Category Archives: allergies

Where I use big words about food allergies.

I mustache you a question. About accoutremontes

I had a conversation with my son today about his peanut allergy and his answer surprised me. Actually, it shocked me just a little as I was not expecting answers I received.

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Tush

Sometimes thinks that I need to have more Cham-pag-knee in my life.

Especially after this weekend.

And not that it was anything that awful, it’s just that it was all awful.

M has tonsillitis. And V is now allergic to Milk. There was projectile vomiting, diarrhea and severe diaper rash going on over here.

1) Tonsillitis. Antibiotics. Steroids. Magic Mouthwash. Literally he was sick for days before I forced him to go and see a doctor. The doctor told him that tonsillitis was contagious (which it is). He’d been sick for5 days at that time. He came home and refused to touch anyone.
“Jame, I’m contagious!”

Oh you dramatic Italian you. You are lucky that I love you, or you’d be dead. My patience had run out 3 days prior to this doctors visit, so you can just imagine how I greeted this exciting news. And also just how loving I was.

2) Projectile vomit. I hate you.

V has started coughing again. And Saturday was a rough coughing day. He came toddling over to me in the middle of the afternoon and climbed up into my lap and put his head on my chest. Oh dear. I immediately know something must be wrong as the only time he seeks out a cuddle is when he is feeling poorly.

He started coughing so violently that automatically my hand went up in front of his mouth. Good thing too since he started throwing up! A small quantity ended up in my hand while the rest of it ended up everywhere else. Pants, shirt, floor, chair, baby etc. When he was done, all I could do was sit there in shock with a hand full of vomit. And just what do you do with that? There I was, sitting in my computer chair with V in my lap, holding some puke.

I just had to rub it into my pants, suck it up and try to not throw up.

3) Milk allergy. No idea. But I swear since we found this out, he has had constant diarrhea. Sweet. And today? The day before we go and see the allergist? More diarrhea and the worst diaper rash ever. So bad, so bad and it just snuck up on us. So bad that I couldn’t even clean his bum properly he cried and screamed so much. It was so red, and red all the way up the front if you know what I mean *cough* the boys *cough cough*.

Poor little man. Poor big man. Poor Mummy.

So as Monday comes, I am crying tears of happiness.

Allergist. Diarrhea. Tonsillitis. Milk. Yay Monday.

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Bastard blood

Sadly I am not allergic to any food.

While for some people this might be a wonderful thing to hear, for me? Not so great… I was totally expecting to find out that I had a wheat allergy too (just like V) and possibly some other hidden allergies lurking around in my system.

Bastard blood of mine!! I was expecting a lot out of you!

You were supposed to be the answer… I am looking for intel into V’s allergies. Any insight into the allergy situation would be awesome and currently I am focusing on me. As soon as I have made myself run the gamut, I’ll be putting M through his paces. Only fair!!

And so today I went through the intradermal allergy testing. Another interesting process. Small amounts of the allergen are injected just under the skin. In my case, 64 times. We then wait for everything to cook for 15 minutes and then measure the reaction on my skin.

Ding! 15 minutes later, we had our results. And they weren’t anything that exciting. Nothing earth-shattering or anything.

Funnily enough I am allergic to Maple tree pollen. And am Canadian. How disappointing. And so I now live in Florida and apparently am allergic to Orange tree pollen as well. What. The. Hell.

It make me kind of laugh though. From the land of the Maple tree to the land of the Orange tree, she is allergic to it all.

And allergic to dust-mites, a few other trees and 7 different types of mold. 7 for gods sake. Which, in hind sight, isn’t that surprising since I have a childhood allergy to penicillin that I apparently have passed on to V.

So while I didn’t learn that much about V’s particular food allergies and where they might have originated from, I did learn some interesting things about my own. Especially considering that I wasn’t aware of any of them.

So it looks like 2010 is going to start off, for me anyways, with an exciting ‘mold elimination’ diet. 3 months of a diet which basically has me eating nothing, as apparently all food is on this list, most condiments, all things pickled and vinegared  and lots of tomatoes. Oh, and cheese. And most heartbreakingly of all….. wine….

Oh lord how will I survive without cheese and wine.

I am totally f’d in the a.

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Allergies, ahoy!

I love my Little V.

I accept his allergies with a smile and, in some small ways, enjoy the challenge of his lifestyle. In a way, it forces me to make his meals healthy as the challenge of peanuts and wheat really narrows down the kind of things that you can feed a child out in public. It really cuts out large amounts of crap.

Nice challenge, eh? I am a well-prepared mother when we are out and about, as Lord Only Knows what people put in food these days and either don’t mention it or mention it in a super low-key way.

Like Chik-Fil-A.

Did you know that they cook all of their food in peanut oil?

Really, Chik-Fil-A? In an allergen filled world, with peanut allergies becoming extremely prevalent in children, this is a good idea?

Are you even aware of peanut allergies? Or people? Or people with allergies? Or anything? Anything at all? Bastards.

And yes, I didn’t ask at the drive through. And yes, I am a terrible mother. And yes, I was surprised that I hadn’t heard anything about this before. And yes, I tried to steal his chicken nuggets. And yes, that’s how I found out. And yes, I was terribly mad. And yes, finally, I know it is all my fault for not asking. Totally my fault.

However, still annoyed with Chik-Fil-A. Annoyed with their cute kids meals that have Berenstein Bears books in them. It really was one of the few places that I felt ok about Chicken Nuggets. It is actual real chicken,  not that chicken goop that is formed into nuggets.

Maybe I am just a little naive in thinking that in these days of enlightened eating, where everyone is a gourmet chef and food critic, that I would have heard it mentioned before physically running into it. Head first.

Although, CFA is not exactly the most gourmet of eateries.

In reading over their website and allergen claims, it seems quite clear-cut from their point of view. Their oil is heat processed and refined, which apparently makes it safe for consumption by people with allergies.

However, I still feel a little overtly ‘mother concerned’ and am banning them. It weirds me out just a little.

Anyways, that is the end of my Chik-Fil-A rant.

Really, this was all about how V and his allergies. And what I do about them.

Well, I got allergy tested. First part was last Monday, RAST testing on my back. Very interesting. Apparently I have some kind of dermatological skin , which makes skin testing rather tricky because of the welts.

I had a lot of positives for different molds, a few pollens, MAPLE TREE (if you can believe that! AND I am Canadian… whats up with that!), Orange tree. It was very very interesting.

My lovely Nurse  friend drew some blood for food testing and tomorrow I am having intradermal skin testing done.  How allergic am I? Am I an allergic person? Does V get it all from me?

AND, on an interesting side note, it appears he might be allergic to penicillin as well. This is based on a weekend filled with vomit roughly the colour of the amoxicillian he is taking.

I am allergic to it, or was at least sensitive to it as a child, and stupidly haven’t ever mentioned it to V’s Dr.

Dumb-ass.

Just one call to her this weekend, and she happily reassured me re: Vomit-Fest 2009 hosted by the Melvins.

More to follow tomorrow, post testing…

xox a.m.

ps: Kids allergy testing info here

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Nebulizers suck

neb-blog

Oh please... who's child sits like this for treatment! Come on!

Can I just say I am frustrated?

Damn. It.

Several months ago when V was sick, it turned out that he was mildly asthmatic. So darling Dr E recommended a nebulizer and to start ‘treatments’ when he had attacks.

Attacks? Almost never, unless he has a cold, which is where he is right now.

So last night he woke up crying and coughing and I rushed upstairs to comfort him. He was coughing and then crying. Nose running all over the place, cough and crying in spurts. And just with the most miserable look on his face while this was all going on.

So out came the nebulizer as he sounded pretty wheezy. And that’s where my evening got awful.

Wail, scream, wail, scream, shriek shriek shriek. I think that is baby talk for “Mummy, I hate this thing, the way it sounds, looks and smells…. basically everything about it. I hate it.”

Yup. He hates it. I think it made him cry more.

Eventually I got him calmed down and off to bed.

He slept all night. Woke up early despite the late night, coughed on and off all day. Ate BBQ with Mummy, Pop-Pop and Gramma.

Went to bed like an angel and woke up about and hour later with exactly the same symptoms as last night.

And so 30 minutes ago we went through the same routine. Except I thought I was being clever by being prepared.

I got a juice bottle. I prepared a dish of snackies. I brought the nebulizer downstairs. I put on Sesame Street.

I. Was. Ready. And I felt awesome about it…

V did not. Total repeat from last night. Except worse and with a snottier nose. And more crying. And just worse all around.

The neb and him are not a fantastic team.

8 months ago there was no problem with it. He would happily eat snackies while the nebulizer was pumping away in front of his face.

Now, not so much.

Any tips on making it tolerable?

(besides lollipops and doing the treatment while he sleeps– who are we kidding, neither of those work)

But any tips are greatly appreciated…

xoxo a.m.

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Yesterday

autumn-blog

Yesterday I had a ‘1994’ experience.

Gluten-free blueberry pancakes and MacGyver (oh how I love you and your clever ways) were how V and I started the morning. I made itty-bitty  sized ones (mix by Pamela’s, best Gluten-free mix I have tried so far). Babies and pancakes are a good thing. Babies and blueberries are not. Did you know if Blueberry pancakes hit the (beige) carpet at a Toddler-throw velocity, there will be  a stain? Perfect illustration as to why one should get hard-wood flooring. (This has nothing to do with 1994)

Post-pancake and MacGyver-fest (I felt like V was significantly impressed with MacGyver), we were off to Grandma’s house.They were planning on hitting up SeaWorld with the Little Man, leaving me and the Big Man at loose ends.

We need a new coffee table. Our weenie wicker one just was not doing the job in our HUGE new house. We had things picked out to check out at American Signature furniture. We happened to drive past World Market. Well, it just happens that its one of my favorite shops. So we thought we’d stop in and check out their furniture.(Again, 1994 this is not)

Suddenly, mission accomplished. Coffee table spotted and purchased. With a discount as we purchased the floor model. Anyways, it is huge. HUGE. We borrowed the stores tape measure and went off to measure the trunk of my hatchback. Pretty much we had no idea what we were actually measuring. We were pressured by the sales staff to make sure it would fit as they said they would hate for us to buy it and then find out it didn’t fit. Like they really care. And like we care as well!

We were determined to make it fit.

It didn’t.

We tried harder.

It still didn’t.

Regardless, it was coming home with us. Precariously balanced in the back of my hatchback, I climbed in the back of the car, braced my legs and held onto that table with all of my strength. As I was getting situated in the back, a woman walking by said “Oh, I have so been there so many times!” and smiled.

I smiled back.

So have I.

And then I had a flashback to sometime in 1994 when an ungodly amount of girls climbed into my friend R’s little red car. I think it was a Hyundai. Or a Rabbit. Regardless, it fit 8 that day, several of us were in the trunk and that car was a low rider.

Not sure where we were going, but damn we had fun getting there.

Oh 1994, how I loved your fishnet stocking, plaid flannel shirt/jacket wearing, hand-painted combat boots stomping, always angry, black lipstick (1 week only) clad, Pearl Jam thrashing ways.

As I clung to that table, laughing and smiling while M drove down the expressway and that cool Autumn air blew in the back of my little red car, I was suddenly transported back to the Island. High School. My lady R. Oh friend, I miss those silly times.

Clutching that table, suddenly that simple little table shopping trip turned into so much more. A High School mini-flashback. A 10 year deduction from my birthday (leaving me in my 20’s). A big ol’ smile. Some slightly cold fingertips. A trunk filled with dried leaves. And one cheap blanket from Ross that only cost $5 was it was sold bundled up in packing tape that took me about 15 minutes to removed.

Trunk packing. Didn’t care.

Autumn and Fall,  you are the same but slightly different and I love you both…

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Tell me

Why-blog

Friday saw Little Man and I at the Doctor’s office for his 15 month check. 28 1/4 lbs. 31 1/2 inches….Big boy.

And fungal rash on the ‘extremities’. And we officially need an epi-pen for his peanut allergy. And have been instructed to carry Benadryl as a ‘just in case’ measure.

So just another day over here….

Of course we had our regular round of shots as well. I am a pro-shot mama. Unlike my lovely Canadian sisters, I have never had the luxury of 1 year of maternity leave and have needed full-time daycare since he was 10 weeks old. Hence the pro-shot life-style… Low grade fever last night and a full on crank-funk since Friday. Comes with the territory 🙂 Yay!

And that has been combined with a lovely new experience. An experience that I am hoping that is a new faze?! And I am hoping that mums out there will share and shed some light on this.

V is currently embroiled in this faze of “Mummy, I don’t like this food… I think I will shake my head ‘no’ and then spit it out”.

And that is all he has been doing since Friday. Putting things in his mouth, shaking his head no and either spitting it out or removing it with his hands. And then giving it to the dog. The dog has been so well fed for the last few days. Lucky dog!

The first day that this happened, I attributed it to the shots. Immunizations always come with a wee side-effect…low grade fever, irritableness , cranky pants, fuss faces….etc…

But this is the first time that super non-eating has been involved. Which makes me wonder if it is just age related instead.

In spite of all of the yummy things I have made him:

*Gluten-free turkey and cheese melty sandwiches

*Wheat-free raspberry pancakes

*Veggie patties with sauteed zucchini, mushrooms and fresh cherry tomatoes

*Fresh mozzarella cheese, cucumber and a assortment of fresh veggies

Everything enters the mouth and then exits it at a fast pace. Mostly on the floor, mostly eaten by the dog and mostly accompanied by head shaking…

The last 3 days have been mostly ‘sippy cup’ days. This is frustrating. Please God, let this be a ‘stage.’

Is it a stage at 15 months? The ‘non-eating’, I hate everything, back-bending screaming if you try to feed me anything stage?

Really? Please? Tell me….

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Wheat

wheat-blog

Now that we have moved completely away from formula in the last few months and well into the land of Dairy, we are going further than that.

As you may or may not know, V is allergic to Wheat and Peanuts. I capitalize them because it is necessary. I need to take notice of all things Wheat and Peanuts in his (and our) world. They are Important. Especially the Peanuts. Peanuts are a super huge issue. A ‘turn his face red and hot to the touch’ issue. Wheat is an issue, not as severe, but one that still necessitates careful monitoring.

So we have embraced a Gluten-free lifestyle for Little Man. I know we will eventually for us as well, but haven’t yet. Wheat=Bad

We decided to try and integrate it into his diet to see how his more mature system reacts to it. Perhaps, since it’s been almost a year since we discovered the issue, his little body would have developed a tolerance to it? That’s what we were hoping anyways. And our Pediatrician agreed that it was a good idea, done in moderation that is.

So we started introducing Wheat Chexs as we felt that it would be the safest . A few during breakfast and dinner…carefully monitoring his reaction day by day.

It took about 12 days before a reaction showed up. Itchy red cheeks and dry skin patches on upper back. Total wheat reaction. However, he went almost 2 weeks before anything really showed up. This is a bonus!! Before it used to be instantaneously!

So based on this, I feel confident that gentle steps towards increasing the amount of Wheat will gradually improve his tolerance. And as he gets older, just imagine, he might even be able to eat a piece of toast. Or a piece of pizza. Or cake. The types of ‘pieces’ he could eat… oh my brain goes wild at the thought…

And then I grow sad at the thought that my bi-monthly trips to Whole Foods would be eliminated…

It’s a double-edged sword.

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Brick-like

bricks-blog

I just got a chunk of waffle tossed into my hair.

Since this is not breakfast-time, I know you are surprised. I was.

It was unearthed in Chewies Dog-bed (which really is a cat-bed. Even though he’s a dog). Chewie has this tendency to bury things he won’t eat in his little bed.  I just found it a few minutes ago and thought it was funny. Ever since M became ‘Mr Mum’ I have found a lot of random bits of food all over the house.

Now part of it might be that we are doing a lot of ‘wheat-free’ cooking. Tapioca bread and wheat-free waffles. Tapioca bread does not toast well. If you make it golden brown, that actually means ‘brick’ in the language of toast.

And M is such a good Mr Mum. He toasts things to perfection, a lovely golden-brown. Which might make for deliciousness in our wheat-filled world. But actually means ‘cobble my sidewalk with your toast pieces’ in the land of the wheat-free.

I have accidentally stepped on it. I know. It is as hard as a m-f’er.

Apparently Chewie is not interested in our new wheat-free life-style. In the evenings, when I am home and M is off at his summer evening job of serving…. I find little morsels in corners of all the rooms. Waffles in the living-room. Biscuits in the bedroom. Toast everywhere. Chewie hates toast. Well, wheat-free toast anyways.

At least, this wheat -free toast. I think he would have liked what V was eating in Canada. We needed a dog in Canada to clean up the mess V made.

So, unbeknowest to V, wheat-free sucks. It sucks as even the dog won’t eat it.

And then, Chewie did something that surprised me. In retrospect though, it shouldn’t have.

He ate the waffle. So I guess, in hindsight, it wasn’t that bad. I just wish M hadn’t thrown it at me first……

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Dedication

dedication-blog

Shopping at Whole Foods the other day (I might as well add them as a sponser I am there so much) looking for peanut butter substitutes.

See if you can follow my logic here. Peanut-butter substitutes are mostly for people who are allergic to peanuts. Correct? Or for people who have wide and adventurous palates… perhaps?

OK, so lets say we swing with the allergy folks, we know there are lots of you out there. If you are like me, you read the ingredients because just saying that it’s peanut-free on the label is not enough for me. I need to check and see for myself. When I see things like…. oh…. I don’t know, perhaps an addition-slash-warning on a label that says something like “Made in a facility that uses machinery that also processes peanut products“….

DANGER DANGER WILL ROBINSON! DANGER!!

Seriously…. I am disappointed in you. Why would I let my child eat a product that quite potentially has come in contact with something he is really allergic to? Do you think I am stupid? Or perhaps you think I don’t read?

This was what I noticed as I carefully perused the ‘nutbutter’ selection at Whole Foods. I know there are sunflower butters and soy nut butters. Yes, yes… I know all about these…. but what I am looking for is something that actually tastes good.

A few months ago I bought soynut butter. The first few tastes were pretty good. V even liked it!

It makes me gag. For real. There is an awful after-taste of soynuts that, it turns out, make me heave even thinking about it. AND I like roasted soynuts. Just something about the butter, I guess. And looking at the sunflower butter made me think similar things. I like sunflower seeds. I don’t want them to be ruined for me too.

And that is when I started thinking about hazelnuts, almonds and other yummy nuts. Especially hazelnuts. Hazelnut butter sounds divine.

Guess what? All the brands that Whole Foods stocked were all processed in plants that also process peanuts. So thats the end of that.

I left sooooo mad. Not at Whole Foods, but at the brands out there that aren’t looking at the whole picture. You can take the step to branch out to an area that you will have success in, but are incapable of seeing beyond that little area.

Dedicated factories man…. now thats what I am talking about. Come on, be ballsy…… take that next step….

To read about a family being nut-free (and egg-free), check this out. It certainly is interesting to read about what a family with a pretty serious situation does. My kudos to them for find new and interesting ways to make it work with little kids…

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