Monday, November 29, 2010

I love my girl!

I seriously love this little girl that Bethany has become since we have cut her allergen foods. We have seen even more of a difference after cutting seed oils. It's always fun to see people who haven't seen her in a long time, and hear their comments about how much she has changed.

(And thankfully, Pirate's Booty is still a safe food - woohoo! It has sunflower oil in the ingredients, but the rep I spoke to said they haven't used sunflower oil in ages)

The other day at the doctor's office, he offered a "sucker" to both of my girls. Needing them to be distracted for a few minutes more I said sure. All lollipops so far have been safe. Well, he brought in a Tootsie pop. As Bethany had the thing unwrapped by her mouth, I'm reading the tiny tiny print on the wrapper. Sure enough, it has soy. In a fit of desperation, though, I'm assuming it is the tootsie center that has the soy, so I tell her she can just lick the outside. If worse comes to worse, her only reaction would be she would be a snot for a few days. She just gave me this look and wouldn't lick it. The doctor kept telling her to go ahead, just don't eat the middle. Finally I said, "Honey, you don't have to eat it if you don't want to," and she gratefully handed me the lollipop and went back to her coloring. No regrets about not getting one - and here I was prepared to tell her she could have one when we got home (I have an emergency stash for bribes). She amazes me - she knows how it makes her feel and would much rather go without than get that treat and feel awful! It never seems to bug her that she can't have what other people are having. If I ever have a day where I am stressed about it, I just need to look at her and her attitude towards it all.

And my picky eater is feeling adventurous! She has been talking for ages about trying to make a pizza that she can eat. And yesterday I was eating some potstickers and she wanted to try them. When I explained all the things in them that she can't have she said, "Maybe you can try to make me some that don't have all of those things in it?" This is the child who NEVER wanted to try anything new, ever!

We just took a trip cross-country and I kept thinking of how much harder it would have been to have taken it last year. She was content and happy throughout the whole trip. People ask me how I manage to deal with her diet with so many restrictions, and all I can say is I'd do anything to keep this little girl around...managing her diet is worth it a thousand times over!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Really, who is allergic to barley??

Apparently my daughter is. Barley was one of the allergens she tested in the "low" category. The doctor believes a lot of these low allergens are cross-reactions to things she is more allergic to. So, she might test positive for barley but it is merely a cross reaction from her higher allergy to oats. We've been slowly reintroducing the low allergens and seeing if she has a reaction.

Lately, though, I've been enjoying her so much (and not enjoying my third pregnancy) that I haven't been very diligent in testing new foods. So I was a little blindsided when she started having behavior problems again.

We spent Thanksgiving on the opposite coast at my parents' house. They had the big name-brand raisin bran and Bethany wanted to try it. I couldn't see anything in the ingredients that she couldn't have, so we let her try it. She loved it and ate it the whole trip with no problems.

When we came home, I promptly restocked my pantry and bought some raisin bran - same brand. Bethany started having behavior issues that day, but since we had just spent a week in a time zone with a 3 hour time difference, and had several late nights and skipped naps, I just assumed she was worn out. By the 3rd or 4th day of nonstop whining and a few crying jags where she would tell me things like, "I'm just so sad, I don't know why," a red flag went up. She also started refusing to do things herself, like get dressed or use the restroom. The only thing I knew that she had that was not part of her normal diet was the raisin bran, but she had had it the entire week of Thanksgiving with no problems. I was stumped. In any case, I checked the ingredients again and noticed one ingredient I knew nothing about: malt flavoring. When I googled it, I noticed it was most often made from barley. We took her off the raisin bran right away and I contacted the company to see what they used in their malt flavoring.

A few days later, with my daughter's demeanor restored, I received a reply that said they sometimes used barley and sometimes used corn for their malt flavoring. So, that might explain why one box was ok and the next box caused problems. And now I know she can't have barley. Or malt flavoring.