Thursday, January 22, 2009


A friend recently asked if we had made any changes, other than just Nick's diet.

And, she was just b
eing sweet and honest. I was not offended in any way. I paused, looked at my friend, and asked her, "What do you mean?". She replied, "Tell me what else has changed in your lives, since starting this diet".

I don't know why this struck me the way it did, but it boggled me. It just did. I didn't know what to say.

Being a woman, she intuitively knew that I was "dumbstruck". Dumbstruck is the word I use to describe an action I usually and often apply to or describe as something that happens to Hubs. Ha! In this particular incident, it applied to me. She said, "How has it affected your lives?"

Uh, we buy our groceries differently now...

Duh... Silence on my part. I couldn't answer. That's rare for me, I know.

Everything has changed. Everything. I am not generalizing; I am saying what I mean and meaning what I say: E V E R Y T H I N G .
She pressed me to know more and I told her I'd put in on this blog - so here goes a small fraction:

Diet - the most significant change, well - affects how and what we all eat, where we shop, what we buy and how we cook. Try explaining to a four-year-old that she can't eat cheese in front of her brother... There are no more fast meals or quick/convenience foods. Tons of fresh fruits and vegetables, but - a 7 year old boy can't eat only fruits and vegetables...especially when he knows, wants and can't have other types of foods. A trip to the grocery store must be done solo. We can not take him with. Ever. Did it once and never again! Plan for extra time to read labels.
A lot of extra time.

Planning ahead when leaving the house! We have to take food with us as we can't just swing through a drive-though, ever. Good bye golden arches... no more running to the border either.
Holidays and birthday parties... no cake. No ice cream.No sugar and no red #40!

Cooking and dishes have changed too. No Teflon or non-stick surfaces, limited plastic ware. "Cross-contamination" is a commonly used phrase now. Wait! Better not sit down until the cast-iron skillet is cleaned!
Preventing isolation and loneliness. If I were a kid, I would have a hard time understanding someone like Nicolas -- UNLESS someone took the time to explain it to me; why he acts the way he does and has outbursts. He has few friends. We understand, really - we do. But, this means that we, his family, have to provide companionship, fun and entertainment for the boy. It sounds easy, but - it also requires planning and my time. Time is never on my side.

Money! Finances. Moo-la. A trip to Trader Joe's sure isn't a trip to Aldi's. Food produced in mass production with tons of ingredients will cost more than food with just one or two ingredients. Doesn't seem fair, does it? We pay more money to have (organic) quality food without chemicals, pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, fillers, preservatives, artificial coloring and flavors than with? I'd better not get started on that one! This is another blog subject for another day.

Attitude - even the most cheerful, happy, secure, satisfied, positive people get thrown for a loop when dealing with someone in the autism spectrum. Wanna see what you're made of? I mean, do you really wanna know what's inside? Take a step into the life, or the day, of someone with a "special" child. You'll have a different perspective at the end of the day... I promise you.

Babysitters? Don't exist. Thank God for Grandma and Grandpa!

Date night? Discontinued until further notice.

Sounds kinda tough - doesn't it? Yeah - it is kinda tough. But, underneath the frustration of trying to figure it all out, there's hope. There is hope and I believe that this is a treatable condition. Maybe even curable. If I didn't think so, I wouldn't be doing all of this. And, I would have checked-out a long time ago.

Guess what? I ain't checkin' out! I am not going anywhere...well - sometimes a little insane, but - it's only temporary.

I am not going to give up on Nicolas. This is just the beginning of his healing, after all.

I am not going to give up on my kids, my marriage or my life. My perspective is limited as a human. I can only see the past and the present. I can't see the future, but - I know the One who does. It's this hope that makes these changes possible.

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD,
"plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

~ Jeremiah 29:11

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your changes with us. That's a great verse to cling to.

    If you need some cast iron skillets, I have a set of four that we're not using. We replaced them with titanium.