Saturday, January 17, 2015

Two children with food allergies?

Tonight I got to go out with a friend to have dinner. I hardly ever get out and haven't had much time with her lately. So, it was much needed and just really nice. When I got home, I decided to finish my left overs. Of course, since my 20 month old was awake, I had to share my food. Once we finished, I took him to bed. That is when I realized he had some hives around his mouth. This is not the first time that I have suspected hives. I have no idea what could have caused them. He ate some french fries and pita chips. I do not believe that there was anything that he has not been exposed to before. The only new thing could be the spinach and artichoke in the dip that he did not eat. I am really hoping that this was some fluke and he was just irritated for some reason. But, upon a closer look, I noticed that it had at least one red bump with a white dot in the middle. That is the typical hive for ingesting a food you are allergic to. Gabriel sometimes gets them as a mild allergy. But, other times it is the very first sign of anaphylaxis. It is a very scary waiting/guessing game.  This is a new child, with a completely different body that may react differently.

The threat has always been there. I am aware that a child with a food allergic sibling has a 70% chance of having food allergies as well. But, I have taken strict measures to try avoiding allergies.
Anaphylaxis is most likely to happen within 2 hours. But, there is something called biphasic anaphylaxis. It can be anywhere from mild to fatal. This happens in 20% of people that have an allergic reaction. It is even what causes quite a lot of the fatalities. It is unexpected and can happen up to 72 hours later! So, it looks like I will not be getting much sleep for a while!

Illness and Allergies

Did you know that when you are sick, your immune system is not as strong? To some of you, that may be obvious. But, did you also know that when your immune system is down like that, you are more likely to suffer an allergic reaction? 

My son is undergoing oral immunotherapy. What we do is we feed my son eggs, although he is allergic to it. We, in a sense, trick his body into outgrowing the allergy. To do this, you need have have a food challenge under the supervision of an allergist. We did what is called "The Muffin Test". We baked muffins with eggs in them. We then took it with us to the allergists office and fed one to him, slowly over the course of 6 hours. He passed this test, so we now feed it to him at home. Let me clarify, Gabriel is still allergic to eggs! When the egg is baked at such a high temperature, the egg's protein changes enough that his body does not recognize it as the threat it believes egg to be. This does not work on everyone. That is why it is so important to only test in a controlled environment, supervised by a doctor. In fact, we also did the muffin test with baked milk. In that instance, we thought he would pass. But, he ended up going into anaphylactic shock. It was the worst I had seen. We caught it incredibly fast and gave him epinephrine. His doctor told me that we caught it so soon that he definitely will not need another dose. But, about 2-3 minutes after his first injection, he started to go back into anaphylactic shock. His entire body was red to the point of turning purple, itchy, burning and his face was covered in hives. His doctor, to this day, says he thinks about it often. After multiple epinephrine injections and strong medications, we were able to take him home. But, obviously, he failed miserably at that muffin test. If we had tried it at home, it is likely it would have ended much differently. That scares the crumb out of me!

Getting back to the point; when you are sick, your immune system is down. Therefore, you are more likely to have a reaction. We have been advised not to give him anything containing egg if he is sick. He will be more likely to have a reaction. This also applies when he has had a reaction within the last week or two, depending on how severe the reaction was. So, while you are very mindful and careful with an allergic person, it is a good idea to be even more cautious if they have been sick or had an allergic reaction recently. Taking them to a restaurant where you might trust ingredients or to a place where allergens may be present might be better to hold off until they are back to 100%. While they might not be contact reactive on a normal occasion, they may be during that time. It takes less exposure to cause a reaction than is normal.

Did you know any of that? Let me know in the comments below! 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Scouts

When you think of boy or girl scouts you think of cookies and popcorn. Next you may think of the fun these children have in the troops.  For me, it is just a big anxiety attack.

My daughter is finally old enough to be a girl scout. She is in the daisy scout troop and is loving it. Now that my son is seeing how much fun she is having, he is asking to join the boy scouts. I know it is possible for a food allergy kid to be in the scouts. I have heard many FA parents speak about their child's time in the scouts. But, in this small little town, nobody really knows about food allergies. I do what I can to educate the public. I have been featured in the local paper, done some fundraising and wrote post after post on Facebook about it. But, the majority of people in my town just don't 'get it'. I am so nervous to send him somewhere like that. I know they have snack, go camping, on nature hikes (including trail mixes), sell POPCORN. This is all stuff that is potentially life threatening. But, how do I tell him this? I have recently come to find out, he has been getting migraines. These are possibly triggered by anxiety. I do not want to worsen them or feed his anxiety. So, what do I do? This is a question I am asking myself and really struggling to find an answer. I know that I cannot protect him forever. But, do I want to risk his life over an extra curricular? I have suggested other things such as indoor soccer. Again, there will be snack after but that is easily avoided/substituted. He is interested in that as well but no matter what I suggest, there will be risks. I can't teach my son to be a scared couch potato. So, where is the middle ground? Where do I give and where do I take? This is the question weighing on my mind. Hopefully I will have an answer soon. If you have any opinion or suggestion, I would be more than happy to hear it!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I'm back!!

Hi All!

I have been wanting to revive my blog for some time now but had absolutely no time to do it! In fact, I really don't even have time now but I am determined to carve out bits and pieces of my time here and there to dedicate to blogging.

This post is just to update you all on my life and big events that have occurred. To start, I have 3 children! What?!?
When I left off with you all, I was trying to conceive a third child. Well, now that child is almost 20 months old! Wow, that really shows how long it has been. He is an amazing child and I have done SO MUCH to try to avoid a possible allergy. As many of you know, there is a 70% chance of having a food allergy if you have a sibling with food allergies. I can get more into what I have done for preventative measures in another post. And of course it is all theory.  We also adopted a puppy. Her name is Lucy. She is so rambunctious and very cuddly.  My oldest (FA child) is in 1st grade! It is the first time hes been in school all day and we have approached the lunchroom! So far, NO ALLERGIES this year. We did, however, face a trip to the ER when he was in kindergarten. That was not fun but it got me to really push the school for that 504 and we got it!!! Whew!  I recently started a new job. So, I am not a full time stay at home mom anymore. My job at Budget Blinds ended while I was pregnant and I decided to try the stay at home mom thing again with my youngest. I feel slightly guilty for going back to work when I did not do that with my other two. But, I know that it is what is best for our family in the long run. To add to that, I am only part time and am loving that tidbit! I also absolutely love my new job. It was an amazing opportunity and I am so grateful for it!

I plan to fill you in on the smaller details in posts to come. I just thought I would fill you in on the major events for now.  I am so happy to be back and have many new ideas to blog about!

Thanks for reading! Have a fabulous day!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Baby Showers

I think there is something in the water. There are so many people getting pregnant right now. I know more people than I can count on both of my hands that are pregnant right now. So, with all of these people becoming pregnant, there are bound to be baby showers. I recently went to my closest friend's baby shower and I ended up having to discard my piece of cake because it contained a nut that I was allergic to. There were many things there that I would not have let my son be around. It is pretty typical to have chocolate covered nuts, cake, ice cream and other snacks at a baby shower where you can  not have someone with multiple food allergies in attendance without being extremely cautious. Now, the question is what do you take them to a baby shower? Or what do you do if you cannot make it to the shower or birth of the baby and would like to send a gift. I have found your solution. It is called a baby bouquet. I just love this idea!

To order this or to find other great baby shower ideas, visit: http://www.bestbabyshower.co.uk/baby-bouquets/

Friday, September 7, 2012

Learn Spanish for Kids

I think knowing multiple languages is almost an essential for our children. By learning a second language it broadens the possibilities. They always say that children are like sponges, so why not start them when they can actually learn a second language instead of waiting until they are in high school and mostly just cramming for their Spanish test? That is why when I heard of Kids Start Spanish I thought it was a great idea! It teaches them in ways that they are already learning everything else. If you are interested in having your children learn a second language, I would say to check out Kids Start Spanish.

For more information please visit http://www.kidstartspanish.com/

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Birthday Parties

My sons birthday is coming up. It is actually right before Halloween which is another cause for parties in some households. With the food allergies in our family I try to make birthdays and halloween go as smoothly as possible. If you are going to have a party for kids, you know that you need lots of supplies. You will need party bags, candy (possibly for a pinata), goodie bags and all the essentials to throw a good party. My favorite thing to do is to give the children something they can use beyond that day. If you get Fabric Party Bags the children can use them as goodie bags, pinata bags and then much more once taken home.

If you visit HERE you can see those bags and much more to help you get some of the kids party essentials! :)