Sunday, March 20, 2011


I bet you're wondering where the heck I have been! Actually, I doubt that since only four people read this blog on a regular basis.

Well, my life these last two months has had a few upheavals. Blogging wasn't very high on my priority list.

Superhero has been difficult these last few months. And while he was difficult before, the behavior was getting worse, especially at school. After a few incidences on the playground and subsequent discussions with his teacher and the school counselor, I decided to take him in to get evaluated for possible ADD/ADHD. Contrary to the language most use, there is no 'test' for it. It is an evaluation of behavior by both the teacher and the parent. And right now, it looks as if we are dealing with ADD.

It isn't too surprising. There is a lot of mental illness on my husbands side of the family. On my side, one of my brothers has some issues (which I'm pretty sure could be greatly helped by medication, but as far as he is concerned, he is just fine.) and I wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't a lot of depression on my dad's side of the family. And if you have a history of mental illness, your chances of your children having something goes up from about 5% to around 30% (if I am remembering correctly. been reading a lot lately.....)

We've told him, and I bought him some books to read and I have a large stack to get through as well. So far I've read Driven to Distraction, started The ADD and ADHD Answer Book, started Delivered from Distraction, and I have ADD-friendly ways to Organize Your Life and Superparenting for ADD to get through. I figure the more I learn about it, the better I will be able to parent him and help him deal with it.

Medication isn't going to be our first choice. Our doctor did some blood tests on Superhero because in her experience, many kids that present with ADD/ADHD like symptoms are actually very iron deficient, and that when they are no longer anemic, the symptoms decrease or can go away. So, while we don't eat a ton of red meat, dark green vegetables (we eat a lot of them anyway, but I am trying harder to have them more often) and vitamins with plenty of iron have been added. Also, quinoa has a good amount of iron in it, especially considering that it is a grain. The next step is possibly taking gluten out of his diet. I found a good resource here. I like it because they are very honest. They know that this won't make a huge difference for every person. But they point out that regardless of the treatment (medication or otherwise) that having a healthy diet will always improve the effectiveness. They suggest taking out both dairy and gluten at the same time. Gluten I could do. Dairy would be near impossible. My best friends son has celiac disease, and my sister is allergic to wheat, oats, and several other things. I've been watching them deal with gluten free items for years. Our family has introduced many gluten free items into our diet so that when we visit each other, my kids understand and are already familiar with gluten free food and are used to it. And really, a lot of the meals we all eat are naturally gluten free. It will affect how often we eat out, but there are many restaurants that have gluten free menu's or can alter their preparation of the food to make it gluten free. (In-n-out wraps their hamburgers in lettuce and prepares it on a different surface than the burgers that have regular buns. With celiac and allergies, cross contamination becomes a huge concern.)

Yesterday, while my husband and the kids were swimming at the post pool, I went to the commissary and checked out their new gluten free food section. I've decided that I've got to make his bread. Brown rice bread is like a brick. You pick it up and it weighs about five pounds. Trader Joe's makes brown rice tortillas. (which are not like bricks) Bobs Red Mill has many mixes and flours that are gluten free and very tasty. I picked up some glutino brand pretzels (which taste SO GOOD. I like them better than regular pretzels.) and their dream cookies. Yesterday we tried Trader Joe's Rice pasta macaroni and cheese for lunch. Tastes awesome. Before I go all the way into this, I wanted to make sure we had substitutes for as much as we could AND that he liked them enough to eat them. Another favorite are Larabars. Their coconut cream pie and apple pie bars are awesome. Superhero will eat them right up.

There is one aspect to this that is a little crazy. The cost. For example, a bag of regular Rold Gold pretzels at Walmart is around $2-$3, right? Well, a bag of comparable size gluten free pretzels is $9 at a regular store. I found them for $4.99 at the commissary. And at an awesome store by my parents, they are the same price. Larabars can be up to $1.99 each. You can get a box of them at costco and they are somewhere around $1.40-$1.50 per bar. At the commissary, they are $.88, and the last few times I've gone, there have been coupons for $.50 off if you buy two. I know that I am very lucky to have the commissary. And costco has a four pound bag of quinoa for only $10. Usually it is much more than that. And the different kinds of flour can be expensive too.

But I do feel very lucky. I have been watching my sister and my best friend maneuver this new world of gluten free food for the last few years, and I've learned a lot. I've seen how it affects a child AND an adult. How diligent you have to be, but also about how many options there are out there for someone that has to be or has chosen to be gluten free. And really, if I get to choose, I'd rather be gluten free than dairy free.

We may still try medication. I just think that changing your diet is worth a shot.

As for the other things going on in my life......maybe I'll talk about those later. Or maybe not.

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