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!