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Monday, December 19, 2011

Set backs and milestones....

Ever since the hot dog two weeks ago we (I) have been on an emotional roller coaster. J went down hill for a while with a flare that we ended up taking her to the dermatologist for an inquiry. We thought maybe she had developed Eczema Herpeticum. It turns out that she did not (thank God) and she has slowly recovered and is actually starting to get baby soft again with just a few spots, even with a virus. In the not so distant past a cold/virus made her a mess, skin wise. But right now she is looking pretty good! We recently cemented another allergy for M....CARROTS!!!! Really?!?! Who is allergic to carrots. So with a flare under control, two little ones recovering from a cold, a new known allergen and Mommy finally in remission from whatever virus attacked me. We are looking up!!!
On a fantastic note....J had her Christmas show this past Friday. If you know J, you know that this time last year she was a mess.... eczema in full blast, paranoid behaviors and super anxious. To the point of not wanting to leave my side. I was SO nervous that she wouldn't allow us to drop her off at her designated spot before the show. Little did I know she owned the whole place. Before it was time to drop her in her assigned class she was running around completely oblivious that I even existed! The show began and J stood up there with the rest of her class and proudly sang "Jesus was born in Bethlehem." She humored me and made eye contact and gave me a cute little wave as she walked to her stage. Then sat with her class during the rest of the schools' performance. They then did a victory lap dressed as angels with wings and halos. She was so sweet! I was so very proud of where our little girl has come! I shed some tears, but most of all I was beaming at the confidence that she exuded and so thankful to her teachers and the staff at her new school for making a very special girl feel like she belongs. There are not words that I can find that describe what I felt when I watched her perform. I thank everyone who has been and continues to be a part of her healing. I am blessed to have so many people in my life who are willing to do, love, listen and share in our journey!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Revolutionary war meets South Park/Modern Warfare

I was sitting in my student's 7th grade social studies class. Their assignment was to draw a postage stamp from the revolutionary war. They had to draw three events. So I immediately started explaining this to my student and together we picked three themes and designed the outline of the stamp. Mind you he is using a camera that projects his paper onto a flat panel computer monitor to enlarge the image. So keep this in your head as you read.... He had no interest in hearing all of the options. He immediately asked me if he could draw the war. I told him no, but the Shay's Rebellion was an option and he could make that a battle scene. He started to draw his fighters. The first fighter started out looking a whole lot like Cartman, except with spikes! I told him part of the rubric was that the stamp had to represent the 1780s. I asked him if he thought George Washington wore his hair in spikes to the Constitutional Convention???? He looked at me with his Nystagmus(shaking eyes) serious as a heart attack and said yeah??? Then he added spikeman Cartman's was bigger than the fighter himself and looked like the gun you earn with like 50 gold stars in Halo and had a huge scope attached! Uhhhhh, I'm not real sure they had automatic weapons the size of a Hummer in 1780 Frankie ;) His response was "What??? Why??? Did they have grenades?" I think that's a negative old boy hahahaha. So you can imagine that he did not meet the rubric requirement on representation of the time period!! But he did have the best postage stamp if you ask me!!! I walked away very thankful that I have two sweet little girls!!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Call me crazy.....I heart Ron Paul

These days we hear more and more situations where parents' hands are being tied in regards to the caring of their children. Morals are forced through public school curriculum, medicine is pressured on them at the ped's office and their authority is compromised even as far as taking them to court. The following is a link about a family who tried a prescribed medication, found that it did more harm than good and removed the medicine from treatment of their daughter. They tried a more holistic approach. This is what is happening right under our noses and if the UN has anything to say about it they will create a child rights act for the world. But that is a topic for another day. I for one do not want the government in my business about what is or is not good for my child. Hell I would have been hauled off to jail months ago if I were held to the same standards this mother was......

Monday, December 12, 2011

Filaggrin and eczema...

I have found that there are two schools of thought when it comes to is allergies and one is skin barrier. The two schools don't always play nice! Sometimes you can feel the tension when you mention allergies to dermatologists or visa versa. But can't we just play nice long enough to figure this out already???? I know the science is there. I found an interesting article about filaggrin.....Filaggrin is a
key protein that facilitates terminal differentiation of the epidermis and formation of the skin barrier. This definition was taken straight from the article and here is the link.

I just emailed this along with the MTHFR article to my allergist after speaking to him for 30 minutes via the phone about the problems with western medicine these days. He is about 80 :) I am hoping after he reads the three articles I sent him he will guide me to a place I can get some genetic testing done! I don't care if she might grow out of this! I have got to find out how to help her in the meantime and I don't want her next hurdle to be asthma like they predict with atopic conditions!

Crazy enough all of these things end up linking to autism studies because this condition is associated with lack of ceramides, fatty acids and cholesterol. The searches on this led me to a pp presentation about autism that I will touch on another day.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Some days :(

So this week has been a walk in the wrong direction! Ever since the hot dogs on Monday J has been a mess. M is all snot and J is dry and patchy :( Weeks like these should be locked away in a vault and never allowed to memory!! Tonight we learned a lesson....never put lotion on a dry belly without first taking a bath. Poor J was convulsing. It was one of the worst lotion sessions of recent memories. Poor Uncle Pat had to witness it. It is usually something only mommy and daddy have to witness and it the hardest thing EVER! After the burning and convulsing stopped she let out a huge exhale with a sigh of relief. A sound only to break her mommy's heart more. I wanted to cry for her. Instead I told her I was sorry that she had to go through that pain and that she is brave and I was proud of how sweet and amazing she is. She told me "Its okay Mommy!" Tear :( But one good thing came out of tonight...I realize when she was getting good and healed, she was getting good and healed. I had almost forgotten the scenes of this week.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Folate levels and Atopy....

When I was looking into my malformed MTHFR gene and its implications I stumbled upon a couple articles. This one was particularly interesting!! J's IgE level was 750 when she was tested.

The results and conclusion of this study are as follows (copied directly):


Serum folate levels were inversely associated with total IgE levels (P < .001). The odds of a high total IgE level, atopy, and wheeze decreased across quintiles of serum folate levels, indicating a dose-response relationship between serum folate levels and these outcomes. Each of these associations remained statistically significant after adjusting for age, sex, race/ethnicity, and poverty index ratio. Adjusted odds ratios associated with the fifth quintile of folate relative to the first quintile were as follows: high IgE level, 0.70 (95% CI, 0.53-0.92); atopy, 0.69 (95% CI, 0.57-0.85); and wheeze, 0.60 (95% CI, 0.44-0.82). Higher folate levels were also associated with a lower risk of doctor-diagnosed asthma, but this finding was not statistically significant (odds ratio for fifth quintile vs first quintile, 0.84 [95% CI, 0.70-1.02]).


Serum folate levels are inversely associated with high total IgE levels, atopy, and wheeze.

I sent these articles to our allergist and alt. health care provider hoping that we get somewhere with this.  Hopefully both girls will be tested for MTHFR, 3/3 of my family members were positive. MTHFR comes with reduced levels of folate due to poor metabolizing. Keep your fingers crossed!!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hot Dogs!!!

If there is something that makes my 3 year old's eyes light up it is a hot dog! She LOVES hot dogs. The sad part is I can't find a safe one. We were at a health food store the other day and I thought I had found one. She stayed home from school on Monday and we were looking for lunch and she said she REALLY wanted a hot dog. She never asks for anything food related, I think she is just used to eating whatever she is given. But she asked for a hot dog. I remembered the hot dogs at the store and thought we could try them. They didn't even have a lactic acid starter culture listed. So what was the harm???? But.....2 days later she is still an itchy mess!! WTH is in the damn hot dog?!?!?! I was looking at recipes for home made hot dogs from scratch and ewwwww. That may take a little build up for me to get the guts to try that, because literally.....that is what it looks like in the pictorials!!! GUTS! GROSS! Not to mention who has this machinery???? Here are two links for DIY hot dogs. I know everyone is dying to make some ;)

I'll do a follow up after I have taken the plunge and tried it. First I have to figure out what an emulsifying slushy is and how to make sheep casings!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cookie time....or not :(

I have hit a rut in baking :( What can you do when you can only use GF oat flour, oil, honey, baking soda, cinnamon and apple sauce? Everything tastes the same. I can't get the texture right and they just fall apart. My mother in law made a really great tasting oatmeal cookie Sunday night, but it too didn't stay together too well. It's IMPOSSIBLE!!! I can't get them to bind! Last night I tried to replace my MIL's cookies that we had fininshed and Tom took a bite out of one and the middle half of the cookie fell to the ground!!! Too much flour I guess. We had decided on Sunday that they could use a little more flour, but I added too much! It looked great, smelled great, tasted great raw, big thick delicious looking then.....plop! Eggs how I miss you :(

Sunday, December 4, 2011

MTHFR/atopic conditions

It has been staring me in the face this whole time! I was diagnosed with heterozygous MTHFR while pregnant with j. This gene mutation can be connected to so many issues I can't even name them all. Specific ones that affect my family are: breast cancer, fibromyalgia, diabetes, arthritis, insulin resistance, fibroid cysts and many more!!! Holy cow!!! Not only this but people with MTHFR can be low on an enzyme that detoxes the body and is linked to autism. Anyway when looking further into this I found this study linking it to increased risk of atopic diseases!!! I can't wait to talk to the doctor about this!!! Interesting read posted below!!!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Bleach Baths....

Along our eczema journey we saw three dermatologists, THREE!!! One of the suggestions that we received from the doctor was to give our little princess a bleach bath. Yes, you read that correctly. I was told to put my child in a bath tub and add chlorine bleach to the already chlorinated water. The theory is that the bleach kills bacterial on the skin and prevents infection in the eczema sores. I was at the point in our journey that I was trying anything and EVERYTHING! I went ahead and followed the doctor's instructions and put my then 2 year old in a bath with a dose of toxic/hazardous chemicals. Something that we use to strip color out of things, sterilize and kill mold. We tried this about three time and then gave up after her big toes started to open up and had two wounds on them from soaking in this bath. Reflecting on this strategy I am completely amazed at what some doctors are willing to have their patience do to their still developing children. I am just now recently looking into the details about chlorine. Everything that I pulled up on chlorine bleach starts with the word toxic or hazardous. I even found an article (below) regarding the increase of asthma in swimmers. In recent research swimmers teeth enamel was worn down by the acidity level of swimmers due to the inhalation and absorption of chlorine. The article describing increase risk of cancers and other health risk due to exposure is linked below. So parents I urge you to look into the risks of bleach baths. There are other options. A couple drops of tea tree oil or vinegar to name a few.....

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A fond memory....

I don't often post about myself in particular, but I couldn't resist tonight. I received an email from my oldest sister today. I am one of eight, the youngest of eight to be exact. We are a big Irish/Italian Catholic family. The email that she sent me is a talk that she is giving for the Catholics Come home program at a church near her. The talk was regarding her reversion into our church. She told of her story about how she left her faith and then came home. It was full of tidbits from her childhood, I say her childhood and not our childhood because she is 18 years older than me and we didn't share a childhood. I shared a childhood with her two children :) Anyway, one of the stories, well many of the stories, but one in particular put a smile on my face. Though we didn't share a childhood we do have the same parents. My parents are AMAZING individuals! Both of them! They have been married 50 years! 50 years!!! They attend church EVERY day at 6 am. For a short time while at the community college I went with them a week out of every month, when I was a lector. For all of you non-catholics ;) a lector is someone who reads the "stories" at mass. Mass is the celebration that occurs in those buildings called churches haha I'm cracking myself up.....Gosh! I digress! Okay so the story... she told about how my wonderful father fed her faith by exposure to helping others, among many other things. When we were kids my dad drove the parish school bus from the church to the retirement home down the street from us, to pick up the "old folk" as we called them to take them to Sunday Mass. This was a trip!!! He would ALWAYS take us the "bumpy" way home if we were good in church. The bumpy way was driving down the alley haha. It was the city, we had alleys. This was something I really enjoyed doing with my Dad! It was a memory I had almost forgotten that I am so happy she stirred up! I hope there are things that we do with our own kids that they will be able to treasure the way I treasure those Sunday bumpy rides with the "old folk".