Common childhood symptoms
Arming yourself with information
Let me start really with Alex’s nature as a child. She was a very, very energetic baby. From the time she was born she was enthusiastic about life until she had periodic episodes of vomiting -- for no reason that we could tell.
The first doctor that we saw looked at Alex, looked at her history and said “Oh, this is stress, she’s teething. And I was angry but I also thought, “OK, he’s the doctor. And you listen to your doctor – you pay him his money and you follow his advice.” So we went home and we tried to “de-stress.” The more I thought about it, the more I was certain that this was just not right.
I became concerned as she started to slow down more and more. Her naps got longer. She wasn’t interested in her activities. The pallor was really noticeable. From a very healthy, good looking kid she became terribly pale. She stopped growing. She had huge circles under her eyes. She slowed down. Eventually she stopped walking completely. From a kid who walked at 10 months, she just stopped altogether. We spent almost 5 months carting her around the house in her little, red wagon. And then the diarrhea kicked in and she was having 6 or 8 really awful diarrhea diapers a day which I thought, “Alight, maybe this is normal for my kid” because you read in the literature and the parenting magazines and all of that you read “There’s a large range of ‘normal’ for any kid to fall anywhere in the range.” And I thought, “OK.”
And then, as we got into the winter – she was 18 months old and it was February, she wasn’t interested in walking anymore. She just sat down and I was concerned and as matters started to get worse said “This isn’t right. This isn’t just a passing thing” and I took her to the pediatrician. So I was telling him the story and as I was doing so, she had a poopy diaper. And I put her up on the examining table to change her diaper, and the specialist at this point said – looked at the diaper and said, “That is Celiac Disease.”
My best advice is to seek out as much information as you can find. Don’t walk away when the doctor says “There’s no answer. It’s not anything. It’s stress.” Keep pushing. And follow your heart.
I’m Marcy Thorner. My daughter Alex is 13 years old. She has Celiac Disease and we are living our life.