Erik Quinn: The Heart of a Family: Lactose Intolerant

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Lactose Intolerant

Peasant 1: Who's that there?

Peasant 2: I don't know. Must be a king.

Peasant 1: Why?

Peasant 2: He hasn't got shit all over him.


-- Monty Python (The Holy Grail)

Our doctor's appointment went well. One thing that absolutely rattles Erik at the clinic is the scale. He clamps his hands tightly over his ears and refuses to step onto the wobbly platform. The clanking the device makes sends him into orbit. The nurse asked him to step up and place his feet on stickers shaped like space ships, but I was required to force him to step forward, resulting in a complete meltdown. As she looked quizzically at us and tried to interpret just what in the dickens was happening, I quickly blurted out that Erik hates noise. There was hardly any noise whatsoever, but I know this particular type of metal-on-metal clanging is the reason Erik freaks out in this situation. It happens every time we visit the doctor. Why I bother explaining this to anyone is beyond me, but I insist on educating people about Erik. It's just awkward, awkward, awkward. Surely there are other children who visit this facility regularly with sensory processing issues. Right?

So after our super-accurate measurement (not) of Erik's weight (34.25 lb with me forcing him forward and supporting most of his weight with the palms of my hands), we waited for Dr. Brown. Erik still had his hands over his ears, despite me assuring him Dr. Brown would likely not be very noisy. It turned out that she was much older and straightforward than I expected. This was a pleasant surprise. She was also very quiet, which pleased Erik greatly.

I explained that after 24 hours of Erik being taken off milk and milk products, I saw the most normal-appearing stool appear in Erik's diaper this morning. Unfortunately, this means that there is a strong possibility Erik is lactose intolerant. She confirmed my fears that Erik has no extra body fat to lose and that eliminating dairy would be a gigantic pain but suggested I do it for the time being. This means no more macaroni and cheese, milk, cheddar, seven-layer burritos, or chocolate. Actually, milk or milk fat seems to be in everything. The nurse then gave me a small plastic bag containing three screw-top vials, some of which were filled with red preservative solution. It was an intimating-looking kit that looked like the components of a biological weapon. Two Smurf-blue latex gloves were thoughtfully folded and placed in the bag, and I chuckled to myself thinking of the messes I have scrubbed out of Erik's bed each morning and from the bathtub. I wish motherhood was as neat as a pair of latex gloves. It's not. Not for any mother I know, anyway.

I am to scrape Erik's diaper with wooden tongue depressors and collect samples of stool for the entities I am certain he doesn't have (ova and parasites, etc.). However, I will do this in the spirit of good sportsmanship and patient compliance and deposit a teaspoon of the nasty material into each vial. I have been instructed to transport them to the hospital within a couple of hours or place the specimens next to my collection of pot roasts and popscicles in the freezer until I am able to get them to the hospital lab. Between the wide feline skid marks resulting from Gracie's thyroid problems and the material that springs forth from Erik's bum, I choose to keep the last space in the house, which happens to be inside a major appliance, completely poop-free. I have to draw the line somewhere. Instead, I plan on driving to the hospital with my sloshing bottles of dung tomorrow.

After our appointment, Erik collected his sticker from the nurses' station and actually seemed to really question me about its purpose for the very first time. I usually stuff stickers in my purse for the nurses' benefit, as Erik formerly cared less about stickers, candy, or toys. This time I handed him the sticker, and he seemed interested in it. I was pleased. He said goodbyes, thank you very muches, and see yous to each nurse and the doctor on the way out. The way he said these things seemed to surprise and thrill each of them. They giggled, which made me giggle. Erik does pour on the charm.

We then took our hemp shopping bag to natural food store and purchased expensive tofu shaped like mozzarella cheese and a carton of soy milk. The faux cheese had a label assuring me that it actually "Melts like real cheese!" Yikes. He drank three glasses of the vanilla-flavored light soy milk when we returned home. I tried it and thought it was the sweat of the devil. I'll stick to skim, thank you. The jury is still out on the cheese.

I plan on making pizza tomorrow night. We'll see if anybody notices the tofu.

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14 Comments:

Blogger Kerry said...

I laughed out loud on your " the last space in the house, which happens to be inside a major appliance, completely poop-free." You are the light of my life, Nance! LOL

My brother has ulcerative colitis, so I would take lactose intolerant any day. The rest of my family is lactose intolerant. Nowadays, the companies make so many substitutions for milk, you will not miss out on much.

It might be a pain, but I'm glad it is nothing crazier.

I have to go read this again now, LOL :)

5:26 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

Oh if I had to take all of those foods from Noah it would cut his menu in half. My dad is actually lactose intolerant. He does well except staying away from ice cream. He eats it and then just shits his head off. Hey you gotta do what you gotta do.:)

7:39 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I know how much of a pain that will be, but I'm soooo glad it wasn't anything worse.
xoxo

4:38 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Ari used to be the same way about the scale - for her it was that it was an unstable surface and moved a bit when she got on...although she would still cover her ears, which has become her expression of anxiety in general - something visually scary on T.V. - she covers her ears..Good Luck with the poop!

4:39 AM  
Blogger Every minute counts.... said...

Ahhh, reminds me of a time a few months ago, when we did that very same thing...
Hunter: " what the heck is in that bag!?!?!"
Me:" Do you really wnat to know? It is marked biohazard."
Hunter: (looking rather green) "I'm not really hungery now"

LOL, at least your son won't know what is near his food if that is where you have to place it. ( just to clear it up though...it was in a container, in a bag marked biohazard ,in another ziploc bag and on a shelf with no other food. I live too far from the hospital to get it there in a few hours.)

Hope that tofu works out! I think Abi is lactose intolerant and also doesn't do well with wheat products..yeah those two things are in EVERYTHING!! No wonder the child can't gain weight if she does eat one of those things the loose stools prevent her from gaining any weight, if she doesn't eat them, she gets little to no fat in her diet.

Noel

7:16 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

I love your posts - way to go on keeping the poop out of major appliances :)!!
I'm glad the doctor was straight forward with you and I hope you are able to see a difference. (Like you - I would definitely stick to skim.....soy is just not appealing!).
Payton hates getting on the scale too. It seemed to be a fear of stepping up and it being a bit wobbly (she was afraid she was going to fall) and also the noise. Crazy how the littlest thing sends them into orbit (sad).

7:30 AM  
Blogger Aspen said...

Welcome to the "milk free" world. We have struggled with Daven on this ever since he was born. Only he violently throws up after consuming minuscule amounts of milk or whey. Sigh. So I have grown to embrace label reading and don't allow just any food to be placed in front of him without thoroughly inspecting it's contents.

Good luck with the poop collection process. I totally agree with you...I would love for that to be the "ugliest" job we as mothers ever had to do. This coming from a mom that had to scrub a child's poop filled room (TWICE) after he proceeded to grab hand fulls of poop out of his diaper and smear it EVERYWHERE in delight. So are the days of our lives...

12:52 PM  
Blogger Tes said...

Ok who in their right mind came up with those clacking scales? I could not believe TCH had one, hence the photos of Lila with her hands over her ears with the crying face. Oh and the poop samples, been there done that. We wound up finding out she had way to much food sugars so we elimated a lot of processed sugar from her diet. Only fresh fruit now. We did find out the other day that she prefers to each the core and all of a small pear, go figure.........

2:44 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Good luck with that.
glad you got it figured out.
poor guy. Dairy is caleb's favorite. I wouldn't be able to fool him with any substitues. I can't even buy a different brand of the same type of cereal. Hey, there is a dairy pill my dad takes to help him digest dairy. He is also lactose intolerant. He can eat anything as long as he takes it. I doubt if it comes in child form, but may be worth a look.

4:03 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Good luck with that.
glad you got it figured out.
poor guy. Dairy is caleb's favorite. I wouldn't be able to fool him with any substitues. I can't even buy a different brand of the same type of cereal. Hey, there is a dairy pill my dad takes to help him digest dairy. He is also lactose intolerant. He can eat anything as long as he takes it. I doubt if it comes in child form, but may be worth a look.

4:03 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Oh yeah, Caleb would get beet red on the scales. I know exactly what you mean. It was the shakiness of them actually.He didn't like the way they moved around. And, like Ari, the hands would go over the ears any time he was in an anxious situation. ???

4:06 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Dear Poop Fairy,
Answers are great, problems like this suck! Anywho, give rice milk a try too. I find it far more tasty than soy milk. I usually give it to Avery when she is on antibiotics cuz they bother her tummy and I try to stay away from dairy at that time. Also there is a great soy ice cream. At least in this day and age there are better substitutes for dairy.
xoxo
Amy

5:57 AM  
Blogger kathi said...

I need your humor, and I adore your strength.

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nicholas also goes into orbit when he sees the scale - got the idea to have the docs weigh me, wheigh me holding him and then do the math. can't say i'm too happy with what the scale says for me, but it really seems to help.
-Maureen (nicholas 2 yrs, WS of course)

7:44 PM  

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