The blond twin complained about her stomach for about two weeks before we decided something was really, really wrong. It isn't that we didn't try to help her before that point, but nothing we did helped much.
It was a Monday when she woke up crying because her stomach was "burning" as she put it. She doubled-over on our bed as tears streamed down her face. A few hours later we were in the doctor's office.
All the first ideas from flu to urinary tract infection were cast aside as the symptoms didn't quite match. After a bit the doctor suggested the blond twin might have acid reflux and gave us a prescription for a two week course of pills. She said if the pills didn't work we would have to consider a number of other options from celiac to a milk allergy.
The blond twin took the pills for five days without any relief. I ended up back in the pharmacy where a tech gave me some Pepto-Bismal for children. She said it would only provide some symptom relief, but we'd still have to figure out the cause. At that point I was ready for anything that might give the blond twin a break from her pain.
Daddy had the blond twin tracking her food to see if we could figure out if something she ate was causing her pain. A pattern emerged, but we weren't quite ready to declare success.
On Friday the blond twin came into out bedroom in tears again. I gave her some Pepto-Bismal tablets and sent her to school. At dismissal I took her back to the doctor. An hour later the blond twin shrieked as the nurse tried to take some blood from her. I mean that girl sounded like she was in more pain than any of us could imagine. The minute the nurse stuck the needle in her arm, the blond twin looked down and said, "Oh, that didn't hurt at all." She laughed and told the nurse what a good job she did. As we left the only thing hurting was my head from all her screaming.
All those blood tests came back normal, which took us back to dairy. We took dairy out of the blond twin's diet completely. In our refrigerator is a full selection of milk alternatives. We have fake butter and fake cheese. A friend's daughter also cannot drink or eat any milk products. The blond twin adores Phoebe, so she's happy to have the same problem as Phoebe.
Now we're cautiously testing her dairy limits. She had pizza at school yesterday without much pain. Of course it was the only milk product she had eaten in about a week. We are reworking our food plans a bit to make sure she gets enough calcium. It's not too hard. It just requires us to pay close attention for a while.
Last night we were sitting on the couch when I look at my husband and said, "This might make me a bad Mom, but whenever we talk about how the blond twin cannot eat dairy, all I want is to go out and get a milk shake." He smiled and said, "Go get a milk shake." A day later I still want to get a milk shake, even though I feel badly about it because I know the blond twin can't have one anymore. Now I just need to find a place where she can have a milk shake alternative so we can all go out and treat ourselves as a family.