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Archive for October, 2012

Happy Halloween to all the monsters and goblins out there! We had so much fun trick or treating with our friends tonight and our toddlers stayed strong til the end!…Here are some of the highlights!

Seeing our pal Jack for the first time in a couple days…Elliott missed him tons!

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Local grocery store out of water Saturday AM – 2 days before Sandy makes landfall.

I have to admit, I’ve never been so anxious because of a storm. No, it didn’t help that the news was very dramatic. But something told me that this time, they believed what they were saying and really wanted us to listen. (I guess that’s the problem with sensationalism…it’s hard to know when to take it seriously.) They also predicted a direct hit with Philadelphia. So we took all the necessary precautions: bought non-perishable food; filled ziplock bags with filtered water and stuck them in the freezer for many varied uses if needed; removed any outdoor objects/furniture that could cause damage in gusting winds; and did all the laundry, dishes and baking we’d need for a week. I had to do something with my nervous energy.

Sandy came and went. We woke up this morning in a dry home, with power and all of our things intact. We were the lucky ones.

Here’s what I can’t get over. I’ve already heard/read several times today, comments from people (real people, not television speak) saying that the hurricane “wasn’t that bad”…And the only thing I can think is “It wasn’t that bad for you“. I try to keep my blog posts as upbeat and positive as possible. First, people have their own issues and don’t need to be burdened with mine. Second, life is too short to focus on the negative. But I can’t help but be tremendously irritated with anyone who, for whatever reason, wishes they had personally dealt with a more violent and damaging storm and are disappointed with their own experience.

So out of respect for the mothers and babies who were evacuated and carried down 9 flights of stairs from NYU Langone’s NICU (the hospital where less than 2 years ago, Elliott was born); for those who have lost their belongings and homes; and for the several people, including children, who lost their lives because of falling trees, please remember that it did get that bad…just not for you.

As a small but meaningful gesture, Carolyn Clement Photography will be donating 10% of all sales through December 31st, 2012 to the American Red Cross.

 

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You may remember almost a year ago when I had to give Elliott his very 1st Epipen injection. Well, it just so happens, the whole experience is much less frightening and stressful the 2nd time around…I went through the motions of checking for symptoms – in Elliott’s case, he started gagging and threw up thick clear mucus, this within minutes of ingesting dairy – immediately knew it had to be done.

What led to Elliott’s allergic reaction was a mistake. But it was mistake that could and should have been prevented since it was an adult who was well-aware of his severe allergies. And it only took less than 5 little cheddar goldfish crackers to cause him to go into anaphylactic shock. However, instead of dwelling on one person’s carelessness, I’ve decided that spreading awareness to those around us is a much better use of my time and energy.

I feel so silly (and a big part of me wants to use a stronger word) and irresponsible. When we moved to Philly just after his 1st episode, I didn’t want to introduce Elliott to our new friends with the warning “he’s severely allergic to all things dairy, (and nuts, peanuts, eggs, fish, neosporin, cats, dogs, molds and dust)”.  I guess I’d hoped that I could manage his allergies on my own, or thought that people would be less interested in playing with us since it meant that they’d have to be extra cautious, even inconvenienced, and I didn’t want to be a burden. Ugh.

Now I understand that these mothers, neighbors and members of our community WANT this information! I can’t even imagine how terrible it could be to accidentally give someone else’s child a food that they are deathly allergic to and to have a tragic outcome as a result. But not being given this information in the first place would be even worse…for everyone.

Since this last episode, I’ve emailed my Mom’s group a detailed list of all the things Elliott is allergic to, where to find his Epipen (there’s always one in his little bag, the one with a green tractor and his name embroidered on it) and the peace of mind of knowing that Jon and I give our consent to anyone who feels the need to administer his Epipen if we are not around, and to call 911 immediately. I’ve also been showing everyone how to use the Epipen by carrying around his Epipen Training Device (an injector without a needle or medicine).

The simple set of instructions is as follows: remove injector from plastic case, pull out blue tab at end of injector, hold firmly in your fist, swing out and push orange tip firmly into the upper thigh (clothing does not need to be removed), hold for at least 10 seconds, remove injector (needle will no longer be visible) and lightly massage injection site for 10 seconds. Call 911 if you haven’t already done so and dispose of used Epipen in a safe manner.

Allermates Wristband

As another step towards awareness, we just received Eli’s Allermates Dairy Allergy Wristband and he’s been wearing it for the past 2 days. He seems excited to show all his friends and teachers. We are determined to tell everyone we know that he is, under no circumstance, to be given foods without our permission. I always pack many types of snacks so there should never be a reason to give him anything.

And so, it takes a village. I am very thankful to the wonderful friends that we’ve made here in Manayunk/Roxborough – they are already making our new reality much easier to deal with and I know they will keep an eye on Elliott! If you see this kid around town, please don’t feed him! If you are a parent or guardian who has recently discovered that your child has a food allergy or you’ve had years of experience in coping with allergies, I’d love to hear from you. Knowing we aren’t in this alone is extremely comforting. To be continued, I’m sure…

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Remember Little Man C’s session just a couple months ago? Well I’m proud to present his little sister, Baby K. With a toddler, a newborn and  a feisty chocolate lab, there is no shortage of love and energy in their home!

She was so alert on the day of our shoot, eager to take everything in.

Congratulations to this beautiful family, may you get some rest and enjoy the ride.

 

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