Hi! My name is Kathy and in 2009, I was misdiagnosed with multiple sclerosis. At the time, I had a four and five year old and my first marriage was ending. I thought that from that point on, I would only get worse and my children would see me eventually die. I was petrified.
For several years I spent most of my time in and out of emergency rooms, specialists (neurologists, oncologists, immunologists and more) trying to find the source of my problems. In 2010, over a few lumbar puncture analysis, the doctors said it was not MS. I no longer thought that I was going to die from MS, but I certainly was not getting any better. I spent most of my days in bed trying to save energy for my kids. I worked part time, when I could, but eventually filed for Social Security Disability. My last visit to my neurologist was ended with a pile of prescriptions to treat my symptoms and a statement- “I’m sorry, this is just the way you are always going to feel.”
I was not ok with that.
I had a few diagnosed conditions, Hemiplegic Migraines, Osteoarthritis and Reynaud’s Syndrome. After eliminating gluten to help my son’s behavioral issues associated to Autism Spectrum Disorder, I also discovered that my conditions were strongly exacerbated by gluten. After discussions with my doctor about testing for Celiac disease, I opted to not follow through with gastroenterology for a confirmation, my body offered me enough evidence that gluten was harming me (I can’t touch gluten containing things like flour without breaking out in a serious skin rash or hives let alone actually eating it!). Throughout that year I went from eliminating gluten to overhauling my diet and nutrition completely. I eliminated ALL processed foods, dairy and additives. I was shocked at how my body responded- my energy increased, pain decreased and over all, I felt and looked better.
Our son was born at 25 weeks gestation weighing 1lb 15oz. He spent 96 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit before being discharged. His first seven years of life were filled with nutritionists, pulmonologists, gastroenterologists, orthopedics, various therapists and many, many trips to the emergency rooms and pediatric units. By the time he was four years old he had had at least six major surgeries. He was on a feeding tube for enteral nutrition because he did not tolerate eating by mouth. We tried just about everything we could think of to help him until one day a friend suggested we try the GFCF Diet for him (gluten-free, casein-free). I thought for sure that he would stop eating completely and we would be back to 100% tube feedings but to our surprise he started to eat… a lot. After 6 months gluten-free, we stopped using his feeding tube and after a year, his feeding tube, after 9 years, was finally removed. What we didn’t realize for a very long time was that he is actually a Celiac (confirmed through lab analysis).
Seeing the changes in myself and our son, I became passionate about nutrition and dietary effects on me and my families bodies. Over the course of four years, I managed to control many symptoms through diet as well as help my children recover from a few medical concerns they had been coping with as well including eczema, reflux and headaches. My son’s behaviors began to improve and his very strong sensory integration dysfunction decreased significantly. It was like the volume had been turned down for him and he could feel and see things better than he had.
While we are not a doctors or nutritional professionals, we have worked with many great folks to recover our health and help others. Through this journey came our desire to bring Kickshaws to Fredericksburg. We hope that we can continue to not only provide good healthy food and living options for the community, but help people continue to learn about their bodies and their amazing ability to heal and grow through good health.
Kickshaws Dowtown Market is located at 101 William Street in the Downtown Historic District of Fredericksburg, Virginia. We are at the corner of William and Sophia Street, just before the Chatham Bridge.
There is a free lot located on Sophia Street. On William, turn left on Sophia and the parking lot is located on your left.