Monday, September 26, 2011

Anaphylaxis emergency #1

Well, we're part of the club now. A week on from our first emergency trip to the hospital and I still get upset at times. We do everything humanly possible to prevent contact with all our son's food allergens, but in the end, it happens. I guess that's why we have emergency plans. We actually still don't know what caused his allergic reaction - I'm not sure if I'm happy or sad about that.

He was at childcare, seemed a little bit off and slightly itchy during the morning, then in the afternoon while playing outside he really started reacting. Swelling of the skin, vomitted and started going dopey - if you know our son, that is really out of character! The childcare staff rang and kept me informed throughout. In the end, they called an ambulance which got there really quickly. Hubbie got there soon after and I met them at emergency department of the hospital. The staff were super.

The ambulance paramedics gave him an adrenaline shot on the way to hospital and by the time they arrived, our son was chatting away happily, wanting to know the name and purpose for everything. We had to stay at hospital for four hours of monitoring, and I am also thankful that he didn't have any secondary reaction. We know this time at least, that the adrenaline worked well, along with his antihistimine.

In the grand scheme of things, everything has worked out really well. But, certainly for the first few days, I couldn't tell the story without bursting into tears. Our son? Well, this all happened on Friday, on Sunday, he sat in the car and asked whether he could go in an ambulance again. I said "No, it's someone else's turn today." It's great that he wasn't traumatised by it. I do however get a little sad when he's role playing and ambulances, along with doctors, special masks, heart monitors and blood pressure are all involved. A 2 year old boy should not have to know such detail.

He's back at childcare and I do have to admit my phone was always in arm's reach for the first two days. So far so good, and hopefully there will be considerable time before we have to do that again!

There's little lessons I've learned, and I'll put them in a follow up post.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Chang's crunchy snacks

I'm the newest fan of the brand Chang's. I first came across it because it was in the health food section of my supermarket, where we often buy things. I started with their gluten free Tamari Hoi Sin sauce - leading to a new range of asian style foods for our boy. Our latest additions are Chang's Original Fried Noodles and Chang's Crunchy Noodles. These are great because they can be stored in the pantry, eaten straight out of the packet, or used to liven up other dishes. As I've said before, I am dubious about imported products from Asia but the gluten free tag encouraged me to give it a go. Since then, I've discovered that these noodles are actually made in Australia, so hopefully product control is more stringent. The best test? Our son's had quite a bit of these lately, and no signs of a rash so far. I'll be on the look out for more products by them now!
Parents of non-allergy kids will sometimes wonder why I get so excited about processed food like this. Well, everytime we go out, we have to bring absolutely everything for our son. We can't get by with breaking off some of our food, or cutting a bit of whatever to give our son to taste. Plus, if I want to have any chance of enjoying my food, I need to make sure the food I bring along is just as exciting for our son. Thus, any new discovery that reduces the need for me to cook is a super bonus!

Do you have products or sauces at home that you use for your toddler? Have a look at the label. Does it contain traces of milk, egg or nuts? Is it free from coconut, sesame, oats, shellfish, any fish apart from salmon and tuna? If the answer is yes, and in particular, if it is a sauce used to flavour your dishes, please let me know, so we can give it a try!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Our son had just finished his bath and as I was drying him, insisted on wanting to play with a blanket of his. As a result, I took the blanket off him so I could finish the job at hand and said that if he wanted it back, he would have to say "Sorry mummy."

He cried ,"No, I don't want to say sorry mummy!" ... Well, then you can't have the blanket back.
He then asks whether his toy dog can say sorry mummy instead. So here he is in his fresh pyjamas, holding out his dog, saying in the sweetest of voices, "Sorry mummy." Well, my heart melts, but that's not the point of this exercise is it? I explained that his dog hasn't been naughty, he has, so he needs to say sorry.

Still, he refuses. In the end, I told him how easy it is. "Just say sorry mummy, then I'll give you a kiss and a cuddle and you can play with the blanket again!" In the end, he did and he got the kiss and cuddle, and also the blanket, which he played with for all of 5 seconds before moving onto the next thing.

Isn't this just an example of how proud we can be - even at such a young age, when not much is at stake? How important it is to teach our kids how to say sorry and ask for forgiveness. How important it is to teach them how to forgive too ... maybe in another post.

How many times have you met someone who couldn't say sorry? As if uttering those words would somehow kill them? It all begins now, when they're so little.

This is the follow on to a post I did ages ago on Guilt. We've got to teach our kids to take responsibility for their actions and admit they're guilty when they've done something wrong. This includes admitting they are guilty for pushing another kid, even if that other kid did start it. But as I said last time, it doesn't end there. The next step is asking forgiveness and hopefully receiving it. Then, there's restoration.

So in our example? If I want our son to be able to ask for forgiveness, then I can remind him what happens when there is restoration in a kiss and a cuddle. Once forgiven, we make a fresh start :-) I know this is a lesson that will be learned many times over - but isn't it great to know that no matter how many mistakes you make, your mum and dad will be there to forgive you and reach out again in love.

As I type this, I know that not every person has received this type of love from their mum and dad, and find it so hard to forgive and love again (in the bigger world I mean). So if we haven't received this forgiveness and love from others, how can we give it out? Surely, we must find forgiveness ourselves, then will be able to forgive others.

"You are forgiving and good, O Lord,
abounding in love to all who call to you.
Hear my prayer, O Lord;
listen to my cry for mercy.
In the day of my trouble I will call to you,
for you will answer me."
Psalm 86:5-7

I'm hoping this is not coming across as self-righteous - my first post on Guilt was actually because I was guilty. Guilty in so many ways, and so this path of asking forgiveness and being restored again through love is something I'm learning and practising everyday. This is something that's brought freedom to my life and something I'm hoping to pass onto our son too.

I hope this path of guilt, forgiveness and restoration brings freedom to your life too.