A few months ago, I posted on my oldest son’s failure to pass a hearing test. Since then, we’ve been to an ENT twice. After trying an antihistamine for a couple of months along with a nasal spray, Eli still had fluid in his ears and yet another buildup of earwax. The ENT recommended surgery for adenoid removal as well as having tubes put in.
Before we had gone in to see the ENT a second time, I had been doing some research on the connection between allergies and ear problems, and so we are on an elimination diet first to see if removing some problematic foods from our son’s diet will help with the ear fluid. We’re not against surgery, just unnecessary surgery, and given the fact that our son had been struggling with several other issues, like aggression, hyperactivity, and nasal congestion, it only seemed fitting to pinpoint some allergies and try to deal with those before we went ahead with surgery.
An elimination diet is not easy, and honestly, I balked at the beginning of it when I tried to menu plan, because it wasn’t just a matter of going dairy free. Gone too were wheat, corn, beans, sugar, and citrus fruits. Eliminating several of these all at once pretty much eliminates most of what my kids were eating (except sugar and citrus, which we’ve always kept low). The diet instead allows more produce and meat.
We are currently on day 4 of the diet, and while chicken and rice is getting really really old, I can say that I can see some changes. My son still seems stuffy, but can breathe through his nose when I ask him to. For the first time last night when I went to check on them before going to bed, he was breathing through his nose as well (he’s always breathed through his mouth, and snored loudly, since he was a baby). His behavior has also changed. The past couple of days he and his little brother have played much better together. And his hearing? When I took him outside yesterday to plant a seed from a pear he had eaten, he heard the sound of an airplane approaching and ran out to look at it. The past few months that has not happened at all – his brother would run out while he kept on playing, oblivious to the noise.
I haven’t had his ears checked and know that figuring out all the issues will take longer than a week, but so far I feel encouraged. It doesn’t mean we won’t have surgery down the road later, but at least if we do, it will be done knowing that we’ve tried other options as well.