I lucked out, this morning, and Monkey did NOT remember to ask me again. But as the comments rolled in on that post I found myself wanting to explain a few things to everyone, like that I know “the talk” is a whole bunch of talks, and that we’ve already discussed a lot of this stuff. Nor am I particularly squeamish. It’s just that Monkey is only 6, and a very YOUNG 6.
In fact, he’s the kind of 6 who sits in the Tae Kwon Studio with me while Chickadee’s in class and—apropos of nothing—announces, “Mama, I don’t remember being in your belly. OR coming out of your vagina!”
So perhaps that clarifies why I am not eager to get right into the actual mechanics of the, uh, buddying.
Last week, Monkey had some blood tests. We were hoping to rule out a few medical things before concluding that he’s just a tiny psychopath. Hahaha! Kidding! He’s really more of a sociopath.
His thyroid is perfectly normal, which I’m sure would come as no surprise to his former pediatrician, but I still pink puffy heart the new doctor for humoring me and checking.
But I guess there are a few different blood tests you can run to look for celiac disease, and I don’t know which ones the doctor ran, but the secretary on the phone told me that the results were inconclusive. None of my specialized stealth ninja mama techniques were able to get anything more specific out of her; but she did manage to get Children’s Hospital to call me back within the hour, so I’m pretty sure that Monkey’s dying. I’m hoping he can hang on long enough to see the specialist in a couple of weeks.
In the meantime, the secretary told me, the doctor suggets we “try” a gluten-free diet to see if his symptoms improve. Which makes me think that one of his antibody tests was positive. Not that I actually know. SECRETARY, I AM LOOKING AT YOU and your vague message-relaying ways.
And “trying” to go gluten-free with a child who is a carbohydrate addict is going to be an interesting proposition indeed. We sat down and had a discussion about it, and Monkey was strangely agreeable about the entire thing. The kid feels crappy, there’s no doubt about it. Any time you mention that something might make him feel better, he lights right up with the hope that it will really be true.
As we ran through the food possibilities, he shed tears only for the loss of his beloved pop-tarts. The crackers, bread, cookies, cake, and pasta are all expendable. But the toaster pastries… well, that was a loss it may take a while for him to come to grips with. And I don’t think my offer to make him meatloaf for breakfast was seen as much of a consolation.
[“Oh, don’t worry,” the doctor had told me, after revealing she suspected celiac, “they give him great drugs and knock him out!”
“That’s wonderful,” I replied. “But what do they give to ME? I will also be requiring some of the great drugs or possibly being knocked out if you’re planning to remove some of my baby’s intestinal lining.”]
If we find he has significant improvement on the gluten-free diet, it’s possible that we can skip that step. If it’s unclear, well, then, he probably has to be sampled. (Much like a fine wine. Except not at all.)
Not that I have any say over how this all goes, but I have to admit that I’m torn. On the one hand, this could be, in one fell swoop, the answer to just about everything for him. If he has celiac, going gluten-free should solve his stomach problems, his emotional instability and his attentional issues. Not to mention that maybe he’d finally eat and GROW for a change.
On the other hand, celiac is a pretty sucky hand to be dealt. Monkey was SO EXCITED when he passed the peanut challenge and was declared allergy-free with no eating restrictions. And the rules he had to follow as a nut-allergic kid were NOTHING compared to what life will be like if he can’t have gluten. Gluten is in just about everything that tastes good.
So we’re back to wait-and-see, though it’s a different wait-and-see than before.
Only one thing is absolutely certain: We are going to need more ice cream.