Allergies have been high in our minds the last few weeks - we've moved up to 600mg of walnut powder for the daily dose. Tomorrow we go to 700mg at the allergist. It takes a lot of time, but he's thankfully a very agreeable kiddo. He gets a bag to take whatever toys he wants... and sometimes he entertains everyone with his costumes and antics. This was 2 weeks ago - my little protector! I hope he stays this agreeable for the years we have of this in our futures!
The superbowl (and of course party with lots of food) - was a great success, and in no small part to the friends (our local family!) that helped make sure he was safe and that everyone knew not to give him food without a parent okaying it. Our host/hostess sent us this photo of the "baked goods" end of the table before we even GOT to the party. :) We also had him wearing allergy alert stickers so that those folks that don't know him would know not to feed him.
In other news, we just signed him to start kindergarden in July where he will join his big sister at the local Elementary school. EEK. We are barely starting those conversations with the school, eventually the school nurse, the teacher (we don't know who yet), and the allergist. It's a LOT of paperwork, planning, and thinking through what makes sense, how to approach people, and how to most importantly keep him safe. We don't want to induce some crazy burden on the school, but we don't want them to ever need to inject him with an epi. Heck, I don't want to ever have to inject him! (again)
This is amazingly stressful to think about leaving the "nut-free" preschool world and having to depend on others (some of whom we will never know), to keep him safe, at an age where he can't quite protect himself (or read the labels). We have been researching on the parents of kids with food allergy forums (you need to register), went to a 504 plan webinar (you can watch the video), and talking to teachers, other parents, and anyone with any experience in this area. The allergist was surprisingly negative about a 504 plan (he said a health plan is fine). Given what we've researched, we don't agree, but we will talk it out with patience and come in with humility to talk to the school. It's not a demand list, it's supposed to be a discussion to decide how we can all keep him safe, and a document that details what we agree upon. We have a health plan in place for our eldest, but her life is not in immediate danger if it's not followed. We will plod slowly down this path and take lots of notes... And I will try not to shake every time I talk to anyone at the school about leaving him there without his army of protectors. Gotta let go sometime...
Other cool stuff...
-FREE (used to be a paid training!) Epinephrine/anaphylaxis training online. This is pretty awesome. If you have friends with food allergies, take the 20-30 min and do this. You may have to save them one day, you need to understand what to do and when to do it. And THANK YOU epi-kit for making it free!
1. Go to http://www.EpiPenTraining.
2. Fill in the Registration Form and agree to the Terms & Conditions.
3. Click Sign Me Up.
4. A box will appear confirming that your account was created and that you're logged in.
5. Click Continue.
6. Click Begin or Continue Your Training Course.
7. Click Start.
-Allergy cards for restaurants - we dug all over the place and these things are EXPENSIVE and you get two or three laminated cards that you need to remember to get back from the server each time. We used vistaprint (just picked a business card template), and printed 200 for about $20. We put his picture on it, and wrote it as a request from him to help keep him safe (people are more careful when they know it's a child that can't protect themselves). Don't spend your $ on the fancy "allergy" cards. You can print EXACTLY what you want and get far more of them online from anyplace that makes create your own business cards. We put emergency info on the back including please don't hesitate to Epi if you see symptoms. So far it's been VERY well received. We decided to do this after reading the restaurant blog (see last post).
Alli, Daniel, E and P