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Showing posts from April, 2012

A Busy, Busy, Busy Couple of Weeks....

Thank you to all who have come out to SAGE these past couple of weeks, you've really helped up accomplish a lot!  To highlight the changes that have occurred, below is a brief photo essay of our recent installation of the new Children's Garden.  We have numerous youth groups visit SAGE whether for home school activities, school field trips (we invite all the Corvallis School District 1st - 3rd grade classes), summer camps or family mornings in the garden.  Our hope is that our new Children's Garden will be a wonderful, whimsical space that inspires exploration and creativity in our young visitors.  Feel free to stop on by and take a wander! 




It's THE FIRST ANNUAL BITCHIE AWARDS!

Can you hear the music in your head? Can you see the red carpet? Can you picture the Food Allergy Luminaries getting out of their limos, walking down the red carpet to receive their little gold statuettes?

Yeah, me neither.

Just because food allergies don't get a lot of respect as a disease though is no reason for us not to award our stand-outs their own award! So...here to present our nominees is...the FOOD ALLERGY BITCH! (Me.)


The NOMINEES in the BIGGEST FOOD ALLERGY CURE SCAM category are...
NAET! This amazing cure involves mysterious energy blockages! It's complicated and expensive! Best of all, it has shillers all over the internet recruiting people to the fold!IgG Level Testing! They look like doctors! They feel like doctors! They test like doctors! If you love doctors and want a reason to needlessly limit foods in your/your child's diet, this is your kind of test!
Our BITCHIE AWARD WINNER is...APPLIED KINESIOLOGY!!!!!

When my sister told me this weekend that she had seen …

BTDT, Got The FAHF-2 Food Allergy Clinical Trial T-Shirt!

My son loves clever t-shirts. He got an opportunity to wear the one at left for a totally new outing this week: the FAHF-2 clinical trial.

As I mentioned in a post from last month, our family applied to the FAHF-2 clinical trial at Children's Memorial in Chicago. Getting in was actually a little iffy because my son's peanut numbers are so low. (Despite the low numbers, he had failed a peanut challenge last summer.) To participate, candidates had to be over the test threshold for SPT/RAST, have controlled asthma, be allergic to one of the allergens being studied (peanut, tree nuts, sesame, fish, or shellfish), be between the ages of 12 and 24 and not have a history of an allergy to corn or of a serious past reaction that required intubation or resuscitation.

Our initial visit included a thorough exam and consent paperwork for both me and him, since he's still underage. They took blood for a RAST (in our case, for both peanut and hazelnut to see which they preferred to challen…

Converting Slacker Allergy Moms: Advocacy Edition

Who gets to be in the food allergy Big Tent? Any mom who has a child with a food allergy? Or only those moms who "follow the rules?"

Food-allergy advocacy almost always focuses only on the front end of the tent: getting new moms into the fold and compliant. As I pointed out in The Stress Lasagna, the accepted method to do this is to scare people silly. Talk about deaths  —  name the names. Scare them into carrying epinephrine and locking down their comfort zone.

After mothers have been through the mill for a while, the result can be an anxiety disorder for them and/or their child. Advocates aren't there to pick up the pieces —  they've moved on to more newbies.

I obviously really dislike the scare tactics because they can have such devastating effects over time. But...I also think it's important to point out that, a good portion of the time, scare tactics do not get people into the tent in the first place.

The controversy over the new Mylan/Dey ad (see The Ethics of …

The Ethics of Converting Allergy Slacker Moms

There's a video that's moving like wildfire today through the various local advocacy groups. (Note: as of 4/20, it's been taken off Facebook/Youtube so I can no longer link to it here.) It was just released by Mylan Pharmaceutical (formerly Dey), the makers of the EpiPen® autoinjector. In case you can't hear the audio, here's the script:

Slacker Allergy Mom: "Excited for Max's birthday party? Should be pretty awesome."

Adorable Kid: "Yep"

Slacker Allergy Mom: "Even with your peanut allergy and a cake made with who knows what. Because we're prepared - with EpiPen®."

When I first saw this last night, I reacted in the way I've seen 99% of other posters react — with disgust. How dare this mother think she can just give her kid any random cake! Doesn't she understand that an EpiPen® is a BIG DEAL? An automatic hospital trip? Traumatic for the kid and stressful for the parent?

But then I did a little thinking...and a little resear…

Upcoming Events and Opportunities and SAGE and Beyond!

Join us for these exciting happenings at SAGE and the Corvallis Environmental Center!

Children's Garden Installation Work Party! Come one, come all, to help the CEC realize a long time dream to install a Children's Garden area at our 1 acre production site! This garden has been designed with exploration and imagination in mind and is sponsored by a Lowe's grant through a partnership with OSU's Students in Free Enterprise program. We'll have the tools, the wood fired pizza, the plants and supplies for a great afternoon outdoors, but we also need you and your family's creativity and working hands to build this garden! When: Saturday, April 21st from 11am - 2pm Where: SAGE Garden --SW 45th Place & Country Club Dr. Contact:  SAGE@corvallisenvironmentalcenter.org
Willow Fence Workshop Our Children's Garden will be bordered by a beautiful, living willow fence. Come learn the simple steps for creating a willow fence while getting hands-on experience.  Family-friendly…

All I'm Missing Is The Buggy

There are days when I think the closest thing to living with food allergies is living as a member of the Amish community.

Other people really just don't get us. The cooking. All the cooking. The obsessive search for recipes. The crazy avoidance rules. The eating out only on special occasions in a handful (if we're lucky) of trusted places.

When a friend of mine heard how much we cook and how little we eat out, she was horrified. "We order in EVERY NIGHT!" she exclaimed. Now, granted, she's at the extreme end of a very economically-privileged bubble. But the message wasn't lost on me: real Americans do not cook any more.

Our kids can seem overprotected and antisocial, even when they're not. My son does go along with his friends to the various restaurants in town at times, but there are times when he'll also stay home. "It makes them uncomfortable when I just watch them eat," he tells me. Sometimes he's just not up for ordering the Coke and t…

The Stress Lasagna

Sabrina. BJ. Nathan. Ammaria. Katelyn. If you immediately knew what those names have in common, this column is for you.

Food allergy deaths are never an easy topic, but one I feel obligated to write about. Since I started writing this column, I've re-immersed myself in the chat world of food allergies and I've been struck -- all over -- by how often we reference these children. (I was even in one conversation recently where one of these dead children was used with the intent to "win" an argument.)

I'm going to assume you've done your homework as a parent. You've met with a good allergist. You've done the testing required to truly identify your child's allergies.You have an Epi-Pen if appropriate, and a good action plan from your doctor on when you should use it. You've done everything you can to make the people and environment around your child as safe as possible.

Given all that, why are we still obsessively reading these stories? What is it we …

happy easter

I hope everyone is having an amazing easter long weekend! What is everyone up to? Yesterday was a cleaning out the garage day which was sorely needed. You could not even see the floor kind of mess (not cool) and tonight I cooked a little feast of cornish hens with bacon and onion stuffing, roasted carrots and garlic dill mashed potatoes followed by homemade ice cream sandwiches, which I need to make again and post here, promptly. Sadly I don't have a picture of said feast but it was so oh delicious and tomorrow I have yet another at my grandma's with family. I did however make a pretty amazing sandwich just over a week ago and thought I'd share. This was part of my attempt to make more homemade lunches for work which I'm failing to do more then I wish... eek! But trying.
grilled chicken on a bun makes 2-3
2x bbq glazed chicken breasts guacamole cucumber slices spinach goat cheese fresh dill salt and pepper to taste
coat chicken in bbq sauce and cook in the oven or grill unt…

It's Zealot To Deal With

It's Holy Week for much of the country. Perhaps that's why Jesus' name is so often on my tongue these days.

Or maybe it was my run-in with a food allergy zealot on Facebook.

Jesus had his issues with zealots. (He still does, if my Facebook newsfeed is any indication.) The term "zealot" was coined from the group of Jews in Jesus' time who supported overthrowing the Romans through military means. How did the Big Guy handle it? He made (at least two of) them disciples.

Once again, Jesus is a better person than me. The minute I get a whiff of even verbal violence from someone, I hit the "defriend" button.  (WWJD = Who Would Jesus Defriend? Or would Jesus just have 6 billion Facebook friends? But I digress...)

This week's Faceslapbook quote was: You're endangering your child's life just so you'll have an easier time managing his food allergy. It was in response to my post about total avoidance and how little sense total avoidance probably mak…

Kale Tasting Table!

A large amount of hardy greens over-wintered well in the garden, and last week we harvested over 30 bunches of fresh, organically grown kale for the South Corvallis Food Bank! Delivered with our new bike trailer (along with a dozen bulbs of garlic pulled out of winter storage) we also demonstrated to SCFB clients how to cook a quick and easy, delicious and nutritious dish of braised kale and garlic. It was a HUGE hit with everyone, especially the kids who were excited to try our delicious, colorful greens knowing they had been in the ground and growing that very morning! ("Are we really allowed to have thirds? What about FOURTHS!?")
The Red Russian variety of kale was a favorite and flew off the shelf, though our Dwarf Blue Curled Scotch type went quickly too. The weekend saw another harvest and delivery of more than a dozen bunches of fresh-picked, organically grown Tuscan Blue variety kale (which also goes by the names of Black Kale, Dinosaur Kale or Lacinato Kale…

Over The College Barrel

Six colleges. Six different types of campuses. Six different approaches to communal dining. And what did all of them have in common?

Cluenessness. Utter, complete cluelessness.

I had been feeling pretty good about college. Our high school counselor said "they deal with this stuff all the time, it will work out." The college admissions officers we've met at the various college fairs said "oh, yeah, food allergies are common! They make tons of accommodations!" The parents on College Confidential said "it's totally different than when we went to school and everyone ate the same thing."

This was the first time we had really sat down with food service at any of these schools. The first time we had tried to actually eat lunch during a tour. And guess what? CLUELESS!

It started with the admissions office calls. "Well," said the woman on the other end of the phone, "it looks like we're having barbeque chicken that day. Would that work for y…