The SCD – A Miracle Cure?

[headline_arial_small_centered color=”#000000″]There Is No Bad Day[/headline_arial_small_centered]

[headline_tahoma_medium_centered color=”#000000″]Chapter 4 – Round 2: High Hopes[/headline_tahoma_medium_centered]
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“I’m sure you’ve discovered my deep and abiding interest in pain. Presently I’m writing the definitive work on the subject.”
– Count Rugen, The Princess Bride

[headline_tahoma_small_centered color=”#000000″]The SCD – A Miracle Cure?[/headline_tahoma_small_centered]

scdOn September 25th I read most of the book “Breaking the Vicious Cycle” by Elaine Gottschall in which she outlines a complete recommended diet for Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis (UC) called the “Specific Carbohydrate Diet” (SCD).  Incredibly motivated, I implemented the diet the next day.  Apparently hundreds of people had used the SCD to either cure or allow them to live with Crohn’s or UC without drugs and without pain.    I followed the diet religiously.  Like a zealot even, much to the vexation of Nan who had to deal with the repercussions of a now extremely picky eater with extreme dietary requests.  As if she didn’t have enough on her plate already.

Two days later Nan wrote this email to our families, updating them and informing most of them for the first time about our situation:

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From: Nan Kennard
Sent: Thursday, September 27, 2012 4:52 PM
To: Family Group Email
Subject: Call for Prayer

Dear Family,

Will you please consider fasting and/or praying with/for our family? Aaron is in a great deal of digestive/colon pain that began the day after Kelsie was born. At first the Dr. thought it was just an anal fissure from the stress of the birth and new child but his symptoms have become much worse and debilitating over the past few weeks. He has lost 10+ lbs and is now bed ridden and very weak. After a colonoscopy last Wednesday the Dr. suggested that it may be ulcerative colitis.

He has begun pharmaceutical and nutritional treatment, which helped stop the bleeding but he is still feeling very sick. We are hopeful that his condition will improve over time as we figure out what foods he can eat that will provide nourishment without running right through him. We will also probably get him in for a blood test soon to see if he is anemic and treat that.

In addition to Aaron’s illness, Abe is mentally un-well and is crying all the time, hating school, and clearly stressed out. His stress is likely related to Aaron’s illness, the new baby, new school routine, etc.

I am doing my best to take care of a newborn, an invalid, and three other needy kids and it’s overwhelming. I know all these things are for our good and will make us better people in the long run but right now it feels heavy.

Our Ward has been very supportive and helpful with bringing meals and setting up play dates for the kids. It’s interesting that even in the midst of feeling the refiner’s fire blast against us, I’ve shed tears of joy when I think of all the blessings we DO have.

I have a testimony of the power of collective prayer and I know God is mindful of us. Thanks in advance for your love and concern. I love you all and hope you all are doing well and feeling happy.



After receiving responses of grave concern and worry from many of our family members, I wrote this in response:

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From: Aaron Kennard
Sent: Friday, September 28, 2012 10:31 AM
To: Family Group Email
Subject: RE: Call for Prayer

Thanks everyone for the thoughts and prayers.  Sometimes when it rains it pours, which can definitely make life interesting! (if painful)

Here are a few of my thoughts really quick:

Please don’t worry about me! All is well.  And all is good.  All things give us experience and are for our good.  There is absolutely nothing that has happened or can happen to remove us from God’s love and His watchful care and guidance.  He knows exactly why we are being allowed to experience this super challenging circumstance and He is always with us.   And while I don’t claim to know all the ways, I do know with absolute certainty that amazing things will come out of this.  God is all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving.  Everything about this is perfect and is happening for a very, very good reason.

Silver metal that is being refined certainly is not eager to be burned in a fiery pot to remove it’s imperfections, but it’s willing to do so, trusting in its creator and knowing it is necessary for its ultimate purpose, joy, beauty, and betterment.

So just know that not only am I going to be totally fine, we are all going to be much better off because of this.  I’m figuring out what to eat and how to treat it and my body will get back to normal.

So thank you for your thoughts of faith, compassion, encouragement and love.  We feel that, and are blessed by it.  Your positive energy and love is amazing.

And for those who may feel fear or are worried for any reason, please try not to spend any of your valuable energy worrying.  Worry is based in fear that something bad may happen and is not productive since it is in opposition of faith.   There is nothing bad that can possibly happen.  So be of good cheer, and see God’s hand and goodness in it.  As I lie here, and despite bowel pain and diarrhea, I am in awe and amazement at the beauty of life and the goodness of God.  And it certainly doesn’t make much sense to me that others might be worried or despairing on my behalf while I’m feeling so much love and peace.

Thank you again for all of your care and desires to help!  We really appreciate it.  The biggest challenge for me is feeling incapable of helping Nan with the burden of a newborn and 3 other young children with a lot of needs.  Nan is so strong and capable, but it’s a big weight to bear.  So thank you for your attempts to lighten the load.  Nan’s Mom is coming over to help in about a week which will be a huge blessing.

Life is amazing!

Love, Aaron


The next few days produced significantly motivating and encouraging improvement.  The bloody bowel movements had stopped.  I still had painful diarrhea all day long, but at least the blood had disappeared.  And by Sunday I even had enough energy to make it to Church for 90 minutes.   Ahhhh!  To be out of the house for a change!!  My body is on the mend!  This diet is working!

Days earlier I couldn’t be out of bed much at all and on Monday I only lay for a total of an hour in bed during the day.  I even took my son to the store that evening.  I’m loving this!  Thank you Doctors and your prescription drugs.  Thank you Elaine Gottschall for your amazing work and diet.  Whatever is causing this improvement, thank you God! I’ll take it!


These days I wore man-diapers full time to mitigate the risk of diarrhea blowouts all over the carpet or my bed.  Since that would be far too nasty and annoying to deal with, I opted for the less messy, if not humiliating ‘Depends’.  And I would definitely not leave home without them!

In the middle of the night of October 1st I woke up like normal in an urgent rush to the bathroom.  But this time I actually passed a piece of stool that could be discerned as a stool, not a runny mess of diarrhea!  Hooray!!  And it didn’t even hurt that bad!  Wonderful news to a stool connoisseur like me, who spent no less than two to three hours each day performing and analyzing bowel movements.  Stools were my specialty and this was amazing!  The pills are working!  The diet is working!  Ha ha!  I’m going to be OK!  Yes!!  Normal poo has returned!!!!!

So entirely stoked by this major fecal development, my mind raced and I couldn’t fall back asleep.  The possibilities reeling of getting my former pain-free lifestyle back.  My two-month companion of burning tight butt pain had disappeared since starting the steroids.  “And now I’m starting to get normal stools back.  This is good.  This is a miracle.”  I thought.


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