Monday, October 24, 2011

Shaken to the Core But Finding Lots to Smile About

It has been very difficult for me to put pen to paper, or fingers to the keyboard, to write this post.  I've wanted to post again for quite some time but we've had a substantial amount of life events take place.  One of my dear friend's made a statement online about "just doing it - just starting" earlier this week.  I felt motivated to write this post straight away but couldn't at the time due to my all time love and job - motherhood. 

I've also realized recently fully for myself what my husband has always told me - my mind NEVER stops.  It's always reeling; constantly.  My mind goes faster than I can keep up.  This is in a lot of ways a gigantic benefit to Duncan, coupled with the fact that I have always had to be hyper aware of latex, peaches and coconut due to my mom - and now myself, because I am used to constantly scanning EVERYONE - ALL the time for what they might have touched, eaten or cross-contaminated.  This has undoubtedly saved Duncan many allergic reactions.  

But, I'm not perfect.  And as much as I'd like to enclose Duncan in a perfect corn-free bubble - I can't.  Not at this point anyway.  Though that is not a possibility at this point it our dream to be able to provide a completely corn-free environment for Duncan one day.  

So, our armour and weapon of choice at this point is education.  Despite my very best efforts as Duncan's mother I failed him twice a little over a month ago because he had two severe allergic reactions to corn.  As a mother it is not only emotional and painful to watch your child deal with severe allergic reactions but it is even more painful and scary to watch him go through these reactions knowing that as a mother your primary obligation is to protect your cub with the fierceness of a lioness and that you failed. 

Sometimes, as in these cases, it was through no fault of my own.  But, I still felt like an epic failure.  Not to mention every emotion and vivid memory of my little fella limp as a noodle and as gray as a cloudy day at 4 months old in that hospital room came flooding back with the force of a massive hurricane.  It's scary.  To be honest - I was terrified.  

So, I think that was my beef with writing this post.  I didn't want anyone to be offended, but this is part of his journey and something that I needed to voice.  Writing for me has always been cathartic.  The only way that people who are unfamiliar with true severe life threatening and life altering allergies to learn- is through education - sometimes that education is rendered first hand. Bringing a life-threatening allergen into the path of a highly allergenic child is essentially the equivalent of placing a loaded gun somewhere within the child's grasp and leaving them unattended.  Maybe something will happen - maybe nothing will happen - but it's not safe either way.  And, when dealing with something as small as a peanut (in other children's cases) or as tiny as a kernel of corn that could literally take the life of a person it is no exaggeration to make the above statement.

The after-math of a severe reaction can be just as devastating as the reaction itself for a small child who doesn't have the mental ability to understand what is going on.  In Duncan's case he panicked at bed time for weeks (we're literally talking true panic attacks) because both of his reactions happened close to bed time once he had his pajamas on.  This is a situation that isn't easy to rectify.  But, we've pulled through on the other side and tried to educate Duncan as to what his reactions actually are.

Our Mission is Understanding.  Our Goal is Education and Acceptance.

Since my last posting we had an incredibly successful Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network walk.  It was a beautiful day for a walk and we had an immense amount of support throughout the whole experience!  We can not thank everyone who gave of themselves in some way, shape or form for helping us start this beautiful legacy of giving back for Duncan.  This was a beautiful experience for us to learn from others, for us to educate others and for ourselves and others to learn of community support that exists.  It was all around a gorgeous day for our family of three.

We also have been on a roll with coming up with new recipes for Duncan, and ourselves.  Finding a new tasty recipe or new product that Duncan can eat/use is exhilarating.  It makes me feel as though I am doing a good job of hunting and gathering for my young.  I get in ruts from time to time out of exhaustion and don't try anything new. 

However, I've always loved fall and all that it brings: crisp air, beautiful leaves, warm cider and Russian Tea, yummy filling meals hot from the oven and the holidays are just right around the corner.  (Not to mention I love fall clothes!)  Fall also has always been a cleansing time for me.  It's a good time to clear my mind with the fresh air.  I have always felt that just as though the trees shed their old leaves and endure a tough winter they know that intuitively they must do this because something beautiful (Spring) is just on the other side.  In order to get to the beautiful and new in life sometimes it means letting go of the old and holding on strong to your foundation.   That's what fall is to me.

So, I was inspired to flip through my 'normal' recipe books and allergy & vegan books alike to find new recipes that I'd like to try for our family this fall.  Duncan is still trying new foods continually and we are making exciting progress in some arenas.   I'll post more later about our progress because though I know that stating anything here in the blog won't jinx anything I still don't want to 'jinx' ourselves or count our chickens before they hatch.  Just keep your fingers crossed and say some prayers that winds of food freedom keep blowing in Duncan's direction.

Also with fall comes lots of soups and stews.  I LOVE both.  I am a soup-a-holic.  Dave - not so much.  However, last week I made a truly awesome Chicken, Rice and Quinoa (Keen-wah) soup that was fantastic!  It had just the right amount of flavor and tasted like an awesome version of a homemade chicken noodle soup.  Dave doesn't even like chicken soups and he ate two bowls I think!  

So, here's our recipe:
Ingredients -
  • Onion, Garlic & Carrots
  • Sunflower Oil
  • 1 Box of Kitchen Basics Chicken Stock
  • Sweet Peas & Garbanzo Beans
  • Quinoa and Rice
  • Trader Joe's Everyday Seasoning, Sea Salt, Badia Garlic and Parsley, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder
  • McCormick Salt Free Garlic and Herb, Chili Powder and Simply Organic Lemon Pepper
  • 3 Chicken Breast
I know that not everyone that reads this blog loves/likes garlic - but one of Duncan's sensory 'things' is LOVING strong savory flavors such as garlic. I Promise that this soup did not taste like garlic.

  • Heat pot with a small amount of Sunflower Oil
  • Dice onion and garlic and add to pot
  • Dice/Chop carrots and add to pot
  • Season with Sea Salt and other Seasonings
  • Dice Chicken in pot while cooking.
  • Add Stock
  • Let Boil
  • Add Garbanzo Beans, Sweet Peas, Quinoa and Rice (Small amount)
  • Let Boil until Rice and Quinoa are cooked - then reduce heat.
  • Enjoy!
If you try this soup let me know what you think.  Good Luck and we'll keep you posted on Duncan's progress.

To our recipe repertoire we've also been able to add yummy biscuits of all types, great bread sticks and a so-so pizza crust that I'm sure will improve with practice.


No comments:

Post a Comment