Monday, July 14, 2008
Jon played in a charity golf tournement this afternoon. There was a free car on the line if you made a hole in one on a certain hole. A toyota Matrix to be exact, which if the wind had been blowing just a hair harder would be sitting in our driveway as I write this. The proof is in the picture that it was not quite meant to be...
Friday, July 11, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
When I need Ben to behave (like at the Doctor's office yesturday) and patiently sit anywhere the trick is a whole apple. He loves apples like I have never seen a boy love anything. If I am eating an apple within ear shot he stops whatever he is doing at turns at the familiar crunch. He is delighted when I share my apples with him. I peeled and cored him one yesturday and he ate the entire choking hazard in one sitting. I snapped these pics the other day with a staged whole one. I didn't realize at the end that he had actually eaten through the skin and was almost down to the core. Better then candy I guess...
After months of wait and worry we finally had Ben's allergy/asthma specialist appointment at Mac Master yesterday. Three hours, 26 allergy tests, an incompetent resident and a results reading with a specialist later the verdict is in. The good news is that Ben's allergies are far less extensive then we initially though. He tested negative for mold, dust, dander, pollen, animal hair etc. We got the go ahead to try lots of new foods that at worst will likely only manifest a sensitivity with eczema.
The very bad news is that Ben tested at the highest level of anaphlactic to all nuts and eggs. He is growing INTO the allergy and so his level of sensitivity may worsen. Right now it seems he reacts when it is ingested but in the next ten minutes of the the next ten months it could be triggered by one air born particle. Scary...terrifying.
He has some statistics for us...
1.7% of the Canadian population has what Ben has.
2% chance he will grow out of it.
No one knows why this happens or what we can do to prevent this condition with future children.
The Doctor gave us an introduction to life with anaphalaxis package. In it we receive a trainer EPI pen to train those who are with Ben, a subscription to "Allergic Living" an online question and tip site with allergy related products such as special epi pen belts, signs for the front door of our house and a medic alert pamphlet.
I read some interesting quotes from others living with this or have children with this. The biggest fear is that others don't understand that within 5 minutes of exposure you can die. That is crazy I know...but unfortunately the reality of it.
Trace Atkins, the country western singer who is an advocate of allergic children as his daughter suffers from multiple life threatening allergies has a good quote.
"I'm sorry it's an inconvenience but what gives you the right to kill my kid?" - Trace Atkins to a mother who brought a peanut butter sandwich to school.
We are joining a support group in order to learn how to not raise him to be afraid of everything and yet understand how serious one slip up can be. One tip I received from another parent with less severe allergies said from a young age she trained her daughter and son to only take food from their parents or their lunch bag that went anywhere they did pre packed. If anyone offered them food they could by the time they were 2 say "I have allergies".
It is hard for people to understand as well that Ben can be so vulnerable to something so simple because he looks so healthy.
It is going to be a different way of life. Nothing is so simple anymore, resturaunts, friends' homes, parks, school trips everything has to be checked first. I called airline for our trip east next week to have them right a note on our manifest. I also will ask the flight attendent to make an anoucement (if they won't I will!) about food that others have brought themselves on board. With recirculated air that can be dangerous". It doesn't mean that we DON'T do these things...it just will mean we do them differently. I also don't mind being seen as the ultra over protective mother who won't leave her 2nd grader alone at a birthday party and won't let you into her home without washing your hands. I have to be that mother, it's that simple.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Ben had a John Deer hat and toy to commemorate is first tractor ride with Grammpa today. Ben is usually very excited about new things and we have yet to see him be afraid of anything. Tractors are evidently the exeption. He wailed and clawed up Grammpa's chest trying to escape it. Daddy tried to take him but he cried harder. Sorry Grammpa! Maybe when he is 2!
Following the theme of lions we did another one of Ben's favorite activities...splashing! This is a whole splash park coincidentally named Lions Lagoon. Ben was a little unsure at first since the water was so cold but he did enjoy looking at the animals that are at this local park and splashing so long as Daddy was holding him.
We invited some friends over for a last minute fire in our backyard last night. The problem was we didn't as of then have a fire pit...I figured I could pick one up before everyone arrived in an hour. Ben and I went to 3 stores with no luck (apparently they were sold out as Canada day weekend is popular for fires...who woulda thought!) I went home with a tired cranky Ben and tried to figure out what to tell my marshmallow, graham cracker and lawn chair toting friends when there is no fire. Out of desperation for a pit I thought of my neighbours a few doors down who have a fire pit that sits unused night after night in their lawn. I wondered if I could be so bold as to introduce myself after a year of living almost beside them and in the same sentence ask for the pit...as it turns out I could!
Ben reached out for "Liz" as soon as she opened the door and I introduced us as she made gaga over him in her arms (as he is pinching her neck skin...for some reason he thinks this is a form of affection). She called "Bob" up and they both agreed they would love to save my evening by loaning me their lovely copper pit.
Our night was full of smores, fireworks, friends and fortunately fire as a result of some nice neighbours to the rescue!
I don't even know why we own any strollers. Ben does not enjoy riding in them as he ALWAYS prefers to be carried. He spends most of his time in the stroller whining to be taken out. He is over 22 pounds now however and is getting EXTREMLY heavy to carry around all the time. I tried putting him on my shoulders but he mistakinly took this as an invite to rip my hair out of my scalp... Daddy's shoulders turned out to be more successful.
Ben loves anything with cats. This is ironic since both Jon and I actively are not not fans of the feline so this is never something we encouraged. Ben loves pictures of kittens and the part of Dr. Dolittle baby Einstein that he likes the best (we know this because he laughs, points and wiggles around...) is the lion scene. (This is a scene that looks like a discovery channel film, if they let the clip play out a little longer in his movie it would show the lion decapitating a deer...fortunately they do not!) Ben also has a book of dressed up babies. He mostly wants to look at the tiger cub when we look at this book. You can imagine how thrilled he was then when he was aloud to touch a lion cub at the zoo... I have not yet in his life seen him quite so thrilled with anything!
We went to the zoo on our long weekend Monday because Ben is showing a lot of interest in animals. He loves his Baby Einstein Dr. Dolittle movie. He also has started to point at things of interest...mostly animals. We thought a trip to see the real thing was in order.
Ben fell asleep on the way there and we waited 20 minutes in the parking lot for him to wake up. It was worth it though because he started out in a very good mood and was very happy to see all the animals in true form that he knows from his books and movie.