Sunday, December 26, 2010

New iPod + Podcasts = Life is Good.

Through creative use of gift cards and extra money earned on the side, my hubby's present to me was an iPod Nano that we got to order yesterday (no standing in line, free shipping, and free engraving!). I immediately went to iTunes and looked through pregnancy podcasts and found one that I haven't been able to stop listening to even though the iPod isn't here yet! Pregtastic has been a great resource since I'm the first of some of my friends to be pregnant. I get to hear actual new moms (and experienced moms) talk about what's going on with them, ups and downs, and just have real conversations about worries, appointments, registries, and baby shower etiquette. I get to feel like I'm a part of these conversations and reading on the internet and in books has been helpful too, but this podcast has made things feel more real and it gives all the information I've read a context.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Month 5: Feeling Pretty Good!

Monday was the first day of my 5th month and (for the most part) I've got my energy back and I'm not too big that I can't get my shoes on yet ;) Definitely getting bigger though and I'll have more belly pictures up soon. Blogger is still having issues with letting me put up pictures, only worse now because I can't get mobile uploads to work anymore. I have no idea what's going on and it's frustrating.

Dishydrosis is mostly gone, there's only a little bit that hasn't quite cleared up yet, thankfully. It's only noticeable by me now and I'm quite happy about that. Today is our last day of school before Christmas break and I cannot WAIT for this break. My goal is to clean the apartment but we'll see how that goes. If I can clean parts of the apartment, I'll be happy. I'll also be working on lesson plans and stuff over break because when I come back, I'll be 20 weeks, and I'll need to be prepared in case I can't make it to class for any reason. I'm hoping to take off the week before I'm due but we'll see if that actually happens. I'm going to be as ready as possible in the meantime for someone else to take over my classes.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Lack of pictures

Blogger's photo servers have been messed up for me for a while now. I've only been able to add pictures using my phone which is soooo not how I always want to do it. It's not like I have anything particularly picture-worthy to upload at this point, but it severely limits my motivation to post when I know there's an aspect missing.

In other news, officially in my 2nd trimester, yayness! I go in for my next appointment this coming Tuesday and I'm hoping we'll be able to hear the heartbeat :)

I also need to talk to my doctor about my nasty dyshidrosis, which is a rash that I usually get on my fingers every June (probably because of the change in humidity or something) but for whatever reason it started right about the time I got pregnant. I've read that hormones can initiate the rash, which would explain how it started when I got pregnant and not in June like it usually does (and did earlier this year). The treatment is typically a steroid cream, but from what I've read online, they haven't been listed as safe for pregnancy and mothers only use them when the benefits for them outweigh the risks for the baby. Initially, it wasn't that bad and I figured I could deal. It's pretty much exploded and is now almost covering a whole finger, moved on in small bits to other fingers, my palm, and even my other hand. It's itchy and no fun, which is why I'm hoping either she'll OK the cream or give me something else I can use that is safe for pregnancy and will get rid of this nasty hting. If I have to go 5 more months without anything, both of my hands are going to be covered and gross. The kids in my classes have started to notice, though mostly they're young enough I can get away with "boo boo" and move on.

I also need to get a flu shot eventually...So far the kids at school haven't been out too much with the flu, I think when they start staying home with it, I'll get one. Although, it might already be too late at that point.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Most posts in a year

My last post was officially the record in this blog for having more posts than previous years. I've been writing on and off since 2007, which is pretty amazing considering I tend to start blogs and then abandon them. 2007 was the contender to beat with 14 posts and the post prior to this one was #15 for this year. With lots more to come worth posting about, I'm sure that the record will get set much higher by 2011 :)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Say "Hi" :)

I am completely and totally in love with this picture. Our first OB appointment went really well, I love my doctor (only been to her once before, I had recently switched). We could actually see the heartbeat on the sonogram, which was amazing. Then, when the above picture was taken, the baby was actually moving around like crazy! According to the doctor, everything looks really good, at the time of the appointment I was right around 10 weeks, which is right according to the baby's measurements and the date of my last period. With a heartbeat like we saw on the sonogram, and being farther than 8 weeks, I've passed a hurdle and now the chance of miscarriage is way, way down. That was a huge relief and we made the pregnancy "Facebook Official" when we got home after the appointment. My biggest fear with putting it on Facebook too early was that we'd announce it, then at the appointment couldn't see anything and have to re-announce that it wasn't a viable pregnancy. But that didn't happen, and Baby is looking happy and healthy so far!

Got some better prenatal vitamins, there's two pills, one is chewable and one you swallow, but since there's the chewable one, the one to swallow can be smaller. It's way better than what I had before, the chewable pill tastes like pop-tarts, which is awesome. My nausea seems to have dissipated for now, it went away Monday or Tuesday earlier this week. I woke up one day for work and didn't have any morning sickness like I'd had the last several weeks and it (knock on wood) hasn't come back yet. I'm hoping it stays away for good, but as far as symptoms go, it could have been way worse. My back hurts every day and I can't tell if it's related to hormone changes or the fact that my boobs are perpetually growing. I went out yesterday and bought bigger bras.

I went to Target and got whatever was on sale that was a size up from what I normally wear. I also wore my maternity dress for the first time yesterday, and it felt good. Partly because it was comfortable and partly because I can't wait to get into more maternity clothes and to start showing. I know at the end of the pregnancy, I'll probably be laughing at myself and wishing to have the baby so my stomach isn't so huge anymore. The new bras definitely make me more comfortable, which helps a whole lot, and I know the rest of the pregnancy will be all about comfort!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Happy News :)

Few things are more awkward than peeing on a stick, you have to hold it just right for just the right length of time, then you have to keep it pretty much flat while attempting to clean it off because let's face it, you're putting that sucker on the counter and not in the sink. But yes, I am pregnant! It took a little while, but I know that's because the timing wasn't just right. Now I have a new job, Dan's out of his horrible one (still looking for a new one but that will fall into place when it's supposed to) and everything about it feels so right.

We are super excited, and the family and friends that we've told so far couldn't be happier for us! I have my first appointment this Wednesday and I'm stoked!!! I'm really hoping they do an ultrasound, even though we'll be paying for the whole appointment out of pocket (current insurance has a super high deductible, not to mention I've been signed up with them for almost two weeks and they've only sent vision cards so far), but I know first appointments can be expensive already because they do blood tests and stuff to confirm pregnancy. So we'll see. I plan on calling the office tomorrow or Tuesday just to get an idea of what we'll be looking at for cost as well as getting on a payment plan (even if I can do half-and-half that would be good).

My mom and a friend have already started buying stuff! My mom has bought some one-zies for when Baby gets a little bigger, in addition to some bath towels (neutral stuff with duckies on it, so cute!). My friend got a Dexter bib which is AWESOME, she says she'll get another one if/when we find out gender because there are more but they're either pink or blue.

I'm mostly just fighting nausea, nothing too bad but that's pretty much the one symptom I have a rough time with. Even when I get sick, I can put up with sore throat, cough, runny nose, just not nausea, that wipes me out. I have a fairly high pain tolerance, I can put up with pain (which I've also been doing, the craps have pretty much stopped, which is nice--had those for a couple of weeks--now I've got lower back pain on and off), but this nausea just gets me. It could definitely be worse, I'm not trowing up every day or anything, but smells will get me, especially rotting/old food. Oh darn, that means I can't take out the trash ;) It pretty much comes on when my stomach gets empty, which sucks because the last thing I want to do when I'm nauseated is eat. Ginger Ale and Saltines are my best friends in the mornings especially or when I need a quick snack between meals. I'm also supposed to be taking prenatal vitamins, but the ones I bought are:
a) huge, they're like horse pill size, I've had to bite them in half just to be able to swallow them,
b) really nasty smelling/tasting, shouldn't they taste like chocolate so pregnant women will actually want to take them?
c) they make me nauseated, and
d) I read the ingredients and turns out their coating is made with soy products which means that I can sort of justify not taking these particular ones because of my allergies.
 When I see my doctor I'm going to talk to her about getting liquid prenatal vitamins so it's easier to take. I am being good about medications though. I know that one of my two allergy-related medications is safe to take during pregnancy but the other is not, so I stopped that as soon as I found out I was pregnant, and I don't take anything without first checking whether it's ok or not. I'm trying not to eat too much bad stuff, but there was a whole week where all food made me feel sick except fast food. Now I can eat things prepared at home, except sandwiches, which is odd but I can deal.

Friday, October 15, 2010

One month in...

I'm having a good time with this job! It has it's ups and downs, there have been days where I've been stressed (lol, this past week when an entire book fair was dumped on me LAST WEEK to run), but then there's moments when the Kindergarteners are giving me hugs or when the 8th graders put things like "jail" under "an ecosystem near where you live", that make me smile and enjoy it.

The teaching aspect has been interesting, as well as the IT support part. The kids are all, well, kids so some days are better than others for behavior, but most of the time they're great. I managed to get through some basics in Excel with the 4th and 5th graders this week, they learned what a "cell" is, how to highlight, and also how to do graphs (they liked the pie charts). Several of the boys also figured out how to add lightning bolts and smiley faces, which I was fine with because it meant they were learning the program.

The IT part has been really interesting, since I basically know nothing about servers, switches, printers, networks, etc. I know what they are, but I couldn't begin to tell you how they work or how to troubleshoot when a problem occurs. The normal IT guy has been really great about showing me some basics that they won't have to pay him to do anymore (downloading upgrades and running spyware checks), so I've been learning and I like learning.

I'm getting ready to teach my first elective after Thanksgiving. The first one will be knitting and then in the spring I'll be teaching video production. I'm super excited to teach an elective because it's a subject I want to teach and therefore will be something I really enjoy. Especially the video production. Also the knitting will be awesome because I'll be able to work on my projects in class (ie get paid to ;) ) and get a new generation into knitting. So that will be awesome.

The end of this year and the beginning of next are looking up.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I got the job I applied for! My crazy confidence paid off and they hired me! I have BTS tomorrow and Thursday (which stands for Back To School, nights where parents come and meet the teachers) and then I start in the classroom on Monday! I've seen my schedule already (although if it's for just next week or the whole semester I'm not sure, either way it looks great!) and I can't wait to see the curriculum and start supplementing and coming up with fun things to do!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

"Viable Option"

In the last two weeks, I had my first and second interview at a Catholic school in Cooksville (out in the boonies of Howard Co.). They're looking for a media teacher. Initially, this isn't something that I would have applied for, since working towards a government video position has been my goal for the last year. However, things happen for a reason and Dan and I found ourselves in a situation where applying for a salaried job with benefits that is hiring NOW (as opposed to possibly, maybe, sometime in the future...) was a good idea. A very good idea.

I got a call yesterday evening from the lovely assistant principal who didn't want to leave me hanging this long Labor Day weekend. She let me know that I'm still a viable option for the position and that they would finish calling my references Tuesday and that I would know one way or the other by next week. I knew that they had been calling my references and from what it sounds like, I think it might be a close tie between me and at least one other person for the position. Now, it is a teaching position (I would see each grade, PreK3-8th, once a week) but also a support position. I would be called on by other teachers to assist with technical problems or call the IT person if it's something I can't handle myself. I do lack significantly in the teaching experience aspect, especially in a traditional classroom setting. The most I have is from when I taught karate, and even then, I really only have some basic classroom management skills and that's about it. I'm not sure who's worried more about my lack of teaching experience, me or them! It very much seems like they're working to find the person who is the "right fit" for the position, whether the fit includes teaching experience or not.

From what I understand, many of the applicants are qualified in either one field required or the other. Some people are teachers, but may not have the technological skills needed, or others are like me. It is a hybrid position, created from two part-time positions. It also includes being the librarian and teaching the children about print in addition to the technology. I do know that both of my interviews went really well. I'm not sure if it's the fact that I'm currently employed by a well-paying job or the fact that I'm fine with either outcome, but I had this confidence that I've never had in an interview before! Everyone I spoke with was very nice, I was completely comfortable with them and with myself, I love that because it's a Catholic environment, I got to mention my faith and talk about how I'm still trying to figure out where God wants me right now. I think that was the easiest, and best part. Most of the time, with other interviews, the "why here?" question is difficult. With these interviews, besides mentioning what a great school it is and how much I love their mission, I also got to talk about my faith journey. While I've had a lot of jobs that seem unrelated to each other or my major, God only helps those who help themselves and finding the place He wants me to be isn't going to be easy but I need to get out there and at least try!

If I'm not supposed to get the position, then I continue waiting to hear about a video position with the government and I at least got some (really good) practice interviews about of the deal. I still can't explain where my confidence came from, usually I'm a nervous wreck who over-analyzes things, I can only hope that in my next interview(s), wherever it may be, I'll be able to be just as confident and sure of myself!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Sleeve 1: Done-ish

Sleeve 1 just needs to have the tails weaved in, other than that it's looking pretty awesome!

Sleeve 2 is in progress now. I got through the cast on and bottom cuff pretty quickly today. I'm several rounds into the body and already I can see that there will be a difference in the stripes, they'll be thinner and it looks like there will be more of them winding around. I'm excited to see how it'll turn out!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Siren Sleeves Update

Still working on the first sleeve, having a knitting date with Theo tomorrow, hopefully she can at least explain to me what in the world I'll be doing for the "thumb gusset". I understand the words that I'm reading, I just have no idea how to actually put them into action. Otherwise, I'm having a lot of fun knitting these in the round.

I wasn't paying attention today while I was working on it, and I couldn't figure out why the needles were suddenly more awkward to hold than usual. I look down and I've got waaaaay too many stitches piling up--I had forgotten to re-introduce my free needle and was using two occupied needles to knit. Luckily, it was an easy fix (only working with 16 stitches per needle) because I hadn't gotten too far.

Crappy webcam pic aside, the spiral of colors is coming out nicer than I had expected! I can't wait to see what the other one will look like! I was going to say something else, but I forgot. Oh well.

For all you non-knitters, knitting with multiple double-pointed needles (or dpns) looks a little something like this:

I'm using four needles (3 to hold the stitches and one working needle), but it can go higher than that, depends on the project.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

New yarn and 6 cast ons later...

Turns out my problem was DEFINITELY the yarn. It was way too slippery and couldn't hold the stitches in the gauge I was using and since I was at Micheal's with a friend yesterday (she was getting yarn and needles), I spotted some delicious new yarn and scooped it up. It's a worsted weight, not a sport weight, so the gloves will be a bit heavier than the pattern calls for, but the yarn is working fabulously and I haven't had any problems with it!

I did, however, how misunderstand stockinette stitches are done. Specifically, how "st st" is done in the round. At first, I thought st st was knit 1 purl 1, I was close but missing a crucial detail: in flat knitting, it's knit 1 row purl 1 row. The other thing I was missing was when working in the round, st st is accomplished simply by knitting. This only affected two of my rounds, and instead of taking out the two rounds, I left them in, planning on copying the "mistake" on the second glove. I have to say, I rather like the way that it looks leading into my st-st-only rounds. It gives me a very defined cuff, whereas the pattern calls for six rows of garter stitch (which in the round is knit 1 round, purl 1 round btw) and then start the st st which looks fine in the pictures the author included, but looks more like a detailing or embellishment than a cuff.

Cuff with slippery yarn

Cuff with new yarn!

Progress on the body in only a few hours

Now I know the pattern fits :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Arrrg knitting!

Ok, so I started a project today (as a reward for being good at the doctor's office ;) ) that's going to eventually be fingerless gloves / arm warmers. I'm about to cast on for the third time. Yeah, very frustrated. I have no idea what my problem is, I don't know if it's the yarn I bought (I tried to follow the pattern and use a "sport" weight yarn, I have a softer, lighter yarn than worsted which is what I've been working with) not holding tight, if my stitches are too loose, if it's the fact that it's my first time with multiple double-pointed needles, if I'm giving up on the rounds too early and just need to do a few more before casting judgment on the work, or if I just need food and/or a nap.

I'm going to cast on 48 AGAIN and then have a freezy-pop before I go crazy.

The gloves will be sooooo pretty if I can just get the yarn to work with me!

Well, third cast on doesn't look too bad, we'll see how it goes...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Dairy/Wheat/Eggs again!

After talking with my allergist (and being crazy restricted for two weeks), I'm back to only avoiding the things I tested positive for (shellfish, treenuts, peanuts, corn, and soy), yay! Thank goodness because I was getting tired of that menu. After work, I tend to not want to make anything too complicated, which on the super restrictive diet was just hot dogs or hamburgers and chips. That gets old fast.

I am on a new medication, however, Flovent. Yes, the asthma medicine. Asthma sufferers have the same thing going on in their airways that I do in my esophagus, the eosinophils are hanging out wreaking havoc. The difference though is instead of inhaling the Flovent, I'm swallowing it. It's not in a liquid form or anything, I puff and swallow instead of puff and inhale. Two puffs, two times a day. This method can take a while before I'll see any results at all. Currently my doctor is just trying to get the inflammation under control before we start more methodically searching out the cause. Since the Big 10 (10 most common allergens) have been eliminated with no success, and since there's not much data out there for those of us with EE, so much of this process is trial by error. I've been trying to be the good patient and asking questions, but the questions I'm asking don't have any definitive answers to them. I would have to be the difficult patient that gets some disease there's no data on. Oh well, that's my luck.

*Knitting Update!*

My scarf is getting super long (I'll post a picture soon)! I've also started an additional project, something a bit bigger and more adventurous (I'm changing colors frequently!!), but it's a surprise and I don't want to ruin it. I will say that the pattern called for 5 skeins of yarn and a circular needle, all of which I got at Michael's for right around $20 because the yarn was on sale <3 I'll definitely post pictures once the present has been given, it's definitely going to be super adorable!

I've had a ball looking at patterns on and can't wait to practice and do some of the cooler, more complicated stuff! I've got patterns saved for fingerless gloves, a hat or two, several shawls (there's a really cool Celtic lace-knit one!), a poncho, and a bunch of other stuff.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Poolside Knitting!

My last several posts have been depressing even me so I thought I'd do a post on something I CAN do: knitting! I had a very eager and patient teacher who has now unleashed a monster now that I've become a member of!

My first project is a Garter Stitch Scarf, something very simple that I can do without having to sit and watch my needles. I'm to the point where I can do it very easily by touch which is awesome! After a couple of weeks of knitting on my own, I invited Theo of Arcaneknits (my awesome teacher ^_^) over to my parents' house where we could both knit pooside :)

What a lovely idea that was! The weather was perfect and even though neither of us did any actual swimming, it was nice to dip our feet in the water while knitting perched on the edge. Theo, at the time, was working on a very cute hat and she has since finished it. Much to her delight, it did fit after all (she had been worried it might be too loose)! It's a round design knitted with cables, which looks way too complicated for me just yet, but I hope to get to that point soon! I've been looking at patterns and things on Ravelry and can't wait to learn how to do all these cool things! I'd really like to do a lace stole, but you've got to walk before you can crawl (10 points if you get the movie reference). Fingerless gloves are next up in my queue and they'll match my scarf--all will go quite nicely with the lovely, red pea-coat DH bought me for Christmas :)

(well, I picked it out, but it was still a present from him!)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Well then what CAN I eat?

Visited the allergist again last Tuesday. Since the soy-free didn't seem to be helping my dysphagia (food getting stuck in my esophagus), she put me on an even more restricted elimination diet. It's only for two weeks, but it's going to seem so much longer! I still have to avoid soy, peanuts, and corn with the newest addition of wheat, milk, and eggs. I'm basically going to be the most difficult and weird vegan ever. No soy but meat's ok! Lol.

I've been on it for a week and have been doing ok. I've cheated, not going to lie, but I think with an even more restrictive diet it's also important to let myself have little cheats here and there (like margarine on my potatoes once) because otherwise I'll just go crazy. My mother-in-law brought over a whole bunch of groceries for me last Wednesday, she knew I was struggling with the idea of shopping with the new restrictions, so happy to have family close by! :)

I was doing some research tonight and found something interesting. I've never been crazy about raw fruit, or just fruit in general. I think it started with being a picky eater as a kid (although now I'm wondering if being a picky eater was a result of food allergies) but I never really grew out of it. I knew apples made my teeth hurt if I ate them raw--in a pie they're totally fine--and since I wasn't thrilled with any other fruit, I didn't notice any particular reactions. Since being put on this super restrictive diet, I've tried to give raw fruit another chance. I knew I liked pineapple juice and orange juice, so those seemed like good places to start. Bought a pineapple (not buying a whole one ever again, btw, definitely will be buying the pre-cut pieces) and a bag of oranges and did my best to give them a shot. Had part of an orange with lunch last week and even gave the pineapple a try over the weekend. Didn't particularly care for the way both fruits made my throat/mouth feel, not like an allergic reaction, just not right. I thought maybe I just wasn't giving them enough of a chance. I soaked the pineapple in some delicious cherry rum, maybe I could entice myself, the flavor was ok, but the same thing happened, strange feeling in my mouth/throat. For what I decided was the final time tonight, I made a smoothie with the pineapple (mold had grown on one of my oranges so that turned me off of them for a little while) and some cranberry juice I had in the fridge. Same exact thing again.

I apparently need to try things in threes before I'll get the message that my body truly doesn't want something. This isn't the first time I couldn't take the hint (thankfully no hospital visits related to allergies). I hopped online and started researching. I can have all the cooked fruits I want, fruit-flavored things, you name it, just not raw fruit. I stumbled across OAS, Oral Allergy Syndrome. Apparently, my strange reactions aren't so strange after all and there are lots of people who have the same problem with raw fruit. When I talk to my allergist next week I'm definitely going to mention the raw fruit issue (we had tested me for an apple allergy, which was negative) and bring up what I've read about OAS. Apparently, adults who suffer from hay fever allergies can have problems with raw fruit and vegetables. The proteins the fruits/veggies contain are structurally similar to the pollen or whatever your body is fighting off so they attack the protein too. Cooking and heat usually kills whatever protein the body reacts to (which is why soybean oil and peanut oil are usually safe for people with those allergies) and that's why only the raw fruits/veggies give OAS sufferers problems.

One big reason to talk to my allergist about this is (based off what I've read) so that she can test me for the pollen allergens because that's how the OAS diagnosis is made. It also could be completely unrelated to my EE. Joy. Another thing to add to my already lengthening list of medical issues...

Monday, May 24, 2010

Probably encountered the most frustrating thing...

Yes, I have to avoid certain foods and miss out on foods that I like. That's part of having a food allergy that I've gotten used to. What I'm not used to, happened this morning.

I accidentally set my alarm for PM instead of AM. Oops. I woke up fifteen minutes after I usually leave the house. Crap. The worst part, the really awful part, is that even though I was able to throw clothes on and still would have been able to be at work close to on time if I had left right then was: I knew I had to make my lunch anyway. I couldn't guarantee that anything in the cafeteria at work would be soy-free (not to mention the credit card machine is down and I never carry cash). I also couldn't think "I'll just run to McDonald's at lunch" because I have STILL not sorted through their crazy long list of products and allergens. Plus I've already eaten at Subway like four times in the last seven days and that's not so good for my wallet...

This incident probably won't get me started making my lunch the night before, usually I'm doing other stuff and making my lunch helps me wake up in the morning. However, I did fix my alarm and hopefully I'll be good just doing that.

I went grocery shopping today, finally. Not a big trip or anything, mostly just little things to make some quick, easy meals on days I have to work. I would like to give a quick shout-out to Kraft: thank you for making my shopping trip so much quicker and easier! Kraft is one of the brands that puts the "contains:..." on their products. I know that if I see the Kraft logo, I won't have to spend ten minutes reading all the ingredients to see if there's soy. I've also noticed some brands putting the allergens in bold so they're easy to spot among the other ingredients and I like that too! Kudos to everyone who recognizes people with food allergies and makes their lives a little easier!

(Chik-fil-a also has an awesome chart!)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Soy-free? eh, maybe close...

Ok, so I'm not totally soy-free yet. But it's only day 3 and I haven't gone grocery shopping yet so cut me some slack. I did however do some research today about what fast food establishments I can visit and the outlook is good :) So far, I've only looked at a few places websites and have found Subway's chart to be the best overall. Well, just compared to McDonalds' chart. Those are the only two I've looked at. Outback didn't even really have allergy information, or if they did it was difficult to find.

Pros: Subway's chart is nice because it's actually a chart. On the left side it lists a standard version of each sandwich on their menu and along the top it has all of the common allergens. As you look at the chart, you can easily tell if your favorite sandwiches (and there's a section for bread farther down the list) are safe for you to eat.
Cons: The allergy chart does not actually contain a list of ingredients, that's separate. It would be nice to see what allergen specifically is in the sandwich. Although, I suppose since Subway's sandwiches are pretty basic anyway (ingredients: black forest ham, lettuce, etc.) and not as lab-created as other fast food places' food, the separate lists aren't that big a deal.

Pros: McDonald's lists everything, and I mean everything. The McRib is even on their list. They show you all the different buns and what's in their chicken (which is kinda scary), all kinds of stuff. They have in bold print what the common allergens in the items are and they list right there the ingredients so that you can see for yourself. That's nice because a lot people allergic to soy can safely eat soy lecithin or soybean oil (Subway had a different mark on their chart if something only contained soybean oil), so if something is labeled as "contains soy" you can see why. McDonald's also distinguishes between types of soy, and will mark things as "contains soy lecithin" or "contains soybean oil" so that you know up front what kind of soy you're dealing with.
Cons: It's strictly a list. A 21 page list. Reading is required. It is definitely not at-a-glance and you have to do some searching to find your favorite things. I will definitely be going through the list and finding all my favorite things, but it hurts them because today, for dinner, I'm going to Subway, because their chart was easy to use and I knew almost instantly what I can and can't order. So it's a very good and thorough list, however for the people who need quick info on what they can or can't have, it doesn't really lend itself to being helpful in that department.

Yay two places I can eat so far!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New Year, New Layout (soon?) New Post!

I'm going to try to be better about posting more, especially with the latest thing going on in my life: Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EE for short, and yes, I spelled it right the first time without looking!). Basically what's going on in my esophagus is there are an excess of white blood cells do to an allergic reaction. The problem is that the inflammation is so bad that food is constantly getting stuck in my esophagus and needs help to pass through to my stomach (usually in the form of whatever liquid I'm drinking). And when I say "constantly", I mean every time I eat. Especially dry things like bread. Now what the heck the white blood cells are reacting to I have no idea. My first appointment with my new allergist was today. That went pretty well I guess. I got the arm prick test thingy done, and they confirmed my allergy to shellfish (boy did they ever, that was the strongest reaction!) and tree nuts, both of which I was already aware. I did also have a reaction to peanuts (not aware), corn (partially aware and was already avoiding), and soy.

I'm now on an elimination diet to see if, in addition to Protonix (which is helping get rid of acid reflux and repair damage to my esophagus), one of those things is what's causing the inflammation. Corn is going to be tricky, right now I'm just avoiding straight corn, however it may or may not get to the point where I have to avoid high fructose corn syrup. I'm hoping I don't have to do that. I have a followup appointment with the doc in three weeks to see if there's been any improvement based on the diets/medication. I already know the medication helps a little bit, bigger bites are still getting stuck, but smaller ones aren't as often. Protonix got rid of my acid reflux (which didn't happen too often, but often enough to notice and apparently there was some damage to my esophagus) almost immediately, like a day or two. That's been really nice.

I also have my very own set of EpiPens now. I should have had them ages ago really, especially for the shellfish allergy, but it was never really diagnosed, more like "I'll just stay away from that" since my reactions never caused me enough discomfort to visit the hospital. The doc didn't like that, lol, she was like, "Yeah you definitely need to get those as soon as possible." But she's really nice and I like her a lot. She gave me a lot of good information in the office and also sent me home with helpful stuff. She also pointed me to The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network, which is a group that specializes in food allergies and they have a lot of really good info too.

Friday or Saturday-ish, I'm going shopping with my Bestie Amanda at Trader Joe's (which is the grocery store of all grocery stores!) and a couple other places because she is also doing a soy elimination diet (not for the same reasons though). As much as it stinks to be doing an elimination diet, I'm so very glad that Amanda and I will be able to do it together and go shopping together and share recipes and it's so nice not to be doing this alone. The hubby will be eating whatever he pleases, the lame-o. So yeah, having company will be very, very nice indeed :)