I realized that I have not really updated you on my husband's health and our recent visit to the doctor.
Eric is still having a hard time breathing but we have hope now. Our doctor up in the foothills gave us that hope. He listened to Eric's story for about an hour, looked over his drugs, and then sat back and told us that this was a text book case. We were stunned. All the doctors and nurses at the hospital were saying that his case was such a mystery.
Dr. Jaggy concured with Eric's own self-prognosis that this was not asthma. He said that it was appearing as asthma because of a core issue. He believes that this core issue is a food allergy (most likely dairy) that has gone unnoticed for years. Eric has had numerous allergy tests done but all have come back negative. Come to find out they have routinely done only a histimine allergy test for molds, grasses, pollens, etc. Food allergies do not produce histimines.
What was Eric's body reacting to? We are not sure about that but we know how it was reacting. Whenever he would eat the problem food it would cause his mucos membranes to overreact. Since these membranes are all connected it would cause a problem in the gut as well as in the nasal passage. He would get a post nasal drip that would cause a cough and infections. Everytime he would get an infection he would be given an antibiotic and a steroid. These did a grand job killing off infections and drying him up but it did a lousy job of keeping his gut in shape. Basically after twelve years of antibiotics and steroids his gut was depleted of any good bacteria leaving him suseptable to other allergies and what they call leaky gut syndrome. This is where your intestinal lining starts leaking food and nutrients into your blood stream leaving you with very little nutrition. The other side to this coin is that the cough kept getting stronger encouraging the muscles to restrict more. This is how come his oxygen levels looked great and yet his CO2 levels were so high. He was breathing in but the coughing was not allowing the bad air out leaving his body to fight off the toxins. You body can only handle so much before the brain starts shutting down.
The cure? A very slow, hard process of changing the diet, taking Nystatin to kill off candida, and promoting good bacteria with huge amounts of pro-biotics. He is also taking high doses of vitamin C and magnesium to relax his muscles. His diet is a no sugar, no wheat, no yeast, no fruit diet. Added to that is an elimination diet where he can't eat dairy or corn.
We are learning how to ferment our foods and how to eat more efficiently. How is it going? Well, a friend and I are working through the Nourishing Traditions book and learning all kinds of interesting things that point back to the days when people ate foods that were not packaged and were dependant on their own gardens. It's a fascinating read if you are ever interested.
In the meantime, Eric has good days and bad. Today was a good day...he could smell things and felt he had some energy. The day before was bad.
The last piece of news the doctor gave us was the hope that Eric would be off of all drugs within six months to a year. He is hopeful that Eric will never have to worry about breathing issues again if he stays away from the food he is allergic to. This was so encouraging to us.
If you think about it please pray for Eric. It is very hard to keep yourself calm when you can't breathe. There once was a public awareness ad that asked a normal breathing person to try breathing through a straw and continue even though you are feeling you aren't getting enough air. That would make anyone panic. He usually has an episode in the morning as he is waking up and at dinner time.