We had dinner at Bangkok 54, a Thai restaurant in San Antonio. It is near the home of some wonderful friends, and is one of their favorite places to eat. We’ve been there several times. The food is very good and everything is prepared fresh. It’s worth it just to read the seasoning guide in the menu which begins with, “0: No hot pepper added during preparation” and ends with “911 Hot: No explanation necessary.” I am cautious, and I always choose 1.
I have always eaten their beef and broccoli, but yesterday I had beef for lunch, so I decided to try something new. I chose Chicken with Ginger, and it was outstanding.
At the end of the meal one of our friends said, “Would anyone like to share a dessert?” Both of the men declined, so she looked at me. She knows I am gluten free and rarely eat desserts. “She said, “You should try this Suzanne. You will be surprised. It is made with brown rice and fresh fruit.” I was curious, so I said yes.
Our server brought an oblong plate. On one end was a scoop of rice. On the other end was a freshly sliced mango. My friend, who had obviously shared this dessert before, cut down the middle of both pushing both the rice and the mango towards the two sides of the plate. I watched as she speared a piece of mango with her fork, then scooped up a bit of brown rice. I followed her example it was an incredibly delicious combination.
I think the rice was prepared with coconut milk (which would be avoid for me), but it would be easy to substitute almond milk or some other neutral. I don’t know what kind of sweetener they used, but again, I could use agave or stevia.
It was such a treat to have a dessert. I’ll admit, I have almost completely stopped making desserts, even BTD compliant desserts. The children are grown. Plus I don’t want to sabotage HH’s success at lowering his blood sugar and keeping it low.
I’m thinking this kind of “good for you” dessert might be something to look forward to at the end of a meal once in a while.
As DD began evaluating what else she might be eating that would affect her milk and make BC uncomfortable; lettuce was high on the list since SIL’s sister has Crohn’s Disease. Her Crohn’s is triggered by anything raw and green. Lettuce, spinach, broccoli, even herbs like parsley and cilantro will send her into agony. DD, who eats a big salad almost every day, can hardly imagine life without lettuce, but when she started the brown rice allergy elimination diet, salad, like everything else, was put on hold.
After finding out that eggs and soy do not agree with BC, she successfully added several foods one at a time. Then one of their church members brought dinner to the house and included a delicious looking salad. DD decided it was time to find out whether BC could tolerate lettuce. The first night went well. She was so excited that the next day she ate more salad, and she added celery. That night was disastrous. BC cried and cried and cried. None of them slept.
She backed off of salad until BC was back to normal. Then she ate lettuce again and there was no problem. A few days later she tried celery, again with terrible results. So, lettuce is in and celery is out.
DD sent this text this morning, “I think it is better just knowing he is colicky and that he does not hate life. We can laugh at him now when he goes from laughing, to crying, back to laughing, then to screaming for no apparent reason. We cuddle and bounce him, but we feel less stressed knowing that he is acting typical of a baby with colic.”
Changing the subject:
I have a friend with Parkinson’s disease. The county support group sponsored a 5k run and she sent out a message asking people to sign up and support the cause. I signed up as a member of her team. After the race, I checked the times and saw that I had the fastest time for women over 60. I didn’t get a medal because I hadn’t sighed up as an individual runner, but I have the satisfaction of knowing that I ran well - - for an old lady!
While my run was fun, I was more impressed with my friend who finished the course in spite of her Parkinson’s. She tells me that exercise increases the natural production of dopamine, so she makes herself walk two miles every day. She said, “My doctor says if I want to stay out of a wheel chair I have to keep exercising.” That takes courage and resolve. I am so proud of her. By the way, my friend’s team was second place in the event.
Both of my babies cried at night. I’m not talking about waking every 2-4 hours to eat. All breast fed babies do that. I’m talking about frantic crying as if they were angry or in pain.
My Mom was matter of fact. Babies do that. Their digestive systems are immature. They grow out of it. My husband’s Mom called it colic. She rocked and walked the floor with me, pitying the poor baby.
When BC got home from the hospital, he began to frantically cry in the evening and at night, I was fatalistic. It’s part of being a newborn. I had even read that a newborn’s intestines were the diameter of a pencil (or was it a pencil lead?). Don’t be surprised, the book said, that the tiniest gas bubble causes distress.
DD was not convinced. She believed that she was eating something that was getting in her milk and hurting BC. She went to the internet - and got more confused. “Mom, look at this,” she would say. “This website says eat broccoli and not cucumbers. This other website says eat cucumbers and not broccoli. What do I do?”
I began to wonder if some of my own children’s colic was caused by my eating avoid foods like cow’s milk, wheat, and oranges. But DD never eats avoids. Her diet is 75% beneficials and 25% neutrals.
HH & I returned to our home when BC was 10 days old. DD maintained her strong conviction that she was eating something wrong. Finally I suggested that she try the allergy elimination diet. Many years ago I read that when allergy tests were inconclusive, to eat only brown rice for a day or two. Almost no one is allergic to brown rice. Then you start to add foods one at a time. You journal to see what kind of reactions you have to each new food.
For the sake of milk production, DD was scared to go brown rice alone. Instead she spent the first day eating only brown rice, apples, carrots, and green beans. That night was the best night BC had had since they got home from the hospital.
We were elated. We talked the next day about what to add back into her diet. We decided on eggs. They are bland, and they contain lots of protein. For years DD has eaten an egg sandwich every other day.
She called the next morning. The night had been terrible. BC suffered horribly with gas. So on day three she went back to brown rice, apples, carrots, and green beans. That night was peaceful. Eggs? Really?
The problem now was that she was losing weight too fast. She needed calories. So she added almonds - both the nuts and almond milk. BC was happy. Next she added oatmeal, again they had a good night.
But when she added soy protein - another one of her staple foods - she and SIL spent the night walking the floor with an unhappy baby.
Since then she has added several fruits and vegetables, and all have agreed with BC. Eggs and soy are the only two culprits so far.
I am amazed - and I am so glad that DD persevered and did not accept night time crying as normal.
March 26, 2004 I posted my first blog on the dadamo.com website.
Dr. D'Adamo had asked for volunteers to blog about their Blood Type Diet experiences several months earlier. I was intrigued by this new thing called blogging, but I had only been on the diet for a few months. I wasn't sure I had anything valuable to contribute. However, as I read the other blog posts, I began to see a niche that I could fill. When one of the original bloggers dropped out, I emailed Dr. D and volunteered.
My husband's father was on hospice for pancreatic cancer at the time. I got Dr. D's approval and received my password the day after the funeral. My first blog was about the importance of family, about eating wisely during stressful times, and about finding the best BTD choices in someone else's home.
In 2004 I had a son who was a freshman in college and a daughter in middle school. Today my son is a doctor of physical therapy, and my daughter is a new mother.
In these 10 years we have moved to the country, I have started a business, I have walked through the last illnesses of both of my parents, and we have been on lots of vacations. You have been along for the adventure.
I've tried to be open about our successes and failures; our illnesses and our health; our likes and our dislikes; our joys and our sorrows. The way I see it, a blog isn't going to do you any good if it isn't honest.
I've also been open about my faith in God. Part of that is because I believe that God specifically directed me to the BTD in answer to prayer. The other part is that my faith in Jesus Christ is integral to who I am. I couldn't write about my life without that topic coming up from time to time.
I have no idea how long Dr. D will want bloggers on his website. For my part, I'm still learning and still thinking of blog ideas, so I'll keep going as long as he wants me to. Here we go with year eleven!
I still find myself fuming at the MD who was on call the day DD and SIL left the hospital with BC, and I am very thankful for the PA they saw the next day.
DD didn't think she would find hospital food to here liking, so she had packed beneficial foods in her suitcase. She was glad when there was salad on her tray, which she ate with EVOO from home. She made herself peanut butter sandwiches. She brought fresh fruit, nuts, and oatmeal. So she ate like an A for herself and her little A baby.
In addition to all of the amenities I mentioned before, each bathroom in the maternity ward has its own whirlpool tub. A couple of times a day she got to sit in warm swirling water, which helped her to heal rapidly. Granted she had a fast labor, but her soreness disappeared quickly.
Day two was busy. The nursing staff was constantly teaching them something - like how to bathe the baby until the cord fell off. There were diapers to change and feedings and paperwork and more feedings.
The second night BC was more active and not quite as content, so DD and SIL started the day a little sleep deprived. That's when they encountered the pediatrician on call from the clinic. She was rushed. She had several babies to release that morning. She seemed to be more interested in protecting herself from any possibility of a lawsuit, than in making this a joyful moment for the parents.
BC's bilirubin was 8. She told them that the limit was 10, and he was too close. She would release him, but they would have to take him to the doctor first thing the next morning and have him retested. She did not encourage breast feeding. She wanted lots of fluid and lots of protein in his system. Colostrum, God's plan for a baby's nourishment for the first 2-4 days, was not satisfactory for this pediatrician. She wanted them to start supplementing formula. By the time they had finished the checkout process they were worried and feeling inadequate.
We had a wonderful afternoon at home together, taking pictures and getting settled. But BC was not a happy baby his first night at home. He wanted to nurse often. He woke up whenever they put him down in the bassinet. He cried a lot.
They left for the doctor's office sleep deprived and scared. Why wasn't her milk in? Was he dehydrated? Would he have to go back to the hospital? Was his umbilical cord ok? Was his circumcision infected? BC looked like a normal, healthy newborn to me, but the doubts planted by that pediatrician dominated the thoughts of these two new parents.
At the doctor's office, BC was examined by a PA. The PA explained that all babies have an oversupply of red blood cells when they are born, and as those cells break down the bilirubin level goes up. No need to worry unless it gets really high. No need to supplement formula. Milk for first time mothers comes in at 3 - 5 days. Until then colostrum is just what a baby needs. Everything looked great, and he told them they were doing a good job as parents.
They were still sleep deprived when they got back to the house, but they were happy and confident again. What a difference bedside manner makes. Both the MD and the PA saw the same baby and the same lab reports. One focused on all the things that might go wrong. The other encouraged and informed.
I want my medical advisors to be knowledgeable. I want them to tell the truth and not hide things from me. I need to know when something is wrong. I need to know what danger signs to look for.
At the same time, I want them to tell me how I can be proactive. I need a reminder that worst case scenarios don't usually happen, and that I am competent to take care of my body.