Saturday, January 29, 2011

This Week at the Allergist

On Monday we hopped in the car and headed to out allergist in NYC. As expected we did another skin test and blood test. Not expected was how good Cormac was when they did the skin test. He didn't even flinch until the last prick. He just watched and sat still. When the nurse was done, he started to roll up his sleeve of his other arm. I'd say pretty good for a 2 year old. The blood test was of course a different story.

The skin results were every encouraging! Back in July he tested negative for almonds (for some reason we missed that), and positive for the other nuts that were tested. This time he tested negative again for almonds! I think this is a good sign. The other nuts came up, but much smaller welts this time. So small that after the 10 minutes we still didn't see anything. After about 20 minutes there were some small dots but not even close to last time.

The Dr. is optimistic that we may be able to rule out tree nuts! Almonds anyway. She wants to wait for the blood work to come back and make our move from there. I must note that his tree nut diagnosis was based purely on the skin test in July. When our regular pediatrician ordered the original blood test after his reaction to peanuts, Cormac wasn't tested for tree nuts. This time he was, so we sit and wait to see what the next step is.

I am still really happy with our Dr. at Mt. Sinai and their whole staff. They are all wonderful with Cormac and us. They take there time, and answer every question. Our Dr. never thinks I'm crazy or over reacting. She is supportive, and has encouraged me to go forward with the support group idea (now if only I could get moving on that).

One thing I want to stress is this. Be happy with your child's Dr.'s. If your not, it makes things so much harder. I'm glad we switched pediatrician's a while back. It was just before Cormac had his horrible reaction to peanuts. He was wonderful with us and I know we wouldn't have gotten the same attention and genuine concern from our old practice.

I went in thinking nothing had changed, and turns out there may be a big change for the better. I couldn't be happier!


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Even at my son's own party?

I was going to wait until later in the week to post about this, but why wait. Today we went to the New Jersey Children's Museum for the first time. Cormac had a great time. It had a ton of stuff to tire him out and give us some laughs. If your looking for something affordable to do on a cold winter day, this is the place.

My problem with this museum isn't about the the facilities , activities or anything like that, it's about what happen when I inquired about birthday parties. When were there, there were a few parties starting. I thought what a great idea. Cormac 's b-day is in December, and for years to come I'm going to have to come up with some location b-days. Our house is just too small for all his little friends already.

So of course my first question was about the food. I started by saying my son has food allergies so we would like to bring our own food. I also stated there will more than just him that has food allergies. She said we can accommodate you no problem. You can bring him (just him), his own food and the rest of the party has to eat what they supply. I said no it's his b-day party. I'm not going to make him something different than everyone else. This is not school, it's HIS party and he will not be left out. She said no you can't bring food for everyone. What the hell. I can't have a party for my own kid that has all safe food! She didn't even give me a reason why. Tell me why and maybe I'd understand.

I said what about a cake. He can't have yours and she said oh desserts are OK. So at least part of the party can be safe. So I asked what foods they serve and she said pizza. OK usually a safe food. I asked where do you get it from so I can talk to them and make sure it's safe? She wouldn't tell me. She said the pizza is peanut free, they use vegetable oil. Um really? In my quest to find safe places to eat for Cormac, vegetable oil has never been a answer in any pizza place so far. It's always olive oil. So that makes me question her info. It could be true but it's weird to me. I said what about tree nuts? Her response was, I'm sure it's tree nut free too. I can ask if you want.

No I don't want you to ask, I want to ask myself! I don't know you, and frankly your lack of understanding and unwillingness to talk about it doesn't make me trust you. No I didn't say that, but wish I did. Seriously why can't I talk to the place? You are charging $299.00 for a party. You can at least let me find out if the food is safe. I don't care how much you are overcharging me as long as I am 100% sure my son and his other allergic buddies are safe.

Anytime we go to a party at a kids place, we call and ask about the food. Not once have they denied me the information of where it comes from. Every place we have called have been super helpful and informative. Why wouldn't they be? Having an ambulance come to your place of business can't be a good thing.

So looks like a party here is out of the question, but for something to do we will probably go back. Like I said the museum itself is great and the staff (besides the party planner), were nice. Too bad though. It looked like the kids at the parties were having a great time.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Quick Update

Things here have been quiet on the allergy front. We have so many school parties I was getting stressed out, but all the moms have been so great about it. I wish all his school years can go as well.

The bad dreams are starting up again and I'm not happy about that at all! It really sucks. I can go a while and not get upset, and then one damn dream gets me all anxious again. We have such great friends and family who are on board so why do I get this way? Motherhood I guess.

I think the big trigger is that we are heading back to the allergist on Monday. Cormac will be getting more blood work and skin tests done. I'm not looking forward to it. I really don't think much has changed in 6 months, but I will try and stay positive. I just feel bad for him and all the needles.

I'll be sure to give you the details when we get back.


Friday, January 14, 2011

What's Acceptable?

I'm hoping I can get back to my blogging as I've been MIA. For some reason I've been avoiding the computer and my social networking/emails a lot lately. Probably not a bad thing since so much of our time now revolves around the Internet. I'm actually trying to talk myself out of upgrading to a smart phone. Do I really need Internet access 24/7?

So I read a blog entry today about a teacher who feels guilty about eating nuts at school. Now she does not have any allergic children in her class, nor is the school peanut and tree nut free. However they were at one time but that failed. The new idea is for the teachers to abstain and ask the kids to as well, but again it's not policy. Kids can still bring in their nutty foods.

She goes on to say how guilty she feels about her secret stash of mixed nuts she has in her draw. That she always washes her hands after eating them. She is aware of the allergies in the school (again none in her classroom). She seems responsible about it, but feels guilty. I think that feeling alone shows that she does care. Her post was well written and not accusatory against food allergic children or parents.

My point of this post is to ask, what's acceptable to you? We each will have our own tolerance on what is OK and what's not. In general I am OK with what she is doing. Provided she is not interacting with other children who do have allergies and is not eating the nuts in front of the non allergic kids when asking them not to eat nuts. I do think a teacher needs to set the example. Kids learn from teachers just as much as they do from home.

OK what do you think? Should she feel guilty?


Sunday, January 2, 2011

I can't believe it's 2011!

Boy how time flies. I really can't believe it's 2011. I think about how long I've know some of my friends and it's been more than half my life! It feels like just yesterday I met some of them. I feel old! But that's ok, because when I sit down and think about it, I've accomplished so much. At a glance it doesn't always feel like it in my everyday life, but when you get down to the details it's pretty fun to see what I've done. I think more people need to look at you life details and you will surprise yourself.

I've definitely grown as a person. I'd like to think I'm as still as open minded as I was when I was an idealistic teen. But the reality is life and motherhood changes that as you get older. When you become a mother, you world view changes a bit. You see more of the bad than you saw when you didn't have those worries. Add food allergies to the list and you start seeing how some people are down right mean, selfish, and ignorant.

I don't always deal well with those people. I'm still struggling with my own anxieties and fears when It comes to Cormacs allergies. Reading negative comments and articles all over the web still gets me upset. So even though I'm not one for New Years Resolutions I decided to work on some things in 2011 that I hope will stay with me for the years to come.

1. Stop reading comments made after food allergy articles and negative blogs about it. I need my sleep, and fighting with these people in my head isn't worth it!

2. Take a step back a remember that people who don't live with food allergies on a daily basis don't deserve my anger when they don't get it. I can't expect the world to understand.

3. Thank and tell people who make and effort how much it means to us that they are trying even if they don't get it right. This will encourage them to keep trying, give us an opportunity to educate, and eventually hope that our patience will pay off in the end when they do get it right.

I make sure to tell the moms in our Mommy & Me class how much it means to me that they ask questions and bring in safe snacks for the whole class. It's paying off! At the holiday party a mom made cookies and asked me a ton of questions before hand. The party came and she was worried about the frosting she used and made him a plain cookie. It meant so much that instead of taking the chance she though about it. She thought about my son in the middle of all the holiday fuss. That's a big deal to me, and it was important to me that she knew that.

So even though our children's food allergies are a very serious thing, I think we need to give others ( the people who are trying that is), a bit of a learning curve. People will forget or make a mistake but you can't expect everyone to be as on top of it as you are. Never compromise you child's safety of coarse, but remember how confusing and overwhelming it was and is for you. For others it may be just as scary. Good intentions won't keep your child safe, but it's a start to educating others on how to keep your kiddo happy and healthy.

I don't know about you but I am so happy the holiday's are over! Cheers to a healthy and happy 2011. Happy New Year everyone!