Monday, July 30, 2012

{Allergy Free} Chicken Stew

I guess I'm getting ready for fall and trying out some soup and stew recipes.  I try to pretend that it's not 100 degrees outside.  But this stew was a huge hit with the kids and it's also very easy to prepare.  Serve with some bread or even cornbread.  My kids always vote for cornbread muffins.



Chicken Stew

6 stalks celery cut into small pieces
10 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 onion, diced (I put mine in the food processor)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
1 can diced tomatoes with roasted garlic (These went into the food processor too)
32 oz chicken broth
1 teaspoon basil
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 pound chicken breasts cooked and diced (I put mine in the crockpot with garlic and onion)
1  26 1/2 oz can of pinto beans, drained
1  15 oz can of pinto beans

Heat olive oil in large pot.

Add celery, carrot, and onion.

Saute for about 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes, chicken broth, basil, bay leaf, and thyme.

Bring the pot to a simmer and reduce the heat to medium-low.

Cook for 20-30 minutes.

Remove bay leaf and add chicken and beans.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy!





Saturday, July 28, 2012

{Allergy Free} Lemon Cookies

I had some extra lemons and decided that our summer baking needed some citrus.  So, we made some lemon cookies that are light and chewy with just enough lemon to taste refreshing.



Lemon Cookies

1/2 cup Earth Balance
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons egg replacer whisked with 2 Tablespoons rice milk
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups flour blend
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Cream the Earth Balance and sugar together.

Add vanilla, egg replacer, lemon zest, and lemon juice and mix well.

Add dry ingredients (excluding powdered sugar) and stir just until combined.



Chill the dough for 30 minutes.

Scoop out Tablespoons of dough, roll in powdered sugar, and place on parchment covered baking sheet.



Bake at 350 for 9-10 minutes or until cookies have a matte finish but are not yet shiny.



Friday, July 27, 2012

Tiger and Asthma


We know our family has a predisposition for allergies and asthma.  Yes, we have noticed that.  But so far none of the kids have been officially diagnosed as asthmatic.  That changed this past week.

Tiger has had a cough that won't go away.  The first pediatrician suggested a round of antibiotics to fight the infection and keep his cough from turning into bronchitis.  We finished the medicine and there was no improvement.

We tried a new pediatrician who looked at our family history and questioned asthma.  Then she had Tiger do a "blowing game" to test his lung capacity.  She said he might be having bronchial spasms but that the test wasn't always accurate in younger children.  That doctor gave me her explanation and opinion with lots of "ifs" and "maybes".  That's just not good enough for me.

The doctor suggested an inhaler and some asthma medicine to try short term to address his coughing.  We're going to try the medicine and see how Tiger does.  But I don't want a maybe diagnosis.  I want to be sure.  I want to know if Tiger is truly having bronchial spasms and if he is actually asthmatic.

I'm wondering if it's not a seasonal allergy that is still bothering him.  He might be borderline asthmatic but I want to know for sure what we're dealing with before I start any type of medication.  So, Tiger has an appointment with a pediatric pulmonary specialist in October.  We're hoping this doctor can give us more definitive answers and help us monitor Tiger's problems without daily medication.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

{Allergy Free} Strawberry Cupcakes

These strawberry cupcakes are not overly sweet and could even double as muffins without the strawberry icing.



Strawberry Cupcakes

1 cup fresh strawberries (or frozen, unthawed)
1/4 cup rice milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour blend
1/2 teaspoon xanthan
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons Earth Balance spread
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons egg replacer whisked with 3 Tablespoons rice milk

Place strawberries in food processor and pulse until liquified.  It should measure about 1/2 cup liquid.

Mix the strawberry liquid with the rice milk, lemon juice, and vanilla.  Set aside.



Combine the dry ingredients-the flour blend through salt in a separate bowl and then set aside.

In another bowl, cream the Earth Balance with the sugar until well mixed.

Add the egg replacer and continue to mix.

Alternate the dry ingredients with the strawberry mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, while blending the batter.



Pour into greased muffin tins and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.


Let cool completely before icing.

Makes 12 cupcakes.


Strawberry Icing

1/2 cup strawberries pureed
1 cup shortening
pinch of salt
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream shortening and salt well.  Alternately add the powdered sugar and 3 Tablespoons of the pureed strawberries.  Then add vanilla extract and continue to mix until the icing is smooth.


Frost and enjoy!

This recipe is adapted from Cybele Pascal's recipe which can be found here.

Next time I might try making a strawberry glaze with powdered sugar, pureed strawberries, and a little vanilla extract.  I'm going to poke a few holes in each cupcake and drizzle on the glaze while they are still warm.  Those will be our "breakfast cupcakes."

Monday, July 23, 2012

{Allergy Free} Church Nurseries


Since we've moved we get to go through the wonderful experience of finding new restaurants, new places to go, and a new church.  Church shopping is one of my least favorite things to do.  It's just so awkward sometimes!

Hi, we're the new family in town and we have an allergy list a mile long.  Yes, we know you have a nursery.  No, we won't be leaving our kids in that nursery.  Yes, we will be taking them with us.  Yes, we know you have a children's program.  No, we don't want a donut.

How do we church shop?  I call a church mid-week and ask about their nursery and snacks.  I talk with the children's minister and explain our problem.  Some of them are very accommodating, some are already aware of food allergies and have policies in place, some are very willing to learn and work with us, and some of them just do not get it.

The new trend I've found in church nurseries is this-the snack of choice is now saltine crackers and water.  And every single church that serves this thinks they are super allergy free and allergy friendly.

I hate breaking the news to them that saltine crackers contain wheat which is one of the top 8 allergens.  Not only are many many children allergic to wheat, some are celiac which makes them intolerant to the wheat.  So, wheat is bad for many reasons.

Other churches only serve cheerios.  Again, we face the same problem-wheat.

The churches are moving in the right direction and working to be more allergy-friendly.  All purport to be peanut and nut free, it's just that some of us have problems with more than just those foods.

And one church we found does serve Rice Chex.  That's an allergy free snack!  It's safe for most people.  Unfortunately, we didn't care for that church even though they had good allergy policies.

So, churches are trying hard to be accommodating and they think they are allergy safe.  I appreciate their efforts but they're not quite there yet!

The problem with most churches is that they suggest I bring my own snack for Bee, but they continue to serve the regular snack to the other kids in the room.  They have such a difficult time understanding that Bee can't be around the other kids while they eat the unsafe snack.  Three-year-olds are notorious for spilling, sharing, and touching.  And Bee isn't old enough to advocate for herself and her allergies.  It's an unsafe situation all around.

It is amazing how unbending places are with the food policies.  The suggestion of changing or eliminating the snack is appalling to them.  Food is such a huge point of contention.  I feel like we are infamous before we even walk in the church doors.  It's not a good way to start out and to make friends.

Can you say isolating??

Some churches have no allergy protocols while others have started to implement a system for tracking the special needs of different children.  That's one step in the right direction.

But how do they handle their allergy kiddos?  With big, brightly colored allergy stickers.  I'm not sure how I feel about this policy, but that's for another post.


Friday, July 20, 2012

{Allergy Free} Cinnamon Swirl Bread

This is another new addition to our fun weekend breakfasts: Cinnamon Swirl Bread.  This bread tastes like a cross between a cinnamon roll and cinnamon toast.  Prince Charming had some waiting on him when he returned from a business trip and he declared the recipe to be amazing.  Sometimes when the kids want cinnamon rolls, I think I'll make this bread instead.  It's so much simpler! 



Cinnamon Swirl Bread

2 cups flour blend
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 Tablespoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons egg replacer whisked with 2 Tablespoons rice milk
1 cup vanilla hemp milk
1/3 cup applesauce

Topping:
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon of cinnamon

Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and set aside.



Whisk wet ingredients together.


Add dry ingredients to wet and mix well, working out any lumps.

Pour half of the batter into the loaf pan (or small loaf pans).

Sprinkle half of cinnamon sugar mixture on batter.  Use a knife to swirl the cinnamon sugar mixture into the batter.

Spread remaining batter on top and sprinkle remaining cinnamon sugar mixture on top.



Bake at 350 for 55 minutes to an hour (or 25 minutes if using small loaf pans).

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bee's Accident and Antibiotic Allergies

Just when I thought we were settling in from the move, Bee fell and got hurt.  She was playing in the kids section at a local bookstore.  She tripped and fell face first right into a wooden bench.  I was certain she had knocked some teeth out.  When the bleeding finally slowed, I could tell that her teeth were still there, but one front tooth was knocked back in her mouth.

I rushed her to a pediatric dentist who helped stop the bleeding and inspected her mouth.  There were cuts, bruising, and a loose tooth.  But the dentist was hopeful that the tooth would stay in and would eventually come back forward.  No stitches were needed so we headed home with lots of gauze and instructions to ice her mouth periodically all evening.  We were also told to give her motrin for pain and swelling as well as an antiobiotic to prevent any infection.



Once we got home, I sent Prince Charming to fill the prescription and Bee snuggled in on the couch with an ice pack.  When Prince Charming returned, I realized that Bee had never before taken an antibiotic.  Yes, in 3 years, she had never once needed one.  I'm not a huge fan of antibiotics but with the extent of the cuts in Bee's mouth, I was worried about an infection and willing to give antibiotics for a few days just to be safe.

I called the pharmacist and had him read all the ingredients to the antibiotic.  Fortunately, none of them sounded like an allergen.  But I called Bee's doctor just in case.  Our doctor is wonderful, and on a Friday afternoon, she called me personally just a few minutes after I had spoken with the nurse.  She explained about the antibiotics and felt that Bee was no more likely to have an allergic reaction to the medicine than the rest of the population.  She felt that in this case it was safe to give her the medicine to prevent infection, but to watch her for an hour after giving her the first dose.


Thankfully Bee did fine with her medicine.  So, now we know that if she ever really needs an antibiotic, she can safely take one.  Our doctor did however, caution us against certain pain relieving drugs which could cause side effects similar to allergic reactions-morphine and codeine are a few.  She felt that these drugs carried a higher risk for people like Bee.  So, now I'm praying that she never has an accident or surgery that requires a pain medication.

The doctor also explained a side effect of antibiotics-a rash that can appear about 5 days after using the medicine.  She told me that this rash was not an allergic reaction and should not be treated as such.  An allergic reaction to the drug would manifest in the first hours of taking the medicine.  If Bee were to develop a rash after 5 days, I should treat the rash with creams and lotion but not be concerned about an allergy.

So, Bee can take antibiotics.  We are going to have to be cautious with pain relievers.  And I learned that amoxicillin only comes in pink.  You can't get dye free anywhere!  While Bee does ok with small amounts of food coloring, I can't believe something like a medicine cannot be safe for all children-even those with allergies to dyes. 

Bee didn't talk or eat for the rest of the day.  Finally, by the next morning she decided she would drink some juice and eat a little breakfast.  It took days for the swelling to go down and she was sore for over a week.  But, at our checkup with the dentist, we learned that there is no infection, the tooth is still hanging on and coming forward, the bruising is minimal, and the cuts are healing.  We are so thankful that they were only baby teeth!  Here's to hoping she makes it to adulthood with all her teeth!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Complaint About Ian's Brand

Our new health food stores don't carry the brand of allergy safe chicken nuggets that I used to buy.  I've had to find other options.  One type of nuggets that we've found to be safe is the Ian's Allergy Friendly Chicken Nuggets.



But I do have one complaint about them.  It may sound silly, but it was so frustrating to me the first day I bought the nuggets.

The box contains about 15 nuggets.  The cooking instructions on the side of the box only specify how to cook 5 of those nuggets.  They give you a time and temperature for 5 nuggets, but do not give instructions for how long to cook the entire box of nuggets.  If you cook the entire box for the time given on the box, they will not be all the way done.

I called the company to ask them how to safely cook the entire box.  They didn't know and wouldn't tell me.

I asked them if there was some type of ratio-for each serving of 5 nuggets that you add, you need to add x amount of time to the total cooking time.  Nope.  They had no idea.

If I by a box of nuggets that comes wrapped in plastic wrap and I have to open the entire package to get out the number I want, why can't you tell me how to cook the whole thing?

Their rationale was that some families only have one allergic individual, so they only cook one small serving of nuggets at a time. 

Seriously?  Can you not just tell me how to cook the entire box safely?

Not all of us want to take out just 5 nuggets, rewrap the rest, and save them for later.  Some of us need to cook the entire box.

They had no plans to adjust the cooking instructions.  Why can it not just be simple?

I even checked the family size box which contains double the amount of nuggets as the regular-sized box.  The cooking instructions for that huge box tell you how to cook 5 nuggets.  I don't know about you, but if I have a big family and need to cook a lot of nuggets, I'd like to know how to do it.  I don't want to check them every few minutes to see if they seem done or keep poking them with a thermometer.

I buy chicken nuggets for convenience when I'm in a time crunch and need a quick meal.  Therefore, they should make the nuggets easy to cook with clear instructions.

So, I'll search around for a different more convenient brand because I don't have time for that kind of guesswork.

I told you it seemed silly.  But when you have 4 hungry kids waiting for lunch to be done and you have no idea how much longer it will take, it becomes a problem.  When you worry about the safety of the nuggets and you keep checking them to make sure they are thoroughly cooked before serving them, it becomes a problem.

Why can't they make things simple for us food allergy parents who have enough on our mind as it is?



Sunday, July 15, 2012

{Allergy Free} Chocolate Donuts

At our house, weekends equal donuts.  The kids wake up on Saturday wondering what we're going to eat for breakfast.  They won't accept anything fast or simple like cereal or oatmeal.  No, they want fresh baked breads, biscuits and gravy, cinnamon rolls, muffins, scones, or donuts.  Weekend breakfasts are supposed to be extra special.

This means that mom and dad stumble out of bed and sleepily bump around in the kitchen as we try to bake something new and exciting.  I do the baking, Prince Charming does the fetching of ingredients and then helps with clean up.

Lately, the kids request donuts every weekend.  While I love our cinnamon and spice donuts, it was time for a new donut flavor.  I went with chocolate.  They were amazing!




Chocolate Donuts
1 cup flour blend
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons Earth Balance melted
1/2 cup rice milk mixed with 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice (buttermilk substitute)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons egg replacer whisked with 2 Tablespoons rice milk

Preheat the oven to 350 and spray the donut pans.

Mix the dry ingredients together well with a whisk-work out the cocoa lumps.

Whisk the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring just enough to combine.  Don't over-stir the batter.

Fill the donut pans.  I used a spoon to spread the batter into each mold and then I smoothed the tops.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until donuts spring back when touched.

Let cool on wire rack and drizzle with glaze while still warm.

Makes 12 donuts.

Glaze:
1 teaspoon Earth Balance melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon rice milk

Whisk ingredients together and pour over donuts.  I put my glaze in a ziploc and piped it onto the donuts (less mess to clean later).  You can also dip the donuts in the glaze.  Since I don't have a wide shallow bowl in the apartment that would work for dipping, I did the piping.  It seemed easiest at the time.  If I had all my lovely dishes, I would probably just dip my donuts.  But does it really matter when they will be gone in a matter of minutes?  Presentation does not matter to my crew, only taste!  You'll see what I mean in the next picture because the donuts sure aren't pretty!


Tiger has already requested these for next weekend.  He actually wanted them again that same day.  Then he asked for the next day.  Then he settled on next weekend.  So, these donuts will become regulars at our house I'm sure!


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Allergy Safe Probiotics

The kids have been under the weather with tummy troubles.  That's when I was reminded of probiotics.  Unfortunately, we were out of our allergy safe probiotic and since we are in a new city with new stores, I had to find another brand of probiotic for them to take.

Finding a dairy and soy free probiotic is no easy task sometimes!  But I found two options that are safe for Bee.

Rainbow Light Probiolicious Gummies

Animal Parade AcidophiKidz


Friday, July 13, 2012

Coming Soon

As if relocating and moving and a new job and sick kids and having to find all new stores, doctors, and specialist were not enough change, we have one more big change coming to the hive!



Yes, the hive is growing and getting even busier.

And the question everyone asks us, "What if this baby has food allergies?"

Well, what if?

My response is, "Then I think we're probably the people best equipped to handle that situation.  The baby couldn't have a more prepared family."


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hospitals and Food Allergies

Would you like to try to guess the most food allergy unfriendly place on earth?  What place is completely unsafe?  Who has the most uneducated staff?

You might name several restaurants-like the one where you throw peanut shells on the floor.  That is unsafe, true, but you expect that.  The fact that some restaurants are unaccommodating does not come as a surprise.  After all, there is food in restaurants and the staff are not doctors or nurses.  They do not have medical school training.

I've already blogged about our unsafe experiences at our doctor's office.  That was unexpected!  The department of our allergist had snacks containing peanuts in their office-I found the evidence in the form of boxes in the trash.  No, that place should not be unsafe.

However, I would like to present the award to the most unsafe and least food allergy friendly location to----the hospital!  Yes, you might think you go there to get well.  You think they save lives.  No, the food staff is armed and dangerous with things like dairy and eggs and gluten.  You might not make it out of there!



Before I begin the story-a disclaimer-lest I get angry comments.  This award applies to my local hospital.  I'm sure there are progressive and educated hospitals somewhere.  I'd like to think so at least.  However, I've talked to other allergy families and they've had similar experiences at other hospitals, so I know our case is not an isolated one.  But, please note that this applies to an experience that we had at our local hospital and I am not making a broad generalization of all hospitals, nurses, and other medical staff.  The particular hospital will remain nameless, however.

We had a scary day.  Curly was not feeling well and kept complaining about stomach pain.  She grew pale and weak and was unable to stand steadily on her own.  She curled up on our bed and lay there moaning.  I called our doctor and he told me to head to the ER.  So, we did.



Four hours later we learned that she had appendicitis which was just what I had started to suspect.  She had surgery the following morning and everything went very well.  We got to spend several lovely days stuck in a yucky hospital room while she recovered though.



I informed all the staff and every nurse and every person I saw that Curly had dairy and egg allergies.  Hers are not severe, thankfully, but we do limit her intake of both her allergens as large amounts of either one make her feel sick.

Day 1 was liquid diet only.  She was sent fortified apple juice twice that day.  This apple juice was enriched with protein-DAIRY protein.  No thank you!  The second time, I sent the juice back with an explanation of her allergies.

Day 2 she was sent Pediasure.  Umm, that has dairy too.  It has two types of milk protein in it.  In addition, the top 2 ingredients are water and then sugar.  Next is corn maltodextrin.  Gross!  We are not drinking that either.

I noticed a note on her tray that she was not allowed milk or apples.  Well, I guess they didn't send either of those foods but it was apparent that they had NO IDEA what food allergies meant.

Day 3 she was served BBQ brisket, green beans, and mac and cheese.  That would also be dairy.

At that point I marched to the nurses station and had a few words.  I was sleep deprived, cranky, worried about my child, and beyond exhausted.

I had wised up at the end of Day 1 and sent Prince Charming to the health food store where her purchased allergy safe snacks for Curly.  She enjoyed her own applesauces, juices, crackers, and snack bars without worrying about allergies.

That's when I was thankful that it was only Curly in the hospital and not Bee.  If Bee had been in the hospital and had been served the unsafe juice, she would  have gone into anaphylactic shock.  I was so thankful that despite my exhaustion, my label-reading habit kicked in and I noticed all the unsafe foods.

After we were released I contacted the hospital administration and gave them a few pieces of my mind-nicely but firmly of course.  They were shocked and I was furious at their level of uneducation.  This is a hospital.  These are nurses and supposedly dieticians who are preparing the food for each patient in accordance with medical diets.  They had NO IDEA what they were doing and were completely unaware that the juice contained dairy.  They were unclear as the the ingredients of the Pediasure which is also dairy-based.  I received several follow-up phone calls and I attempted to educate the staff as best I could.  I directed them to online resources to help them learn more about food allergies and ingredients.

I have no idea if my calls made any impact but I hope that the hospital will one day be a safe place for those with food allergies.  Until then, if you are in the hospital:
1) Mention your allergies to every person who walks in the room
2) Question everything
3) Eat nothing
4) Bring your own snacks
5) Get out of there as soon as possible

Here's Curly, at home again, safe at the allergy free hive!


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Outgrown Oat Allergy

We have some exciting news!  Bee has seemingly outgrown her allergy to oats.


Several years ago we gave her a small bite of gluten free oatmeal.  She immediately broke out in a rash around her mouth.  Since that day I have not allowed her to have any oats or oatmeal.  Even though Tiger and I often eat GF oatmeal at breakfast, I have always made something else for Curly and Bee.  Bee has never complained or even asked to eat the oatmeal.  It's funny how she seems to almost know that some foods both her as she avoids them on her own without urging from us.

Well, a few weeks ago, Bee demanded a taste of my oatmeal.  That has never happened before.  We had been considering a food challenge or testing her oat allergy again but I wasn't ready this soon.  I spoke with Prince Charming and we decided to do our own food challenge the next day when he would be home.

I made oatmeal and gave Bee one tiny bite.  She loved it and immediately wanted more.  I made her wait a long time and then gave her another bite.  Several minutes later she took one more.  I gave her the buckwheat cereal she normally ate and let her finish breakfast.  We waited and watched.  Nothing.

The next day I let her have more oatmeal.  Nothing happened that day either.

Since that day she has eaten a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast on several occasions.  She has not had one issue.

We are so thankful that we can add a food back to our list and now we have even more baking possibilities with oats and oat flour.

Bee has a new favorite breakfast (which I guess would actually be second after homemade donuts)!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Moving


Our hive has moved across the state!

We are now living in a temporary apartment as we wait for our house to sell.  We left all of our furniture and most of our things back at the house.  For apartment life, we loaded as much as we could fit into both cars and that's all we've got while we're staying here (beside the few pieces of furniture we have rented).

I feel almost like I'm camping-in air conditioning with bathrooms-which is the only way that you will ever find me "camping."  I don't think I have ever felt more disorganized in my life.  It's just not a fun feeling.

Let me say that moving with 4 small children is no easy task.  Moving with an allergy kiddo and worrying about how she'll react at the new apartment, what restaurants we'll find, what the health food stores will carry, and how we'll find new doctors and a good hospital adds a whole new kind of stress.

Thankfully we've moved to a larger area with more health food store options, more restaurants, and major medical centers.  It's going to be great, as soon as we adjust, and I have no idea how long that will take.  So far, we've been here 3 or 4 weeks (the weeks are all running together now) and I still feel completely and utterly dazed and confused.  The kids are finally starting to adjust and we're beginning to find a normal routine.  But overall we are totally out of our element.

The kids are looking forward to meeting new people and making new friends.  I, on the other hand, am not.  I do not look forward to that at all.  Why?  Because it means hours and hours of explaining the food allergies, worrying about people who don't understand or don't know us, and calling ahead to every restaurant, church, and other event to verify policies and notify them of the allergies.  Moving means lots and lots of time spent talking about the allergies.  Not only are we the new people in town, we are are the family with food allergies.

We're here.  We're completely crazy.  The kids are overwhelmed.  I'm totally disorganized.  But it's ok.  This move has been a good thing and we look forward to living here for a while.  Given a little more time, I think we'll begin to love it here.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Allergy to Lotion

Bee has a new allergy....

Calendula!!!

It took me a couple days to get this one figured out.

We had been trying a new lotion because Bee was having more eczema break outs.  This lotion was designed for those with eczema (just not for Bee, as we would learn).

After her shower and jammies, Bee became very itchy.  At first I suspected the soap, because our store had been out of our regular soap and I had to buy one that was a different fragrance.  I doctored her rash and gave her Benadryl and put her to bed.  The next night, I was ready with a different soap that we had used before.  Round 2 of itchy, rashy, hives.

That's when I realized it had to be the lotion.  I put Bee back in the shower and scrubbed her under cool water.  Then I grabbed our old lotion and started covering her.  I mixed in some anti-itch cream and gave her Benadryl.  Within 30 minutes, she was looking much better and was able to go to sleep.

We used the lotion for a week before we noticed any real issues.  Apparently her body had been slowly building histamines against this lotion, until after a week, the constant exposure to the lotion made her break out in all-over hives.

We're back to our old soap and old lotion and we've had no more issues.  That's what we get for trying something new!

So, what's wrong with calendula?  It's a flower and related to the daisy and aster family-also related to the ragweed family.  Bee hasn't been tested for ragweed allergies, but I'm betting she will test high when we test her environmental allergies in a year.  If you're allergic to ragweed, calendula might not be your best option.

Now we have 2 more things to add to our list........
 
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