Saturday, January 30, 2016

Sixth Grade Camp

A few weeks ago Middle Man's 6th grade class went to camp.

Yes, in January.  In Ohio.  They had a wonderful time (at least according to him).

When I first learned that they would be going to camp, I was less than thrilled.  And I certainly wasn't sure I was going to let him go.

At that time his asthma was not under control (but it seems to be now) and I just didn't want to deal with the food.  They went from Monday to Thursday and there was no way that I could go.  What would I do with the other two children?  And because we have boys, I could be with him during the day, but at night I would have to sleep in the girls dorm which was in a different section of the camp.  That was less than ideal.

A spokesperson from the camp came to school to speak to us and she assured me that they were very food allergy aware and that the chef could cook safely for him.  Well, we've heard that before and it did not work out so well.  One good thing about the camp was that they don't use nuts or anything with nuts in the dining hall.  But Middle Man has so many other food allergies that no nuts is only a partial bonus.  The woman from the camp gave me the number of the chef and told me to call and speak with him and he would put my mind at ease.

I did call.  But I wasn't exactly put at ease.  I have no doubt that if Middle Man had celiac disease, they could have cooked for him.  But he doesn't.  He's allergic to wheat, rye, barley, oat, egg, peanut and tree nut.  The chef was very kind but kept saying gluten free isn't a problem.  But when I asked if what they purchased was also egg free, oat free (thanks gluten free oats), tree nut tree (almond flour is used a lot in gluten free products), he just kept telling me that he hasn't had anyone have a reaction.  He gave me the name of the pasta he uses and it's made by a local company.  I Googled it and not only did I not see a gluten free one, but all of them has egg.  Middle Man eating there safely was just not going to happen.

So I offered to cook all the food and send it so it could be heated up in the microwave.  But the chef said they don't have a microwave.

So my next option was to feed him breakfast at home, pack lunch and dinner and drive him there every morning and pick him up every evening.  Less than ideal but Hubs works 1-2 miles from the camp so it would have been doable.  I just didn't want to make him sit out camp.

Right before Christmas, Middle Man's teacher called me with another option.  Both she and the school nurse have a small microwave that they weren't using and they offered to bring the microwave to camp so that I could send all his safe food and he would be able to stay.

So that's what we did.  I cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner and sent a safe snack box for the teacher to keep in her room and Middle Man was able to go and to eat safely.

Because Hubs works so closely. we also decided that he would work during the day but spend the night at camp so that he could monitor things and make sure that all was going well and Middle Man was safe.

So we sent 10 meals (9 plus an extra one to be on the safe side), a box of snacks, all his meds and I sent his nebulizer just in case his asthma was triggered.

All was well and he had a great time.  I'm so glad that he got to go.  This year is the first year for this camp and I had no idea what to expect.  This is also the first year that the 7th grade took a trip.  I told him that we will reevaluate that trip next year when it comes up.  I'm not sure I could send food for this trip plus Hubs would have to take vacation time off of work.  He already takes a weeks vacation for scout camp.  He doesn't get that much vacation time.

I'm glad he was able to go to this camp.  I hate to see him left out.  But unless we could make it as safe was we possibly can, he may not be able to do things.  It's just how life with food allergies has to be.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year, Merry Christmas (should I even mention Thanksgiving?)

Let's not even discuss my lack of blogging.  Life is happening.

Christmas was wonderful, as always.  Advent went too fast and we are still in Christmastide.

This should cover Christmas:
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Happy New Year!!  I wish you all a blessed and allergy free 2016!!

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Halloween 2015

We had a very nice Halloween!  It wasn't too cold and it was dry so that was a bonus over the last few years.

We did do the Teal Pumpkin Project so we had both food treats and non food treats.  But we only had 4 Trick or Treaters besides my own 3 boys.  I packed up the non food treats for next year and the left over candy will go to the USO to be sent to our troops.

The boys went as "Scary Bear", "Iron Man", and " An Indians Fan Waiting For A World Series Win".  
They all picked their own costumes and mom had no say so in it at all.

The best part about Halloween was that no one was sick and Middle Man stayed reaction free.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Auvi-Q Recall. ***IMPORTANT***

Sanofi US has recalled Auvi-Q autoinjector voluntarily because the units may not contain the context amount of epinephrine.  There is a phone number to call for more information and to get information on how to return the recalled autoinjector a and apply for a refund.

For more information, visit the AUVI-Q WEBSITE

For a press release and short video with an explanation, click HERE

This is a very serious and very disheartening recall.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

So Where Was I?

I started this post a week ago.  New post, take two.

I have no idea where I left off.  Summer blew by in a whirl.  I can't believe the boys are back in school again.

So what did we do?


Swimming, Ocean, Fishing and Crabbing.  Good times, Great memories.

Food Allergy Walk Cleveland:

Little Monkey's 3rd Birthday:

Back to school.  8th grade, 6th grade, and in a few days Preschool 3 (but he's not potty trained.  Shhh... don't tell anyone.  We've tried ALL summer.  He's just not that into it).

Summer went by way too fast.  I'm less than thrilled that school has started again.  That means double the work for mom.  But we are doing great and hanging in there and I *think* Middle Man's asthma is finally under control again.  Only took all summer...  poor kid had a terrible time.

This wonderful computer is broken.  It's been cumbersome to blog so I just haven't done it.  I hope I'll have time to get it fixed in the next few weeks.  I have 1 product review to do and I need to get that up asap.

But for now, that's the update on "How We Spent Our Summer".

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Happy Birthday Middle Man

He turns 11 today!  He's still at camp but we were able to sing happy birthday to him over the phone.  I also sent a safe cupcake to camp so he can celebrate with cake on his birthday.

Monday, July 06, 2015

Boy Scout Camp With Food Allergies

I hope all my U.S. friends had a wonderful and safe Fourth of July.  We pretty much stayed here and just relaxed and had a low key weekend.  It's rare that we get one of those so I was loving it.

Hubs and Middle Man left for a week of Boy Scout camp.  Is it a food allergy friendly camp?  Nope.  Not really.  But we are working with it.

We decided that there is no way Middle Man can go to camp without one of us (and I don't camp).  That pretty much decided that if he were to go that my husband was going to have to go too.  He went two years ago with my older son so he kind of knows the layout and how dining works.

He called there a month ago and spoke with the person in charge of the camp and he put Hubs in touch with the camp chef.  We could tell by the first conversation that they were not that food allergy aware.  He explained to the chef all about Middle Man's allergies, what they were, and how his food would need to be prepared.  The chef just kept saying that they have gluten free food that Middle Man could pick from.  Well, that doesn't work.  He is not Celiac, he's anaphylactic to wheat, eggs, peanuts and tree nuts and also allergic to barley, rye and oat.  Just having food be "gluten free" does not mean that it's safe for him and his food also has to be cooked separate.  So after the initial conversations, we decided that it would be best if he took all our own, safe food.  We put a menu together and I cooked and froze things last week for them to take.  The chef did say that they have a microwave to heat things up in, so if most things were precooked, he should be fine.

The following is the menu we used and Middle Man gave us a lot of input:

Safe cereal
heat and eat breakfast sausage
precooked bacon

lunch meat
Ener-G GF bread
2 packs of Energ-G tapioca hamburger buns
string cheese
Live GF pizza pockets from Aldi

Dinner/Lunch hot meals (sent frozen and to be thawed the day before eating and heat in microwave):

3 prepackaged containers of Cowboy Casserole
3 prepackaged containers of chicken tacos
3 prepackaged containers of The Poorman's meal

Odds and Ends:
Enjoy Life Cookies
Enjoy Life Coco-Loco Bars
A pack of safe hot dogs
An extra pack of shredded cheese
Safe Crackers
GF pretzels
A 20 pack of individual bags of Lays Potato Chips

Then wipes, paper plates, napkins, extra baggies for open boxes of food

We also sent a 5 gallon container of our own water for refilling water bottles.  They supply water in large gatorade containers but we can't be certain of what was in there before.

I think he has a enough food to get him through the week. But if he runs out of anything, there is a Super Walmart near by.

We also sent 3 two packs of Auvi-Q.  Middle Man will carry a set, Hubs will carry a set, and a set will be kept in the infirmary where they are keeping the rest of his daily meds (mostly for asthma) and Middle Man is also carrying his emergency inhaler and Benadryl tabs.  Both Hubs and Middle Man are carrying their Auvi-Q's in a case similar to this one with the water proof bag (1 water proof bag for each Auvi-Q) and there is room for Middle Man's emergency inhaler.

Although there is no way to plan for EVERYTHING, we think we have things under control as much as you can.  We also discussed that if there is any time that things appear not to be safe, they are coming straight home.  But so far so good.  The biggest hiccups were trying to decide how to store the food safely in the freezer (I sent a big box but Hubs left it in his car.  It's taken care of now) and the fact that the camp microwave broke a few days ago.  They had to have the Camp Manager bring his office microwave to the dining hall.

This doesn't mean that I'm not totally nervous.  But Hubs is texting me several times a day with updates and it appears that this is a great learning experience (food allergy wise and responsibility wise) for Middle Man.