One of my most diligent, and consequently, successful clients (back when I was still a GAPS coach) is Gillian, a mum of three boys who was steering her family through the rigours of the GAPS Introduction protocol when I first met her. I will never forget how, in our first session, she told me that she didn't like to leave the house with her boys. They were so volatile, their behaviour was so unpredictable, that she didn't feel safe taking them out. My heart bled for this mom who had been through so much already, including cancer treatment. But all credit to her: she got stuck in and turned it all around with so much determination and focus, eyes on the prize even when things went backwards. I am happy to say that she did it. She healed her family, and continues to influence their health every single day.
Our health journey started 9 years ago when our 2nd little boy was 6 months old. He was constantly sick, didn't sleep and was intolerant to most food. I struggled to find a traditional medical doctor who could help us (I was even told that maybe he was just a naughty boy! He was a 9 month old infant who cried all the time, and that was the paediatricians response!). I eventually found a biomedical doctor who listened to me, and had some hopeful advice, and that was the start of our gut-brain journey.
The following year I had another baby so I now had a newborn, a 1 year old with major food intolerances, asthma and ADHD and a 3-year-old with allergies, anaphylaxis and behavioural issues. To say I was struggling was an understatement.
It was at this stage we all went gluten and dairy free with some great results. We followed this diet for the next 6 years along with trying lots of other things (kinesiology, chiropractic, retained neonatal reflexes, behavioural management, and other therapies like these). A lot of things helped a bit and some things helped a lot for a little while. But, I was now dealing with a 9-year-old with food and chemical intolerances who was extremely argumentative and was having random outbursts of rage, a 7-year-old diagnosed with pyrolles and asthmas who was also extremely gluten intolerant, and a 5-year-old with extreme suicidal anxiety combined with a chronic bed wetting issue.
To make matters worse, I was diagnosed with Cancer. So in the middle of all of this dysfunction, I had to undergo surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
It was in the middle of this chaos that I heard about GAPS, from following Jo Whitton's journey on her Quirky Cooking page. I asked my BioMed doctor about it, and he recommended it to help my boys, as well as for my own chemo recovery. I had hope!
I was initially only going to do Full GAPS, because I knew how hard GAPS Introduction would be. I then heard a podcast with Mary Kelly, and she said 'we healed more in 15 days on intro than 15 months on Full GAPS’, and then I knew I would have to just grit my teeth and get us through GAPS Intro.
When I discovered Mary was a health coach at that time, I knew she would be instrumental in the success of our journey.
We started GAPS intro in July 2015 and I worked with Mary over the next 2 years while we did GAPS, and all I can say is that it has been wonderful. Mary is so knowledgeable and always had the answers to my questions. She kept me on track to heal my family and I would not have had the success we have had without her. I'm so thankful I found her.
GAPS is TOUGH, it is a STRUGGLE, but the results for us made it all worthwhile.
I am delighted to say that I now have 3 happy, healthy and calm boys. They have been amazing with all the food, as they know how great they feel on it. For the first time in 10 years, my eldest is happy. It's obvious in his face.
My 9-year-old no longer has asthma and is off his pyrolles supplements for the first time in 5 years. My 7-year-old now runs off to school happily and is so happy and confident. His bed wetting has also stopped.
I'm feeling better than I ever have. I look younger, feel stronger and am so very happy to be enjoying my kids again.
We are still on our journey.... And I'm very hopeful for our future!
Gillian shares her journey on the Facebook page "Happy Little Tummy Bugs"