Rebecca SmithNaturally as a mother I’ve always wanted to wish Bethany’s medical issues away altogether, or at the very least taken them on as my own burden. This of course is not possible but I always thought that as her mum I trod the same path, felt the same anguish of a special diet and it’s restriction. I recently discovered that no matter how much I try to bear the burden with her, you can never completely understand until you are in the same or similar situation yourself.

I often find myself saying;

You only know, what you know…

I’ve developed this often repeated phrase to remind myself that anyone who is less understanding of Bethany’s conditions is okay to be naive, uneducated maybe even a tad unsympathetic or callous. After all, I don’t know what they’re going through and they don’t know what we/Bethany is going through. It’s a bit like;

‘walk a mile in someone’s shoes’

which is another of my frequent phrases I like to say to realign the universe when my nerves are tested. What’s this got to do with intolerance. Well, I was getting to that bit.

Recently I did one of those home test kits, this one got sent to a lab though so I didn’t have to faff about with matching up colour blobs on a piece of card! The results came back 50/50; as I had already suspected and a total surprise. The scientific evidence of these home kits says that the results cannot be taken as an true diagnosis. There was an interesting piece on Channel Four’s Trust me I’m a Doctor’ recently (Sept 2016) that said an intolerance test will simply identify what you ate recently and what antibodies were released into your system to counteract it, in other words the test if done twice in one week would give totally different result. I get that, and I understand…however…my results came back with Cows Milk being a total no-no, followed by Corn, Barley, Egg White and Potato to name but a few.

The milk was no shock, in fact subconsciously I’d think I’d already made the change to alternative milk products as I’d started adding nut milks to my cereals and was trying to reduce the milk in my tea. The potato was initially a shock but on reflection it explained why I felt sick every time I cooked oven chips, it was as if I was pregnant again and my sense of smell was heightened and disgusted by certain odours. Since eliminating potato from my diet I’ve made one mistake of eating 3 roast potato’s whilst away for the weekend. I went into auto pilot at the carvery serving hatch! before I set down my knife and fork at the end of the meal my tummy had swollen to look like I was in my third trimester!

Its going to be a long journey but unlike Bethany I may be able to repair my tummy with the aid of probiotics and elimination followed by gradual re-introduction. It’s humbling to be able at last to empathise with Bethany, from the Coeliac point of view at least. I’m continue to be in awe of her strength, resilience and bravery in the face of everything life throws at her.

To follow my journey you can click on my diaries here;

Diary of an Intolerant Mum: Test Kit

Diary of an Intolerant Mum: Week One

Diary of an Intolerant Mum: Week Two