Log: Day 22 (May 4th)-Day 33 (May 15) Oh Yes, You Are Doing the Food Challenge

notebook logI am still in the midst of my 365 day food challenge!  Many times by now–in any type of challenge–I would have stopped or cheated or somehow altered what I was doing.  For this one–I have been staying very committed!

Lately we have had things that come into our home that are food items that William cannot eat–which is fine!  Much of the time when this happens–William will say “but I can’t have that–where is my “treat?”.”  Much of the time I would word my way out of it with–we will get something later or “William.” Now–William says to me–“oh yes, you are doing the challenge” and somehow that puts him at ease.  Sometimes he wants something still–though he also realized that he is not alone–and he is not the only one not “having” something.

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Log: Days 18, 19, 20 & 21 (May 3rd)

Each of these days has been pretty consistent.  Nothing too much stands out.  I continue to eat the foods that William is able to eat.

In a previous log, I mentioned I was tired a bit and wondered if it was from the change in eating–I am thinking it is not–(I was a little under the weather and that changed my energy levels).  Yesterday, I ran 5 miles and I felt really good!

My other kiddos like French bread–so I got some to make sandwiches.  As I was making them–the bread sure did smell yummy!  Bread is one of my major downfalls when it comes to eating.  I could eat tons of bread. I stuck to strong and did not have the bread.  Definitely another, “golly” moment–knowing that it must be tough for William.

Yum, Prunes (Days 16 &17)

Day 16: Pretty normal day…William asked for Prunes.

Day 17: Pretty normal day until I went for the same prunes William had asked for the day before.  Thing is, when I am not sure who has put their hands into a common container–William usually does not eat out of it–so I didn’t.  The reason–if someone put their hands in the container without washing (by accident of course–because if you are ever around me—it is almost like my catch phrase–did you wash your hands) and they had bread (wheat) or another allergen, those proteins from the food that cause a reaction stick.  If they stick, William will react.  I wouldn’t react though–it was so incredibly tempting not to eat those prunes.

Another thing I noticed today–when exercising–I felt like my energy levels were lower, trying to get through my workout.  Wondering—if William gets tired easily because he hasn’t eaten enough? I will keep my eye on it.  Maybe my body is adjusting.

I still want to grab any food to eat…that is still sticking.

Helping Your Child Through an Anaphylactic Food Experience (Day 15)

“Should I call 911?”  My husband was at work, I called him.  William and I were dancing–having a good time right before bed.  Getting excess energy out.  He stopped–moving, all of a sudden.  A minute passed and I thought he was playing and then he did not move.  He must have been about three and a half years old maybe younger.

Earlier in the day my husband made cookies–normal thing to do.  We knew William was allergic–or newly diagnosed/confirmed allergic–so we were not as cautious as we should have been.  Leaving the room for a minute–I put the cookies to the back of the stove where William could not reach them. I should have sealed them in a container and hid them.  Smelling them, I am sure, William went looking for them.  Ten seconds later, I came back to chocolate chip hands.  Except–those chocolate chips had all the allergens or most of the allergens William would respond negatively to.

Our dancing stopped.  William stopped. Sitting on the couch–I asked, “William can you open your eyes?” His eyes were closed.  He answered, “No.”  On the phone with Dicky–my husband, “call 911” was his response.  Almost immediately firefighters and EMT first responders were at our door.  Epi-Pen had already been administered and Benadryl in William’s little system.  Anaphylactic shock had consumed his body.  “You saved his life tonight” one of the firefighters confirmed.

Scared, Unsure, Helpless were all the things I felt in the moment I was alone with William. So new to this reaction–I was unsure of what to do or of my overreaction.

As in any traumatic circumstance–reflecting later–I found some things that helped William and myself through this trauma.

Staying Calm.  This is the last thing I wanted to do. Crying was almost an instinct, though I had to be strong for William at that moment.  My reactions needed to be on hold for the time, I could come back to those later.

Medicine.  Benadryl, then Epi-Pen Jr. (at the time).  Later in reading, I found and research has found, when anaphylactic shock occurs–skip the Benadryl, administer epi-pen immediately. The epi-pen hurts but it saves lives.

Reassure and talk to them.  Whether 911 has been called or you are headed to the ER, make sure your kiddo knows you are there and they will be helped soon.

If ever in doubt–administer the Epi-pen.

William recovered from this experience physically–though each time he has encountered an anaphylactic episode–it stays with him.  Some probably not so good memories and hopefully a couple of strengthening memories.

Log: Day 14–The Pancakes Smelled Good

Overall today was mostly normal for me.  Making pancakes this morning…I wanted to just bite in to one.  Since on this challenge–I have really become more aware of the smells of food.  They seem to be stronger.  And, the the smells really smell good and edible.  I din’t touch the pancake though.  What will stand out tomorrow?

Log: “Your Sister–She is So Sensitive about William” Day 13

Not anything too drastic about today–I was a bit hungrier and it was hard not having food ready to eat.  I still reach out for food that I usually just grab–bread, peanut butter, etc.

Going throughout this day–an experience kept returning to my mind.  In finding out that William had food allergies, I was in disbelief.  I felt like they-food allergies–were not a real thing and somehow that there was an immediate solution–it could be like a bacterial infection–a medicine could relieve the discomfort.  Nope.  This was not the case.  I wanted so bad for something to cure these food allergies.  Everything was so new to me and those who supported me.  Family, friends did their best to be understanding and supportive.  Helping to find possible solutions.  One of those were vitamins. Willing to give mostly anything within safety a shot–a neighbor had some vitamins.  She had a lot of them.  My sister and I went to the neighbor’s house–my sister knew her a little better than I did. We spent time together, she shared her knowledge.  Perhaps at one point or another I might have said something regarding William to where this neighbor felt the need to tell my sister, “Your Sister–She is So Sensitive about William.” Years later this comment continues to pop into my head here and there. I am not sure what I said, or what body language I expressed–though it must have been pretty strong.

Thinking back on that day and those words–I have now noticed over the several years of William having food allergies–that I am more sensitive with him–my sensitivity is perhaps a defense mechanism, a protection for him and for me, for our family.

Over the years I have learned that I needed to be his voice–his advocate. When confirmed with food allergies, I had no idea what to expect. I thought we would just need to be cautious and that he might encounter itchiness or bothersome things here and there.  As time proceeded forward–there were a few times to come where I watched him close to a very short life.  So, yes, in that instance (of help from a neighbor) and from then on, I have been sensitive with William.  Overprotective when it comes to food, a little, though also helping him learn how to be strong.  In the process, a strength also building for myself as well as our family.

Log: Social Settings, Day 12

Today as part of my church service I asked that I be able to use a chex cereal piece as panotebook logrt of our sacrament, instead of a piece of wheat bread.  For the first time, I felt a reality in the social separation when it comes to conformity.  It was a personal feeling and I could sympathize with the way William might feel in social settings.

Log: The Cake Looked Good, Day 11

Saturday–Chex Cereal (corn) for breakfast before heading off to see my husband finish hnotebook logis half marathon.  Celebrating–we went out for ice cream.  Typically I love the fancy waffle cone from Baskin Robbins.  Today, I chose chocolate chip ice cream-William can indulge in that–though he chose three scoops of chocolate ice cream with sprinkles.  Good choice.  Later that day at one of my good friend’s home, she offered me cake that was egg free. I needed to ask what kind of flour was used.  Darn–it had wheat.  The cake looked delicious and I am sure that it tasted just as good.  I passed.  The cautions William must take–the cautions all kids with food allergies must take.  It is hard to make sense out of food that should be good for a body–can also be fatal to the body.  Later that day, I was super hungry. I ate beans/rice and ham.  It satisfied. Pizza was for dinner.  I guaranteed William I would not be eating it.  Some might ask–well why do I bring wheat into the house?  We minimize it–though at the same time wheat is such a huge product and it is found in almost everything.  We work to minimize the amount of foods we have with allergens-though William is allergic to almost all of the top allergens.  Everyone in the house takes extra precaution to keep William’s food environment safe.

Log: Thinking About the Things He Would Like to Eat, Days 8 & 9

notebook logDays 8 & 9 were pretty normal with eating as if I were the one with food allergies.  I did get to ask William–how many times a day he thinks about the things he would like to eat–but is not able to.  “Haha–I think about it all the time…it is hard when I see my brother or sister eating what I would like to eat.”  These were his words.  Without submerging myself into this challenge–I am not sure I would have ever thought to ask that question–to him.