Friday, October 10, 2008

The very abandoned blog

It's a good thing! Really! It means that things have been nice and quiet allergy wise, and I hope it stays that way for a very long time :-)

My life has been crazy busy, but I only have myself to blame for that. My knitting busines (see sidebar) has really taken off in the last couple of months, as has my new found hobby/about to turn p/t profession (photography). I just wish there were more hours in the day :-)

As an apology I'm going to share with you my husband's "secret" family recipe. Notice I'm not giving away any of my family secrets ;-)

These ribs are incredibly yummy, and easy to make!

Boil ribs for 1 hour.

Prepare marinade:
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp soya sauce
1 tbsp oil (whatever your prefernce)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup water

Mix all marinade ingredients well. Pour over cooked, drained ribs. Let marinade in fridge for about a day.

Broil 5 minutes each side.


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Living with Food Allergies Carnival

Now that the technical difficulties have been resolved, welcome to the August 7, 2008 edition of living with food allergies carnival.
I am so excited to be hosting my very first Carnival. It looks like we've got some great submisions this week:

Fiona Lohrenz presents Going Organic…Why We Should! posted at Child Care Only

Lane Wright presents 57 Health Benefits of Going Vegan | Vegan Bits posted at Vegan Bits. Definitely something to think about.

Daryl Laws discusses potential benefits of changing your meat source in Bison Lower in Fat, Good for Those with Allergies. posted at Daryl Laws.

Jennifer O'Quigley has a great looking recipe and very cool info about colas in the Comments From the Peanut Free Gallery: coca cola cake article. I'm gonna have to try some of those out! Posted at Comments From the Peanut Free Gallery, saying, "A recipe for an egg free, nut free vegan cake, and more then you ever wanted to know about Coca Cola"

Alisa presents Chill Out with a Cool and Creamy Bananaloupe Smoothie posted at href="">Go Dairy Free. That smoothie looks delicious! It's been so hot here these days I'll have to go an make one!

Alisa presents How to Make Whoopie Pies � of the Vegan Variety posted at Go Dairy Free.

Living with Allergies
Ria Sharon has a very interesting article about how Food Allergy Statistics Can be Confusing posted at Check My Tag Community. I'll be sure to read it in detail. That's one thing I've always found fery frustrating, trying to figure out exactly what all of the stats mean.

Jennifer B presents a very important issue, one that I wish something was done about. Is It Time for Standardized Definitions for Allergen-Free Food Claims? posted at Food Allergy Buzz, saying, "Also, don't forget to enter our "free-from" foods survey for a chance to win a set of Beyond A Peanut Flashcards!"

Jennifer O'Quigley presents The Peanut Avenger posted at Comments From the Peanut Free Gallery, saying, "My idea of what it would be like to have a peanut allergy super hero." Where is mine when I need it!

Sue presents Birthday Party - Part 1 posted at Living My Dream, saying, "I just had my daughter's birthday party. She is allergic to dairy and there were kids with allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and strawberries. I was able to accomodate all of the allergens. This post has my menu and recipes."

She's one super mama! That takes dedication. It sounds like she's thought of everything.

Alisa presents The Go Dairy Free e-Newsletter Returns with an �Ice Cream� Cookbook Giveaway posted at Go Dairy Free.

And last, but definitely not least, please give a warm welcome to our newest member,Alison, who presents SF Food Allergy Walk? or Donate! posted at Sure Foods Living - for celiac disease, gluten intolerance, food allergies, peanut allergy, nut allergy, gluten-free diet, gfcf diet, dairy-free, egg-free, soy free or other allergen-free living, saying, "This is my first time doing the blog carnival... Thanks!"

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of living with food allergies carnival using our carnival submission form.

Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I've been wanting to write an entry about friends and family and their attitutes for a while, but just haven't gotten around to it until today.

I was emailing a friend of mine whom I haven't seen in a very long time, and I was giving her excuses about just how busy I've been etc. The truth is, though, I just don't have fun hanging out with her and her kids any more. I love her! I think she's lots of fun, but I find it so exhausting visiting with her. I constantly have to watch Izzy. For whatever reason, it seems that some parents think kids need to be snacking constantly and food tents to be a big part of get togethers. My kids love food, and it's difficult to convince Izzy that she can't have something (even though I have a special treat for her), plus other kids are running around with sticky fingers grabbing toys and each other. Usually, once food comes out, I'm ready to leave.

Birthday parties are the worst! We went to one 2 weeks ago. It was a great party and I managed to keep Izzy away from the bad stuff, but then the cupcakes came out! All the little kids running around with crumbling cupcakes, smeared all over their faces and clothes. Of course, Izzy didn't think the treat I brought for her was all that exciting in the face of brightly decorated cupcakes. We left.

Here is my dilema: do I just avoid parties all together, or do I go and be the 'allergy mom'. If I don't go life would be so much easier, but then my friends would think I'm being overly dramatic (or a snob). If I do go, though, not only is it utterly exhausting for me, but I end up being the party pooper, the 'allergy police', whatever you wanna call it.

I know my friends are trying (some of them, at least!), but even the ones that put in so much effort to make a gathering allergy friendly often miss the mark. I truly appreciate the concessions they make on Izzy's account, nonetheless, sometimes I'd just rather stay home.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

First Time Wheezer on 15 what the doctors said in the hallway as we rushed her to the bed the nurse was pointing to.

Turns out when you take your child to emergency at 10:30 pm and she's wheezing you get to cut in line, and when she's only 18 months and it's her first time they have a bit of panic in their voice that does not calm my already rattled nerves.

That was our adventure last Thursday night.

I went home early on Wednesday with the flu. The girls seemed to have caught it, too. On Thursday afternoon I noticed that Izzy's breathing was a bit strained, but in the past the doctor said the noise is from her nose, not her chest, so I didn't think much of it.

She was irritable, I was irritable... the flu is a biatch and turns everyone into one, too!

At bedtime I noticed a big hive on her back. Her breathing unchanged I feared the worst. Allergic reaction? I gave her benadril and put her to bed, but checked on her regularly. There were no other hives, just strained and faster breathing. I noticed that she was kind of clearing her throat a lot and was coughing. She kept waking up quite a bit and finally my husband picked her up and we watched her. I tried giving her another dose of benadril, but she spat out most of it. Then she had a coughing fit that caused her to throw up. At that point I had enough. We wrapped her up and drove to the hospital.

After the fist dose of Ventilin (to open her airways) they monitored her for 2 hours. Those were the longest 2 hours of the night. I had taken my nightime meds before we decided to take her in and they were making me super drowsy. At 1:30 am another round of Ventilin was ordered as her breathing was deteriorating a bit after a pretty much full recovery from the first dose. That meant we had to stay the night.

We went to Children's hospital. You'd think they'd have beds, or cots to accomodate wee ones. Instead my hubby and I alternated lying on the hospital bed with her. Ventilin makes babies very alert. They really should have given us a hit or two! At least they brought in a cot so the other adult could 'sleep'.

They sent us home at 6:00 am with a prescription for inhalers (Ventilin and steroid one) and some hazy instructions. By the time we had the drugs and got home she was wheezing again. We tried giving her the puffer, but it only worked for 5 minutes. We tried again, with same results. I didn't know if we were using it wrong or what, so I decided to take her back.

Jeff went to work. I packed us drinks, snacks and a lunch figuring we'd be in for the long haul. The emerg was packed. There were 3 people ahead of us waiting just to see the admitting nurse. Again, wheezing cuts in line (gotta take the positives where you can). We were seen by a doctor within 5 minutes of our arrival. Her stats were good, just wheezing. Since we were back so soon, they decided to treat more aggresively. 3 doses of Ventilin followed by oral steroids followed by 6 hour observation.

Thank God for Dora and nap time! We dozed for about an hour in the afternoon. The nurse gave me fantastic instructions and I felt a lot more comfortable about how to treat her symptoms, how to administer the puffers and when to come in if her breathing gets bad again.

Finally, exhausted, we got home in time for dinner.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Shameless Self Promotion!!!!

Today is my Birthday, so to celebrate, I opened my store. Please have a look.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Not Peanuts, Too!

Jeff took Izzy to the allergist yesterday for a follow-up visit and to test for a couple of things. She's been getting rashes when she eats tomatoes and strawberries, but not hives, so I wanted to have it checked out.

Long story short, she's not allergic to strawberries, oranges or tomatoes (just sensitive skin), but she tested positive to peanuts and almonds. I'm not surprised about the almonds since they're in the nut family, and she already tested positive for hazelnuts last time, but I'm bummed about the peanuts. I half expected it, but I was hopeful after the negative test last time. Despite there being so much awareness about peanut allergies, I think it's the most volatile of them all and the one that is most likely to kill. I'm obviously no expert, but I'm most nervous about the peanut allergy.

She's starting her new daycare on Monday (the one that didn't want her due to her allergies), so we'll see how that goes.

I'm off to enjoy the sunny weather we're having. Hope your weekend is great!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

NoPeanuts Playdate

One of our local bloggers organized a playdate for parents living in my area whose children have food allergies. It was the perfect day for it! The weather was amazing (finally summer!). We met at a local park with our kids and had a great time sharing stories, getting to know one another and enjoying the morning outdoors. It was a bit hard to talk to adults for longer than 2 minutes at a time because my girls are soooooo active, but nonetheless I was able to have some meaningful conversations.

I have identified what are my personal goals for my involvement with this group:
  1. Set up a local internet forum,
  2. Get in touch with educational programs for childcare providers and review their curriculum on allergies and anaphylaxis,
  3. Get in touch with the universities and suggest education about allergies and anaphylaxis be part of the curiculum for graduates of the education program (i.e. new teachers),
  4. Get involved with furthering allergy awareness by the general public,
  5. Have some fun!
It will likely take me all summer to accomplish these goals, but I think it's a good start.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Daycare Drama

I really want to swear right now, but since this is public, I'll abstain.

I just got a call from the woman who agreed to look after my girls come June and she informed me that she changed her mind. She doesn't feel comfortable looking after a child with allergies and worries that she would just stress herself out too much. I respect that she feels that way and I appreciate that she's taking this seriously, but it pisses me off that she tells me now, instead of 3 days ago when I had other child care providers lined up. The way things work where I live, if you don't take a spot right away, it's gone by next day! So now, I'm back to square one, with less than a week left before I start my new job. I am so ****ing mad right now, words can't even describe it. I'm mostly mad at the allergies. Part of me also feels resentful towards Izzy and my husband for 'giving' her the allergies in the first place.

It's stressful enough switching jobs (careers really), then add to that finding daycare in a market that has significantly less spots than children who need it, and now throw in allergies into the mix and watch my head explode!

I've asked her to reconsider (she really has an excellent program!) and to meet with me tomorrow so that I can go over with her what allergies actually mean and what the real risks are involved. It's frustrating, because how do you explain to someone that yes, there is a risk of dying, but really, allergies are quite manageable and not that scary on a day to day basis. I don't want to diminish the severity of her allergies, but at the same time I don't want to instill fear. And to top it all of, Izzy's most severe reactions to date have always resolved themselves on their own without need for any medication (not even benadril), so I know that her allergies aren't that severe, despite the hives, but at the same time, I can't promise that she'll never need the epi pen, because anaphylaxis is unpredictable!

Man, I hate my life right now. OK, I know I'm just feeling sorry for myself, but come on! does this have to be so freaking hard?!

I'm gonna go take some deep breaths right now.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Anaphylaxis Support Group

I went to a local anaphylaxis support group tonight. It was really cool to meet other parents dealing with the same issues and get pointers about where to find helpful information. I also got a chance to finaly meet a mom I've been emailing with for a few weeks now :-)

Most of the parents there had school aged children, so the discussion seemed to mostly focus on schools, teachers, and school administrators. Although I wished there was more about younger kids (todlrers & preschoolers), it was very informative and quite the eye opener for me of what it will be like in just a few short years. All I can say to myself is baby steps. Take it one day at a time, otherwise I'll just want to give up.

On Saturday I'll be taking the family to a NoPeanuts Playdate organized by another local parent. I think it will be a great opportunity to meet other parents and share some stories/survial tips.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

To all you allergy moms,

I hope this Mother's Day is peaceful and relaxing for you and that your kids allergies take it easy on you today!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I've got a NEW JOB!

This is very exciting news for me, as I will finally be pursuing a carier in my field of study (waste water treatment engineering), but kind of scary since I've never done it before and have been out of school for 5 years. Time to hit the books again!

I start in less than 2 weeks and have the daunting task of finding full-time care for my girls on such short notice. Having an allergic child makes it that much harder. I really need to feel I can trust that person. I have such a wonderful woman right now, but she doesn't want to do it full-time.

I may be even more quiet than usual on here for a little bit, until I get myself settled in and sort out my childcare arrangements.

So much for having an easy summer, lol!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Peabutter Dilema

Natalie is not allergic to peanuts and technically neither is Izzy. Her skin test was negative, but it's possible she hasn't been exposed yet, thus it might have been a false negative. My husband, however, is allergic, so we just don't have peanut butter at home (that stuff is too sticky to safely have around kids).

I recently bought some Peabutter and Natalie loves it (Izzy not so much, lol). Now I'm wondering if letting my kids have it was such a good idea after all. See, what worries me, is the fact that the texture, taste and smell of it is simillar to the real thing (I know, I know, that's the point), but will they know how to spot the difference?

Let's assume Izzy is allergic, will it create confusion about what she is allowed to eat? Is giving her something that pretends to be the very thing that could kill her a smart move? Would she really be missing out on so much if she just didn't have the peanutbutter and jelly experience? And then to add to the bag of questions, what to do about the non-allergic sibling? Natalie already knows that there is her yogurt and Izzy's yogurt, her milk and Izzy's milk. I'm just so confused.

Has anyone else thought about this? How did you deal with it? Do you give your kids the 'pretend' food and make sure they're vigilant about knowing the difference, or do you just tell them to avoid anything that 'acts' like the allergen? Any comments on this would be very helpful.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Yes, I've completely abandoned this blog for the past week while I was self absorbed with my latest 'must do' project:

Yes, I'm a knitter, and proud of it, lol! I've been making these for several years now and I finally decided to start selling them on I've been told that they are definitely cute enough to sell, so I thought I'd give it a try. I'm still trying to figure it all out and entertaing the possibility of a partnership with a well established Etsy seller. If you're interested, feel free to drop me a line and I'll let you know where to look for them.

Allergy wise, things have been nice and quiet - just the way I like it!

I'm pretty excited to be involved with setting up a community support group for parents with allergic children in my local area. The first meeting will be in two weeks, so I'll let you know how it goes.

Natalie (the one without allergies) has broken out in hives 2 days in a row earlier in the week, but because I've read on a recent blog that these can happen due to a virus I was a lot less freaked out than I would have been otherwise. She did have a bit of a fever and a runny nose but other than the hives, there were no other allergy symptoms. Just to be safe, I doused her with Benadril and some Tylenol and she seemed fine. After 48 they were all gone, so I'm pretty confident it was viral, but of course, I now have a nagging feeling that perhaps she's not as allergy free as I thought she was. Sigh...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

What it really looks like!

I've spent a LOT of time the last few days reading other people's allergy blogs.

Everyone has links to their favorite blogs on their side bars so I've spent most of my time blog-hopping, so to speak. This led me to a post by With Love, Carmen at Be Not Afraid about her recent experience with anaphylaxis.
"Despite being in danger of her airway closing off, my daughter is not going down without a fight. When she sees needle number two, Tough Girl takes off and dives under the bed. Now I have a possibly about to die kid hiding from me, screaming that she hates me."

It is an incredible piece about her daughter's anaphylactic reaction to a piece of candy offered by a well meaning teacher.

Her writing makes you feel like you're right there with her, watching it all unfold. I laughed and cried while reading it, and it finally hit me that anaphylaxis is real! Obviously, I knew that already, duh! But until now it was more like a phantom in the back of my mind. Something really vague that OTHER people go through. This post did more to prepare me for that fretful event than any educational pamphlet or video ever could, so I wanted to share it with you.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Through Someone Else's Lungs

I went grocery shopping with the girls this afternoon. Way to spend my spring afternoons, lol.

As we entered the bulk section I saw one of the clerks refilling the peanuts bin. Normally I would not have thought twice about it, but since I've started this blog, allergies have been on my mind. As he was pouring the peanuts I imagined all of the peanut dust rising and spreading around the store. Now, I admit, I didn't see any dust floating, but I know you don't need to see it for it to be spreading. Worst part, it was right next to fruits and veggies. Now, I'm sure most people wash their produce before consumption, but I know I'm not one of them! I can only assume that a person with severe allergies would.

I approached the clerk and mentioned that my child has severe allergies and, although she likely wouldn't be affected, other people might. I also asked if it was possible to fill their nut bins in the back. His response was "I'm very sorry." That's nice and all, but I'm not sure that was enough. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate that he didn't blow me off or give me attitude, but at the same time, I expected something along the lines of "Gee, I never thought of that, I'll see if that's possible". Saying sorry didn't exactly instill me with a lot of confidence that someone will look into it.

That wasn't the worst of it, though. When we were finished shopping, I realized I forgot the bananas, so I went through the bulk section again. Without even realizing, I stepped into a significant "puddle" of peanut dust which then stuck to the bottom of my shoes and pants. Now, because a) I noticed, and b)have an allergic husband, I made sure to wipe my shoes off when I exited the store and before getting into the car, but I bet most people just spread the peanut protein in their cars and possibly homes.

I suspect most parents know that toddlers love shoes, but also that they LOVE to chew on them. I think you can see where I'm going with that. I can only imagine how exhausting it must be for a parent whose child is extremely allergic to peanuts. My heart goes out to you. I count myself lucky that Izzy is not quite in that category.

I think I'll call the store manager and see what can be done about refilling the bulk bins.

UPDATE: Woo Hoo! I called the manager of our local Extra Foods and he said it was an excellent point. They will look into filling their bulk bins in the back and if that's not possible, they'll do it after hours and ensure the floors are cleaned afterwards. It may not completely eliminate the risk of exposure, but it will definitely reduce it significantly!

Saturday, April 12, 2008


Welcome to my first post about my experiences with allergies. I myself have been ignorant about them for most of my life, until I met my husband. We lucked out with our first girl who is allergy free, unfortunately, our second baby girl was not so lucky.

I will try to get this blog up to date with what has already happened in the next month or so. For now, you can check out my latest "scare" on my other blog about life and motherhood in general.

Please, say hello to Izzy!