Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hives twice in one week!

It's been a tiring week and a half so far. The little man has had a bad cold and cough accompanied by a fever 3 nights in a row that would spike at 4 pm each day. He would have no fever during the day but a 4 he would get a fever ranging for 102-103.2. It hasn't been fun for anyone. Lack of sleep is getting to both me and daddy. Jim just says Mac is prepping us for the new baby. Personally I'd like the next 5 months to get as much sleep as I can.

On top of that we had 2 incidents of hives in 6 days. Keep in mind hives have never been a symptom with Cormac. We only had one food allergy reaction to peanut butter and that was bad. Swollen eyes to the size of gold balls, as well as the whites of his eye swelling over the iris's. It looked like gel. Very scary and painful for him, but no hives.

Back to the hives. While Jim and I were at the big ultrasound finding Mac is going to have a little brother, he was at a play date. We totally trust the two moms (and still do), that were watching him. Both are well informed about his allergies and know what to do if something happens. Yeah for good friends!

Apparently the dog licked him around his eye. His eyes then got watery, red and itchy, and one or two hives appeared on his for head. They called us and told us what was happening. They wanted to give him benedryl like our action plan says to, but they weren't in a panic. Since Cormac has been around this dog and many others without incident, we weren't in a panic either but concerned. By the time we go there the benedryl cleared it all up and if they didn't call us we never would of know about it.

We talked about what he ate while there, and determined it wasn't the cause. So this led us to believe he's either allergic to the dog, or something the dog ate. I'm leaning toward the dog food, since he has been around this dog many times and never had an issue. But we aren't 100% on that.

Five days later we had two neighborhood parties to go to. Lets just say St. Patrick's day is HUGE here. Our little town boasts that we have the second largest St. paddy's Day parade in NY, just after the NYC parade. So there are parties everywhere. Both parties we were invited to are at houses we frequent and allergy aware.

At party #1, we knew ahead of time that the chicken nuggets were safe as well as some of the cupcakes made by another neighbor. She had called me the day before to tell me she made Mac safe cupcakes for both parties. As usual she told me what she used to make them. All safe.

Needless to say we let him have both. After about 10 minuets of him eating the cupcake his little face broke out in hives. My sister in-laws brought it to my attention as we were saying good by to out hosts. So this time I got a little panicked. I still haven't had this happen to him while I was there. Hives covered his chin and cheeks. One of the moms who was at the play date earlier in the week, was there and said this was much worse than what happened at the play date.

We gave him bebedryl, and in 10 minutes it cleared right up. Now there with a few other kids at the party that have peanut and tree nut allergies and didn't have a problem, with the cupcakes. Plus I know they were peanut and tree nut free. So for the last week I have been racking my brain as to what could have cause it. He only ate the frosting not even the cake. Since we feel so comfortable at this house, and were outside most of the time, I think both me and the hubby let our guard down. They were many people there who deal with his allergies often, and I think we took that for granted. There were many kids there and of course food everywhere. Maybe he got his sticky little hands on something when we weren't looking. I feel so bad. It could have been so much worse. Lesson learned. But at the same time, the unknown cause was still nagging me.

So this whole week I've been a bit obsessed. I called my cupcake making friend and asked her about the frosting ingredients again. The only thing I can question now is the egg whites. (which is not on his list of no no foods). Our friend is very diligent when it comes to Cormacs allergies, so I'm 100% sure it wasn't nuts or peanuts. He's always been able to eat things with eggs baked in it. We did have to stay way from straight eggs for a while because he would get splotchy, but he seemed to grow out of it, and we got the OK from the allergist to go ahead and bring them back. He hasn't had any issues with them since.

We never made it to the 2nd party, but managed to make it to the parade. I'm still very frustrated about not being able to pinpoint the cause of his hives. Like everything else with food allergies, I'm left with unanswered questions.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Lets talk positives: Littlescoops Ice Cream Parlor and More!!

After following the heartbreaking story of the little girl in Fl, I thought some positives were in order. This week was a very busy week for us. We had 2 birthday parties, received a phone call from the NY Mets, and, we found out today that Cormac is going to have a little brother! That's two crazy boys in my house. I can't wait.

Ok lets get to the details. The first birthday party was at an ice cream parlor called Littlescoops. Normally I would have been very scared to go to a party at and ice cream parlor, but not here. The host of the party is good friend and had asked all the food allergy questions I would have asked and more before even booking the party (thanks Willlie). She called me and I was floored about the response she got. The owner was very informed about food allergies and cross contamination. She even knew that M&M's are not safe for peanut allergic kids. The host and the owner decided to keep nuts out of the mix. How lucky are we that we have such great friends!

After hearing how great they were being, I had to call myself to confirm and ask some questions. The owner Michelle was great. Turns out her daughter suffers from tree nut allergies, so she had no problem with me asking so many questions, and even answered most of them before I had the chance to ask. I asked if we could bring our own toppings and she said bring what ever you need too. She told us vanilla soft serve ice cream was what was safest, told me the brand of chocolate syrup they used, and gladly gave me the name and number of the pizza place they get their pizza from. The pizza guys were just as nice. I wish I had their name for you.

Topping I brought with us: sprinkles, chocolate chips, crushed Oreo cookies, mini marshmallow's, teddy grams, and Sweetart Hearts.

Eating their pizza. How cute is this kid size counter!

To think I would never have even considered this as an option. We are adding Littlescoops to our b-day party venue list. They play games with them, danced, and the kids had a great time. Their website says they have other locations in NY, NJ and FL. Check them out. It's so rare to find a great FA friendly place.

Enjoying his ice cream before I could even put the toppings on it!

In our other positive news, The NY Mets will have a peanut free suite available for their May 3rd game again the Giants. The tickets will available online only. It will include a peanut free menu. I suggested that families be able to bring their own food for their allergic children if they have more than a peanut allergy. I hope that will be allowed. The suite will be power washed prior to the game as well. They will be sending me more details when the tickets are available for purchase. If it sells out, they will consider doing another game! I will update you as soon as I get the info.

Well that's all for now. Stay safe!


Saturday, March 12, 2011

What is wrong with people?

I really don't understand people. I had planned on writing a nice positive post about some great people and places we have been. Unfortunately the horrible ongoing going struggle about the 1st grade girl in Fl is haunting me.

I read the update this morning on The Allergic Kid and some other news reports (I commented on this one). Again I find myself in tears for this family. What baffles me even more is that there are other children in the school that have peanut allergies. Why are they targeting this one little girl? Why are they threatening her life over peanuts? Because their kids have to wash their hands. Really? Good hygiene practices (which they should be doing anyway), interfere with education, but class parties do not take time away from their studies. Why can't they have class parties without food? How is food a part of the learning experience?

As I said before, for 5 meals out of 21 in a week and a few snacks you can't come up with a different just as affordable lunch option? What do you think kids with allergies eat for lunch fillet mignon? Especially at the elementary school level I think schools need to be vigilant in keep all kids safe. I'm not always in favor of peanut free schools, but depending on the amount of kids and severity of the allergies it may be an option. A peanut free classroom is not extreme and either is hand washing.

Calling hand washing an extreme measure is just pain stupid. Do they even know the definition of extreme? It benefits all the kids not just the allergic ones. I bet these parents don't wash their hands after using the bathroom. I think the adults are the ones lacking an education.

On the The Allergic Kid blog there is contact info for the state, school district and principal. Please read the advise given about contacting them. If you want to speak up for this family I encourage you, but keep the family's wishes in mind.

I am so grateful for the people we have in our lives that help us keep our son safe without us even asking. Even our preschool and parents of his classmates are supportive. You would think as one parent to another it wouldn't even be a question.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Perk to Peanut Allergy!

So there is one perk to having a peanut allergy in the family. Recalls of peanut butter for Salmonella! It's one recall we don't have to worry about in this house. But if you do have it in your house, or like me eat it at work, here is the link to the article with the recall information.

Besides that, the weekend was pretty uneventful. I'm ok with that. I hope you all have a great Monday tomorrow!


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Do you know your expiration dates?

Yesterday on Facebook I said I forgot what I wanted to write about. Well I remembered! I was dropping the little man off at the sitter/good friends house. Since earlier in the week we signed the kids (Cormac and her daughter), up for a class together that she will be bringing them too. That with spring hopefully on the way means she will be taking them out more.

So I just wanted to have the EpiPEn reminder talk. It's time to have it with everyone. We don't talk about it every time we see her or even monthly so I thought it would be a good idea to start refreshing people's memories.

I just stated the 2 simple rules that we have.

1. It MUST go everywhere with him. The park, library, a play date, everywhere. No exceptions.

2. Never leave it in the car. Temperatures can damage the medicine and make it less effective. Plus you never know when you may need it.

His sitter (and also good friend), is on top of this! I know she knows and does this, but it still needs to be said to anyone who takes care of our little man. A little reminder never hurts. Mom and Dad your next!

This EpiPen talk lead me to remember that both sets of EpiPen's are expiring soon. One set next week, and the other next month. How I remembered with my baby brain is beyond me! Let me say this is an accomplishment for me. I have the worst memory when it comes to dates. I can't remember the exact date of my best friends birthday and we've been friends for over 20 years. You would think that the husband couldn't remember the wedding anniversary. Nope it's me. I get it wrong all the time! When people ask I just wait for him to answer. Of course I get the look from him every time. I even mess up his and Cormac's birthday. I just have a hard time with numbers.

However I guess when it comes to my son's life, dates are not a problem. I can tell you when his EpiPens and car seats expire. So the really important stuff is in there. If you get a chance, go and check you emergency meds and epi's. If you can't remember when they expire, you can always register you EpiPen's here and they will send you a free e-mail reminder. They also have a app for your iPhone. I don't have it yet, but may try it out. I think it's a good idea for care takers to have. If you don't wan to register, you can also put it on your calendar at home, computer or phone. If you use an electronic calendar, have a reminder set at least a week in advance so you have time to call the Dr. to get a new Rx.

I just have to remember to call the Dr. and get the Rx. Oh baby brain how I hate you! I also have to go find out why ducky is in the naughty chair.