Friday, 2 September 2011

Making a wish

Making a wish by SakuraBlythe
Making a wish, a photo by SakuraBlythe on Flickr.
And how could I not mention Alex's 10th birthday. And our very first gluten free one. We did have a few sad moments when he missed the party food he used to love, but I made him his favourite chocolate cake which he enjoyed.

The following week we found a lovely little restuarant in Worcester that serves gluten free pasta and pizza, called Puccinis They were amazing! Alex ate about 2/3 of an adult sized pizza which is the most we've ever seen him eat, and said it was the nicest pizza he's ever had. The lovely staff even offered to wrap up the rest, so he could finish it later, which he was very happy about.

A new month a new start?

Alex and Iggy by SakuraBlythe
Alex and Iggy, a photo by SakuraBlythe on Flickr.

So here we are at the beginning of September, a new school year starting next week. We're still in limbo as far as Ruth is concerned. The GP haven't heard from the consultant and he is on holiday so as far as we can tell she hasn't been referred to the Children's Hospital for her biopsy yet, 5 weeks after her blood test came back positive for coeliac. As the consultant is unreachable at the moment (his secretary is also away) I'm a bit of a loss to know how to proceed, at least until she returns in the middle of next week.

Fortunately the gluten free diet is going..... ok, I'd say. Alex is finding a few more things he likes. At the moment DS (Dietary Specials) are a favourite brand. He loved the tear and share garlic bread, sometimes loves the pizza (but wasn't feeling well yesterday so didn't manage to eat much), the crispbreads and shortcrust pastry. He also likes Livwell Pita Breads (with houmous, carrot and cucumber sticks), and M&S Made Without Wheat White Bread (although our local M&S has problems keeping that in stock which is a pain). He likes Juvela Fusilli too. Biscuit favourites are Morrisons Free From Chocolate Wafers and Swirly Chocolate Biscuits (or something like that). His absolute favourite are Kent & Fraser Choc Chip Crunchy Cookies, which they have just started stocking in our local Waitrose. They're not cheap, but they are delicious. The rest of us tried the Lemon Shortbread and they were some of the nicest biscuits I've ever tried! I've tried making a few gluten free sweet things - crunchy cookies, gingerbread and chocolate victoria sponge which have all gone down very well. We had a lovely shiny new oven delivered this week so I'm looking forward to trying more things. Particularly bread :)

We finally got a copy of Alex's biopsy report. His consultant phoned to say the that the gastroenterologist at Birmingham Children's Hospital had contacted him to say that Alex was definitely coeliac and to proceed with the gluten free diet if we hadn't already, on the 16th August. A week later the report arrived and was interesting reading. Some excerpts: Duodeum bulb had aphthous ulcers. Gastric antrum mucosa showed mild lymphocytic gastritis. Duodenal biopsies showed features typical of coeliac disease with villous atrophy, crypt hyperplasia, intraepithelial lymphocytosis and an increase in lamina propria cellularity. From what I can work out, with my limited medical knowledge (but hours and hours of research into coeliac disease), he's probably had coelaic disease for several years, undiagnosed, so the damage is pretty extensive at the moment, but now he's on the gluten free diet, that will heal over several months so that he'll be like a whole different child this time next year. The photo shows him on the day before his 10th birthday when we went for a walk with friends are their dogs. Alex was in his element as he loves dogs. It was lovely to see him looking happier. Our friends hadn't seen him since just after he came out of hospital in February and said he was like a different person.