A year has gone by. Three hundred and sixty-five days have come and gone and dissolved into what we now call the past. This last year, Raleigh’s first year, on the GAPS diet was perhaps the longest and most difficult of my life. It was isolating, devastating, draining, mind-numbing, full of sleepless nights. Most of the year felt like we were wandering through the Fire Swamp. If you don’t get that reference do a quick Google search and enjoy a nice movie night. You’re welcome. But then something gave and a levy broke and the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel began to beam brighter. I don’t know how to put to words really how this last year has been for us. If you’ve been though a healing journey, or are going through one right now, you get it. You know the pain, the agony, the waiting and waiting and waiting for something, just anything to change or break or shift. If you don’t know this, I’ll say, Vale la pena. It was worth the pain.
It is very painful for me to go back and look at pictures of Raleigh’s face before we really got into GAPS. I am flooded with so many emotions ranging from guilt to utter grief. He was so sick. He was in so much pain and I didn’t know it or I couldn’t see it. I see it so clearly now and I can even see it in other children’s faces when I really stop to look. I’ve done a really great job at beating myself up at times. I have taken on quite a bit of guilt for Raleigh’s sickness but I shouldn’t have. It’s hard not to feel that way though when you’re the mother. This isn’t supposed to be a sad post but there has been a healthy dose of mourning for me as we rounded out this first year on GAPS. I feel like I must let go and release these intense feelings of guilt and for how long I let him be sick. And truly, I do feel that way and I am wrestling with that feeling. I’m sure I’m not alone.
The thing of it is, though, Raleigh isn’t really sick anymore. In fact, he isn’t sick at all. He’s healthier than he’s ever been before in his life. His asthma, I want to say is 100% gone, but as I am not completely sure I feel like I have to say 99.9% gone. But we haven’t heard it in months now. Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles. Raleigh’s face looks like a typical child’s face. I catch myself just staring at him almost in disbelief. Every morning when he wakes up I half expect to see a blotchy, dry and itchy mess of a face with sad eyes. He isn’t waking up that way anymore. Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles.
The rest of his body is this anomaly of white and soft skin, in certain areas, yet riddled with healing cuts that are a myriad of colors. The headache that was the eczema has shifted to the headache that is now cuts that are trying to heal. And cuts when they heal often itch. We still have some patches of eczema that crop up depending on the temperature of the day. The heat is tough and makes any skin condition more challenging overall. The skin is the largest organ of the body and will undoubtedly take the longest to heal. The amount of healing we have seen in this past year has certainly shocked us. We didn’t know what to expect by any means.
Raleigh is a tough kid. He’s funny, quick witted and really sensitive. I believe his story is going to help a lot of people find healing. I know God has a beautiful plan for his life and his story is one that needs to be told.
There were many days where it felt like we were failing. I don’t feel like that anymore. We could have given up but we chose to stay the course and we choose to continue now because we see how food has the power to heal. God led us to GAPS for a reason. He allowed Raleigh to get sick so that He could lead us down this path. I believe God could have healed Raleigh in an instant but that wasn’t His plan. Miraculous healings are powerful testimonies but so are slow and steady, trusting the path God leads you down and being faithful as the healing comes.
I don’t know how long we will be on this journey, but we’ve made it a year. Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles. One day the eczema will be gone. Completely. I know it to be true. Until that day, we hold steady, we keep going and we keep spreading the word: Food is medicine. God is healing our son through food.
Some pictures of Raleigh over the course of the year: