The second of February marks the one year anniversary of following the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) for Chloe and me.
The last two weeks Chloe resumed a gluten free low residue diet which was easier to comply with during her hospital stay for the rotavirus and also seemed prudent as she faced a colon clean out for a procedure which was eventually cancelled.
For eleven and a half months, though, we fanatically adhered to this gluten-free, grain-free, lactose-free, sugar-free specialized diet.
When we began on February 2, 2013, we were looking for a way to stop the cycle of her out of control autoimmune response that was causing the ulcerative colitis and its symptoms of loose & bloody stools, pain & cramping, overwhelming urgency & overnight potty trips, fatigue & anemia.
We were looking for a way to bring Chloe’s symptoms under control. We were looking for a way to find relief and healing for her without beginning more powerful medications or interventions.
She was only 8 years old. We had to try.
Initially, the introduction diet was terribly hard. For five days, Chloe was sick. She experienced the flu-like symptoms known as die-off.
But then, the nearly constant stomach pain Chloe experienced was gone. Even my regular headaches disappeared as I participated in the diet simply as a show of solidarity.
The restrictions were tough; although, even Chloe agreed that the improvements in her health were worth saying good-bye to certain foods. We decided to keep adhering to the SCD.
In June, we saw a decline in her health with significant weight loss and returned anemia. We feared that the SCD was not enough to break the cycle of ulcerative colitis. But the diagnosis proved to be c. diff instead.
The c. diff plagued her through rounds of antibiotics. Into the fall, her symptoms from the c. diff made it challenging to be too far from a bathroom. She often rushed off the soccer field. Her energy was low as she fought this insidious bug.
As our first Thanksgiving and Christmas on the SCD approached, we persisted on the diet even though it was difficult to see any positive effects because of the c. diff.
The week before Christmas, Chloe received a Fecal Microbiome Transplant (FMT) for the recurrent c. diff. Within a day, it appeared that the procedure had failed to cure her which was confirmed with another positive stool study.
The first week of 2014 she began another course of antibiotics while she was scheduled for another transplant.
Within a week she was hospitalized for severe dehydration from what turned out to be diarrhea from the rotavirus. As the doctors searched for a cause, she tested negative for c. diff.
Ultimately she tested negative three times for c. diff. Perhaps the combination of the FMT, the round of vancomycin and the clean out caused by the rotavirus drove the c. diff out. Her second FMT was scratched.
Which brings us back around to our first SCD anniversary. All the changes over the last two weeks have left Chloe in a flare of the ulcerative colitis. With the c. diff gone, it is time to go back to the SCD. We begin again on Monday, February 3.
Looking back, there were some very difficult times. With Chloe’s health. With happily complying with the diet.
However, we stand ready to begin again. Certainly knowing more of what we are getting into.
We have been tested, but not defeated. We are wiser, but not jaded. We are realistic, but hopeful.
On Monday, we take another step in this journey with Chloe and ulcerative colitis. Each step dependent on Him, our Great Physician, our Redeemer, our Healer.
The Lord makes firm the steps
of the one who delights in him;
though he may stumble, he will not fall,
for the Lord upholds him with his hand.