Monday, November 4, 2013

Peanut Treatment Going Strong!!!

The past few weeks have been going by great. There is a light at the end of this tunnel in sight. Only a couple months left and we will have this allergy desensitized. Such a good feeling to know my daughter will be safe. We have never had to use an epi-pen and I am feeling hopeful that we will never need one.

We have been taking doses through peanut flour fit into a small capsule. I open the capsule and dump the peanut flour into really anything. She has had it in apple sauce, yogurt, pudding. Her favorite is apple sauce so mostly all doses are dumped in there. what's nice about this dosing is, I don't have to remember to keep it refrigerated. With the liquid dosing their was a time when I came home and completely forgot to put the serum in the refrigerator. I discovered that we still had in in the car 15 min before the office was about to close. I rushed over and got a new bottle. However, I know they would have made arrangements for me to get it even if the office had closed.

Money has become somewhat of an issue with this treatment. The cost of the peanut dosing is fairly cheap however with all the office visits and food challenges each week and my insurance company not paying a dime till we meet our deductible we are beginning to worry about how we will be able to pay for this. Rest assured we wont be stopping this treatment. If I have to take out a small loan just to pay this all off I will. This is worth every penny they charge us, and I have no regrets.

Only a few more weeks until we start dosing with actual peanuts. This is so exciting for us. It will be strange giving her peanuts for the first time. Something that has been such a grave danger will be looked at in a different light.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Progress With Peanuts

      It has been a while since I have updated on my Daughters Oral Immunotherapy for her peanut allergy. In my last blog entry, a noted that we had been having set backs. I am so happy to update, that since then, she has been seeing her allergist each week for a month now. Each week successfully upping her dosage of peanuts, with Zero reaction. Yay its finally working!!! We are on our last week of liquid dosing. Next week we start our "pill form" type dosing. Although this still isn't close to eating a full peanut in each dose. I feel like we are doing the best for our little girl. Each week as we get further into this program I am getting more excited for her future. A future without worrying about birthday parties, family events, & school. When food will no longer be life threatening.
(Waiting at the Allergist Office)                                            (nurse getting ready to give a peanut dose)

      My Daughter just started school this last couple of weeks. At first, I was super nervous to get her started and not be in complete control over her food. To hand over the responsibility of her food allergy to another adult scared me. Lucky for us She has great teachers, who take her allergy seriously. Her teachers are constantly on top of her allergy, asking me what she can and cannot have. It surprises me how stupid people are. One of the other moms in her class brought in a "snack time", type food to donate to the classroom. The teachers informed the mother that their is a child with a peanut allergy in the classroom. the mother responded. "These are ORGANIC it should be fine", I don't even know how to respond to that. HELLO peanuts are organic. And by the way yes their were peanuts listed not only in the ingredients but also in the allergy warning in bold. I am just thankful that her teachers knew better.

We also had a birthday
(Happy 5th birthday to my Birthday Girl who LOVES Cinderella)


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Setback With Peanut Treatment

I love keeping this journal of my Daughters Oral Immunotherapy treatment for her peanut allergy. We did however have a setback this past week. We went into her Allergists for her dose of peanuts to be raised and after about ten minutes my daughter started to complain of an itchy back and itchy throat.  I looked at her back, it appeared to have a rash beginning to break out.  So sadly, we will be staying on the same dose for two weeks instead of going up a dose with the rest of the group. This puts us five weeks behind the rest of the kids in the group.

It is so discouraging for us watching everyone else power through this oral therapy, while we are getting setbacks. Her allergist talked to me and said that since he has seen improvement with her to not let us get too discouraged. We talked about how her level of peanut allergy is so high that this treatment really is the best thing I can do for her to insure her future safety. The oral immunotherapy treatment is only suppose to take 5 months, but I have a feeling we will be doing this for closer to a year.

It has been however, a great learning experience for my Daughter and I as we have embarked on this journey. I have noticed my daughter starting to understand what it feels like to have a reaction to peanuts. I have kept her diet very strict in the past so she very rarely had reactions. This treatment has taught her how to recognize symptoms her body has when she has consumed something with a trace of peanut in it. She is very good at knowing and recognizing this and telling me immediately. I think for a 4 year old this is HUGE!!!

My Daughter will be starting school very soon. I am thinking of taking her to the store with me each week and showing her foods that are safe and not safe to eat. To educate her to know for herself what she can and cannot have. I am hoping to not only empower her with this knowledge, but help myself by easing my mind. I just wish I had thought to start doing this sooner. I am so anxious for her to begin school. I know the school is keeping her classroom peanut free, but I cannot help but be scared. Accidents happen this I know, that's what scares me the most. I try not to let her see my fears. I feel her up with excitement for school, I do not want school to be a place of fear for her. All I can do is educate her and her teachers.

I pray this treatment works for us, I just want my sweet princess to be safe!!!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Our Hopeful Cure for Peanut Allergies...

We our in the Second Week on my Daughters Oral Immunotherapy for her peanut allergy. The past week went so well. I thought for sure there would be reactions at home, every time I gave my Daughter a dose of the peanut solution I was waiting for something to happen. The entire week went by doing home dosing without even the smallest reaction. Week #1 was a success!!!

My Daughter is a level 5 peanut allergy sufferer. Which, for those of you who do not know what a level 5 is, I will explain. There are Six levels to food allergies. The first is "Very Low", which would be a level #1. The second is "Low", which is a level #2. Next comes "Moderate", which is a level #4. "High", comes next which is where my daughter is level #5.  Lastly "Very High", which is a level #6. all of these levels are calculated by a blood test for accuracy.  So, for a Mother of a Daughter with such a High level peanut allergy sufferer, I am always stressed out. Constantly on guard for my Daughter's safety, making sure all her food choices and the food around her is safe.

My sons however, do not have any food allergies that we know of, and in order to insure they do not develop any peanut food allergies,  per my daughters doctor, we needed to introduce them to peanuts as soon as they turned one year of age. Which is hard to do with a Sister that's heavily allergic. I have created "safe areas" in our home for her younger brothers to eat things with peanuts in them. So far this has worked out great for our family.

With this type of oral immunotherapy my daughter isn't allowed to do much physical activity. Thirty minutes prior to dosing, and Two to Four hours after dosing. Reason being, too much activity could alter her reaction to the dose and cause her to have some type of reaction. Which of course, we do not want.  I am very strict with her during this time. This part is the hardest of the whole treatment. Having a 5 year old sit still and play quietly for a few hours in the morning and an hour and a half before bed has been my biggest hurdle. As the week has gone by we have embarked on a new routine and it is slowly getting easier.

Today we went in for our weekly visit to the Doctor for her new dosing for the upcoming week. I was a bit nervous about starting this new dose, because she had broken out in hives last week on the exact dose they were planning on starting her this week. As they administered the dose I was literally waiting for it to fail and have a reaction take place. To my surprise, no reaction. After the appointment we spoke to the Doctor in charge. He was so pleased that she did not have a reaction. He pointed out to me how her body is starting to tolerate a dose of peanut that she would normally react to. He clarified how amazing this is. How incredible it is that her body is truly beginning to tolerate peanuts. We are so excited to embark on this journey, and feel very lucky to have the chance to do this. Any mother would want to give their child the best opportunities for them and I am so glad that I could do this for my Daughter.

It saddens me that so many children who suffer from food allergies get teased, tormented, and even misunderstood as to how serious a food allergy is by their own peers and even by adults. I hope to be a voice to those who do not understand these allergies. I hope that one day soon all children with food allergies will be able to get the help we are getting so they can feel "Normal". so they wont have to sit at a lunchroom table all by themselves in school, so they can go to parties and not worry about the ingredients in the food around them. So they can feel like they are just like every other kid in the world. and most importantly so their lives are not put at risk every day by something as little and as tiny peanut.

Do you or anyone you know suffer from a food allergy? What kinds of hurdles have you had to endure with your allergy? I love hearing from my readers so please comment!!!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Frog Fuel Product Review

I had a great opportunity to review an awesome product that I had never heard of before. When Frog Fuel first arrived I was excited. I love trying new products out especially something that was going to be good for my health and help me out with my fitness goals. They sent me two different types of Frog fuel to try out. The first one was the frog fuel protein shot, and the second is the frog fuel energized protein shot.

I noticed that these products were developed by Navy seals. Who better to invent a product to fuel our workout needs than a Navy Seal. I loved that! As I did more research I found The creators, Alex and Jeff, were dissatisfied with all of the standard nutrition supplements available to them. So since they could not find anything worthy of fueling their rigorous workout routines, they made their own supplemental fuel source.

First I tried the Frog Fuel Protein Shot. I love finding easy ways to get my protein in to help me gear up for my workouts. This was a Berry flavor, at first I loved the flavor but as I kept drinking it felt kind of a strong berry flavor. I was glad that the shot was small I really don't think I could have drank much more than the pouch required to drink. I went off on my workout and felt like I had a bit more energy to get me through my workout.

Second, I tried the Frog Fuel Energized Protein Shot. This one had the same similar berry taste. At first it’s really sweet, then a little bit tangy, again not too bad of a taste. I just cant handle much more than the pouch has too tangy for me. This pouch has a caffeine kick to it. Caffeine has a bit of an effect on me so I really noticed a big energy boost when I took it. It gave me so much energy that after my workout I still had so much energy to play with my kids.

The Frog Fuel slogan reads, “Everything you need, nothing you don’t.” What a concept! I wish more food products and supplements employed that simple yet brilliant philosophy. It has no added sugar, no banned or artificial substances, and is lactose and gluten free. It’s simply made up of amino acids, water, collagen protein, taurine, and natural flavors.

I really enjoyed this product. and I am so glad I got the opportunity to try it out and tell you all about it.

Try the FrogFuel Performance App

So tell me, what are your favorite types of workouts?  Do you use Performance Shots?  Have you ever tried FrogFuel?

Disclaimer, FrogFuel provided the samples for my review purposes.  All thoughts expressed above are my own.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Peanut Allergy Treatment Day 1 !!!

     We finally had our 1st appointment today for my Daughters Peanut Allergy Treatment, with using Oral Immunotherapy. Anticipation for this appointment was killing us. Our original appointment was scheduled over a month ago, but they had to cancel because they didn't have the peanut flour in yet. We had rescheduled the appointment for last week but we had to cancel it because my daughter caught a small cold, and you cannot be sick for the first day because they are working with the immune system and need it fully charged. So, today our highly anticipated appointment finally arrived!
Lauren waiting for her next peanut dosage
     At 8 AM We checked in and waited, while the Doctor and Nurses were preparing our peanut doses and checking in everyone else in our group. By 9 AM we began the very first dose of peanut flour. They took small amounts of peanut flour and mixed it in Kool-Aid for the kids to take so it wouldn't taste bad. The first day of treatment is LONG, keeping my 4 year old entertained in a small space for 8 hours was the most difficult part of the day. what made it even harder, was the other kids there were much older than she was and all boys.

     The goal of the day was to get 25 doses of peanut flour. These doses were administered every fifteen minutes. Each dose contained a larger dose than the one before. These doses were so small that by the end of the day she still hadn't consumed a full peanut, just microscopic amounts to slowly build up immunity.  We almost hit the full 25 doses but at dose #22 my daughter had a minor reaction so they stopped the doses on her, and gave her Zyrtec monitored her closely for an hour and sent us home with dose #21 to take twice a day, every twelve hours for the next week.
Taking her dose at home

     When the nurses came around administering the very 1st dose I remember being so scared, frightened that at any moment my daughter could have a dangerous reaction. As the day progressed and still no sign of a reaction my fears went away, and as the parents calmed down the kids followed. At dose #22 I noticed my daughter itching her back. I pulled her near to me and noticed she had a couple hives. We informed the Nurse, who was in the room with us, and she grabbed the Doctor. He decided that it was time for my Daughter to end the day. Even though she was the first in the group to end, as the others were not having any reactions and made it to the full 25 doses. Our doctor informed us that her blood test showed a very high level of peanut allergy compared to those in the same group as her.  Our Doctor was happy she made it past dose #18. Our Doctor thought  she would of had some level of reaction to the peanuts much sooner.  I feel as if it was a major accomplishment, especially since she has such a high level of peanut allergy in her. So, day #1 HUGE success!!!
Peanut solution they gave us to take home
     I am nervous about doing the remainder of the week at home, but the doctor assured me that she now has a level of tolerance to peanuts and she should be just fine on the dose he gave me. I have administered a few doses at home with no complications. I am so hopeful that this treatment will work for her. We were advised to call the doctor if she were to have any reaction during the week and if she were to ever get sick with a cold or fever as this will influence the amount of peanut he would want her on.

     I am thrilled that my daughter is so lucky to be able to do this, and especially thrilled that she gets to do it before she will start school. As a mother to a daughter who has such a severe peanut allergy, it breaks my heart watching her feel like she is different or not normal. Imagine watching your child go to birthday parties, or family functions and not being able to eat what everyone else is having and wondering why they cannot, why they have to be different. At a young age a child cannot comprehend what this allergy is, and the side affects it will have on their body. I've comforted her many times when she felt as if she didn't fit in. I am so thankful that we live in a time where treatments are starting to blossom out for young kids that just want to feel "normal".

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Chicken & Cheese Enchiladas

So I discovered my new favorite Enchilada Recipe. It is so good I had to share it with all of you. You can make it without the chicken but I love chicken so I added this to the recipe.
2 TBS of butter
1/3 Cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 cups tomato juice, divided
2 TBS flour
1 TBS chili powder
1/2 TSp salt
1 (10oz) can of  enchilada sauce
1/4 Tso cinnamon
10 flour Tortillas
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 (2.25 oz) can of sliced black olives
2 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
sour cream

Melt butter in a saucepan add onion and pepper cook till soft.

Puree vegetable mixure in a blender with 1 cup tomato juice.

Pour into pan, and whisk in flour, chili powder, and salt. Cook till slightly thickened. Stir in 1 cup of remainding tomato juice, enchilada sauce, and cinnamon. bring to low boil. simmer 15 min

Next dip the Tortillas in the red sauce and fill with cheese and pre cooked chicken squares. roll up and repeat until pan is full.

pour remaining red sauce and cheese over and sprinkle olives on top.

bake in oven on 300 for 15 min.

so good!!!