About a month ago, I made a mistake. Granted, I learned from it.. but.. I will NEVER make the same mistake ever again. Remember that metabolic disorder I told you guys my son has? The galactosemia? Before I tell you guys about my mistake, let me go further into explaining the galactosemia and what it means..
Pretty much, he’s missing the enzyme that converts lactose into glucose. That means, the lactose (if he ever gets anything with lactose in it) floats around his body and becomes toxic. What is lactose? A milk sugar. So doesn’t that mean he’s lactose-intolerant? No. Lactose-intolerant, you get a stomach ache. Galactosemia, on the other hand, is so much different. His disorder can cause:
- Brain Damage
- Kidney Damage
- Speech issues
- Motor Development delays
- Liver damage
So what does this mean for Landon? What type of diet does he have to have? Well.. he can’t have ANYTHING on this list..
- Nonfat Milk
- Nonfat Dry Milk
- Milk Chocolate
- Buttermilk Solids
- Nonfat Dry Milk Solids
- Milk Derivatives
- Dried Cheese
- Milk Solids
- Sour Cream
- Dry Milk
- Whey and Whey Solids
- Dry Milk Protein
- Organ Meats (liver, heart, kidney brains, sweetbreads, pancreas)
- Sodium Caseinate
- Calcium Caseinate
- Certain Dough Conditioners
- Hydrolyzed Protein (Hydrolyzed vegetable protein, however, is acceptable)
- Fermented Soy Sauce
Let me tell you, I’ve been PRETTY good about checking labels – I’ve even got this list memorized in my brain. A month ago though, I completely and totally did not read one of the food labels on an item I picked up…
I was in Walmart, picking up a few items for Landon since we’d been given the “go ahead” by our dietician to start him on solid foods. That day, everything I picked up for him, I read the ingredients on the back – everything I put into the buggy was SAFE. And then, I was in the frozen aisle.. and I saw our Walmart had just started carrying “Breyers Lactose Free Ice Cream”. I immediately, and prematurely, got excited. I remembered reading something online last year about the time that Landon got his diagnosis about it – and I could have SWORN the website said it was safe for him. Guess what? It WASN’T. However, unlike the fifteen items already in the buggy – I did NOT read the back of the ice cream box to make sure it was 100% safe. Why? Mainly because I had gotten it to get my husband and sister used to it – but once we arrived home & my husband fixed a bowl… I realized Landon was teething. So.. I figured it wouldn’t do ANY harm to give Landon a few bites.. so we did
I posted in my support group a little bit after – stating I’d found a great lactose free ice cream. A fellow galactosemic mom asked me to post the ingredients – and, I felt embarrassed because I realized at that moment I hadn’t looked at the ingredients. I walked to the freezer and looked on the back.. I instantly saw ingredients listed, on the first line, that Landon could NOT have.
Skim Milk, Sugar, Corn Syrup, Cream, Cocoa (Processed with Alkali), and Whey. Contains 2% or Less of Each of the Following: Carob Bean Gum, Mono and Diglycerides, Carrageenan, Salt, Lactase Enzyme, Vitamin A Palmitate, Tara Gum, Guar Gum, Natural Flavor
I was MORTIFIED. I remember I dropped the ice cream and scooped Landon up in my arms, on the verge of crying, and immediately called our geneticist who treats Landon for his galactosemia. I explained everything to him – and he told me to calm down. He said Landon didn’t have enough of it in his system to truly effect him – but to expect vomiting within the next 24 hours. He also told me not to beat myself up – because the whole diet Landon is on is a learning process. I felt like a bad mother – I gave something to my son that he shouldn’t have ever had – that is against his diet. The geneticist then explained to me that even though it says lactose free – it’s not always dairy free. That night? I cried on the phone to Landon’s god mother & also the fellow galactosemic mother that I’m close to.. I felt like I had failed him.
But I learned from it – even though I HAVE found ice cream that’s safe for him to have – I’ve checked the ingredients over and over again (no, he will NOT be eating ice cream anytime soon.. but he will have some at his birthday party in May). Not to mention, even if I think a food item is safe for him.. I check.. and I double check.. and I triple check. I made a mistake – and it was completely on accident.. but I did learn from it.
I guess, as a parent, you have to accept the fact that you will make mistakes – and in my case, Landon’s diet IS a learning process.. But, I will NEVER make that same mistake again.
So, to the readers and followers out there that read this blog – have you ever made a mistake as a parent? If so, what was it? What did you learn from it?