RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Food Allergy Information

Let’s Talk About an Allergy Treatment Plan

I really know how to whip you into a frenzy with a post title like that, eh?

Last week Javien visited the town Allergist. Not the Ear, Nose, and Throat guy nor the Family Physician but the real deal. I have to say he was fantastic! Both Javien and the Allergist. After reviewing about a million and two questions the good Doctor and I decided it was best to do a full skin test of allergies on Javien. Oh my gracious. I had no idea how badly I would want to rip the little allergy scrapers out of the nurse’s hot little hand and throw them at her! Here’s the play by play: first Javien took off his shirt and the nurse cleaned his back off with alcohol. Next she marked his back with a grid according to the list of things she would test him for. He was very anxious about this and so I made up a little letter that she was writing on his back to relax him and make him giggle. I said something along the lines of “Dear Javien I think you are the coolest kid ever, you are the nicest boy in the world, you have the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen…” The nurse was even laughing and told Javien his mom is a keeper.

Next came the hard part, she started poking and pricking him with all the little allergy scraper things. They were plastic tipped but Javien was in some amount of pain. He squeaked and squealed for every little poke. I held his hand. I told him to take deep breaths and squeeze my hand as hard as he wanted. What I really wanted to do was pull a wrestling/football move on the nurse and grab my boy and run out of the office. We made it through and once that part was over the pain was gone. Javien described it as little pinches. Can you imagine? There were like 40+ of them on his back. Javien was a pro. Really he was so brave.

Finally, I think Javien would say this was the hardest part. He had to lay still for 15 minutes while the allergy spots reacted. Oh and boy did those spots react, he was so itchy. I felt so bad for him. He had to just lay there and be itchy! For 15 minutes!! Yowza. I did take pictures of the whole thing but he is feeling self conscious of the whole experience and doesn’t want anyone to see them. He has given permission for a select few and those few have received the pictures. If he changes his mind I will post pictures but I feel like since he is 8 years old he really deserves to have a say of what I post about him on the world wide web. I respect that. {He did give me full reign on posting “words” though}

It was pretty dang obvious that he has some severe allergies going on. His back was covered in welts, the peanut allergen was huge! His biggest welts were peanuts, grass, cottonwood, and dog hair/dander. Besides those four things he was severely allergic to 11 other things for a total of 15 pretty big allergies. The good news is it is less than I expected. He had no new food allergies and isn’t expected to ever have any new food allergies. The best news is he gets to do it again in a year – wait for it – that is good news because (!!!) the doctor thinks he may not be allergic to all tree nuts in the future. The peanut allergy is for life but the tree nuts have significantly reduced since the last time we did this – soooooo….YAY! That would be a huge huge huge blessing.

The good Doctor came up with an aggressive treatment plan to help Javien with his symptoms and get his breathing and reactions back to normal. I am going to share this treatment plan for anyone else who is suffering from allergies, severe or mild.

Prescriptions: EpiPen Jr x 2 for anaphylactic reactions, Nasonex nose spray twice a day, Albuteral inhaler as needed (seldom)

Over the Counter: 60mg Allegra {fexofenadine} twice daily (dosage is an RX), Vanicream applied head to toe twice daily.

Around the house: Keep pets off furniture and out of bedroom (we already do this), HEPA filter air purifier in bedroom and large living spaces

We implemented everything from the treatment plan Friday night and I am happy to say we have seen a drastic improvement in Javien’s skin, breathing, snoring, all that stuff. He does not sound nasal or sniffly at all. The skin on his back and arms was covered in eczema but with the use of the Vanicream his skin feels silky smooth.

If you are interested in getting Vanicream you can find it on Amazon or at WalMart in the pharmacy, I was told they have to special order it but it is just a cream and does not need a prescription.

Javien’s 8th Birthday Eve – A Halloween Post

I am going to post our Halloween “go door to door and ask for candy from strangers” event of 2011. It was a good night. It wasn’t too cold although once it got dark and spooky some little girl we know got cold and freaked out. She alternated between clinging to my leg and clinging to Nate’s leg as we made our way back to our car! The kids had fun and behaved like kids. One of my favorite highlights was hearing Kobe joyfully exclaim “HAPPY HALLOWEEN” to each and every stranger he encountered. He was thrilled to be right there in the moment and so was I!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Beautiful Moments Blogged

September 27, 2011

Oh my lovely Soy Nuts! Did ya know that Soy Nuts are not actually nuts? Soy is a bean. Not a nut but a bean. Exciting stuff.

What? Wait. You aren’t excited about it in the way I am? Ok let me paint you a picture. There is a little boy who has been known to be allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, and sunflower seeds his whole life. He has never had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or those yummy Peanut Butter cups. He can’t eat chocolate because chocolate and nuts go hand in hand and most chocolate is processed in facilities that also process – you guessed it – nuts.

Today I emailed all the companies I could find that sold Soy Nut (not really a nut) butter to get more information about their ingredients. I found several companies that sell Soy {Not A} Nut Butter that have kosher facilities that are designated nut free. But I wanted to be sure that they didn’t also contain sunflower seed oil in the vegetable oil. I got a response back from one company, their website shows they have sunflower seed oil in their product BUT they do not. I know they need to do an update and I told them that. They changed their recipe to exclude Sunflower Oil a year ago. They have a variety of Soy {Not A} Nut butters that have flavors and even *chocolate* {move over Nutella!} As you can understand I am thoroughly thrilled by this news. I went out and purchased some I M Healthy brand Soy {Not A} Nut butter. This was not the company that I heard from but I reviewed their FAQ’s and ingredient lists and was reassured that their vegetable oil was NOT Sunflower Oil. This was the brand the local health food store sold. I also purchase a few other NEW household staples like chocolate chips that are made in a designated nut free facility. Soy Nuts lightly salted that are not actually nuts they are beans, for snacking. Some animal crackers that are made in a designated nut free facility and etc.

When Javien came home tonight I told him about it. He was understandably cautious. I let him smell it. He thought it smelled gross even though it smells like Peanut Butter. I told him I was going to wipe a spot on his arm. He was scared. Like really fearful. So I explained to him that I would never ever give him something that I knew would hurt him and that I was certain that this was safe for him but wanted to take it slow anyway. So I let that sit on his skin for about ten minutes and had him wipe it off. I asked if he was itchy at all – nope. I checked his skin – nothing. So I put a dab on an animal cracker and let him eat it. He was fearful and kept saying he was going to have to get shots. I reassured him again that I would never and I mean NEVER give him something I knew would hurt him. He got scared for a second saying his throat was swelling but it was the butter in his throat – he has never had the peanut butter sensation or anything remotely close to it. It was sticky like peanut butter in his throat. I told him to get a drink and take some deep breaths, which he did. He was fine. No wait he was more than fine – he was so happy. I told him he gets to have his first ever Soy {Not A} Nut Butter and jelly sandwich. He is thrilled beyond words. He hugged me so many times telling me thank you tonight. What’s even better is he gets to have chocolate chip cookies which he normally cannot have. He is so happy. So excited. Over this small thing. It took me some time researching and emailing companies but you know what? Javien is worth it. He is worth the time it takes to find something he can have. He is so used to being told no and sorry you can’t have this that he doesn’t even flinch. It does not phase him at all. But to be told he CAN have something. Now that is a beautiful moment.

The company that emailed me back is Simple Food  – I encourage you to check them out. They have five different varieties of Soy {Not A} Nut Butter. The president and founder is the one who emailed me and her personal fave is the Cinnamon and Sugar Soy {Not A} Nut Butter. Since it has been so well received in our home I am going to go ahead and purchase the five pack that has one of each flavor directly from their website. Not only that but I am going to take the info into our local health food store and ask them to carry it. It is the least I can do after the founder emailed me back immediately.

Food Allergies – What about the classroom?!

Photo Credit: Nursing Care Plan by Newsodrome

Sending your kids off to school is a daunting thing for a parent. Kids can be cruel. Teachers can not be the best (although in my experience most of the teachers are quite awesome). But what if your child has a life threatening allergy? In the article I will link to below a commenter referred to a peanut ban as being “PC” (politically correct) and I would tend to agree that sometimes we are so PC that we are over the top. Ohh being PC is making me think of this quote: “Seeing as how the VP is such a VIP, should we keep the PC on the QT, ’cause if it leaks to the VC, he could end up a MIA and we’d all be put on KP.” {Good Morning Vietnam} Anyway, there is nothing about avoiding peanuts because of a life threatening allergy that is “PC”. It’s quite disturbing that people lack enough compassion to do a simple google search to recognize that this is a serious allergy. I do believe that our allergic kiddos need to be educated on the things that they can or cannot have but I also know, first hand, that it is not so easy for a kiddo with an allergy to recognize that just one tiny M&M will send him into an allergic reaction. He doesn’t understand why, when the teacher is handing them out to the entire class, he has to say no thank you. A first grader is not always capable of that kind of self-control. While I believe very firmly in natural consequences I do not think that the possibility of him dying would have been a good consequence to teach him more/better self-control. Believe me we had a “chat” {parental code for STERN talking to} when he came home about the lack of self-control he displayed. Although, I did and do understand his point of view and believe the stupid M&M’s should NOT have been given out in CLASS as a REWARD!!!! Ask me again how I feel about that – because I will tell you!

Finally, if you made it through my rant here is the article: Allergies in the classroom: What’s ok to send for snack time? 

I would really like to compile a list of allergy friendly snacks that can be eaten in the classroom. I think this would be very helpful for my son’s teacher and other parents. I know there are lists out there but my son has a severe (more severe than the peanut allergy) to sunflower seeds and would ya know – EVERYTHING is made with vegetable oil which has SUNFLOWER OIL in it! So please leave me your favorite allergy friendly snack. Let’s discuss this!

 

 

Kids With Serious Allergies

What is a serious allergy? One that makes a person sneeze? One that makes a person have hives? While those are allergies and quite miserable but lets be honest those are not *serious* and by *serious* I mean life threatening.

A serious allergy is one that results in anaphylaxis. An allergy that can mean life or death for a person. I do not have serious allergies so for all purposes this post and all future posts on my blog about serious allergies will be directed to kids with allergies and/or parents who have kids with allergies. Since it is the beginning of the school year (again) I have been searching or information that is pertinent to Javien’s teacher and classroom. There is so much information it is overwhelming and very difficult to narrow it down to exactly what I need and am looking for.

Many MANY people have serious allergies ranging from bee’s to peanuts to sesame seeds or shellfish. Javien is severely allergic to ALL nuts and sunflower seeds. We also believe he has a mild allergy to wheat gluten. Again let’s review what severe serious means = if he is in any contact with these items he could go into anaphylactic shock and die. The chances of him having an anaphylactic reaction to any of those things is extremely high – it is not just a one in a million chance. If you have eaten peanut butter I would ask that you refrain from coming to our home or even speaking to Javien because the peanut residue for lack of a better description would more than likely provide a potentially fatal allergic reaction for him.

I plan to blog more about this kind of severe allergy as I find information that I find to be helpful. Recently I have been in touch with someone who is becoming an abundant resource for me. I am finding more information on allergies than I have ever. The best part is it is focused information and it applies to our situation. I am including the links to websites or Facebook groups that I found helpful below.

Allerbling – not jewelry but an excellent reminder for people around us that this is a child with a SEVERE allergy. Check it out. Also check out the “Resources” page for a fantastic guide to treats and goodies that are allergy friendly.

504 Plan for Severe Allergies and Anaphylaxis – a Facebook group created by a mom. A 504 plan is important for kids with limiting disabilities and severe allergy is a limiting disability. I am just starting the process to get a 504 in place for our son. If you do not have one or are not sure if your child has one start here!

SpokaneFASN– The Facebook page for SpokaneFASN (Food Allergy Support Network) another fantastic resource for information and support.

HomeFree – Treats that are allergy friendly. I have not tried these yet but I plan to soon. What a fantastic gift idea for that special kiddo in your life who is allergic to what seems like ALL the good stuff.

Food Allergy Awareness for Kids – Super awesome short video aimed at kids who might not understand why sharing their Snickers bar with a classmate is a very bad idea.