May
22

I’ve been hearing news reports about an EpiPen shortage over the last couple of weeks. Even FARE, the national food allergy advocacy group, appealed to the FDA to take action, citing multiple reports of patients having difficulty getting their hands on Mylan’s EpiPens and generic EpiPens.

We aren’t in need of renewing ours anytime soon, so I haven’t panicked over it yet. However, I’ve been hearing stories from parents in Facebook food allergy groups having difficulty getting EpiPens from their pharmacies, or the ones they are given expire within 6 months, rather than the usual 12 months we all expect.

If you are trying to figure out your best game plan, here are some options:

  1. Call Mylan customer relations at 800-796-9526 for assistance. This CNN article included a quote from Mylan encouraging people to call and that they’ve been able to successfully locate alternative pharmacies for patients who are having trouble finding EpiPens.
  2. Consider other epinephrine devices. The other main competitor product is called Auvi-Q, featuring voice directions and a compact size. This includes the same epinephrine drug that is in the EpiPen, but uses a different delivery system. If your have commercial insurance and it doesn’t cover Auvi-Q, they have an Auvi-Q affordability program which may help. We had good luck using this program in the past. You can also explore a prescription for the Adrenaclick, which is most well-known for being sold at CVS as an alternative to the EpiPen. This epinephrine product gained popularity as a less expensive option compared to EpiPens when they were under scrutiny for pricing last year. Some parents have reported confusion in using the product because it has an extra step than the typical EpiPen, however they generally get the hang of it. Unfortunately, I’ve heard the Adrenaclick trainer does not automatically come with the medicine. You can find instructions on how to get a free trainer on the Adrenaclick FAQ page. It is the 10th question on the page.
  3. Hang onto your EpiPens a bit longer. I am not a doctor and cannot give medical advice, however, I encourage you to read about the Expired EpiPen Safety Study testing the medicine’s efficacy after expiring at 12 months. They reported that 29 months after expiration, the pens contained at least 90% of their stated amount of epinephrine. Pens 50 months — more than four years — past the printed expiration date had more than 84% of the medication. Link to study abstract.

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May
13

** Updated May 2018 to remove outdated options and feature our favorite brand.

Friends, it’s amazing how far dairy-free yogurt has come. When we first entered the allergy world, there were very different options available and none of them very good. Now there is only on brand I will recommend to other people with food allergies – So Delicious. Their non-dairy yogurts are made with a coconut milk base, and come in all of these flavors below.

 

My husband cannot eat dairy and really loves the blueberry, key lime and raspberry flavors. We mostly buy these from Whole Foods, but occasionally buy them at general grocery stores as well. With all specialty foods, it’s important to double check the expiration date before buying. I’ve noticed these don’t move as quickly in the regular store and can expire more quickly than I’d prefer.

We also love the So Delicious ice cream bars, ice cream sandwiches and non-dairy whipping cream in the freezer section. All staples in our house.

 

You can read more about our family’s experiences with food allergies by clicking on the “On Food Allergies” tab at the top of this page. Want to stay in touch? Join me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

 

Jan
28

It’s pretty amazing after avoiding a food for years for fear of getting sick, or even dying, to be able to eat that food. I remember at Avery’s first allergist appointment at 12 months old, when we first realized how severe his allergies were, the allergist said that most kids outgrow milk allergies and Avery “won’t be going to kindergarten” with that one.

Fast forward to kindergarten and Avery was still very much allergic. At age 9, about a year ago in 3rd grade, Avery’s tests finally showed a chance the milk could be outgrown and we had a baked milk challenge in the allergist’s clinic and has been eating baked milk each day since then. It opened up a few new foods, like goldfish crackers and Cheez-its. But it wasn’t really life changing…

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Dec
20

It was so much fun decorating the house for the holidays. It took so long to remodel, decorating for the holidays was the ultimate payoff! Ever since I was a child, I dreamed of hanging Christmas stockings from a fireplace mantle. We never had a fireplace growing up, well not much of anything for that matter. It makes me appreciate the comforts in my life today so much. And it’s a dream come true to decorate our gorgeous reclaimed mantle and custom shelves for the holidays this year. 

With a wreath where the clock hung and garland laced with lights, reindeer stocking hangers and beautiful stockings. I re-purposed our candle pillars and added in red flicker candles. And lots of blankets and pillows and Santas and our little tree with colorful lights. It’s such a cozy, colorful room, especially when Jason builds a fire most evenings.

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Sep
11

PR agency leader. Football mom. School council member. Weekend foodie wanna-be. These are just a few of the roles I juggle, like many of us moms. Life can be crazy enough jumping between these roles without having to worry about what to wear for each occasion.

One of the fun outfits I put together at Christopher and Banks: This is the Diamond Quilted Vest, CrissCross Neck Pullover Sweater in Mantle Grey

The last few years have been challenging for me, fashion-wise. Due to side effects from a new medication, I put on some weight that I haven’t been able to lose easily. It’s not good being uncomfortable in your clothes and like you don’t have any fun, attractive clothing to wear.

I was pleasantly surprised to hear from the folks at Christopher and Banks, a clothing store based in Plymouth, MN, but with locations all across the country. They invited me to learn about their new fall fashions, which can be found in a range of “Petite (4P-16P)”, “Missy (4-16)” and “Women’s (14W-32W)” sizes. I think it’s awesome for women who are plus size to be able to find the same items on the same racks, rather than delegated to a separate section or store.

Last week I visited the Christopher and Banks headquarters to meet with their style/trend experts and learn about the brand and where it’s heading. They’ve been working to include more styles which appeal to exactly my age group – the ~40 year old woman who wants to look fashionable, but not like a teenager. I loved meeting them and hearing the “behind the scenes” of how they planned the fall fashions, which are just coming out this month.

Then came the BEST part – this weekend I went to my local Christopher and Banks store and shopped the styles with the help of a couple of their associates. I also brought a dear friend who has NO FILTER so she could keep me honest to make sure the items I liked looked good and reflected my personal style. I can’t wait to show you all the fun things I found!

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