After months of wondering, waiting, and worrying, waiting and worrying and testing poop, and, after a traumatic (for me, not for him) combined colonoscopy, endoscopy, and cystoscopy, the results are in. We finally have a better idea of what's going on with Stow.
The good news? Actually we have quite a bit of good news. Stow's gut issues don't appear to be Crohn's or Celiacs. It's also not C-diff. Other good news? He's finally gaining weight--4 pounds in 6 weeks after gaining zero pounds over the previous five months--and he's catching up in other ways, too. He's starting to talk (finally) and even putting together some simple sentences. His gross motor delay is hardly noticeable, especially when he's scaling furniture and wrestling his older siblings. He's still got some delays and sensory issues, but compared to a year ago, he's a totally different kid. Of course, there's that whole winter-failure-to-thrive thing that seems to happen for Stow from late October to early March each year when he stops gaining weight and fails to develop (we're still trying to figure this out), but where we are now, in mid-May, is a pretty good place to be.
The bad news? We may have figured out the source of Stow's malabsorption and generally crazy diapers: He has a sesame allergy. "So what?" you ask, "How many toddlers eat sesame anyway?" And, in a way, you're right. Most toddlers don't eat a lot of sesame. Our toddler is not like most, though. He loves Japanese food, and more of it has sesame in it than you might think. Ironically, avoiding sesame may prove to be more difficult than removing milk and gluten and staying away from peanuts. The only thing that would be harder (and I KNOW I'm jiinxing myself here) would be a soy allergy. While sesame hides in a lot of Japanese dishes as seasoning, soy is everywhere. Miso soup, soy sauce, edamame, tofu, and soy milk are soy regulars in our Japanese repetoire. It's also the substitute of choice for most dairy free products. When a soy allergy shows up, we're screwed.
Now, I'm not naive enough to think sesame is the answer to all of our problems. I'm not totally convinced there isn't something else going on somewhere between Stow's gut and his brain. We have enough clues to support the paranoia that rattles around in the back of my head. And, we still need to figure out the winter lull that seems to happen every year. So I have every intention of proceeding with caution, keeping an eagle's eye on Stow's development (and on his poop). But, for now, at least we have a place to start fiddling. And, you know what? His poop looks better already!
So that's what's up with Stow. Let our experience serve as your PSA: Allergies often don't look like we think they should. We think we will see swollen eyes, itching, runny noses, and tummy aches. But, sometimes what we see are behavioral issues, developmental delays, general poor health, and funny poop. By the third kid, I should know to suspect allergies. Funny how I never learn.