In the midst all the H1N1 hype last September, my family came down with 3 terrible viruses, including the H1N1 strain of the flu. Having 2 toddlers in the home, we passed the viruses around among us for the better part of 3 months! Once we had finally gotten everybody started on the road to recovery, my then 4 year old began having terrible tummy aches. We participate in the local WIC program & the counselors had seen Caidan’s tummy & told me he was pudgy & that I needed to watch his food intake. I was livid! Caidan’s belly did look a little bloated, but the kid had more muscle than any 4 year old should be allowed! He was a very sturdy, strong little boy! How dare they!? The tummy aches continued for a couple of days. We thought maybe it was some kind of bowel trouble…Maybe he was a little constipated or something. Then one day he came & sat on my lap in just a pair of basketball shorts. When I looked down over his shoulder I saw his pot-belly protruding out from beneath his ribs, and his bottom 2 ribs on either side were being pushed out by it. It was horrific! I had tried Children’s Pepto, peppermint tea, warm baths, Children’s Tylenol & a heating pad. So far none of it had really done a whole lot…just dulled the pain a little. But that afternoon when nothing was helping & it was obviously only getting worse, I knew it wasn’t something I would be able to fix at home. I decided to take Caidan to the Urgent Care at our clinic later that night when his tummy began to hurt so bad he had trouble walking. The doctors thought it was probably constipation but decided to take some X-Rays to see just how bad it was. They weren’t sure if an enema would be necessary or maybe just a laxative. When they got the x-ray back it was more disturbing news. Caidan had very little stool in his colon, but every single cavity of his abdomen was filled with air. That’s why his tummy was so distended & hard…Something that had surprised even the doctor. Because he did have some stool in his colon, the doctor decided to give Caidan an enema anyway, just to be sure the way was cleared for him to pass all the air he filling him up. When the stomach aches continued even after a round of enemas & laxatives, and his abdomen didn’t start to deflate, I took him back in to see his pediatrician. It was only a couple of days later. Caidan had been passing stool & lots of gas. But he still looked like a pint sized Buddha. His pediatrician had all the notes from our Urgent Care visit & decided to run a blood panel. I’m not sure what clued her in on the possibility of Celiac Disease, but for some reason she ran that particular IgA panel. And he tested positive. At first the lines between the doctor’s office & myself were crossed with this sudden piece of overwhelming information, so I thought he had a diagnosis & took him off anything containing gluten. Ultimately, he had a clean endoscopy. But because he’d had a positive screening, we knew we would be doing it again. His Gastroenterologist wanted him BACK ON gluten for 3 months. All the while I began to recognize little things made him look ill…He always had dark circles under his eyes. Could that be from Celiac Disease? He was hyper a lot of the time but had mellowed out for the 2 months I’d had him on the GF diet…Could THAT be from Celiac Disease? In the end, he got the diagnosis. We put him back on the GF diet. And for the next several months I tried all different types and brands of bread mixes, breads, muffins…you name it I tried it. Mostly without much success. Finally the Gluten-Free store we shop at told us about Udi’s (I’m pretty sure they hadn’t carried it prior, or I would have found it!) and that they’d gotten a lot of good reviews about it. It was more "Bread-like" than anything else out there. So we tried it. Caidan LOVED it! No more toddler meltdowns because his peanut butter sandwich was falling apart! It all stayed together!! We haven’t tried too many Udi’s products (haven’t seen many at "our store" or any of our other local stores) but I have full confidence that once I find more products to try out, Caidan will love them just as much as the bread!! Having a 4 (now 5) year old with Celiac Disease has been a challenge. Luckily, Caidan has adjusted pretty well to his diet. He has his favorites, and thanks to Udi’s bread, he still gets his peanut butter sandwiches.
Name: Tabatha D.