Saturday, February 27, 2010

Food Allergy Appointment #2

How many people have had to sit and watch their child get their blood drawn over and over again? Well, because of my daughter's food allergies, from time to time I have to go through this process. To think that for the rest of her life she may have to succumb to this just to see if her RAST numbers have changed is daunting for me.

I first had her tested when she was around 3 or 4 years old. The results came out showing she had several nut, pet, and outdoor allergies. What her allergist didn't explain to me was that we had to come back every so many years to keep getting tested. I found this out through the many people I follow on Twitter (thank you fellow twitterers). They were discussing how they were taking their children back in to get tested. So I decided to set up an appointment and talk to my daughter's allergist.

After viewing her old test results, her allergiest came to the conclusion that her numbers weren't as high as I assumed they were. Her allergist then said that she may actually outgrow them. I previously read, once you have a peanut allergy, you have it for life. I thought this was how her life was going to be forever. Knowing that she could actually outgrow them makes me believe that she has a chance to have a "normal" life after all.

Now began our RAST number conversation. First and foremost, a RAST (radioallergosorbent test) test is a blood test that measures the level of allergen-specific IgE (immunoglobulin E) in your blood. She explained to me if your RAST numbers are very high (level 5 and above) then chances are you will not outgrow them. Or more importantly if you are an adult and get diagnosed with a peanut allergy, you will not outgrow it either. Seeing how her peanut RAST number is a 12.80 (level 3), her allergist wants to test her again and see if they have gone down. If her RAST number for peanut is 5.00 or below, her allergist would like to conduct a food challenge.

Right now I am just waiting for the blood test results to come back. And once they do, it will determine where we will go from here.

Copyright © 2010 Allergykidmom. All rights reserved

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Friday Follow # 7

Follow Friday is back. I had fun last Friday and am hoping to meet new people this Friday!
Friday Follow

MckLinky Blog Hop

Copyright © 2010 Allergykidmom. All rights reserved

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Allergy Free Pudding Disaster

A lot of times I wonder if I am the only parent who can't cook for their own child. Maybe I'm not and it just feels that way. Seeing how she has food allergies and can't eat most foods from the store, I have decided to try to cook for her more often, that way she can try new stuff and not eat the same things week after week.

The other day I decided to make some chocolate pudding for everyone to eat. Now the fact that I am making it at home means my daughter can eat it because the ingredients will be nut allergy safe. I was so happy that she could finally partake in all the food we were going to eat. Excitement over took me and I grabbed the cocoa powder, milk, vanilla, etc. I put the pan on the stove and poured in all of my ingredients. Okay, it states that I am suppose to bring it to a boil and cook it on medium heat. My thinking was how on earth is it going to come to a boil on medium heat. HI heat is what I felt would bring it to a boil, so that is what I did. As I was stirring the ingredients together in the pot, my father came down the stairs and announced to me that it smelled like something was burning. I told him it smells like that but my pudding wasn't burning. He proceeded to walk over to where I was diligently stirring and looked into the pan. He noticed that there were clumps in the pudding. I told him it was pieces that I just didn't feel like breaking up. I was then told by him to take the metal spoon out and use a wooden one because it was scraping "stuck pudding" off the bottom of the pan. Well, I'll have you know, that I somewhat thought that I knew what I was doing, so everything had to be fine. I left the metal spoon in and continued to cook it. Then my daughter came into the room and looked into the pan. I asked her if she wanted to help and she excitedly agreed. Oh what joy, mother and daughter making chocolate pudding together!!! After some time, I took it off the stove and transferred it to a bowl to cool off. Then I realized, there was pudding stuck at the bottom of the pan and it did somewhat smell like it was burnt. I thought if we put cool whip in it, then it could mask the flavor. So I put it in the fridge to cool off until we are done with our lunch.

After everyone was done, it was time for the pudding. I warned everyone that it had a funny taste and smell, but they could still try it. My mother and I poured the pudding into small bowls and included a cookie for each person. We also put a dollop of cool whip on top. Now it was time for me to make my daughter's bowl. As I was pouring it in, she came over and looked at it and looked up at me and said, "I am going to get a popsicle". And down the stairs she ran for her popsicle.

I try to include her with the rest of us (food wise) as much as possible. Figuring I made this, she could eat it. Well, I guess there is always next time. I am better at baking vs. cooking. Maybe I will make a cake the next time and she will partake in that. So, for now I will leave the homemade pudding alone and buy it from the store.
Copyright © 2010 Allergykidmom. All rights reserved

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Joys of Raising A Smart Kid

Is my child the only one who uses her food allergy symptoms to get what she wants (in terms of food)? My daughter thinks she can pull one over on me by saying she is experiencing symptoms in order not to eat a certain food. If it weren't for me knowing exactly what she is allergic to and how to really tell if she is having a reaction, she just might be able to get away with it.

Her favorite cereal, for the time being, is the Puffins cinnamon flavored cereal. I lucked out when I came across Barbara's Bakery cereals. They don’t have a lot of choices, but the two I get are wheat free, dairy free and made in a peanut free facility. Because we don’t have a slew of different cereals for her to choose from, when she finds one she likes, she tends to over indulge. Quite naturally, most kids do.

Just the other day, she was eating a bowl of cereal. In order for her not to eat up all the cinnamon cereal, I gave her the regular brand. Half way through her bowl she started to yell for me. I went in and asked what was wrong and she proceeded to tell me that her tongue was feeling funny. This is the first symptom she usually experiences when she eats something that she is allergic to. I looked at her and she seemed fine. I asked her what she meant by her tongue feeling funny and all she could say was that it felt weird. Apparently, she had forgotten that I gave her this same cereal the night before and the week before without any kind of reaction. When I refreshed her memory, she had a "man I just got found out" expression on her face. Yes dear, I know all your tricks! I've explained to her that she can't fake her symptoms (when she doesn’t want what is in front of her) because one day I may not believe her when she tells me she is having them. Of course, anytime she says something is wrong, I take her seriously. While she is trying to outsmart me, she doesn't need to know.

While sitting here typing this out, I wonder, is there anyone else going through what I am going through or is my daughter the only one who tries to manipulate me with her allergic symptoms?

Copyright © 2010 Allergykidmom. All rights reserved

Thursday, February 18, 2010

FRIDAY FOLLOW: Come Join The Celebration! #6

Friday Follow

MckLinky Blog Hop

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Valentine's Day Candy Denial

Valentine's Day is usually a fun time for most people, but for a parent of a child who can only eat certain foods, it is not.

On Friday, my daughter had an impromptu Valentine's Day party at her school. Normally this is fine, but when I went to drop her off, I saw a ton of candy filled bags and cupcakes. Her teacher proceeded to come over and asked me if she was allowed to have anything. I let her know that she couldn't, but she could bring everything home. Well, to my amazement, when I picked her up she was sucking on a lollipop. I know most of you are thinking, what is wrong with a lollipop? For my daughter, a small lollipop could set off a chain of reactions. One reason being, she is allergic to blue dye.

My weekend was spent going through bags of candy (not only from the party on Friday, but also from a birthday party on Sunday). First, I had to take out all the chocolate candy for nut reasons. Then the hard candy was divided up depending on color (blue or purple (we all know red and blue make purple)). And last but not least, anything that had blue dye #1 in it but wasn't the color blue, I also put aside. If you are thinking that she wasn't left with a lot of candy choices, you are right.

As sad as it is, she is use to being denied certain foods. It doesn't get any easier explaining to her that she can't eat what the other kids are eating because of her food allergies. She thinks that all we have to do is stick her with her epipen and she will be all right. I have explained to her that if it comes to that point, it would be a serious matter. Maybe it will get easier for her and maybe it won't. One thing I do know is that I am the one who has to watch what goes into her mouth and until she is able to use discretion, I will be the candy separator.

Copyright © 2010 Allergykidmom. All rights reserved

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Food Allergic Kids and Babysitters

The other day I had to leave my daughter with a babysitter who has never watched her before. I usually try to take her with me or leave her with my sister or parents. I had no choice this time. It can be a little nerving leaving her with someone new, whether it is a family member or a friend. I always wonder if they are doing things the way that I want them done. Not to sound like a brat, but it is my kids life we're talking about.

I have found a way to make it a little easier on myself and maybe for others who read this too.

  1. Prepare food for them to eat. I find this option very useful. When you do this, you don't have to worry about what the babysitter will have to feed them. You know that whatever goes in their mouth is going to be food allergy free.
  2. Babysitter should watch what they eat. If they are not in a food allergy friendly home, the babysitter needs to be careful what they ingest also. If the child is allergic to nuts and the babysitter eats peanut butter and has some on their hands when touching the child, it could set off an allergic reaction.
  3. Inform babysitter to read ALL ingredients. If you don't have time to prepare food , you can let them know what they need to look out for. Make sure they know to look over all the ingredients and make sure they also know what hidden words that are used. This is very important.
  4. Allergy Bracelet. If your child has a bracelet, it usually has the foods that they are allergic to listed on it. You can let them know if they forget, they can look at the bracelet to help them remember. Another good thing about one of these bracelets is that if anything goes wrong, you can call the number on the back for help. Actually, this is with the Medic Alert Bracelets. I'm not sure how the rest of them work.
  5. Food Allergy Card. These are very helpful to hand out when someone is watching your child and they aren't sure what foods to watch out for. They have them on the Internet to purchase. I made some up myself and handed them out to all my family members. I can't speak for the other cards, but the one I created has her allergens listed from severe all the way to very low. I also listed foods to watch out for/avoid and cross contamination issue.
  6. Know what symptoms to look for. Knowing the symptoms of an allergic reaction is important for a babysitter. Different symptoms show up with different kids, but they are generally the same. It would be imperative for them to know the ones that your child tends to suffer from. Itchy skin/hives, tingling in the mouth (my daughter tends to say her mouth or her throat feels funny), stomach pains, difficulty breathing, swollen tongue or throat, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of consciousness. One sign that is not usually listed but happened to my daughter is falling asleep. This could be right before loss of consciousness, so telling them this would be important.
  7. The EPIPEN or EPIPEN JR. I feel it is very important for the babysitter to know how to use the epipen, just in case something does happen. You should let them know to use the epipen (make sure they know how to use it correctly), then call 911 and follow up by calling you.
I'm sure a lot of people already know or have done this, but if you are new to having a kid with food allergies and you have to leave them with someone, I hope this can help.

Copyright © 2010 Allergykidmom. All rights reserved

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Homemade Corn Dogs

I have found another good recipe on the internet ( No I can not come up with them myself. I am just learning how to cook. I never really cared before, but with my daughter wanting different things more and more, I am having to learn how.

Homemade Corn Dogs

2/3 c. corn meal
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. oil
1 lb. hot dogs (I used Loma Linda Linkettes)
1 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
3/4 c. milk (I used Soy Silk milk)
1 egg, slightly beaten
8 sticks (I was able to make 10 w/batter left over)

Mix corn meal, flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add milk and cooking oil, mix well. Add egg. Dry hot dogs; insert sticks and dip in corn dog mixture. Cook in hot oil at 365 degrees until golden brown.

*One thing that might help is if you put the batter in a jar and dip the hotdog in it. Also if you put flour on the hot dog first, it might help the batter stick to the hot dog.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Can Nut Allergies Equal Poor Health?

I was reading an article regarding how beneficial the consumption of nuts are to ones health. They play more of an important roll in our dietary plan than I had assumed.

According to Consumer Reports on Health, just a handful of pistachio nuts a day are very beneficial to the health of our hearts. Pistachios contain phytosterols. This is a substance that helps absorb cholesterol in our system. Pine nuts, sunflower seeds, and flax seeds are also high in phytosterols.

Nuts are also high in fiber and contain antioxidents. They also contain amino acid arginine, which helps boost your immune system and lower blood pressure levels. Most of them help produce serotonin in your brain, which can help keep you mellow. Another good thing about consuming nuts is that they help ward off heart disease. Nuts have also been noted as helping reduce strokes, type 2 diabetes, and dementia.

I realize that you can eat other foods to achieve most of the benefits you can receive from nuts, but wouldn't it be nice to just be able to pop a handful in your mouth and gain a little nutrients?

It worries me daily to think that my child could be missing out on simple health benefits because she is allergic to nuts. Of course it doesn't help that there are other healthy foods that she is also allergic to, preventing her from acquiring all the health benefits that she could use. It is a hope of mine that one day they can find a way to help all of the kids and adults who are allergic to nuts, so that they can also enjoy the great taste and health benefits from them as they rest of us do.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Why Can't Schools Care More?

I went to my daughter's school sometime ago to talk to the nurse about her safety there. Would you belive it, she was not in. The school nurse is only there one day out of the week. How am I to feel safe if the "school nurse" is only there one day out of the week?

This is a big irritation of mine. I would like to drop her off to school and feel as though she is in good hands. I can't feel that way knowing that the nurse can only attend to her one day out of the week. What if something were to happen on one of the days that she isn't there? Who would take care of her? Much to my chagrin, it would be one of the staff members in the office. Part of me doesn't agree with this. And the reason being is because I don't believe they have taken the class that the nurse needed to correctly administer the epipen to my child.

Another surprising thing is that the nurse had never taken the class before. There are other kids that attend the school that apparently have food allergies also, but she wasn't told to take the class until I started nosing around. Whether there are kids on the campus with food allergies or not, I believe she should be trained in this matter. Call me crazy, but you are a school nurse, right? I know most people are probably saying, 'Why take a class if it is not needed?' Well, so you will be well prepared when it comes about.

When I enrolled her into preschool it didn't matter as much because she didn't eat lunch there. She also had a wonderful teacher who asked me on the mornings of parties if certain foods were appropriate. And when she graduated to kindergarten it was okay because that teacher was awesome with her also. She would call me up at home and ask me if certain foods were okay. She would also keep frozen popsicles for her if parents showed up with cupcakes unannounced.

This brings us to her first grade teacher. Bless her heart, she is a beautiful woman. But I don't think she understands food allergies. The first day of class I explained to her that my daughter had food allergies. She looked very puzzled, so I decided to make up an example for her. She looked at me and said, 'If I have a mango at my desk, what should I do?' Well, if you want my honest opinion, put it back in your lunch. No matter what I said to her she just didn't get it.

Last week they had an impromptu party and had cookies that came from a bakery. It shocked me when my daughter told me that she had some cookies. Unfortunately my daughter is starting to want to eat what the other kids are eating and I am having to hound her a little more than I use to. So when she told me about the cookies I confronted the teacher. All she said was, 'Okay.' Can you believe that is all I got out of her. I didn't get a sorry or I will ask her the next time. I just got an 'okay'. And to make matters worse, she let my daughter take home some food that she was allergic to. Why would you do that? I know it was wrapped up in a napkin, but come on!

Oh, it gets even better. They will not allow her to eat cafeteria food either. They say that it doesn't state where the food is made and they don't want to take any chances. I even asked to look at the packaging so that I can determine if it is safe, but they will not allow it. In a way it is good. I don't really want her eating cafeteria food anyway. But sometimes I don't feel like making her a lunch and wouldn't mind her eating a cheese sandwich or a bean burrito from the school. And when it comes to kids sharing food at lunch, all they do is tell them not to share food because some kids have food allergies. As you can see, this school does not have food allergy free tables.

I'll be honest, I am not happy with my daughter's school or the administration members either. It is hard to drop your child off and wonder if you are going to get a phone call stating that they either gave them an epipen or called an ambulance and they are on their way to the nearest hospital.