks and had a decent appetite with no diarrhea. So, for us, it appears SCD will be part of our lives for a while.
I do want to caution that I made the mistake of telling Austin that after the study I would let him celebrate with “real” food. It only took a few non-legal treats to see that he was not ready to go back to sugar, bread, dairy etc. Although, he did not have a flare up; he did feel a twinge of pain and we quickly went right back to SCD only. Our entire family is trying to eat healthier and I must admit, I feel better without all the carbs and sugar.
In closing, this blog and the ladies I have mentioned are a true Godsend for me. I was overwhelmed after reading the BTVC book. I am not a very good cook and the thought that I had to make homemade yogurt…..scary! But for those of us that have been doing this a while, making yogurt is the easy part. Thanks for reading and God Bless and Heal all our “babies” both young and old.
P.S. please share any recipes, ideas, and questions.