The Fall My Daughter Stopped Baking

Probably because I refuse to, my oldest two daughters have taken up the baking mantle.  They bake after dinner, they bake on weekends, they bake for parties, they bake with friends over, and they bake alone.  They bake so much that I finally set up wholesale accounts with baking supply companies since they used so much product!

Which is why, in retrospect, it should have been a big fat red flag for us when our 14 year old stopped baking last fall.  I honestly didn’t think too much of it, but when I did, I had a lot of excuses.  At first, I chalked it up to being busy. Then I chalked it up to not being around as much.  Then we had a very ill family member and I was back to the busy excuse, since we were very busy with his end of life care.

Throughout the fall, she complained of headaches, fatigue, insomnia, and sluggishness.  She was terribly emotional; to the point that the most innocent of comments or questions could set off tears, anger, and withdrawal.  So we figured she was a typical teenager, right?  Just a teenager with typical hormone swings going on.  We tested her vitamins and nutrients and while she had some imbalances, there wasn’t anything that could explain her symptoms.

We tried melatonin, magnesium, CBD, adrenal support, hormonal support, various vitamins, and nothing made any difference for her.  This also coincided with a big change in her friend groups, so then we thought maybe she was mourning the changes.

Then, at her request, we tested her for Lyme, and it came back borderline positive. So she started on herbal remedies for Lyme while we waited for the results of the Lyme co-infections testing to come back.

And then we saw it.  One night, as she got out of the shower, we saw scratch marks that looked like stretch marks, running in lines across her mid back.  Except, no one was scratching her back, she had been with us all afternoon, and these looked fresh.  When you see these, it’s a dead ringer for a tick-borne illness called Bartonella.

So before the bloodwork even came back, we had our diagnosis.  It wasn’t her just being a typical hormonal teenager.  It wasn’t depression (although feeling the way she did certainly made her feel discouraged!).  It was an infection that she is now on antibiotics for.

She’s been on treatment now for two weeks, and this weekend, she asked me to buy more baking supplies.  I almost cried.  While I can’t stand a messy kitchen, it’s a small price to pay to have my daughter back.

So while it could be typical teenage hormones, I’d invite you to look deeper with your teen.  You won’t regret it.