This is the story of my niece Faith. Faith is a very outgoing cheerful little girl. She is a people person, and thrives on being with her family and friends. But all of that changed in April 2012. Faith and her family caught a stomach bug that seemed to be a run of the mill illness. Faith seemed to get over it in a normal amount of time.
But then she began to complain of not feeling well. At first it didn’t seem really serious. As time went on though she began to act sick all the time. She would complain of nausea. She ate less and less. Her usual happy expression became clouded over with pain and fear. It was hard on all of us to see her in obvious misery.
Soon she was crying up to 6 hours a day. Faith’s constant crying was really hard on her mom, Caron. Caron wanted to help her feel better so much. Sometimes the crying would really get to Caron and then she would have to place Faith in God’s hands so that she wouldn’t go crazy trying to fix her.
Caron and her husband Charles began the arduous task of taking her to doctor appointment after doctor appointment. Faith would stay up all hours of the night unable to sleep because of her nausea. Caron would stay up with her night after night. Caron soon reached the point of being totally exhausted and had to stop staying up with her every night.
After many tests the doctor’s diagnosed Faith with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). They could only offer hormones, antibiotics, antihistamines, and antidepressants. They tried the antibiotic erythromycin for a week or two with absolutely no improvement. She took the antihistamines at night to help her sleep, but they didn’t relieve any of her other symptoms.
When the antidepressants were the only option left, Caron felt that there must be a better way. There had to be something that could truly heal Faith. She didn’t want to keep her on antidepressants for her whole life with no relief from the sickness that Faith was feeling.
Different supplements were tried, but really the only thing that seemed to help (at least temporarily) was a strong anti nausea prescription medication. Then Caron heard about something called the “SCD diet”. She read the story of a little girl named Caris on the internet. Caris’ sickness also began with what seemed to be a normal “stomach virus”. Caron was ready to try anything that might help Faith. Caron’s husband Charles was supportive and so she began the diet.
At first Faith was only allowed to eat jello, chicken broth, and meat. When she became nauseaus after eating one of those things, then she didn’t want that food anymore. But it was all she was allowed to eat. She really craved the dry cereal that had been a staple for her since becoming sick. She lost more weight.
During all this Faith and her family had kept their faith in the goodness and healing of God. But it did seem very dark. At one point she couldn’t walk all the way to the bathroom because she was so weak. Once she stopped and sat in the middle of the hallway unable to make it any farther. But in her little heart she hung on to her faith in God when it seemed like he wasn’t there anymore. And her mom watched her little girl seemingly grow sicker by the day, and yet she KNEW that the SCD diet was the way. God had given her the peace that passes all understanding just like He said He would.
So Caron cooked alot, and tried new recipes. After much trial and error she found some SCD recipes that Faith really liked. Slowly, slowly Caron began to see progress. Faith began to act better for longer periods of time. They discovered Whole Foods and found bacon, hot dogs, and fruit juice candy that Faith could eat. That made Faith really happy!
There were definitely up and down times. But one year later Faith is as strong as any girl her age. She only feels bad if she gets exhausted and that is becoming less and less. She is vibrantly healthy, and hopes to try new foods soon. But let me allow Faith to tell you in her own words. 🙂
Question and Answer with Faith:
Why did you start your diet?
I started my diet because I was really sick.
How did you start? What was the beginning of the SCD diet like?
At first I had a really bad cold so I didn’t eat anything. I ate jello.
Then after that what foods did you add?
I ate eggs alot. I ate some jello. I ate chicken broth.
Now what do you eat?
I eat alot of chicken. I eat peas, zucchini spaghetti, cashews and raisins, apple juice, fruit, and alot of vegetables. I eat ginger snap cookies.
How do you feel now compared to how you felt before the diet?
I feel amazing!
Is it hard to eat differently than other people?
Sometimes, but normally I feel like I am embarrased to eat in front of other people. But at least I feel better, and it is worth it.
Do you ever eat things you aren’t supposed to eat?
I ate tiny portions of a brownie and bread (like one bite).
What would you tell other kids that might need to do the SCD diet?
I would tell them that if you are feeling really bad it is worth it and after a while it gets easy.
Will your diet change in the future?
Yeah, because I want to change it up so I can see if it bothers my stomach or not. And if it doesn’t that means I can start adding in more food, and that will be exciting!
Do you have any advice for moms learning to cook the SCD way?
Try new things, and sometimes you need to make a ton of food at once and then have a little while off.
Is there anything else you want to share?
It is worth it to do the SCD diet so don’t try to sneak foods because it will just make you feel worse, and after awhile you will feel completely better. And then you can start adding new foods in. Then you will never have to go through that again after you use all the rules.
Faith did this interview between playing all afternoon with her cousins. She acts happy and there is a sparkle in her eye. And that makes this aunt’s heart sing.