Okay. Andrew is now gluten free, casein free, sugar free and yeast free. But at first it was the gluten and casein which we cut out which looking back Andrew had always craved food and he was always eating loads and loads of crackers all at once or loads of rolls and he would steal food out of the cupboards, even as a tiny tot, he was in the cupboards raiding it for food. So it was hard at first to change, but then on the other hand, I’d had allergies for years. I’d had allergies myself so I was still looking at ingredients and making things at things at home anyway. When we cut out the dairy free. Andrew’s wee sister (who was covered in eczema when she was born), her skin cleared up, so she would never go back on dairy. So we made a decision that we would all go on the diet. My husband was very resistant to that. He thought that was unfair. He wanted to eat all his food but having allergies myself I know what it is like if you are at someone else’s house or you are out somewhere and they are eating something and you want it and you can’t have it, it is like torture seeing something on somebody else’s plate that you can’t have so I was determined I wouldn’t do that to him. Plus the practicality of trying to keep it away from him because he leans over and takes food off our plates still so we just cut it all out.
Was that really difficult?
No. Time consuming because I have to bake everything but Andrew now bakes his own bread and rolls and cakes. He loves baking. The girls bake as well. They know the recipes. It was difficult to find ingredients up here though, that was hard because it is just a wee tiny health shop in [town]. It is not easy to get things. So actually I order a lot from down south and get deliveries.
Have you had help from the doctor with that?
We did get a gluten free prescription but it was very limited what you could have. Some of the gluten free breads contain milk which Andrew can’t have. They contain yeast, they contain sugar, they contain lots of other additives and they are like cardboard [laughs]. So we used a prescription at first for maybe about a year and we haven’t, simply because we didn’t really like most of the things that were available on it. And there was also the hassle of then having to go and collect it from the chemist. We couldn’t get it from the chemist in the town here because it is a wee place, it had to be a chemist in [town]. So that just wasn’t worth the hassle.
And do you think it has had an effect on his behaviour?
Yes. Within I would say two or three weeks of being on the diet, Andrew ran into a table and felt pain for the first time. He was howling, absolutely howling because he had banged his face and crying and so distraught and we were all cheering because he actually felt that something was sore because before he had no sense of pain. So he had no sense of danger, he was into fires, he was into gas cookers, so the fact that he felt pain was good, you know for his own safety [laughs].
And he has always had digestive problems, right from a tiny tot. So that began to ease. He still has digestive problems, it is still not fully sorted, but it is definitely less pain. When he was in nappies he was so distraught sometimes, and like doubled up and definitely in pain. So the diet has definitely made a difference. He once accidentally got, something with milk in it, canned fish, and I had bought a different brand and I didn’t realise. The supermarkets don’t all, they declare the ingredients in the tin, but not how they prepared it, so this company actually cooked their fish in milk, so he had had sardines and