LIVING

With EoE, Allergies, Asthma and a G-Tube

We’re EATING!

It is awesome that Gage and Tinleigh are eating now. As of today Gage has added apple, buckwheat, corn, pickles / cucumber, VeganEgg, squash and oats. Tinleigh is up to banana, corn, squash, potato and pear. Tinleigh tried pickle and coconut but had a reaction to both. When she tried pickle her bottom lip swelled up and with coconut her throat felt funny she told us.

PicsArt_03-13-09.45.23What I completely forgot about was how hard it is to cook for all the people! I try to make fun things for them to eat so they get the full spectrum of foods with what little they have. I’ll tell you what though, it’s tough. Every recipe is 50 different ingredients. The dishes pile high and then it feels like you’re starting all over again.

I have successfully made Gage some buckwheat cornbread. Just to see the smile on his face when he eats it defiantly makes it all worth  the while. He’s also had buckwheat pancakes and buckwheat apple cinnamon muffins. I think he’s in heaven . I tried to make Tinleigh some banana coconut muffins but those bothered her throat. She’s loving corn and we had totally forgotten about corn pasta! Huge hurrah for that. She keeps telling me she is just having the best days of her life because she can eat different foods. Makes my heart smile and break all at the same time.

I’ve found them dried fruits to snack on along with safe fruit leather. Gage can eat crackers and they both have noodles now. It’s all so exciting to them. Potato chips, corn chips and popcorn! Things every kid should be able to enjoy.

20170313_131333On the new news front we had Layton’s allergies tested. She was so cooperative and brave. Poor thing had no idea she was about to be pricked 50 times. She didn’t even cry out. She did hit me twice when it was done though and that’s okay. Lucky for her only 3 things showed up; clam, oyster and flounder. She’s eaten fish sticks and snuck some of Charlie’s shrimp before but never had a reaction. Her testing was so small they said just use caution. Well I don’t think she’s a huge oyster fan so I doubt we’ll have any trouble telling her no. We still plan to scope her in April and see if anything is going on in there.

Tinleigh had a huge reaction to playing with play dough so that’s completely out now. She’s had smaller reactions here and there. Sometimes even played with it and didn’t have a reaction at all. This last one really got her so I told her no more. She wishes play dough was never created.

Tinleigh’s airborne reactions seem to be under control. She did have some freak eye incident a few days ago. Her eyes just swelled up. I have no idea why. We threw her in the shower and gave her some Benadryl and she cleared up. You never know who’s going to react to what here.

What I’m most excited about soon is spring break. We LOVE the beach and the beach loves us. It will be even more awesome that this year we can actually go out to eat. We never do because it’s just too hard to eat in front of them. This year I can pack them food and everyone will get to eat together!

March 13, 2017 Posted by | Gage's allergies, Layton's food exploration, LIVING | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Four Days

It’s been 4 days since my coffee pot broke. Luckily my new one showed up today. Today was so emotional draining I just knew I couldn’t go another day with out my coffee pot.

Last night I typed up a letter and attached it to an email I sent to the VP at the school. I was expecting her phone call at anytime from the moment I woke up. I was on pins and needles worried about how the call would go. I was also extremely worried about Gage and if he would have reaction in his classroom from something not getting wiped down good enough after the Valentines Day peanut fest 2017.

Today I was asked by a few different people “Why didn’t you say something right then?” and “Why didn’t you have them throw them away and allow Gage to stay?”. I’ve learned that since the time Gage was born my gut instincts with him are typically correct. In that instant my first thought was to get him out of there. So I did. As we walked down the hall I knew that anything that needed to be said didn’t need to happen in front of the class. I also knew Gage was safe by my side.

I called the school nurse first thing to let her know that if Gage came to her itching, coughing or feeling weird that she needed to call me asap. She was so upset by what had happened yesterday. She was in action all morning making sure the right people knew how wrong it was for there to be peanuts in a peanut free classroom.

Finally the VP called me. We discussed what happened, how it happened and what will be done. In the end everyone at the school is going to get a refresher course on allergies. Tomorrow I am going to ask that the line of action for figuring out what to serve at parties be changed. Which may include me becoming more involved at the school which I don’t have time for, however, with my kids life on the line I’ll figure it out. The phone call was a huge relief. The correct actions are being taken and hopefully a situation like this one will never happen again.

Something funny about this whole situation, Gage didn’t even know what an ice cream sundae is. When I told him his class was having ice cream sundaes for the party he asked my why were they waiting until Sunday to eat their ice cream. Poor kid was so confused. How sad is it that he didn’t know that?!

On the home front I also dealt with Tinleigh having an airborne reaction to my eggs I had for breakfast. I forgot her allergy meds at bedtime. I hate to think that one missed dose is all it took but I can’t figure out what else it could have been as far as timing goes.

Miss Layton woke up covered in eczema. It’s been in spots here and there but it really took off last night. She has it all down her thighs, her fore arms, groin and on the sides of her back. I know what’s coming, want to guess? She’s also not been eating much at all, toddler phase or does her throat hurt? I’m holding out until her scope in April unless she gets a lot worse.

I’m emotionally exhausted.

Tomorrow, coffee.

He tends his flock like a shepherd:

He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart;

he gently leads those that have young.

Isaiah 40:11

Come back and I’ll fill you in on Tinleigh’s new adventure in food. tinleigh

 

 

 

February 15, 2017 Posted by | Gage's allergies, LIVING | , | 2 Comments

Valentine’s Day Spoiled

Sigh. I dread holidays while the kids are at school. They play a game or two and have a treat. You would think that having done this for 6 school years I would be use to it. I’m not though. It always makes me sad that I have to take in a special treat for my kids. I wonder what they’re thinking as they see there friends eating things they can’t have. Especially the fun party treats. Does it make my kids sad? They’ve never expressed sadness to me. I do wonder.

Today was another typical Valentine’s Day party for Gage. We made the box, made the cards and I had the special treat ready for him. I knew he would get treats from his friends he can’t have and that’s another bowl of sadness. I do see him get upset as I pluck treat by  treat away from his pile of goodies. I keep catching myself lately saying “Your day will come”. I think maybe that’s how I can keep hope in their heart, and mine.

As usual the girls are in tow and we went to Gage’s class room for the party. When we arrived at the school Gage was waving to me from the nurses office. It was time for his last bolus of the school day. So we waited on him and then headed up together. When we walked into the room we stood near the door where the Guinea pig is as the kids played a game. I knew the class was going to have ice cream sundaes today so I didn’t want Tinleigh near the food table. I said hello to Gage’s teacher and tried to keep the girls near me. Once they had reached their max of waiting I took them down the hall to say hello to Charlie’s 4th grade teacher. When I turned around to head back to Gage’s room there he was standing in the bathroom entrance. He says to me “Mom there’s peanuts in the room.” I was a bit confused. I asked him what he meant and he said they told him they had peanuts for the ice cream sundaes. My heart crumbled to the floor right there in the bathroom entrance. I told him we would have to leave that it just wasn’t safe for him. He pleaded with me that they hadn’t exchanged Valentine’s yet. I told him to go ask his teacher if they were eating or doing Valentine’s next. So he went to ask as Tinleigh be-bopped into use the restroom. I walked towards Gage’s classroom but stayed in the hall so Tinleigh could find me. Gage came back out and told me they were going to eat then wash hands and then do Valentines. I explained that it still wouldn’t be safe for him because they would be touching their food and if someone didn’t wash good enough or got peanuts on something then touched his Valentine it wasn’t worth the risk. He looked sad so I quickly told him we would go buy a new video game. He was okay with that. As I stood in the hall I overheard the helper mom say “I just want to point out that there are peanuts here on the table so if you’re allergic don’t take any.” Did I really just hear that? Once Gage gathered his things and came into the hallway I asked him if there were any other kids in there with a nut allergy because we needed to get them out as well. He said he was the only one. Off we went.

We had to stop in the office so I could check Gage out. We briefly spoke to someone about what was going on and it was quickly made known to the assistant principal. What happened is not resolved yet.

1gageThe thing was though I had found a special ice cream bar that Gage could have. He needed to eat it before we left because it was melting in my bag. So we camped out in the entrance to the school and Gage enjoyed his “ice cream” treat.

I am upset that the event happened. It did bring me out of my allergy world bubble. I didn’t know much about allergies when our journey began. I didn’t have allergies and neither did anyone I knew. Now I know too much. There are still people in the world that aren’t familiar with allergies. Even though Gage’s class is peanut free and there’s a sign on the door I guess that mom just assumed it would be okay if Gage didn’t eat them. What she doesn’t know is that if anyone touched Gage with peanut residue on their finger, or if Gage touched something that has peanut residue on it, it would have been bad. It’s happened before and Gage went into a full blown asthmatic anaphylactic reaction. I’m sure the party mom wouldn’t want to witness one of those in front of a classroom full of kids.

Poor Gage. Even though he got a new video game out of the day he will always remember his 3rd grade Valentine’s Day party the one where “they brought peanuts”.

February 14, 2017 Posted by | Gage's allergies, LIVING | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Why Not?

So if I’m getting back into blogging why not just turn this into our allergy reaction diary instead of a blog? Is there a difference?

I need notes. The daily what happened to whom. I really need someone just following me around all day with a pad and paper writing things down for me.

Today was great. Aside from Layton’s typical not wanting to eat anything. Which has been worse for the last week, but I am blaming her cold right now.

This evening Gage started in with his typical “I’m hungry”. He says this even while hooked up to his feeding tube. He misses eating more than I could ever imagine, even though his tummy is full. I ask him what he wants and his response “something crunchy but chewy, something like French fries”. This kills me to the core. Not only do I not have a solution for his want, I painfully know that he will never have French fries. The last time Gage ate potato he vomited everywhere, he was one. He only knows what a French fry looks like. He has no ide what it tastes like. He’s anaphylactic to potato, he’ll never taste one.

You see, now, when Gage asks me for something to eat he’s very descriptive. He knows what texture he wants, he knows if he wants sweet or salty. He wants to eat real food. It makes me so sad that it’s also started making me angry. There is nothing I can do for him. Nothing.

I think though, Gage still has hope. That’s the one thing I feel is slipping from me. Even though Gage is so frustrated and hates his disease, he still see’s the future and him not having a feeding tube. He can see himself eating food. We’ve been in this for 7 years and we’re not where I had envisioned us being. I guess that’s why my hope is falling.

It’s all the little events too that are killing my spirit. Like tonight. Once Gage settled on some raw cauliflower with salt I thought all would be well. I knew it wasn’t what he really wanted, but he crunched away. Then after he had crunched through one big tree he says mom my eye is itchy. I told him he was getting in the shower next and he would be okay. However, he comes over to me and says and there’s a bump on my lip. Sure enough he had a little blister right there on his lip as his eye was becoming more and more red. He went into the bathroom to hop in the shower. When I took him in a towel I noticed he also had a big hive on his back. That’s when the partial panic sets in. Is this going to be a full blown anaphylactic reaction? So we gave him a Benadryl and I told him if he starts feeling anything in his throat or with his breathing to get out of the shower and come get me. Luckily, his reaction didn’t get out of control. His throat did hurt a bit but the Benadryl kicked in and he was fine.

So now we have the issue of what the heck happened? Was it just the salt? Has he become allergic to cauliflower? I’ll have a talk with him about it and see what his judgement is on it. I’ll let him make the decision on if he tries it again or not.

Be strong and courageous.

Do not be afraid;

do not be discouraged,

for the

Lord your God

will be with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:9

 

February 6, 2017 Posted by | Gage's allergies, LIVING | , , , | Leave a comment

It Hit Harder Than I Expected.

This is long…

Gage has been trialing dairy. He had been begging to trial it. Our GI said okay, let’s just let him trial it and see what happens. The thing about dairy is it’s a huge trigger for the majority of EoE kids. The last time Gage had dairy he was 4. It was the very last thing we removed from his diet before he got his feeding tube.

Gage has had symptoms. He’s typically not symptomatic. He has had blood in his stool, his throat burns, chest pain, reflux, dark circles around his eyes… all signs he was failing. I only knew about the eyes and blood. He was keeping the other stuff from me, but told the GI doctor at our appointment. The thing about my boys is they don’t tell me these things unless it becomes unbearable. They’re tough kids. 20160128_080054A few days after the check up with GI Gage had his dairy trial scope. I knew it probably wouldn’t be good. After the scope the doctor came out with pictures as usual. He said it really hadn’t changed since his last scope, which was a fail. So I assumed dairy was a fail, but had hopes that maybe it was a low fail and it may be something he can have every now and then. He has so many Ige allergies it almost seems like we’re running out of options to trial. Ige allergies are separate from EoE triggers. They can sometimes cross paths, but if he’s having a reaction to a food he’s not going to trial it in fear of an anaphylactic reaction. 20160128_095525

Today the nurse called me with the results. Dairy is a huge fail for Gage. Eosinophil counts should be zero in the esophagus. Gage’s mid esophagus count was above 120, his lower esophagus was above 100. We will have to remove dairy for 6 weeks to let him heal and not add anything new in. We then need to decided if we want to wait 2 more weeks and scope him to make sure he is back at zero. We had removed rice, his first passed trial, because his numbers continued staying elevated. Which I think we will scope at 8 weeks. Then he will begin a lamb trial. With $5 strawberries and blueberries right now, along with $6 bags of shrimp and Tinleigh’s $5 chocolate chips why not add a super expensive meat. I may need a go fund me page just for our grocery bill. 20160128_100201

I am so sad for Gage. I don’t even want to pick him up from school today because I don’t want to tell him it’s a fail. Dairy was his dream food. He can’t have it, probably, for the rest of his life. This disease sucks. I can’t stop crying today. It’s rough on a mom. I know it’s him going through all of the scopes, skin prick testing, allergic reactions, pain from food trials, disappointment from failed scopes, it breaks my heart though to watch him endure all of this. It’s becoming harder and harder for me to stay positive for him, but I do.

This was a hard year for me. I’ve spent the last 6 years navigating this disease for 1, then 2, now 3 kids. I’ve learned so much about food, ingredients and have memorized so much. I’ve learned to keep them safe and taught them how to keep themselves safe. Crossing into 2015 I sort of took a step back and focused on myself for a bit. Something I hadn’t done in a long time. I chopped my hair off, got glasses that I had been avoiding for 10ish years, got myself into shape and started delegating jobs around the house so I didn’t feel so overwhelmed. It was the scopes in June that it hit me. I was feeling really good about life then I got the phone call that they had failed their scopes. I’ll never forget the feeling I had after that call. It hit me like a ton of bricks. Sort of like a back to reality hit. I cried and was really upset, more than I normally am. It really got me thinking and I’ve had a million conversations in my head the rest of the year.

I think I’ve entered the next phase of a mom with chronically ill children. The first phase was figuring everything out. Not it’s just a this is life, forever, phase. The reality is, it’s really sad. Do other moms like me go through these phases as well? It’s exhausting to think about. I don’t know why, but I feel really emotional now about the kids when it comes to EoE. Maybe my mind was so occupied before trying to figure everything out that I didn’t really see this lifelong disease for what it is. Now that I seem to have a lot more knowledge I can see the LONG road ahead of us. It seems like yesterday that Gage was diagnosed. It’s been 6 years. It flew by so fast.DSC03429

I’ll never forget the first few videos about EoE I watched in horror thinking that will never be my kid and we’re going to beat this. Boy was I wrong. Maybe that’s also part of why I feel the way I do now. I am exhausted from hearing blow after blow for them when it comes to more Ige allergies and more failed scopes. I know that’s how it’s always going to be. Today when I told Nathan about Gage’s scope results and how I just can’t quit crying for him he told me “Gage is strong. I need to get it (crying) out of my system and be strong again for him.” He also said “You are much stronger than you should be asked to be.” He’s right. That makes me wonder, maybe I’ve just held all the tears in for 6 years and I just can’t anymore. I don’t know. It feels like I’m somehow on the other side of things now looking in. Does that make sense? Maybe this seems silly to some for me to share all of these emotions, but there may be another mom out there wondering and feeling the same as I do. My blog has always been to help others stay positive and keep going. I have hopes to let other moms know, they’re not alone and that I’m not some wonder woman. I have feelings too. I’m going through my own journey as the kids face a chronic illness.

I do know that we will move forward as we always do. Gage and I will probably share some tears tonight. Tomorrow is a new day and this is our life. We will focus on something happy, like our upcoming vacation, and push the bad aside. Please lift Gage up in prayer that he has the strength to keep moving forward with a positive attitude. I know that God will give you, at times, more than you can handle. That’s when you lean on Him for guidance, strength and all you need.

Isaiah 26:4

Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.

If you have a $1 or two to spare, please donate in our name to CURED and help us find a cure so one day Gage, Charlie and Tinleigh can eat food again.

February 2, 2016 Posted by | Gage's allergies, LIVING | , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

2016

In January I took all 4 kids to see the GI, that was an experience.

20160124_214634

We know now what we’re doing with each one for the year.

Charlie: he is currently trialing shrimp. We thought it was going well until he had a reaction at dinner. Not a major one. Itchy bottom lip, itchy fingers and the outside of his throat was itchy. We will try it one more time to see if maybe there was some cross contamination with that bag of shrimp. Charlie will be scoped in March as long as we continue trialing shrimp. Next trial will be eggs, as in scrambled. He already passed eggs baked in things. After that he’s pretty much done. There isn’t anything else on his do not eat list that he doesn’t have and Ige reaction to. We will also be keeping a close eye during scopes as to what else is going on in Charlie’s esophagus.

Gage: He will continue food trials. He hasn’t grown much this past year and GI is concerned a bit about that. So we’re going to give him until June in hopes he’ll have a growth spurt. If he hasn’t grown much more then GI wants to look at his growth hormones and make sure everything is in check. His feet just grew a ton so I’m thinking he’s about to shoot up a few inches soon.

Tinleigh: Since Tinleigh’s last horrific scope we are going to let her go at her own pace. The doctor had a sweet talk with her and reassured her that everything will be fine. She told her that when SHE decides she wants to be scoped so she can move forward trying new foods then we will. Tinleigh is currently trialing black beans and it seems to be going okay.

Layon: She is such a picky little eater and some days won’t eat hardly anything. GI wants me to just treat her as a picky eater for the next 6 months. Keep introducing foods over and over and over. Do not let her graze and sit her at the table 5-6 times a day to eat. If she’s not eating in 6 months we may scope her again. Her favorite food right now is ice chips. She chews things then spits it out. It’s frustrating to have a “normal” toddler. Of course in the back of my mind I worry she has it. However, I have to try and stay positive and believe that she doesn’t.

February 2, 2016 Posted by | Charlie's allergies, Gage's allergies, LIVING, Tinleigh's allergies | , , | Leave a comment

Beef Pass

Charlie and I took a trip to the GI doctor for a scope and got to spend about 12 together. We had a good time. He talked my ear off about things like the planets, how to create a magnet that would push away eosinphils so kids with eoe could eat again and how he plans to be in the military one day. It was my birthday so he and I got to actually go out to eat at a restaurant just the 2 of us. It’s amazing to watch someone at a restaurant for what they remember as one of the first times. The menu was super overwhelming for him but he insisted on navigating through it alone. I let him. He finally closed the menu and said I’ll have a pancake. Puzzled, I asked him why just a pancake. He said well I would really like the quarter pound bacon burger. I smiled and told him to go for it. He said but it’s $9. I assured him it would be fine this time. 20151221_185545.jpgHe gave it his all but wasn’t able to finish. My heart was full just watching him eat it.

The next morning we arrived at the hospital bright and early as usual. This day Charlie refused the loopy medicine they give them before hand. He was going to try and stay awake through the whole procedure this time. He makes me laugh. 20151222_090555.jpgNeedless to say he failed his mission of the day.

When the doctor came out to talk about Charlie’s scope he sat down beside me and touched my arm. I instantly had an uneasy feeling. I also wanted to tell him if he had bad news to just give it to me, I can handle it. He told me there was no sign of EoE. Then he showed me Charlie’s esophagus pictures. 20151222_193752.jpgMy heart sank. Something is definitely wrong. What is all of that? The Doctor wasn’t sure. Fast forward to today I got a call from our GI. As the GI who preformed the scope had said there was no sign of EoE and Charlie’s counts were the same as they were back in May, 1-2, meaning beef is a pass. HURRAH! Now, onto that mess. They don’t know what it is. They checked for Barrett’s esophagus. That came back negative. For it to be Barrett’s he would have to have stomach tissue in his esophagus. Charlie just has esophageal tissue. Barrett’s esophagus typically occurs in people in their 50’s and 60’s that have untreated reflux. Charlie is on a high dose of reflux meds and has been for quite some time. The doctor wasn’t sure if they’re watching Barrett’s esophagus develop or what’s going on. They had never actually watched it develop in someone. We don’t want it to be Barrett’s though. Barrett’s can lead to cancer. Our plan is to let Charlie trial another food, either shrimp or eggs. He is currently eating eggs baked in things but not scrambled. He is scheduled for a scope at the end of March. We also upped his reflux meds. Even though he is on a high dose, upping it can’t hurt. Switching to another medication won’t make a difference. If he is developing Barrett’s it can be painful, we want to minimize that.

Could all of that stuff go away by his next scope? Yes. In that case we may never know what it is/was. So now we wait. I am to listen to Charlie for complaints of more chest pain, reflux symptoms, etc. He has no clue any of this is going on inside of him. Since we have no answers we don’t want him to worry or imagine symptoms he doesn’t really have. The doctor told me to put it in the back of my mind and not to worry about it. Yeah, right. We’ll see what’s going on and hopefully have some sort of better answer after his scope in March. If it’s still the same in March with the same biopsy results then we’ll check him every 3-6 months after to keep a close eye on it.

When I told Charlie today that he passed beef Gage was in the room. Gage started crying. He’s having a rough time still wanting all food. I think my plan of teaching them to be happy for one another was a good one, but in our reality can’t really happen. Gage wasn’t mad Charlie passed, he was just hurt it’s not him passing foods.

Say a little prayer for both boys please. 1 016

 

December 28, 2015 Posted by | Charlie's allergies, Gage's allergies | , , , | Leave a comment

Two year tubie anniversary

karas camera 053Two years have passed since Gage had his tube placed. It seems unreal to me. I have a 6 hear old with a feeding tube. Never in my life did I imagine that happening.
Gage is now over 50 pounds. If I remember correctly, he’s gained almost 20 pounds in two years. As a baby and toddler, before all of this started, he was always in the 70% range for height and weight. He dropped significantly when we had to start eliminating his diet. I’m so happy to say he’s back to 70%.karas camera 770He and I had a quiet moment alone tonight. I told him it’s been 2 years. I asked him how he felt about his tube. Shockingly, he said he likes it because he doesn’t have to eat. Then he giggled. I said you don’t want to eat? He laughed and said no, I like to eat, but doing a bolus is so fast. Then I don’t have to sit there.  I’m so happy he’s at peace with it. For quite a while he always said he wanted it out. I’m sure he still does, I didn’t ask him though.karas camera 1070He’s been trialing corn since June. I think it’s going fine. He doesn’t have any symptoms and doesn’t appear to have an Ige allergy to it. He will be scoped in January to see if it’s a pass or fail. Gage was at 7 foods on his one year anniversary. He’s now eating: green beans, strawberries, blueberries, lemons/limes, oranges, rice, tapioca, cocoa, black olives. Fish is up in the air and he’s trailing corn. So he hasn’t added much. He had one pass last year then one fail. So he had to remove those trial foods which were pork, tomato and cherry. We got him back to a zero count scope before starting corn. Since moving and finding new doctors he’s been trialing corn about 6 months which is way longer than usual and another reason we didn’t get to add much this year. karas camera 286 karas camera 269Gage has had a few strong Ige related problems since we moved. First one happened this summer on my parents farm. Gage went for a ride in one of the farm vehicles. They had been planting soy beans. My kids have been around the farm plenty of times and never had an issue. So off they go then back comes Gage. Swollen eyes and coughing horribly. karas camera 146 karas camera 145It is safe to assume now that he has a strong soy allergy. We had never had this problem in the past. Allergist did tell me that once removing things some allergens could become worse if he comes in contact with them. Gage’s peanut allergy has also become worse since diagnosis. We showered him down, gave him Benadryl and an albuterol treatment and he was ready to go play again. No more vehicle rides though.karas camera 445Another reaction Gage recently had was to salmon. That was horrible. We still haven’t tried any fin fish again. I think we might do it at the allergists office. karas camera 344Overall Gage has not let this tube slow him down. He’s still LIVING life to the fullest. Sure we’ve had our moments of he wants this or that. “It’s not fair.” “Just let me try a little bit.” “No I don’t want a book bag/bolus.” Those are the crappy times we are going to have while we fight this battle. It breaks my heart every time I have to tell him no and be a stern mom. It’s my job though to keep him healthy and safe.

While we moved across a few states this summer we got the meet a special little tubie friend whom I had only met on Facebook. It was very exciting for them all to see each other and know they’re not the only one. karas camera 1276Gage played on the beach karas camera 1274Had a shaving cream fightkaras camera 1266Swam in a lakekaras camera 040Had a bonfirekaras camera 136Flew on a planekaras camera 197Swam at the local poolkaras camera 113Exploredkaras camera 034He even got to go out to eat!karas camera 199He went trick-or-treating

karas camera 1183He traded in his candy for a new toykaras camera 1181He is LIVING!!

karas camera 347These four kids are so lucky to have each other. They love one another. When it comes to food and this darn disease, they have so much compassion for each other. They comfort one another, they help give explanations and hope when food is present they can’t eat. They talk about needles, shots and IV’s. They talk about “one day I’m going to eat”. I hate they go through it, but I’m glad they’re in it together.

Together, Gage went another year with his tube!karas camera 041

December 5, 2014 Posted by | Gage's allergies, LIVING | , , , , | Leave a comment

$4.99 in the trash

It’s very frustrating to make a new recipe and have it taste bad. Imagine trying to make a new meal for your allergic kiddo and have them not like it. Then imagine having to quickly make them something else for dinner, after you’ve already made three other dinners that are safe for your other family members. The frustration is not enjoyable. You are so excited to have a new meal for them and then to have that excitement squashed like a bug. It’s my own kitchen emotional roller coaster.

Now I want you to think about your weekly grocery bill. Go ahead and multiply that by lets say 3. Then times 4 for four weeks in a month. There’s our bill. Even with two on feeding tubes it’s expensive because of the special foods they can eat. Your bread costs on average $1.50, ours is around $6.00.  Gages special chocolate chips are $5.50. We also eat a lot of produce, out of season prices go up. Feeding allergy kids isn’t cheap. My boys aren’t even in their teens yet. Thank goodness they aren’t on a beef only diet the way prices are going up. I may start raising hogs though.

Enough rambling on that, onto my main point! Throwing money in the trash.

I found Gage a new brownie mix today and wanted him to have it after school as a nice treat. The cost was $4.99. Seriously, it wasn’t even Ghirardelli or any other fancy chocolate. It was good ol’ Betty Crocker giving it a shot in the world of allergy food. DSCN4370The ingredients call for two eggs. Well Gage can’t eat eggs, he’s anaphylactic. So in Betty’s defense I couldn’t make these as called for. I used Gage’s butter which is smart balance light. For the eggs I used a mixture I’ve been using forever: 2 tsp baking powder + 1 Tbsp water + 1 Tbsp oil

I found this mixture in here DSCN4373 You can order one HERE

Once I mixed the batter I found it was very thick. So I added just 1 Tbsp more water. DSCN4374The box said it would be thick but I didn’t have enough wet ingredients to absorb all the mixture. Then in the pan it went. While baking the brownies smelled delicious. Just like normal brownies. However, when the timer beeped they looked like a hot bubbling mess of tar. The box said when inserting a toothpick it shouldn’t come out all the way clean. But this was a mess. So I baked them an extra few minutes. Now they were starting to smell burnt. I pulled them out. DSCN4379This recipe definitely needs the eggs so they will rise. I was running around like crazy mixing formula and feeding the baby before I had to go get them from school. So the brownies just sat, I didn’t really check them out too closely.

When the boys got home they smelled them and flew to the kitchen like little hound dogs. So I served them up. Well, they were only a few centimeters thick. DSCN4381

They did taste good! The boys didn’t finish their “brownie”, but they ate a few bites. It sucks to see their little faces all lit up, then watch them eat the tasty treat and see their faces sink because it’s not what they were expecting. So there goes $4.99 in the trash.DSCN4380I will give Betty an A+ for flavor. However, she needs to come up with an egg free recipe and she’ll sell millions. So if you can eat eggs, but need a gluten-free brownie, give these a shot!

May 2, 2014 Posted by | Gage's allergies, LIVING | , , , , | 3 Comments

Scope time

Jan. 2014 / April 2014

Jan. 2014 / April 2014

I want to start this post with a little comparison picture. Tinleigh got her feeding tube in January, three months ago, and has been elemental since then. Look at the cheeks on this girl! She’s finally getting the nutrition she needs. The day of her tube surgery she weighed in at 25 pounds. She was scoped this week and weighed in at 30 pounds. We definitely made the right decision.

Our initial plan after the kids being scoped in December was to wait until June to scope them again. We needed a break. Well that didn’t happen. Gage started having some reactions to the foods he was trialing and Tinleigh was BEGGING us to eat. Since it had been three months since her tube was placed it was okay now to go ahead and scope her. Same with Gage, we typically trial foods for three months then scope.

Gage was trialing cherries, tomatoes, pork and corn syrup. The cherries didn’t seem to be an issue. The pork we thought he was just truly allergic to and we were hoping it wasn’t effecting his esophagus. Some days he could eat pork with no problem. Other days he would cough, get itchy ears and throat. Tomatoes were starting to cause him to cough while eating them.

pork ribs and green beans

pork ribs and green beans

Typical scope day procedures. The kids were applauded for their good behavior and co-operation with everything. The doctor, anesthesiologist and I joked in the procedure room as Gage was being knocked out if we practice scope day at home because they do so well. Sadly, we’ve just done it so many times it’s just another day to them.

Tinleigh was first and she came out with the good results. I was fearful of what her results would show because she had eaten a few rice cakes and black olives in the weeks prior to her scope.

Trying plain rice

Trying plain rice

She showed no eosinophils in her biopsies so in a way she sort of passed rice and black olives.DSCN4315

 Moving forward I fed her rice everyday for a week and have since moved onto green beans. In another week we will try blueberries. She will be scoped again in three months to see how things are going in there.

Trying gluten free rice krispies for the first time

Trying gluten free rice krispies for the first time

DSCN4322DSCN4323

Next was Gage’s turn. Unfortunately his scope wasn’t so good.

Gages esophagus and stomach

Gages esophagus and stomach

As you can see in the first two pictures there are some bumps and lines, that’s bad. The esophagus should look smooth like the back of your hand. His biopsies showed greater than 40 eosinophils  in the upper, mid and distal (lower) esophagus. Nathan and I were both very sad for him. This means we have to remove pork and tomatoes from his diet. We knew from seeing reactions while eating those two things we had to remove them. I’m still sketchy on the corn syrup but that’s mainly in candy and he’s not eating a ton of candy so we’ll leave it in and pray his next scope in 6 weeks is clear.

I had to have a talk with Gage after we got the results to let him know how things were and break the news about pork and tomatoes. I sat him on my lap and we talked about what the doctor told me and I showed him his esophagus pictures. He then asked if he’s allowed to trial corn. I got a little teary eyed and explained we first have to take away the pork and tomatoes then we have to let his esophagus heal for 6 weeks. We’ll re-scope him to make sure he’s all better THEN we get to possibly try corn. I sort of reviewed with him how crappy the pork and tomatoes make him feel to help him be okay with getting rid of them. He understood. He wasn’t thrilled that we have to wait but he never threw a fit or cried. I then felt I needed to talk about Tinleigh’s results with him. Explaining that she had a good scope and will get to add foods this time. I reminded him of how exciting it was when he had his first clear scope after getting his button and getting to start foods. We agreed to be happy for Tinleigh and celebrate her good scope. Down the road I can see how this is going to make things extra hard. One having a good scope and the other a bad one. I need to make sure I cover all feelings and emotions now with them so there’s no jealousy or acting out in the future. EoE is not fair to begin with, throwing crappy results on top of that makes it worse. Especially if your sibling has good results.

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Gage keeps right on LIVING even with bad results. Catching crawfish

 

April 30, 2014 Posted by | Gage's allergies, LIVING, Tinleigh's allergies | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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