Thursday, October 28, 2010

Happy Halloween!!!

I am officially the worst blogger ever!!!! Mainly b/c i do not want this to turn into a venue to just complain all the time and I'm afraid that would be easy to do. Truth is, there is stuff to write everyday, challenges and struggles worthy of noting, but I don't want it to consume me. We are limited by everything we do and everyone we hang out with, but the more I confess that, the more it takes over me and if there is one thing Ty has taught me, it's the fact that I have complete control over how it affects my attitude. Nothing phases Ty. At school, he decided to sit by himself each day so that the other kids' food wouldn't bother him and when I asked him why he did that he said "don't worry mom, i don't mind." He has a much better attitude than I do. Each day we talk about the foods he's gonna eat when he outgrows these food allergies. As noted before, he wants to start off "eating cheese off the floor at old mac donalds." :)
Now its time for Halloween. Yet another holiday wrapped around food. Last year we let him go trick or treating and the few houses that held out a bowl for him to get his own candy we just said no thank you. Then when he walked in, I gave him another pumpkin filled with candy he could eat and I ate his (after he went to bed of course, and i had time to de-contaminate). So this year the same applies. I just went to Target and spent too much money on candy to hand out and candy for the boys (plus a few surprises to make up for the lack of variety). It should be fun. We decided not to do the carnivals this year b/c there is always too much food around and usually always has some form of peanuts for sale. So we are going simple and as safe as possible. Its so much easier now that he is getting older and truly understanding what we are dealing with. But at the end of the day, he is only 3 and that is all I can expect him to act like.
Again, I apologize for not updating this as often as I should. I just decided after our last testing that I would live every day to the fullest and not dwell on how severe this is. If I do, I will lose my mind and live every day in fear. And Ty does not deserve that. I have backed off of computer time, phone time, text time, etc. and just concentrating on every single moment God keeps my baby safe. Now we are starting to teach Tanner about Ty's allergies so that when he gets older, he can help protect him also. Praise God for giving me a child who is smart enough and stronger than I am to deal with something like this :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

ANOTHER DISAPPOINTMENT


Well, I have taken another break from blogging-only because it's been the same old same old; until now. Today we had both the boys tested again. I have been "pleading the BLOOD" that God would miraculously take away Ty's food allergies and did I truly believe it would happen? Yes. Did it happen? NO! In fact, Ty almost went into anaphylaxis just from the skin test. As soon as they applied the test, he started going nuts. He was fine with the prick-it was the itching and stinging that really bothered him. After about 7-10 minutes he started talking crazy and short of breath. They immediately removed the allergens and wiped his body clean. After FOUR dosages of an antihistamine and a breathing treatment-he was ok. There were probably four nurses and the allergist in there the whole time giving their sympathy and trying to win Ty over with "take homes" :) After all was said and done-Ty walked away with two t-shirts, four stickers, two lollipops and a new mask for his nebulizer (not to mention the Transformer he got after we left). His current allergies were the same-all as severe as they come-Milk, Nut, and Egg. And to make matters worse, he is now severely anaphlyatic to Almonds! It doesn't really affect us, considering we don't have any nuts in the house but that's one more thing to add to the list.
Sometimes I get so MAD that Ty has to go through this that I just want to lay on my back kicking and screaming and pitch the biggest fit anyone has ever seen. I just don't know how to let out all the fear and frustration I have. Its not the fact that we can't go out to eat, or go to birthday parties, eat pizza, enjoy family functions etc.; its the fact that these foods could KILL TY!!! Even the mere touch could do the trick. Literally everyday I fear what could happen if he is in someone else's hands-would they see the warning signs in time? I know that these fears show a lack of faith in God's healing and for that I am so sorry. I am only human. I still KNOW God will remove these one day but in the meantime I can only plead that He remain keeping Ty safe until that day comes. As a parent-I would do anything for my kids and this is such a helpless feeling. Like I said, I don't care if I never eat those things again-all I care about is taking care of my kids and keeping them safe. How do you do that when the main culprit is food? Food is everywhere. Unless I could completely wipe it out of the ecosystem , its a threat. If you do not have to deal with this-Praise God EVERYDAY!!!!! Its a very real issue and I hate that my poor baby has to live with this.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

4th of July

It has been very quiet around the house lately-praise God. No real issues to talk about except for the beach trip we took two weeks ago. It was a wonderful vacation however, Ty's skin was so pitiful. Between the sun, chlorine, sunscreen, and the sand-his skin really took a beating. One day at the beach, his skin got so bad we had to go inside; only to realize there were peanuts all over the beach area where he had been playing. Were they the cause of his outbreak? Who knows but we went in side and took benadryl and all was fine. There was definitely a new inconvenience at the beach this year. Having to cook every meal was a lot of work. And being in someone else's house made me a little paranoid about what might be on the pots and pans, counters, floors, carpets etc. However, we survived and created a lot of memories. I just can't wait until we can go on vacation and get to go out to eat and things like that.

Today we went to PMP for a little pre-4th of July swim. The kids had a blast and the pool was organizing some fun pool activities like float racing and water balloon tossing. They were only selling drinks until a little while later, they bring out the peanuts and pizza-yikes!!! But again, no real issue and Ty mainly stayed in the water. While we were there-we met another mom who has a little girl with a milk allergy and it was great talking with her and sharing stories. Its always nice to feel like you aren't alone. That doesn't happen often. I can't help but be envious of people who don't have to deal with this so I am thankful for the company :) I just can't wait until the day that we no longer have to deal with this and life is "safe." Here's to a fun 4th and a SAFE holiday. Oh, and a great cobbler recipe....

Peach Cobbler:

2 large cans of yellow cling peaches in heavy syrup
1 cup sugar
dash of cinnamon
1 box of Duncan Hines Yellow Cake Mix-make sure it only contains wheat and soy (no milk)
8 tbsp of Earth Balance Soy/Dairy Free butter

pour both cans of peaches and about half the syrup in an 8x10 pan. Add sugar and cinnamon and stir. pour the whole cake mix on top of peaches and drizzle melted butter on top. Bake at 350 for 45 min or until golden brown. be careful-amazing!!!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Another Scare


Never a dull moment in the Tumblin household. Last night my husband took the kids to the baseball field (as he often does) to watch their cousin practice. To make a long story short-after rolling in the grass and doing things that most boys do, he started to break out in a head-to-toe rash and complaining of a stomach ache and not feeling good. Uh oh!!!! Well Chad was very proactive and along with his mom, they brought him home, gave him benadryl and immediately bathed him to try to wash off whatever was all over him. By the time my husband called me ( I work nights) it had been about a little over an hour and he didn't seem like he was getting any better. So, I left work and Chad and Ty met me over at Greer Hospital-just in case. When Ty got out of the car, his face looked swollen and his rash was still very prominent. We kept asking him if he could breathe and with his reassurance, we watched him closely in the hospital waiting room. After about thirty more minutes, the swelling went down and Chad and I made the decision to go home and give him another half dose of benadryl and see if that does the trick. Because there was no trouble breathing, diarrhea or vomiting, we felt confident it was going to be ok. After the additional benadryl he immediately looked better.
Obviously Ty is fine and woke up this morning with beautiful, clear skin and no major repercussions. After speaking with the nurse-we have concluded that it was some kind of contact reaction. To the grass? Don't think so-he's been tested. My best guess is there was something in the grass-peanut shells, goldfish, cheetos-who knows? The thing about Ty is that you have to watch him like a hawk. If he is running towards a tree-you have to scan the tree and surrounding area before he gets there. If he is playing with kids-you gotta look them over and look for greasy shirts, cheesy hands, food on the mouth and decide if its a safe situation for Ty to be around. I know that sounds extreme-but it is necessary. Praise God it was not an anaphylactic reaction but it was a reaction and that's still scary. His little body is so sensitive to even the touch of food. So we are back to our reclusive stage where I'm scared to have him leave the house without me. Again-he does not have to ingest it to have a reaction-the mere touch can interrupt our daily lives with the potential for a severe reaction. All I can say right now is food allergies SUCK!!!!!!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Good Things Happening!!!

First of all-I must start by thanking God for taking such good care of us. We have had 4 months now with no hospital visits for Ty. Whoop whoop!!! And now that all of the medical bills have rolled in and we were granted a hardship through the hospital, we will begin to pay those off. And Romano's Macaroni Grill has been very cooperative with us and we have reached a more-than-fair settlement that when all is said and done-we should break even!!!! That means Greenville Memorial Hospital no longer owns me :) j/k. I guess I won't need to start scrubbing toilets there after all. Praise God!!!! Ty is doing really well right now. His allergies are under control and things seem to be quiet right now... knock on wood.

And on another note, Tanner's occupational therapy is going great! The last couple of days have been amazing!!! He has not only eaten three meals a day-he is snacking also!!!! And the past two nights he has slept through the night-Praise God (knock on wood-again). God has really been answering our prayers lately and we are so grateful. There is no greater feeling than looking at your family and knowing they are healthy and enjoying a good meal!!! Bon Appetite!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

Today is such a special day for so many of us women-its Mother's Day. And with that comes great pride in the families God has blessed us with. Chad and I were talking today and as we were driving home (6:00pm) from Chester, and I was frustrated that we couldn't just grab some fast food or a pizza for a quick fix dinner. But Chad brought up a great point-he said "wouldn't you give up anything in this world for those sweet boys?" And without a single doubt I said "of course!" That is when I realized that giving up food for Ty's food allergies was the LEAST I could do. I would do anything for those boys and being a mother is a lot of things: exhausting, scary, frustrating at times, fun, hilarious,and rewarding but most importantly it is ALWAYS WORTH IT!!!

Lately things have been pretty quiet, however the last couple of days have been exciting. Emily Allen, a writer for Greenville Allergies & Parenting Examiner has written a special "Mother's Day" article on our family. She is not only an amazing writer, but she shares the same passion-educating others about food allergies. In the article she speaks of our trials and tribulations dealing with this issue. I'm so flattered she did this and so appreciative of all she is continuing to do to help spread the word. Please check out not only our article but subscribe as well (its free) and you will see why I think so highly of her.

The other morning was kind of rough because Ty woke up crying about his dream that his cousin took his ice cream away and he was upset because he didn't want to be "allerskic" anymore. He said "mommy, I'm tired of being allerskic." As my eyes filled up with tears, I calmly said "don't worry Ty, its not for much longer." Later that day I boo hooed because up until now, he has never cared and he almost felt special because of his food allergies and now he notices that he is different and missing out. That upsets me the most. I just don't ever want him to feel isolated. So until we outgrow this, my new mission is to make him feel like he is just like the rest of the world. Before I concentrated on making him feel special and although I will still strive for that-as far as food goes, I want him to feel "normal."

Now that my family is complete, Ty and Tanner have made this the best mother's day of all. No matter what is included, I am their mom and for that I am so grateful!!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Much Lighter Note

I feel kinda bad about how negative my earlier blog was so I am here to vindicate myself. I started the day off very crummy but since then I have had some silver lining. First, we went to Walmart (on Wade Hampton) and now they carry Earth Balance Vegan and Soy Free butter. WHOOP WHOOP. And for less than three dollars each, I was able to stock up and not feel guilty or break the bank. Which means... I can make lots of cookies, and even better, I CAN EAT THEM! And then I received an email from Emily Allen who is now the Greenville Allergies and Parents writer for The Examiner. She has decided to do a story on our family and even post a link to this blog! This means even more people will become aware of what families like us have to go through and awareness leads to changes!!! Praise GOD!!!! So things are looking up and thanks to everyone for letting me get this stuff off my chest, good or bad.

Oh, and here's a thought-if any of you are having a birthday, holiday, or any other celebration and would like some help with the menu-let me know. I not only can make the goodies, but I can help you come up with menu and make sure your function is a allergy friendly one. Just send me your allergens and what you want and I can do the rest!!! Even though my child won't eat it, I have come up with some pretty amazing good eats :)

I Apologize

First of all, I apologize for the long delay. Truth be told-I have been wallowing in self pity for no good reason. Tanner, my youngest is having trouble learning how to eat properly, so much so that we have to go to occupational therapy to try to get him to be interested in eating. What is so frustrating for me is the fact that eating in general is such a freaking task in my house. I have one child who can't eat because he is allergic to most foods and I have another child who can't eat because he can't figure out how. Why is food such a problem for us? Simple things that others take for granted-like eating-is such a struggle for us. Why? I sure have never had a problem :) In fact, I rather enjoy it, even dream about it sometimes :)

The past weekend I was with a friend and her brother made a comment about how I have made her paranoid about feeding her baby new foods. Due to my experiences, she is shy about feeding her baby certain foods and is very cautious about possible food allergies (better safe than sorry). Well her brother said (in front of a lot of people) "Because of her (pointing to me), my sis is a freak about her child eating anything. And for every one bad experience she (referring to me again) has had, eight others haven't had that problem. So because of her (me) sis is too scared and won't let her child eat anything." Well, at that point I had two options: crawl under the table and scurry away, or laugh it off. Well I opted for the latter but inside I almost started to cry in embarrassment. And not to mention, I kinda let him get to me and make me feel guilty. Then, later on, he made another comment and I had had enough. I blurted out "IMAGINE WATCHING YOUR CHILD STRUGGLE FOR EVERY BREATH AND WONDERING IF HE WAS GONNA MAKE IT THIS TIME AND SEE IF YOU WOULD BE PARANOID! LOOK AT YOUR LITTLE GIRL AND IMAGINE HER ALMOST DIEING 3x NOW". He looked at me and said "wow, I didn't realize it was that serious". It just goes to show the ignorance people have to food allergies.

Another reason why I haven't been blogging is because I've kind of been down about the whole issue. Sometimes I feel really positive about it all and I know God will take these away, but other times, I'm just scared and hate that these are the cards we've been given. Right now, I basically have only one option for a babysitter and that is my sister. All of my family is awesome and very careful but she is the only one who doesn't work and her baby ate a "ty diet" for the first year of his life so she totally gets it. And when I have doctors appointments or anything, I know I can drop Ty off there and not give it a second thought. She is uber clean and the likelihood of protein on toys or furniture is very slim if any. So I am very thankful and appreciative of that option. Well now they have decided to move to the Hendersonville area and part of me (the selfish part) is so upset because I am losing my only other safe haven besides my house. This is what's best for her family and I truly believe that, but of course it will complicate things a little for mine. That goes back to the whole wallowing in self pity I mentioned earlier. This is the point I have to say "God I know you have our best interest at heart also" but its hard to recognize that. Right now I'm just wallowing. And I've realize with Ty, food is such a mixed emotion for me: sometimes I love it because it tastes good, but most of the time I HATE it because it limits our lives so much!

Well, I should probably calm down a little and try to make the next post more positive. After all, if I can't be positive about this, how can I expect Ty to be?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter




Well I must say-this Easter may have included more work than any other Easter-but it was the least stressful holiday we have had! We had all of my husband's family over the day before Easter and we prepared most of the meal ourselves and had a rule-only Ty-friendly food allowed and it was wonderful. Everyone was so cooperative and it was the first time Chad and I weren't having to watch people like hawks thinking "did they wash their hand? Are they gonna pick up that food they just dropped? Where is Ty? Did he touch that?" etc. etc. We were able to relax and enjoy the get together. And not to mention-Ty had a blast and there were no outbreaks or hospital trips :) YEAH!. We had a delicious meal with ham, chicken, beans, greens, mashed potatoes, brown rice, cresents, fruit (and the list goes on...). I think everyone was ok without mac and cheese and some of the other traditional holiday foods. It just goes to show-you can eat good and keep things safe at the same time. Oh, and of course we had sweets-I made a fun bunny cake and sugar cookies and my mother in law made a wonderful peach crisp.
Then, for church, I made 100+ sugar cookies for all of preschool children to enjoy and although it took over 8 hours-it was so worth it when I saw all of those kids loving the cookies and only my son going "No Fank You, I allerskic", and daddy whispering "no you aren't Ty, and mommy worked hard on these now just take one!" LOL. If only Ty enjoyed these half as much as I do. But at least I knew he was safe and he had the opportunity to eat like the rest of them.
Here is the recipes for these little pieces of Heaven. Caution-HIGHLY ADDICTIVE!

3/4 cup Earth Balance Dairy Free/Soy Free butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 egg substitute (6 tbs water mixed w/ 2tbs milled flaxseed)
2 1/2 cups sifted Self-rising flour

Once dough is made-freeze for 1-2 hours. Roll out on parchment paper and cut into desired shapes. Bake on parchment paper at 350 for 8-10 minutes. let cool completely before adding the icing.

3 tbs Earth Balance Dairy Free/Soy Free butter
1 1/2 cups 10x powedered sugar (or more if needed)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
rice milk-enough to add for consistency
food coloring (optional)

Like I said-we had a great Easter because Ty was safe and we are so thankful for such wonderful, watchful, and cooperative family who helped make this such a great holiday. And thank you to everyone reading this blog-it truly means so much to us and together I know we can make this a safer place for all children w/ food allergies.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

CRAZY DAY!


Today we had so many challenges-all in the same day. First of all, I tried to go to the same Subway that usually accomodates us (the one on Hudson Rd.) and when I explained to the woman (as I ALWAYS DO TO THIS SAME WOMAN/GIRL) that she needed to wash her hands and wash the knife before she got started-she rolled her eyes and said "well, this knife has not touched anything." Then I proceeded to tell her that he was also allergic to some of the breads and she went over to the manager as if to wisper about the "crazy customer" and then the manager recognized me and told her "its ok". He is usually always so nice to us and knows our situation and then when I went to check out he politely told me that she was just doing her job and that they have rules to follow and they can't be expected to break them for certain people and basically eluded to the fact that I should be happy regardless if she was a B-I-T-C-H! I told him "you do not have to do this for us-we understand" and as my eyes filled up with tears of frustration and embarrassment-I paid for my food and vow to never go back there again. So now we are down to ZERO restuarant that we can go to. I understand if they are not comfortable with my requests-but do they really need to be a boob about it? As if our lives are not hard enough-spare the look of inconvience please!

Then, because it was such a beautiful day, we promised Ty we would walk him up to the YMCA and let him play on that park; only to find there were eggs shells EVERYWHERE! We calmly told Ty we couldn't play here and promised to take him to the park in our neighborhood. As we got to the park and he saw all of his friends-we notice the lovely picnic of Chic-fil-A and milk going on in the middle of the playground-guess what? "Sorry Ty, can't play on this park either." And although it was disappointing, Ty understand and the promise of a popsicle was enough to satisfy him. I was so proud of him-I-a grown woman-wanted to pitch a fit and he was ok. The things he has to go through and is required to understand seems unfair to me but to him-they are the norm.

On the dog front-we were actually contacted by the directed of AngelServiceDogs.com and as we were basically told Ty would be bumped up to next in line (thousands waiting)-after much conversation the director basically tells us to either pick only one of the allergens to have the dog sense of not to do it at all. That's right-I think we just got turned down b/c his were too much for the dog to handle. They are used to one sense and Ty is so anaphylatic to three and there's no way we could chose just one. Well, at least that is 20 grand we don't have to come up with... But we are back to square one. How can we ensure his safety? How can we let him out of our sight? How can we increase our safety measures? Will he ever catch a break? Will the stress of this ever decrease?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Service Dog Update


Well, Chad and I are still in the process of getting all our ducks in a row for this service dog. It is a lot of money and a decision we can not take lightly. My feelings are "would you rather have the best surgeon operate on your child or the cheapest?" The dog is the same scenario. Of course it is not that easy and its no guarantee that it will prevent further breakouts-but it IS an added member to our team and and extra set of eyes (and not to mention a canine nose that can't be beat) and for that I believe it is worth it. So, I am asking everyone who cares anything for Ty or anything for their own children-what if this were your child-wouldn't you want help? We are busy brain storming on fund raising ideas-so all suggestions are welcome.

To explain the severity of his allergies-imagine letting your children finger paint and then not washing their hands afterwards..... Everywhere they touch has paint on it right? Imagine your beautiful house, toys, clothes, furniture, walls etc-everything is contaminated by paint! In our case-its the same thing with food. If kids (or adults) don't wash their hands after every time they eat-from there its a potential outbreak for us.

Good hygiene practices help not only keep your house clean, but it keeps Ty and other allergic kids safe. Food allergies are not just about ingestion-it can be the simple act of contact that can trigger anaplyaxis. Ideas for foods to eat on the go or snack foods that you don't have to worry about contaminating your surroundings are corn based cereals like Kix, Honeycomb, and others that are semi clean but contain wheat (which a lot of children are allergic to) are Fruit Loops, Cherrios and Apple Jacks. Other great ideas for snacks are fruit snacks and saltines. All of which are healthier options than Goldfish or Honey Nut Cherrios.

So think before you eat next time and together lets GO CLEAN!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Constant Challenges


Well this is day 10 after our last anaphylaxis and we are starting to see our old Ty return. He still has an awful rash due to the bandages they put on him while in the hospital, but other than that he is recovering nicely. Because of our last scare, we are so gun-shy to go anywhere. People just don't understand the severity of our situation. I'm finding it harder and harder to go places and do things. Places like church, school, playdates and birthday parties are almost not worth the work. I hate it for Ty because he is now at the age where he realizes he is starting to miss out on things and although he is very smart-he doesn't quite understand. He thinks if he just doesn't eat milk, nut, or egg-everything will be fine. He doesn't get that cross contamination is just as bad.

And now with Easter quickly approaching-we bought our Easter outfit (which he calls his "magician" outfit) and he has been begging to wear it only to find out we won't be going to church on Easter b/c children's church ordered a special case of doughnuts for a treat for all the kids. And there is no way I would take that away from everyone else just so my child could attend. But at the same time I feel like I go over this a thousand times with people and it just does not register. Its not just if he eats it-he can't touch it or be near it!!! I don't want to put too much hope and faith in this service dog (AngelServiceDogs.com) b/c ALL of my faith is in God and His healing and provision-but I can't help but feel like this dog would lessen half the load on us right now. I could at least let Ty go to more things and I would have an extra set of eyes, and nose to know if it is safe for him or not. I know holidays are supposed to be fun-but for me it means more stress and as long as it is centered around food-its life threatening for Ty. What ever happened to cheap toys and stickers as treats for kids???











On a different note-here is a great recipe for Dairy, Egg, Soy, and Nut free Chocolate Chip Cookies:

8 tbs Earth Balance Dairy/Soy free butter (roughly 1/2 cup butter)
2 tbs milled flaxseed mixed w/ 6 tbs water (mix well)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 bag of Enjoy Life semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mix first 5 ingredients until it is creamy and then add the flour and the chips. The dough should seem a little dry. Roll into little balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. ENJOY!

Allergy friendly foods don't have to be bland or nasty-I promise to provide wonderful recipes to let you know just how good (and healthy) you can eat; while keeping others safe :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Another Close Call

I apologize for the leave of absence from my blog but life has been crazy. However, I vow to be more devoted to informing everyone not only about our lives-but about all childrens' lives who are plagues with food allergies.

Friday night we went to Macaroni Grill (one of the few places we can eat at) and ordered the same thing we always order off of their allergy menu. For those unfamiliar with Romano's Macaroni Grill-they pride themselves in catering to people with food allergies. They have a very detailed, allergy specific menu and promise to cater to those needs. Ty got his usual capellini pomodoro and italian sorbet-all of which are milk, egg, and nut free. To make a long story short, we got home and Ty started acting very crazy and hyper. He started off coughing and then the rash started. We gave him benadryl and a bath and before we knew it-I was giving him the epipen while my husband held him down and we were in an ambulance on the way to the hospital. This makes three times now that I have had to watch my child fight for his life and wonder what the outcome was going to be. We determined it was some sort of cross-contamination at the restaurant that almost took my three year old's life.

Part of me is frustrated that Ty has to deal with things most kids don't and I get impatient with the fact that God has not taken these life threatening allergies away: but the other part of me finds hope in His protection in an organization called Angelservicedogs.com. We are now in the process of obtaining a service dog that will be Ty's shadow and alert him if there is a dangerous food near him. These dogs are allowed everywhere! I will keep you posted on the progress and will probably ask for some help in raising the funds for this come into play. Please pray for Ty and pray that God continues to spare him and protect him.