Ethan’s Progress Report

When I started this blog, I had to start thinking about how much of it would focus on Ethan.  I never want anyone to think/assume that our other two children capture any less of our time than he does.  As I often tell people, all of our children are special, and they all have needs.  Ethan has special needs, but it does not define him.  And, it does not define us as a family.  But, in regards to the blog, I did start it to detail our cooking journey in regards to Ethan’s food sensitivities, which may or may not play a part in his special needs.  So, I have decided to try to give a weekly progress report detailing what (if any) changes we have noticed.

This week has been interesting.  We were at our family reunion for four days last week, went home for a day, had Ethan’s doctor’s appointment, and then traveled to my parent’s house for another family gathering.  It has all been fun, and we have enjoyed all of the moments, all of the memories.  The littles and I have spent a good portion of the summer with allergies, sinus infections, and/or bronchitis.  Ethan started it all off two weeks before school was out, and then it just slowly trickled through the house.  The virus (or whatever it is) lasts for about 6 weeks, so even though we have kept up our summer fun, we have also had extra medicine, doctor’s appointments, and rest to take into account.

So, since Ethan had the “bug” first and seemed to have recovered, I thought that he was doing better.  Really, I just took him to the ENT for a general check-up to have his hearing tested and get an opinion about some issues that we thought that he was having with his ears.  It was only through that check-up that we discovered that he had a severe sinus infection, which requires 20 days of antibiotics! Given Ethan’s reflux history, we also put him on some reflux meds and a probiotic, in addition to some other sinus medication.  Ethan just has not been himself, and we are hoping that he will greatly improve once the sinus infection heals.  Speaking from experience, it took mine about 3 weeks to go away, with being on antibiotics.  If all goes well, he should be healed and back to himself by the time school starts.

We have not noticed any changes since we have been on the new diet.  I feel better, in general, so I do believe that it is likely that I have some of the same food sensitivities.  Since Ethan has been sick, it is likely that we will not notice any changes in him until all of the sinus pressure and pain is relieved.  Overall, though, he is doing so great on the diet.  He is beginning to understand that there are some things that he cannot eat, and he seems to truly understand why.  We have explained that the food might be hurting his head and stomach.  Speaking of his head….that is one area that I have seen improvement.  Before we started the new diet, he would often put his hand on his head while we were eating, and the glossy eyes told us that he definitely did have a headache.  We would always let him go rest on the couch.  We just never put together that the food could be causing the headaches.  Since migraines have been a possibility for a few years now, we are so hopeful that the food changes will resolve that.

Even though the progress report is not great this week, I do not feel like it is bad, either.  Just knowing that there might be a reason (the sinus infection) that Ethan has not been himself and explains why he has needed so much sleep.  And, hoping that the food changes have resolved the headaches is a huge positive in the win column for us.  We have a follow-up with Ethan’s doctor on Monday, the one who is trying everything, researching everything, doing everything for our sweet boy.  So, we will see if Ethan’s tests results show positive improvements.  Regardless, we are happy and at peace that we have so many people on Team Ethan, people who love our sweet boy and so want to see him be the best Ethan that he can be.  We are blessed, very, very blessed…everyone needs a team in their corner, and we are so glad that we have ours.

I will wrap this up with something that I told my mom today.  There is always a lot of excitement when Ethan wakes up in the morning. This morning, Summer came running into the sewing room and said, “EBDB (our little nickname for Ethan) is awake!  EBDB is awake!”  We all smiled and gave out big hugs (which I give to all of my children when they wake up, of course).  I later told my mom, “I am not sure why we all get so excited when Ethan wakes up in the morning, but we do.”  She said, “Because just seeing him makes everyone happy.”  And, she is right.  Ethan could bring about world peace.  He just has that effect on people.

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