Friday, September 4, 2009

Round One

The boys had their first LDA allergy treatment yesterday. They were so brave! Aaron, who had two shots, didn't cry at all, and Ethan cried a little bit, but really not as much as I had expected him to. I am impressed by this because they both said it felt like a wasp sting, and the nurse verified that it does feel a lot like a sting. Now, they have both been stung (Aaron twice) and their reactions were much more severe to the stings!

Their bravery is the good news. The "shot time" diet is another whole story... (For those of you who aren't English teachers, that's to say, "a whole 'nother story.") I am not, not, not not happy with the shot time diet creators. Now, I know this diet serves a purpose and the powers that be who decided what would and wouldn't be allowed during these three days weren't creating something that is intentionally spiteful. It is designed to eliminate the possibility of the person developing new allergies from the treatment rather than gain relief from the allergies said person already has. And the Good Lord knows we don't need any new allergies. So, from that standpoint, I'm actually thankful for the shot time diet. But my thankfulness only extends that far! I made the mistake of assuming some things going into this, and of not being prepared at. all. I mean, I thought I was prepared, but I wasn't. At. All.

Wednesday morning started our new diet, and I had prepared some rhubarb "jam" and some rhubarb concentrate to mix into water so we could have some flavored drinks. I had made some tapioca wafers that were completely void of flavor, but had that crunch that was missing in every other option for food. I soaked some granular tapioca that I thought I would cook and mix with the "jam" and some glycerin (for something to sweeten it up) to serve for breakfast. As it was cooking, I decided to use my handy, dandy food processor to shred some sweet potatoes to make a sweet potato hash. I scraped off the fat from the lamb stock I had made (thank goodness I had that fat - it came in so handy) and made the hash, to which I added some of the meat that came off the marrow bones I made the stock with. Thank goodness I made the hash last minute! The tapioca concoction was just so very, very wrong. It was horrible. None of us ate any of it. (Well, past that first bite we all would just like to forget. ::shudders::) Jerry and I thought the hash was actually quite good, but the kids thought it was nasty, too. For lunch I made lamb soup with root veggies, ground lamb, and the stock. Do you guys know that lamb smells bad? It tastes okay, but smells horrible. This made the boys a bit unwilling to try the soup. They ate some, but just couldn't wrap their brains around it. Needless to say, by about 12:30, they were starving and I had nothing but more of the same to offer them. I tried to sweetly remind them that this was all we had to eat for three days and that we could do this "adventure" for three days without complaining, right??? (Please???) Nope. I was in the middle of cleaning their beds since I forgot previously that I needed to put their pillows in the dryer and change their sheets. I was behind, stressed, and hungry, too! Of course, finding half the boy's possessions in their beds as I was trying to work didn't help at all. In the midst of my work, I started to make some lamb "nuggets," which is basically ground lamb with sea salt formed into tiny patties, coated in tapioca flour, and cooked in the pan so my boys wouldn't be hungry. After getting these going in the pan, I went back to start on Aaron's bed and discovered that not only had he cut a whole in his comforter since the last time I was up in his bed, he had also written in crayon all over the wood of his bed! This is where everything just started caving in...Anger boiled up inside of me and spilled right out. There was yelling. There were tears. There were empty threats. There were not so empty consequences after one of us had calmed down a bit. It was not pretty. The boys choked down a lamb patty (because they were too scared not to at this point...they didn't really taste very good...) and went to their nap with no toy like they normally get to have. After I fished all the things out of Andrew's mouth that he had managed to find during the previously mentioned episode, I put him in bed and prayed that the three days would go quickly.

Then I made salmon cakes. For some reason, I thought these would go over better than the lamb nuggets. brain wasn't working. Did I mention I was hungry? I made rainbow trout for dinner, which we all really liked; but, by that time I was feeling really, really horrible. I had a headache that was worse than any I'd had in years, my muscles all ached, my stomach hurt, and the beginnings of what I learned this morning is mastitis began to flare up. I just lay on the living room floor and cried that evening. I'd like to report that things got better in the morning, but they got worse. Aaron woke up vomiting from lack of food and withdraw. Andrew also vomited from drainage down the back of his throat from the backlash from his 6-month vaccines that I had delayed until he was 9 1/2 months (but for some reason scheduled the day before this whole circus began...). I still felt poor, but better. I began to wonder if I was allergic to lamb. We made it to the allergist, but my kids wouldn't eat breakfast and Ethan was starting to feel queasy, too. This is where the bright spot happened: brave kids! I was tested for lamb allergy while we were there, and guess what? I'm allergic to lamb. Mastitis notwithstanding, I felt so nasty Thursday because of this wonderful shot time diet that I was doing only to show support for my children. Needless to say, I will not be so supportive next time! :) Later in the day, Ethan's vomit started and we all started praying that these days would go by quickly.

There are some positive takeaways. I will plan much better next time. I will not buy any lamb next time. I will cook much more fresh fish that is not salmon next time. I learned how to make rhubarb leather that my kids like that we will make a whole bunch of next time (Of course, I cannot add the honey that the recipe calls for. I added some glycerin for sweetness, and plan to experiment with adding pureed, cooked carrots, too). And I learned that it is actually possible to make sweet potato flour in your own home (theoretically) (Scroll down to the bottom of the link to find the flour instructions). I will attempt to do this before the next shot time diet comes around the first of November so that I can make "tortillas" out of it. I will not make the things I made to prepare this time, because my kids would rather starve than eat flavorless tapioca wafers, apparently!

Poor Andrew was largely ignored during the last three days. Hey, we didn't even get school done the first two. This is what happens when you don't check in on the 9 month old often enough and have two other boys who cannot seem to remember to close the bathroom door:

At least he had fun! Tomorrow morning we can resume our normal "allergy" diet. I never thought I'd think it was so wonderful as I do now! So many choices of what to eat. Forget that we cannot have wheat or milk whenever we want. We don't have to eat lamb, fish, or rutabaga, and that, my friends, is a very good thing, indeed!


cuponklipper said...

A conversation heard today:
Amy: "What did you play today with Emma?"
Annabelle: "We played with ducky and drove the ducky around"
Amy: "Oh, where did the ducky have to go?"
Annabelle: "He has to go to the doctor."
Amy: "Aw, poor ducky, what is wrong with him? is he sick?"
Annabelle: "He has allergies."

Marie said...

Oh Johanna. I'm so sorry. I just want to give you a big hug. Wish I could help in some way. I do think you are doing an amazing job with cooking. I know you said some of it doesn't taste very good, but I think it's very intimidating to cook with unfamiliar things and you seem to be doing that *a lot* lately. The other day when you put on FB that you were rendering lamb fat, I was so intimidated I didn't even want to ask how and why you were doing that!

cuponklipper said...

You'll get through it! You always do. And you'll know better for next time! Get some rest and heal.

Johanna said...

Amy - that's so funny that Annabelle played that way!

Marie - Thanks for the encouragement! The lamb fat was specifically for these three days. It came in very handy, too. I'm already trying to think about what I can use next time since I'm allergic to lamb. I do think next time will be lots easier. Plus, I have until the first of November to prepare!

Tina said...

Oh my. You poor woman! I just can't imagine!
I will pray that this all goes very quickly for you. You are much stronger than I am, that is for sure.

Joanna said...

Holy bottles of vinegar Batman!

Once again I thank God for no allergies. I humbly aknowledge that I am blessed with a healthy family and am grateful beyond what I can possibly verbalize.

I'm praying that it gets better Johanna. Yuck.