Learning more and more everyday

Having a child with any kind of aliment is challenging. Some change your lives a bit and others change your life a lot.

When dealing with food allergies in our case, it has changed where/if we go out to eat and also what is purchased and brought into our home. I spend a lot of time these days reading about anaphylaxis and trying to find fun things to to eat or places to go.

I’ve recently been inspired by a lady in the GTA who started up a website/blog called AllergyBites. I find myself relating to her in the way that, you want to share with your child all that you love and enjoy and when you find out that you can’t, it really takes the wind out of your sails.

As I read the multitude of blogs and articles on the internet I realize that I’m not alone in this fight. That allergies are very real and more and more people are finding out they have them and like us, don’t know what to do once diagnosed.

I’m going to be changing up my blog a little bit this afternoon as I watch my Boston Bruins play in game 6 of the Stanley Cup playoffs. I am going to be adding a section along lines of … recommended allergy friendly places. I’m not sure the title yet, but we spent the morning this morning at a place here in Ottawa that wasn’t allergy free, BUT was able to accommodate every allergy you had when dealing with food.

The adventure continues…

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Family Road Trip Adventures

What a day…

Yesterday ended terribly. Sue got back to the room and we decided to go out on the town in search of dinner. This hotel is beautiful but we can’t afford to eat or drink here let alone stay here.

So, away we went. We didn’t end up going for, 1 block over to Millers to be exact. It was a nice little pub, known for its Ribs. Once we were seated we spoke with the waitress and explained our issue with Eve. I think something was lost in translation and she didn’t understand the severity that we very much put on her allergies. Toward the end of the meal I’m sure by now you can already imagine what happened.

Eve started to have a reaction. Something she came in contact with contained something she was allergic to. Her upper lip started to swell, then her lower lip, then her cheeks. We hit the panic button, paid the bill and ran. We were both extremely scared. We went to the CVS and purchased some Benedryl, which really only suppresses and we didn’t want to give it to her, but the reaction was… well… mild in a matter of speaking. American Benedryl is also twice as potent as the Canadian version.

Back we went to the room where we took her mind (and ours somewhat) off the reaction by watching cartoons. At about 10pm the swelling started to go down. We were somewhat relieved but now extremely stressed out. No more going out to eat. Eve will live on PB&J and cheerios and apples for the remainder of the trip.

Today on the other hand has been AMAZING! We slept hard and woke up refreshed and ready to conquer the day. We had breakfast and sent Sue on her way (back to the conference) and started our adventure.

We jumped in a cab and headed over to the Shedd Aquarium. What a place! Wow! We arrived and waited in a short line and then went crazy. Eve was amazed. I love watching her as she explores, as she see something she’s never seen before. When she saw the size of some of these fish, she went glassy eyed.

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We walked and walked and stopped and saw Sponge Bob in 4D, which I think scared her a little bit. It was in 3D but with the added air blasts from the seat, and strobe lights and all kinds of very cool effects.

Then we stopped for a snack, went to pet the Sturgeon, and the star fish. Watched the dolphin show and saw the penguins. We arrived shortly after 9am and it was awesome, but by this point it was just after 2pm and the place was bursting at the seams. There must have been 4 or 6 schools there and you couldn’t move. At this point I pulled the shoot and it was time to go.

We jumped back in a cab and headed back to the hotel, had our lunch and well, you guessed it… NAP TIME! (or blog time). The room is dark and I’m actually getting sleepy. So, I think this is where I call it and maybe put my head down for a couple minutes and rest too.

The Adventure continues…

Lent has begun

Another week has come and gone. I find myself sitting at my computer twitching. I’ll get back to that point in a minute.

It’s been a rough week in our home. My wife threw out her back, my daughter got a massive cold and I became Dr. Dad. Went to work a whole 3 days this week.

I guess I feel like life is moving so quickly lately and I am really struggling to keep up. The stress of having a child with special needs really does weigh on me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying anything to down play anyone else’s situation, I’m just reflecting on my own.

Someone said to a friend of mine a couple weeks ago (which made it back to me), and I’m paraphrasing… When I come by with my daughter it’s a lot of work for them because of how much cleaning they feel they need to do. I’m not sure why that has stuck with me and weighed on me so heavy, but it has. I want my daughter to grow up like a normal kid. I want her to be able to call up a friend and go to their place or go out and play and not worry that she is going to touch something that is going to send her into anaphylaxis shock.

Now, a cold… I laughed this morning as I described her cough and a friend said I sounded like a walrus. hahaha… That’s my little girl. If she hasn’t been throwing up, it’s been snot and mucus and tears and a cough that sounds like she’s been smoking for 60 years. In today’s day and age I can’t believe there is nothing you can do for tiny people but just ride it out.

As I said earlier, I find myself sitting in front of my computer twitching. As a catholic starting into the Lenten season I find myself looking for something to “Give up”. It’s quite simple really, I’ve always been taught that we are supposed to give up something that hurts, something hard, as a form of penance. This year, I’ve decided to give up Facebook. I know, I know… Facebook? If you know me, you know that I love social media. I love following my friends from around the world and seeing what my friends locally are doing too. I really didn’t think it would affect me as much as it does. I realize now that I spend an ornate amount of time online using using Facebook. My wife pointed it out at dinner the other night. She says “You are sitting there twitching and fidgeting”. Now, to try and find a new outlet for my energy.

I really enjoy blogging and I wish I did it more. My mind is always racing and I think that’s why I actually have trouble doing it. If I’m sitting alone, in the quiet, like I am right now, it really comes naturally, but the minute there is something happening around me my focus really does wander easily.

There is actually so much more that could be said and I realize that I haven’t blogged in a long time so, let’s get back into it slowly.

Kids and Allergies. So much to know

Growing up I always thought I was going to have a big family. I watched friends and family raise their kids and I found myself saying “I would never do that” or “That’s the way I want to raise my kids”. Then, seeing young people with allergies my thoughts were “I’m not going to be “That Guy” “

that guy

Well, my life hasn’t really gone the way that 20 year old Doug thought it was going to go. That all being said, I am blessed to have an amazing, strong wife and an equally amazing little girl.

Having a child with allergies is a real challenge. I have become “that guy” that so many years ago I said I didn’t want to be, not that I had a choice. I now have to read every label before food enters my home. I need to mindful of her surroundings at all times. Having a dairy allergy had changed and continues to change my life on a daily basis.

stress

Yesterday, during lunch Eve had a reaction to something in her food. Food that she has eaten before and that she has never reacted to. She was eating humus, vegetable thins and broccoli soup. We were FaceTiming over lunch and she was really enjoying lunch. As she continued to eat she was becoming uncomfortable. Sue and I both agreed that her teeth were bothering her, so in goes the Advil. As we were wrapping up our conversation and Sue started to wipe off her face she noticed that hives were starting appear and over the next 30 minutes her cheeks, lips and face started to swell.

At this point my lunch hour was over and I was back to work but Sue continued to deal with Eve. I didn’t get to see the FULL extent of the reaction but it was enough to warrant a call to Telehealth who referred us to CHEO.

CHEO

By the time I had closed out my day, rushed home and got to CHEO Eve was only suffering from a slightly swollen lower lip. They checked her out, top to bottom and asked that we stay for precautionary reasons. The nurses checked on us twice and after 3 hours we saw the doctor.

The doctor and the nurses all agreed that this was a situation that warranted using the EpiPen that we have been prescribed and that would have been followed up by a 9-1-1 call. Being that everywhere the food touched became swollen it was only logical that her tongue was swelling as well (which would have explained the drooling, which we thought was teething). We received some clearer instruction on how and when to use the EpiPen and we were discharged.

EpiPen

The entire afternoon was exhausting. It was an eye opener to me though. I have been selfish. I love milk, and I love cheese, and I have a couple items in the house that are “Daddy’s” and I like to think that I do a good job of keeping them away from Eve. I know that this reaction had nothing to do with the few items I have in the house, but my thoughts are… What if they had?? Time to get rid of the last couple things.

The old joke continues… I wish kids came with manuals. We are praying hard that she grows out of this allergy, but it’s not looking good right now. There is no worst feeling in the world then seeing your child in pain and not being able to do anything about it.

The adventure continues…