**Scroll down to Cranio Sacral Facial Therapy to skip the back-story**
I guess I should start with the hotdogs themselves. LittleM and LittleR have been painfully aware of hotdogs for some time. their dad eats them almost daily as a snack to hold him over until our very late night dinner (after the kids have gone to bed), and their cousin LittleK who is their age, and lives next door, eats them all the time too. The kids have wanted hotdogs for ages, and before we started GAPS in March of this year there was no hope that they would be able to have them anytime soon. By the end of the summer we realized that they were experiencing a lot of healing, and so I began looking for a safe hotdog. I couldn’t find anything so I decided to try and make my own with lamb meat. They were a big flop!
While in Maine for my sister’s wedding we decided to try an amazing product that we had been waiting on for some time. Applegate Farms claims to be “changing the meat we eat.” They make a product called the Great Organic Hotdog. Well if you start looking into the big food lie you start to realize that the word organic doesn’t necessarily mean all that much. You learn that organic beef is simply beef from a cow that was fed organic feed. This cow was still fed corn and soy and lots of other things that it was not created to eat. Now LittleM and LittleR have already reacted to trigger foods that were ingested by their meat. BUT there is more. The meat, fat, and healing components of a piece of organic beef are not all that desirable either.
But grassfed beef….ahhhh…that is a whole other story. This GREAT ORGANIC HOTDOG is not just organic, but also made with 100% grass fed and finished beef. The other ingredients in the dog are minimal and worth the challenge.
So, since October, we have had a safe hotdog. THIS IS HUGE. It is amazing to think of how much I took for granted the ease and convenience of cooking and eating before this journey. Having something that I can cook in a matter of minutes for the kids is so great, and they LOVE their hotdogs.
Besides hotdogs being fun, easy, and quick, I had high hopes that they would be a good food to learn to chew and swallow. This was the case for LittleR, though we had to remove the casing for a while since it was difficult to swallow. LittleM was a different story. She couldn’t swallow anything solid really.
Cranio Sacral Facial Therapy
That was until we started cranio sacral facial therapy for her. This was a part of the result of the journey from my last post. We were led into this therapy that helps to release tension in the body – anywhere in the body. Our amazing OT was convinced that we needed to try this therapy in order to release LittleM’s tongue tie before we went ahead with surgery. I can’t say that I thought it was going to work, but I knew that it was my job to follow God’s leading, and this is where he had brought us.
Session 1 – Tuesday
On Thursday my sister-in-law and I stood talking while LittleM was eating lunch. While we stood there LittleM was quietly SWALLOWING her lunch. I didn’t see it. My sister-in-law just asked where the food was. I looked around without saying a word – since I didn’t want to spook her into stopping. Sure enough it was nowhere to be seen and after watching for a little longer, I saw that she was indeed swallowing. She finished her entire plate and asked for another. She ended up eating 2.5 plates of food. At that point a plate of food consisted of one “coin” of hotdog cut into quarters, 1 “coin” of carrot cut into quarters, and 2 tiny pieces of broccoli. Before the therapy session I would struggle to coach her to swallow 1 – 2 bites. After the first session she swallowed more than 20 bites!
Just after she finished eating she told me she had to go to the bathroom. The little girl who is fully potty trained and goes off to hide if she needs to poop (she holds it in for days at a time) was telling me that she needed to poop. I sat her on the potty and within 10 seconds she went. THIS IS AMAZING. This has NEVER happened. This girl has been so constipated for her whole life (unless in an FPIES reaction with diahrrea) that pooping would sometimes take more than an hour.
This makes sense because as the OT was working on LittleM she discovered a “knot” in her abdomen – above her belly button just to the left. I had felt this knot many times, but didn’t know what it was or what to do about it.
Session 2 – Wednesday (the following week)
Pooping has been ok – not as amazing as that first session, but much better.
Swallowing has continued to improve daily.
Today I had to cook 2 hotdogs.
There was no need to cook 2 before today. LittleR would easily eat a whole one, but LittleM only needed 2 very thin slices cut into quarters – that was all she could swallow – even after 2 sessions of the CSF therapy. BUT TODAY this kid just kept going. She kept swallowing and telling me that she needed more. She swallowed a half of a hotdog and lots of veggies! It was so funny watching her fuss with the waist band of her pants as her tummy kept expanding as she continued swallowing! This is still hard work for her – it took her over an hour to eat it all. BUT PRAISE GOD!
LittleM just chewed and swallowed and became FULL with her FIRST age appropriate meal!
This therapy is truly amazing.