At the age of eighteen months, our daughter, Sarah, lacked the energy and mischief that any child her age would have loved to get into. Bothered by a rash around her mouth, our pediatrician told us that her pacifier was a problem. Without a second thought, it was time for all pacifiers to go. When Sarah started vomiting, having smelly, frothy bowel movements, it was time to take her to the doctor again. This time she was diagnosed with a virus. The result was for us to sit tight and let it go through her system. As time passed and her symptoms remained, Sarah was lethargic and just wanted to be held. We couldn’t understand what was happening and we longed to have our daughter have the desire to play with other children.
When Sarah was in constant pain and needed to be held for majority of the time, we finally had enough and took matters into our own hands over the 4th of July weekend in 1998 and took Sarah to a local hospital. Diagnosed as being dehydrated, she was hooked up to an IV. What a difficult night she and her father had as she continuously tried to pull the tubes from her arms.
After Sarah was discharged, we went back to the pediatrician and demanded that we be referred to Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia. When I originally called the hospital, I asked the nurse if I could make an appointment with the gastroenterologist. I was told that there weren’t any available appointments until the following month. When the nurse asked why I was calling I told her about Sarah’s symptoms. She asked me to hold and when she returned she asked if we could bring Sarah in the next day. Fortunately for us, Sarah’s symptoms were so textbook that they doctor was able to pinpoint the problem over the phone and asked if she could come in the next day.
Even though the doctor’s had a solid feeling about her diagnosis, she still had to have an endoscopy. It was very difficult for us to keep her on her normal diet knowing that it was causing her pain. After her procedure, she was formally diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Although, it meant a new way of eating/life for our entire family, we are definitely for the better.
For Sarah’s second birthday, she was gluten-free and playing with the other children.
Does this story sound similar to your or a family members? You might have celiac disease, find out now, take our celiac disease symptoms checklist.