Healthy Kids Stories: Henri

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Our son Henri started sniffling and coughing when he was around three years old and he didn’t stop for the next five years.

The doctor said it was “baby asthma” and treated it with all the medicines that kids with asthma might use. The medicine had no impact. Oddly, our son slept through the night with no symptoms at all. The doctor advised us to “give the medicine a chance to work,” so we kept this up for more than a year before we moved on to an allergist. Those tests were negative for allergies, but his symptoms continued. More tests were done, even a CT scan. Then for a couple more years we went back and forth between treating Henri for allergies, cold and cough, plus, he was still taking some meds for asthma. Nothing we tried really worked. We didn’t know how to get the coughing and sniffling to stop, and neither did his doctors.

By the time he was seven years old, we thought this was a habitual behavior, so we took him to another specialist. More tests. This report indicated nothing unusual or abnormal with Henri. We also had his blood work done at this time to determine if Henri had an auto-immune condition. Initially, the test was positive. We did more tests and, thankfully, the results were negative. Still, after all the specialists and tests, we knew nothing more about what was making Henri sick. By the time we were referred to Dr. Wei, we’d mentally prepared ourselves for the possibility that Henri was never going to be truly well.

After she did a thorough physical exam and review of Henri’s medical history, Dr. Wei asked us a lot of questions about our son’s diet and lifestyle. Then Dr. Wei made the following recommendations: Henri must stop eating or drinking two hours prior to bed time. Cut back on sugars, salt, carbs and dairy products. Eat slower and fewer big meals, but let Henri eat smaller amounts more often during the day.

We didn’t see a noticeable difference in Henri’s symptoms until around the fourth week. By six weeks we were absolutely convinced that the change in eating habits and diet was working. Henri’s symptoms were significantly reduced. Currently, he’s off all the meds he’s been taking in one form or another for years. Even the facial tick we were worried about is gone. Now that we know what to look for, we clearly see the difference in Henri’s health if he eats too late or has too much sugar and salt: the symptoms come back. Eating healthier and changing his eating habits have been very good for our son, and for our whole family as well. When we think of all the years wasted due to misdiagnosis, it makes us really frustrated as his parents. We’re just grateful that Dr. Wei says, “He’s doing terrifically well,” because finally, he is!

 – Todd, Henri’s dad

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