We started noticing white spots on my son's knees in the spring of 2020 when the weather was getting warmer and the kids were playing outside more. I initially thought they were scabs that had fallen off, which left the skin underneath lighter. My kids' legs are often covered with bumps and bruises and scrapes, all marks of healthy and active children who like to play outside. But the spots were not going away like you would normally expect. Then they started appearing on his neck. I thought maybe he got a light sunburn and the skin was peeling. And then we watched the spots spread over several other parts of his body, including his face. At this point, my husband and I started googling. We identified a few things it could be and finally settled on what it most likely was. I do not even like to say the word. Vitiligo. I was in denial at first. Surely not my son? It is an auto-immune skin disorder where your body attacks your melanocytes, which are what give skin its color.
Almost everything we read said it was a lifelong condition. Almost everything we read used words like "death" and "destroyed" when referring to the melanocytes, making it seem so final. Almost everything we read talked about the anxiety and depression that accompanies the disorder because of how it disfigures a person's appearance. Was I really reading these things about my precious 6-year old boy? Surely not? Vitiligo? It kept me up at night and I could literally not stop hearing the word repeated over and over in my mind.
We got the official diagnosis from a dermatologist. General steroid creams (not even specifically for the condition) were prescribed and we were sent on our way. Is that it? Surely not? My 6-year old has Vitiligo and that is all you can offer me? I knew there had to be more to discover, more to learn, more answers, more solutions. And so the journey began.
I happened to be following an Ayurveda & Naturopath Dr., upon the recommendation of a friend. I got an email one afternoon - they were having a sale on lab-work they offer that tests the following things: food sensitivities, vitamins, minerals, heavy metals, candida, stress, mood, omega 3, inflammation, hormones, metabolism (https://equi.life/products/dr-cabrals-big-5-lab-tests).
The majority of my emails get an automatic delete. I let this one stay in the inbox for a few days and then made the purchase early one morning. The boxes came in. We had to collect urine, blood, saliva and hair samples. Have you ever taken a lancet to your child's finger to draw enough blood to fill several large circles on blood cards? Yeah, it was a first for me too. These are not happy moments for any parent or child. I thought he would like to pee in a cup, but that proved to be challenging also. Thankfully he did not mind spitting saliva in several vials throughout the day. FedEx came to our doorstep to collect cards filled with blood spots, vials of spit, clippings of his hair and a frozen cup of pee.
I had a 90-minute Zoom to go over his results. I will spare more of the details and get to the point: he had very poor gut health. My breastfed (as a baby) 6-year old, raised in a health conscious home where we eat nutritious food, had very poor gut health? Surely not?
I got more labs done at the recommendation of a dear neighbor, and we are working closely with another Doctor. Those tests came back the same. Poor gut health. Ok, here we go.
This story brings me to today. We have a specific, strenuous, detailed and intense plan involving food eliminations, environmental toxin eliminations, a sundry of supplements & homeopathy. We have hope and we believe in healing. And I get to be on a beautiful and intimate journey with my son. This has brought only good things into our life. I am filled with gratitude for allll.the.things in all the ways. Stay tuned.