going dairy-free and too many dr. visits

in a week and a half, we will take our timo-bear in for a simultaneous weight check-up and ear check up.  this last month we have been to the boys' pediatritian's office five times, the ER once and on the phone with an on-call nurse more than i would like.  i know it could be worse but it still hasn't been fun and it's been a challenge for me to not delve into worry or get swallowed by the google monster and all of the "helpful" information it offers.

at his 6 month check-up,  our littlest was diagnosed with GERD and prescribed meds for it because of his huge drop in weight percentiles.  looking back, he would go from happy and mellow to unbelievably upset and screaming if anything at all bothered him.  it seemed like a bit of gas, going to sleep, needing a diaper change, not getting enough attention or any other discomfort could bring on this drastic mood change.  and though we always thought his spit-up seemed excessive, as in warranting 3 to 4 outfit changes for him and me a day, we never suspected that it was that big of deal or enough to bring on medication.  though the meds have helped and i'm thankful for that, i've also been a little bit leary about the unknown long-term affects.  so, cutting dairy out has been something i've been thinking and praying about since we started the medication. 

and then last week, a vomiting session along with a very hard to console baby, led us to 3 conversations with an after hours on-call nurse and  a trip to the ER (which didn't offer much more than a really stressful experience and an exhausted family).  this past thursday,  i was back in the pediatrician's office to  discover that our timo-bear had an ear infection and then yesterday, i was in yet again after a couple of very worrisome diapers.  it has been a roller coaster ride to say the least.  i'm thankful for such good medical care but really hopeful not to be back there again anytime soon.

between the acid reflux (and not wanting keep him on the meds unless we have to), and the recent tummy problems that might be from a leftover virus or the amoxicillan he's on for his ears, i am cutting dairy out.  it's definitely worth it for our little man.

but oh, how i love ice cream.  and butter.  and cheese.  and horizon hazelnut half and half in my coffee.

i have a friend who said she got so used to fake cheese that she eventually didn't notice a difference when she gave dairy up for similar reasons.  so, i'm hopeful that i will survive and find new solutions.  it's a whole new adventure of sorts, right?

do any of you have tips to share?  i'd love any advice i can get.  and, even more, if you are willing, would you join us in praying for our little man?  though he seems well-ish, we'd love prayers for him to be healthy and fully recovered from whatever has been ailing him, that we'd have wisdom and that his upcoming weigh-in and ear check would go well (with no more dr. visits between now and then).  thanks so much.