Posts from ‘Health’

Aug
20

Oh friends, our summer family vacation did NOT go as planned. I spent most of it in a hospital. The bad news is that I had emergency surgery. The good news is that I’m okay and now recovering at home in my own bed.

Our first day in Tennessee was great – we were able to spend time with two of my cousins and their kiddos. We rented a cabana by the pool and everyone had fun hanging out and swimming and going on the water slides.

Towards the end of our first full day there, I was experiencing sharp abdominal pain in the lower right side, you know, the side with the appendix. Eek. It wasn’t letting up so the next day I drove to the local ER while Jason took the kids swimming again and to the arcade.

Long story short, they sent me home that day with a theory that I probably had a burst ovarian cyst causing pain and inflammation (turned out not to be it…). The pain kept getting worse and two days later I went back to the ER – and that’s when they kept me overnight for observation. The next morning the surgeon recommended a laparoscopic exploratory surgery with a camera and likely appendectomy. Gulp.

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Oct
09

skin test allergyWe had a REALLY big event in our family last week – my eight year old Avery who has severe food allergies passed a baked milk challenge! Woot!

Avery has had food allergies since she was a baby, diagnosed at 12 months. Each year she has IgE blood testing to see if her allergy sensitivity increases or decreases. It’s one way to monitor if she will be able to outgrow any of her allergies. Her allergists have suggested that she may, someday, outgrow her milk and egg allergies – although the allergies to peanuts, tree nuts and shellfish will likely be lifelong.

The milk numbers have continued to drop each year and this year her allergist said he was comfortable with us performing a baked milk challenge.

It’s not uncommon for children with a milk allergy to be able to eat milk baked into food at a high heat. “Recent evidence suggests that 70–80% of children with IgE-mediated cow’s milk allergy will tolerate baked milk products.5 Furthermore, children with milk allergy who tolerate baked milk products may outgrow their milk allergies faster than those who cannot tolerate baked milk,1” according to a published study, Predicting Food Challenge Outcomes for Baked Milk: Role of Specific IgE and Skin Prick Testing.

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Jun
30

epipensMany people are afraid to use EpiPens in an emergency because they have needles. But the fact is that EpiPens are super easy to use. They are called auto-injectors because they already have the medicine in them and you basically just need to point and push to give the medicine. No measuring medicine or dealing with syringes.

My daughter has severe food allergies and carries two EpiPens with her on a belt whenever she leaves the house. I make sure to train anyone who will be watching her on how to use the EpiPens in case of a food allergy reaction.

Last night we were using expired EpiPens to practice as a family and reacquaint ourselves with what it’s like to give an EpiPen injection. I also wanted to make sure everyone understood the new FDA instructions to hold the EpiPen for only three seconds. My daughter wanted to demonstrate for all of you how easy it is.

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Jun
14
updated patient instructions for EpiPen

Updated EpiPen instructions – click on the image to enlarge.

There is really big news for anyone who carries EpiPens, or spends time with someone who carries an EpiPen or EpiPen Jr.

Mylan reached out to me as a blogger via email to help get the word out. For those of you who like to double and triple-check your sources, you can also find this information on the FDA website and FARE just published an update as well: Updates to Instructions for Epinephrine Auto Injectors.

WHAT ARE THE NEW PATIENT INSTRUCTIONS?

The EpiPen device has NOT changed, but the instructions on how to use EpiPens have changed. I’ve highlighted changes in the image here (quick and easy way to see what’s new). Below are more details provided by Mylan (the pharma company which markets and distributes the EpiPen):

1. Hold patient’s leg and limit movement during administration

Lacerations, bent needles and embedded needles have been reported when epinephrine has been injected into the thigh of young children who are uncooperative and kick or move during an injection. In order to minimize the risk of injection-related injury when administering the epinephrine injection to young children, caregivers are advised to hold the child’s leg firmly in place and limit movement prior to and during injection.

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May
30

 

Some of you may remember when I first talked about the new Veta Smart Case for EpiPens.

It’s an exciting idea – a smart case that can alert you if you or your child ever forgets their life-saving medication, or if it gets too hot or cold, or if they open it and you need to rush into action.

I had the opportunity to meet the people behind Veta at the Food Allergy Blogger Conference and asked them to give me a demonstration so I could share it all with you.

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