Milk, shellfish, and all the nuts

Food allergies. I have so much to learn. I mentioned it on Twitter. I guess that was stupid because I'm never on Twitter anymore, but someone who follows me told me that peanut allergy moms need to get off their high horses. And I thought that anyone who would say that is actually saying it from her own mighty tall horse. But it is a thing, these nut allergies. Because people die. Kids, adults. It is weird though when the allergist acts like it's no big deal and just sends you home with a bunch of handouts that purport to tell you how to avoid the allergen.

So whatever. We will find a new allergist, one who specializes in food allergies. Because I've been reading.

First off, the deal: Holden is allergic to cats, dogs, & dustmites (not life threatening). He didn't test allergic to trees and grasses, but the allergist said those are to come. Later he can take shots, etc. No fun, but not a big deal really. But then he's also allergic to milk (I believe the cause of his eczema, which these days is more of a rash that pops up just as soon as he eats anything that has milk in it. Milk is in a lot of things you wouldn't realize. Latest culprit - spaghetti sauce). Also shellfish, peanuts, and 7 of the 9 tree nuts they tested for. Which may as well be all tree nuts because being negative on the scratch test doesn't necessarily mean he's not allergic to them.

Secondly, things I'm considering/doing: Probiotics, getting as many fruits and vegetables into him as possible (this means lots of smoothies and homemade juices right now because he is a picky eater), raising money somehow for a Peanut Dog, and oral immunotherapy (OIT). He's just 2 years old. Maybe with probiotics and fruits/veggies, he can grow out of it. It's not likely, but it's not impossible. And if he doesn't, then we'll look more into the dog and the OIT. 

People who know me tell me that I take things too seriously. I guess the idea is that somehow I should lighten up or become more positive or perhaps become a different person. I should drink more because that would loosen me up. I don't really see that happening. What makes me feel best is researching the issue until I'm satisfied. Serious things have happened over the last 10 years of my life and I'm not sure how to outrun them so I can start feeling like myself again. And I'm not really sure what I used to feel like anymore. 

What I'd like to do is go to the beach. Sit on the sand with R, watching the kids play, and just not worrying about anything. That'd be good. Then I'd like about 3 weeks where I didn't have to work on anything but my life. I'd like to super clean and completely minimalize my house, make a 4-6 week menu with shopping lists, and write up a daily schedule. I realize I can do all these things, but I never seem to get them finished. I get them half done and then some other fire needs to be put out. Having two shops is a lot, but I'm committed to doing that at least until after Christmas, and probably longer. It just has to be right now. But I need to do all those things, so they're on the list.

Holden is the cutest thing. He's so funny! And sweet. He's 2 and a half now, as of yesterday. Hard to believe. He's asking for a nap, so here I go...

Things are moving slowly. Well, time moves quickly. Weeks pass me like I'm standing still, though I rarely stand still. Up in the morning, run around all day, fall into bed at night. And I didn't even go anywhere today.

V's art teacher has accepted a job as Director of Education for a local museum. We're so very happy for her and she's going to do great at the job, but we're sad for us. We're going to miss seeing her and her sweet dog too.

I need to find another activity for V. She wants to do gymnastics. Sweet girl can't skip rope. Or do jumping jacks. I want her to try a Crossfit class. I think she'd really like it. I don't know that she's the competitive sport type. But she can check both out and see what works for her.

Every spare moment I work on the new shop, even if it's just in my head. I can tell this is going to take me forever. I'm so impatient. I can't even think of a name. I'm telling myself that it will come to me, that I'll pluck it right out of the blue sky. But I'm not so sure. It's making my head hurt.

But I did set this stone and it was so thrilling to me, I can't tell you. I haven't taken it off since.

I've been wearing it with my rose gold stacking ring like a wedding set. I love it.

Yesterday, I started making fresh juices for Holden. There's too much for just him, so V and I have been having some as well. It's ... interesting. This week we have apples, kale, red cabbage, sage, tomato, red pepper, and I added an orange but it didn't seem to make it sweeter. It tastes grassy. I have to drink it quickly. But Holden drank most of his and I'm happy with that. Someone in a Facebook group I'm in told me that their son was cured of severe eczema by eating plant-based whole foods and that it took 6 months. I'm not sure H's is severe (though it's pretty bad), so hopefully it'll take less time. It's so sad to see him scratch and cry, "Itchy!"

Eczema baby

So H has eczema. All over his little legs. So mama's about to get tough.

First off, we need to see an allergist, though we can't do that until June or July. Because he doesn't just have eczema, though that's bad enough. He is also allergic to peanuts. Can I tell you how much fear that puts in my heart?

So, from what I've read in Disease-Proof Your Child, H needs more fruits and vegetables (and zero processed foods), and that changing his diet can cure his eczema within a couple of months. Change your diet and find out within 3 months if it's working? Count me in!

I'm also reading The Peanut Allergy Answer Book. I haven't had a lot of time to read that one because I have orders to make for Mother's Day, but I will get back to it by week's end. But he seems to be saying (so far) that we're (as a first world country) too clean, and that's why our babies are getting more allergies. And that since they told everyone to keep their kids away from peanuts from 0-3 years old, peanut allergies have increased dramatically. Go science!

Well, I did not stay away from peanuts while I was pregnant and early breastfeeding. I didn't eat them daily or anything, but I probably ate the amount that any person would eat, mainly in the form of peanut butter on my apple (or chocolate). I also ate a ton of raw cashews. He's definitely allergic to peanuts.

Then the other day I read that babies with eczema are also more likely to have peanut allergies. So, wonderful. Why didn't anyone tell me?

So here's my plan. For now, I'm ever-increasing his diet to a plant-based diet with no gluten, no nuts, no dairy (including eggs), and no processed food. We're more than halfway there. I will get him into see an allergist as soon as possible so we can find out what he's really allergic to (he'd previously eaten baked foods made with almond milk and eaten sweet potato casserole with pecans with zero reaction, and grabbed and crammed a chocolate covered cashew into his mouth). I'm also going to start making him green juices, at least once a day. Because he's going to eat the amount of food that his body tells him to eat. I can't force him to eat more. And I can't force him to eat things like celery and cucumber and kale that he doesn't like. But I can give him more antioxidants through juicing. He drinks 1-2 cups of regular apple juice a day, so I can replace those with fresh green juice. Thankfully, my MIL gave me her juicer a few years ago. I've only used it twice, but it's coming back out this weekend.

My secret hope is that he's young enough to heal, both the eczema and the peanut allergy (I've read 20% of kids can outgrow a peanut allergy by age 6). That may be too much to hope for, but I'm going to continue researching and doing all that I can. I haven't found any studies or anything saying that increasing fruits and vegetables can reverse a peanut allergy, but I've read that doing so can lessen or reverse other types of allergies, so we may as well try. Can't hurt.

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