375 Hours + Gaps Diet

Posted on Apr 30, 2013

374.75 hours. That’s how many hours my husband worked in April.

To put it in perspective, a ”normal’ 40 hour, Monday to Friday work week would’ve been 176 hours. But no one works normal hours anymore, right? So even if someone worked 10hrs/day for 6 days/wk in April, that would have been 260 hours. 114 hours less than Mike.

He had 3 days off.

I was forwarded an article about ‘Married Single Moms‘, and then got some more perspective. I could have it worse.  He was off on Easter Sunday. He’s not flying to a different city every week on business. He’s home most nights (was gone only 8 nights in April). He makes the kids lunches every night that he’s home. He was here for putting the garbage out every week but one. We were able to workout together at the gym twice (in between calls one day), went out for dinner once and to his Mom’s once, and we got to go to the Farmers Market together one day too. He goes grocery shopping between his calls for his patient transfer business, ad picks up my photo orders from my lab downtown.

Why does he work this much? I just asked him that question, and he said, “because I like to provide for my family!” It’s just who he is. It’s like a game to see how many hours he can work in a month. This was probably a record. And I hope he doesn’t try to beat it.

I’m grateful to have a husband who works so hard, so I can stay home with the kids. This was very important this month especially…one of the girls has been home sick from school 5 out of the 7 school days. I’m so grateful I didn’t have to be stressed about taking time off work.

But I am exhausted (as is he, I’m not comparing). This month has brought a new very strict diet (Gaps) for my daughter to treat her Morphea. This diet doesn’t allow her to eat grains (not just wheat…ALL grains are out, including oats, rice & corn), starch (potatoes), sugar or dairy (only the really expensive special yogurt from the Farmer’s Market, and old white cheese). Meat can only be grass fed, not just organic grain fed.  I had to special-order over $500 worth of grass-fed beef & chicken this week – the beef will be picked up out of the back of a truck in the Chinook Centre parking lot!


This is bringing a lot of cooking challenges, especially for the nights she has gymnastics, and I can’t just toss her a yogurt & a granola bar for energy beforehand. She is living on smoothies and eggs. Organic eggs, of course. Added to this are her supplements. A combination of 8 bottles of drops, 3 bottles of pills and liquid (blech!!) Omega 3 Oils. We’ve been asked to try this for 4 weeks to see if we see any results.

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Why did we turn to this extreme natural way of dealing with her Morphea? Her Dermatologist has labelled it as ‘fast progressing Morphea’ and is referring us to a Rheumatologist, who is “more comfortable prescribing high-dose steroid medications to children”. Um no. Especially since all my research shows that there’s very little results from these nasty medications.

From the Mayo Clinic Website:

Corticosteroids. Your doctor may prescribe these medications early in the course of treatment to reduce inflammation and prevent thickening of the collagen. They can be taken either orally or topically or in both forms. An increased risk of infection, high blood pressure, bone loss and fluid retention are possible side effects associated with the use of oral corticosteroids.

Again: Um no. Not until we try the natural way first at least. She needs her bones.

How is Abby doing with the diet? Well, we’re in the middle of week 2 (I just had to double check that …it feels like WAAAAY longer!), and she’s doing better than expected. I’m *this close* to making all the kids change over to the diet though, to make it easier for her – especially for breakfasts. It’s not a happy morning when she’s watching her brother & sister eating cereal, english muffins & bagels.
She understands why we’re doing the diet, and she has said a couple times that she doesn’t care if the Morphea spreads (usually because she wants chocolate). The Naturopath did warn us that it would be hard for her psychologically, because the Morphea isn’t “pain”. When children know that if they cheat, they will feel pain, it’s a little easier.

Today we had to go for her first ever blood tests. The Rheumatologist requested them. She’s never had a blood test, and was freaked right out. As in, “I’m not going” freaked out. I kept telling her it was just like so many other things (the dentist, her skin biopsy), we’ll be laughing about this when we leave, about how it was no big deal.

We got there for our 3pm appointment and were still waiting at 3:30, when the nurse came up to me and said that she thinks there’s been an error because the Doctor has ordered some really ‘obscure’ tests. I tried explaining that she had a really obscure disease, but she still wanted to double check, so we had to wait longer until she got ahold of the Doctor. Sure enough, all the tests were requested. Then they realized that because she was only 55lbs, they couldn’t take enough blood for all the tests, so we’d have to come back tomorrow for another poke. Super.

But, I’m happy to announce, that after having 7 viles of blood drawn, my 9 year old admitted (again) that I was right…it wasn’t that bad. While walking out of the lab, she said, “Okay Mom, we can laugh about it now”. She’s so awesome. Worth every cent and minute of extra cooking & shopping. And, when she wrapped her arms around me tonight and said, “thanks for all the extra work you’ve been doing for me”, that’s when I knew what I had to say to my husband.


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