Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Why can't food allergies be black and white?

Okay so most of you who know me know that I like things black and white. Gray is bad. I like plans and lists and organization. God knows I like these things and has been teaching me patience over the last few years. Okay God- I get it. Peyton has a heart problem- when to treat it is a gray area but overall either your heart beats normal or it doesn't- black and white. Peyton's ability to reason is a little gray but overall she is my little rule follower- she likes things black and white. Then I got my little wild child who has no idea what rules are and neither does her body.

I have been waiting for her allergy test results and finally got them Monday. I spoke to the nurse and she said that all of her numbers had come down dramatically but to keep avoiding milk, egg, and peanut for the next year. Confusing since her milk reactions have gotten worse but okay we'll go with it. I go and pick up a copy of the results since I need to fax them to Arkansas Childrens for the research study and I like black and white so I want to see the numbers. I pick them up and the numbers look odd to me and then I notice that she is showing up positive to other foods- but not very high. What? the nurse didn't say anything to me about that. So a panicked call to Dr. Aunt Melanie followed. I then left a message for the coordinator at Childrens and then called the doctor here. Let's just say that she was no help and the little bit of nagging distrust I had for her grew to a lot. I then found Landree's test results from last year and got even more confused.

Basically when they do RAST testing they are testing the blood for antibodies built up to certain foods and that number is called IgE. Theoretically the higher the IgE number, the more allergic you are to that food. They then have a scale that they use to convert the IgE # to Classes. Classes run from 0 to 6. Zero being a negative score and 6 being a very high allergy. When I compared the two sets of IgE numbers the latest numbers had gone down a lot; however the Class numbers had gone up over last years class numbers. Huh? When I looked at the scales that determined the class level they were very different on the two reports. Melanie and I decided they must be using two different tests. Well I posted all of the info on my message board for food allergy moms last night. This morning I had several posts and sure enough there are two different tests and the allergist didn't pay attention. So her allergies to milk, egg, and peanut have actually grown- which is to be expected until she's about 3 or 4 years old. She is Class 2 to milk, Class 3 to Peanut, and Class 4 to egg. So the theory would be that since she is having such bad contact reactions to milk then she would be even worse to peanut and egg. But food allergies aren't black and white. There are children that test very low to foods and are anaphylactic and others that test very high to foods and have no reaction and are able to eat them. So we don't know how she would react to peanut and egg since she has not eaten them before.

She also tested Class 1 to Wheat, Oat, Soybean, Pork, and Lamb. She tested Class 2 to Beef. Okay all of these things with the exception of Lamb are foods that she eats on a regular basis and does not seem to have reaction to them. So that makes me think that she is having false positive results. But she does get red eyes and a runny nose a lot that we have always assumed are related to environmental allergies. So now we don't know which is which. She did have a reaction one day after eating a hamburger patty, tomato and drinking orange juice. We assumed it was the orange juice since Papaw reacts to oranges. Well she tested negative to oranges so maybe it was the beef but at this point who knows. I have left a message with the coordinator at Childrens and hope to hear from her soon. I am definately finding a new allergist here. I was so spoiled with the allergists we had in Little Rock and now I am dealing with what most parents of children with food allergies deal with. Did I say I don't like gray?

I finished our Christmas cards and sent them to be printed so be looking for them next week. If I don't post tomorrow, it will be next week before I post again since we will be leaving for Mawmaws Thursday.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

My Cute Husband

For those of you who don't know- Brian, Haley, and I have been going to Weight Watchers this fall and working out. Brian is getting up at 5 o'clock almost every morning and working out at one of the gyms at USAA. He has lost 37 pounds and almost 9 inches off his waist in less than 4 months. He has gone down 3 pant sizes so far. I made him stand in front of the Christmas tree before his work party so I could get a picture of him- mainly for my mother-in-law but I thought I would share it with everyone. He doesn't like it and it doesn't do his handsome self any justice but here it is:
I made him stand at an angle so that you could see his disappearing tummy but then that made his face be at an angle. It is kind of shocking how skinny his face has gotten. He has worked so hard and I am so proud of him.
Friday night Brian went to play poker at Marcus and Haley's neighbors so the girls and I went to Haleys. Haley is the queen of all scrapbooking. She was so great at regular scrapbooking that she used to teach classes on it. Then she started digital scrapbooking and I have fallen in love with it. So I ordered the new Photoshop Elements and Friday, Haley helped me learn the basics. Landree got to be a pain to the older girls so she came down with me and Haley. Haley put on Shrek the Halls and Landree actually sat to watch it. I thought Haley and I were going to fall out when Landree started hollering, "Haaeey, haaeey," and pointing at the TV everytime a commercial came on and she wanted it fast forwarded. She has been learning from her sister.

Haley and I had the best time Friday night. I sure do miss Jessica but it was nice to realize that I was sitting with my feet curled up on someone else's couch and I felt completely comfortable. The girls and I left at 11- yes you read right- and Brian wasn't ready to leave yet. I came home and got the girls in bed and started working on my Christmas card that Haley had started for me. At 2 o'clock I realized that the digital scrapbooking obsession has gotten ahold of me. Brian came in about 3 in the morning.

Well back to the Christmas party.
Here is Haley and Marcus

Here is Leigh and Sam

Jim and Debra wouldn't take a picture and if you notice there is not one of me. My dress and I didn't photograph well and it's my blog and I choose the pictures. Brian James if you want that picture on there- get your own blog. Can you tell that has been discussed at my house this weekend? We left 7 children in the care of Linsdey, Jim and Debra's daughter who is a senior. 2- 14 year old boys, 1- 10 year old girl, 1- 9 year old girl, 1-6 year old girl, Peyton and Landree. The party was in the convention center and of course the San Antonio convention center is much larger than any I have been in and traffic downtown was a little shocking. There are 16,000 people who work for USAA and they also invite all retirees. We guess there are about 20,000 people there. We ate appetizers and dessert because we refused to stand in line for dinner. We listened to Chicago play because we couldn't even see the stage it was in another room and was so far away. We were horrible people and talked about all the fashions of other people. They ranged from blue jeans to floor length formals. We saw lots of tatas and a few girls who if they took a deep breath would have showed us their fancys and even a man in a kilt. Next year we are going to put all the kids at our house again and then go to Haleys, put Chicago on in the background and play dominoes. The party itself was boring but we had a great time just sitting and talking- did I mention that I was without children and had adult companionship for 5 hours. We got home at 11:30 and Landree and the 9 and 10 year olds were asleep but Peyton and Abby were going strong watching TV. The house was in one piece and Lindsey looked like she had survived.

We're going to Mawmaws on Thursday so I'll spend the next few days cleaning, packing and getting ready for Christmas. Oh by the way did I mention that we are less than 3 weeks from Christmas and it was 84 degrees here yesterday? I think all those cute Christmas sweaters the girls have are a thing of the past. Welcome to San Antonio.

It's all about Poooo- Part 2

Okay so a few weeks ago I told you that most of my mommy adventures centered around the bowel movements of my children. Today I get them all settled in at the table to eat lunch. WARNING- Too Much Information coming- So I then had to go to the restroom myself. Peyton hollered out that Landree was standing in her chair so I hollered back for Landree to sit. The town caller told me that she wasn't sitting so I quickly finished and went to the kitchen. I am not a man who needs reading material so we are talking less than 3 or 4 minutes here. What Peyton failed to tell me was that not only had Landree gotten out of her chair but that she had crawled across the table and was sitting on Peyton's side playing in her milk cup. Of course a few hives and some Benadryl later this situation was under control. I really do need to work on getting Peyton to soy milk- maybe I'll have the energy after Christmas.

Here are the girl's school pictures. Peyton took hers earlier in the year but wasn't looking at the camera so I signed her up for retakes. The photographers were there when I dropped her off so I got to make sure she looked this time. They then grabbed Landree up for pictures too. I would have never dressed her like she was for pictures but she sure does look cute and of course the ladies knew what they were doing because they sold two more sets of pictures.

Children's Christmas Party

USAA had their children's Christmas party and we took the girls. There was a comedy group that did a Christmas themed show and both girls really liked it. They had a special section up front for the kids and the girls sat in their seats without us. They then got goodie bags (note to USAA- even though I know she can't have them could you put the ingredients list on the prepackaged cookies) and got to meet Santa. Landree was happy to meet him and said hi to him. The happiness lasted until he reached to pick her up to sit on his lap. Tears and cries for Mommy started. So they had Santa go behind a screen and Landree sat in the chair and Santa popped back in for the picture. You'll notice that the girls are without tights. That is because it is still HOT here. 80 plus degrees does not get one in the holiday spirit.

Christmas shopping on the other hand does work its magic on the spirit. After the party we took Brian to get a new sports coat for next weeks adult Christmas party. Two kids, lunchtime, and Macys men's department 3 weeks before Christmas may not have been the best idea. Brian got to shop in the regular men's department- not the Big and Tall section. You know how supposedly women are so expensive to clothe- I got my dress for $58 dollars and bought a pair of shoes. Brian ended up with a coat, a pair of pants, a shirt, and a tie (we didn't get the purple one Peyton voted for). Luckily Haley showed up and helped get Brian and the kids out of the store. She and I then proceeded to shop. Besides the Friday after Thanksgiving, this is the only other day I have done any Christmas shopping. Brian can't decide if I have an internet shopping obsession or something for the UPS man. Last week I stayed ticked off because normally UPS just leaves everything on the front step and then I started getting notes that I had to sign for my packages. This week my normal guy is back and he is leaving them on the back deck for me. Brian says he doesn't want to know how I am getting that special service. I guess I have done about 95% of my shopping online this year. Would you want to take my two ragamuffins in the store shopping if you could sit on your fat butt in a leather chair and do it. Back to shopping. Haley and I are officially middle-age because our heels came from Easy Spirit. We have decided that shopping is great for your diet, we were so busy we forgot to eat lunch.

Drs. Appointments

The girls had their doctors appointments.

Peyton- The cardiologist spent an entire hour with us- I don't think my ob even spent that much time with me during my two c-sections. Basically she is stable in her instability. Her heart is instable but it hasn't gotten better or worse. Her heart normally beats one or two extra beats at a time. She did have a run of 3 beats this time and he said that is probably when she complains about there being a butterfly in her chest. He told me that she is so used to the extra 1 and 2 beats that if they put a normal heart in her chest she would think that was odd. Everyone has told us that this is a very common problem. Dr. Bloom agreed however he said that most people have several hundred of these a day while Peyton is having thousands upon thousands a day and they make up 10% of all of her heart beats. That is why hers are concerning. He does want us to continue to come every six months for the next few years because of the frequency of the beats. That is fine with me because I don't like going a whole year without it being checked on. He will continue to do the holter monitor, ekg, and the echo to make sure her heart is still functioning properly. As of right now no need for treatment. If she has this into adulthood or it gets worse- then we would look at treating it. Pray that band in her heart stays the same or gets better.

Landree saw the allergist- no big news there. We are waiting for her bloodwork now to check the levels of the allergens. My big girl did not even cry while they took two tubes of blood from her. Her big sister on the other hand freaked out and kept saying she couldn't look- I kept telling her to turn around then. Of course nosiness got the better of her and she had to look. The allergist did confirm our suspicions that if she is reacting to contact with milk as badly as she is then she would probably go into anaphylactic shock if she drank some. After Christmas I am going to try getting Peyton on soy just to reduce my stress level.