Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Home Work

.....used to be so much more of a struggle.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Promise Walk time

Support me in the Promise Walk for Preeclampsia

It's Promise Walk For Preeclampsia time again.  I am coordinating the walk in my hometown again this year and hope to be an even bigger success than the years prior.   Our goals are set a bit higher this year and what is really exciting for me is the fact that we have 5 teams registered already!  And all of them have fundraising goals set, which is really awesome.  Our team is reaching for another $1000 goal again this year.  I'm hopeful we can reach it, but also know finances are even more tough for many this year.  The awareness we share is vital and priceless.

I won't go on and on as if you are a regular here, you know our story and how passionate I am about preeclampsia awareness.  If you could spare a buck or two (or ten or twenty), please consider donating to our "Gang" again this year.  I sure would appreciate it.

Monday, April 11, 2011

I have what?

Dermatitis herpetiformis 

If you are anything like me, you are wondering what exactly the hell is dermatitis herpes what? Dermatitis herpetiformis is a condition that occurs often when someone has a sensitivity to gluten, or wheat.  And apparently this is what I've developed.  Total awesomeness.  I think my second reaction was, well, fuck me.

 I awoke in the middle of the night the other week with an intense burning itch on my inner forearms.  I put cold water on them and went back to sleep.  In the morning, I saw a couple of red spots but nothing major.  The next night, I awoke to the same itching except it was on my outer forearms and hands.  These pimple-like red spots that made me want to rip my skin off.  In the morning, I still had some spots and then my chest broke out a bit.  I had just started a new shampoo and thought perhaps I was having a reaction to that, so I stopped using it.  And then after a delicious lunch of Domino's Pizza, my arms were on fire again.  I stocked up on an antihistimine and itched at varying times over the weekend, most often after I finished eating.  Monday, I called the doctor and they scheduled me for Wednesday.  In the meantime, my arms looked horrendous.  My coworkers teased me that I was a meth addict.  Turns out those spots are like small blisters and my itching made them all pop, bleed, and scab, and then bleed some more when I itched again.

this is what I looked like.....

Nasty, right?  I am embarrassed to show my arms.  Turns out, the doc thinks I have a gluten intolerance, sensitivity or full blown allergy.   I had celiac labwork done last year as she suspected I had an issue with gluten, however my bloodwork was just within normal range.  Unlike A's, who's labwork was competely wonky and then upon the biopsy, turned out she has no damage to her celia and thus no celiac.  But I digress.  

The doc's daughter discovered a gluten intolerance in this exact fashion a number of years ago and now breaks out in this "rash" when she even has just a few bites of wheat.   Did I mention, it looks awesome?  So, my doc prescribed a gluten-free diet for the next 6 weeks until I see her again.  Um, can I admit that I about cried when she told me no bread?  Cuz, that's true.  I'm a carb addict.  I left the office wondering what on earth I will eat now, stopped at the bookstore for some gluten free books and then onto the grocery store for some gluten-free foods.

If you haven't priced out gluten-free foods....they are frickin' expensive!  I knew I'd need some snacks and thought I'd try out some different items.  Now, I know I can still eat meat, fruits, veggies and lots of other food.  But I also knew I'd need some "quick" items to eat.  I discovered over the weekend, I can still do my chips & dip (yay-fucking-hoo!!) and the noodles are not all that bad.  I am on the hunt for more information, recipes, tips, and more as this is quite the educational experience for me.  I've run the gammut of being pissed off, depressed, and more about it.  I have noticed that I actually feel better over the last few days (I've been gluten free since Wed last week minus a few mistakes/sneaks), which is awesome.  I did have some french fries with lunch today and wow, within the hour my stomach felt like shit.  No rash (thankfully), but I could tell my digestive system was not appreciative.  

I decided today that I do not like the word diet when I say Gluten Free Diet, so I came up with Alternative Food Choices, or AFC's.  It is sure to be an education, an adventure and a lifestyle change. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

It's a Party

Ultimate Blog Party 2011

5 Minute for Mom is in the middle of their Annual Ultimate Blog Party and it's a great time!!  Check it out to meet other ladies, find some cool business, win some prizes, and have fun!

If you are on Twitter, follow #UBP11 for a live even tonight!  Check out the UBP page for more info.

Food Changes

Most people that know me IRL, know that I am a selective eater.  I like certain things and am not very adventurous.  My tongue is on fire with spicy foods and texture matters big-time.  I love to eat however.  The problem is that I love to eat mostly the wrong foods.  We've been making changes, however slight, to make more sit down meals with the family or making real mashed potatoes vs out of the box.

I took time this morning to watch Supersize Me and Food, Inc.   And while I have made small changes to eating better or having healthier foods in our home, I know I have yet to truly make changes.  There is a piece in Food, Inc. in which a farmer says (not exact quote) "I have people come up and complain about paying $3.00 for a dozen of organic eggs while they are holding a 75 cent can of pop."  That is so me.  I have done that very thing.  I've talked about walking to the farmer's market in summer and buying produce, but have rarely followed through.

I have yet to discuss this food change plan with my partner in crime, I mean, life.  So we'll see how far I can take this.  He already complains about what I don't eat, but I'm thinking I may eat more things if I know they are healthy and not processed.  Don't get me wrong, I'm sure I will still have my chips (on occasion) and my processed wheat pizza dough from a national chain.  But change starts small, right?  I've thought about planting a garden and have discounted it due to the deer, squirrels, and rabbits we have traversing through.  I've played with the idea of container gardening, but thought it was too much effort or that it's not really worth it.  But now I'm thinking differently and doing some investigating about it.

So those who do organic, grass-fed food, ideas, recipes, and other tidbits to share?

A New Life

It's been one month.  One month since A has been on her medication.  Let me preface this post by stating that medications are not for everyone.  I can only speak to our experience and from our standpoint, medication for our child's anxiety issues has been a lifesaver.

Deciding to have your child medicated is not an easy decision.  It is one we made after much thought, months of therapy (which continues), and in consultation with a child pyschiatrist.  I was resistant to the idea for a long time.  And after a while I became more open to the idea.  After day in and day out fighting with her or her worries, not knowing what you say could cause her to explode, not sure if your child is feeling okay about herself today or if she wants to hurt herself.  It was exhausting.  And lonely.  I have shared some of our experience here, but not a great deal.  Many people who know A have no idea how far her worries go or ever see the "real" thing.  It took the experiences of others in similar situations, careful thought, and loads of discussion to make the decision.

And it was one of the best decisions we've ever made.  She is a different A.  In a great way.  I was intensely worried that she would be zoned out or changed in a bad way by the meds.  She's not.  It allows her to have her real self shine through.  The worries don't get in the way.  She's happy, not bogged down by intense emotions, and is able to handle talking with mom & dad without someone melting down.  Rather than having daily, or almost daily, incidents to deal with; we have once in a while incidents.  She still does have worries, still has self-esteem issues, still feels strongly about things.  But she can do so without having this extra "thing" tagging along.  That is the best way I can think to word it.  The "thing" does not control life anymore. 

The Dr. indicated she'd be on the meds for approximately 6 months and then we will wean her off to see where she's at.  She may need them for only 6 months, 1 year, a couple years, or perhaps forever.  We simply do not know what will happen as she develops into her pre-teen, teen, and adult years.  The hope is that if things can re-wire themselves she won't need meds long-term, but if she does, so be it.   As she grows, she can utilize and understand more tools to help herself.  We continue to use cognitive methods and tools to help her, and will continue to do so.

I love that little girl.  Fiercely.  And I know in my heart we made the right choice for her.