Tag Archives: Allergies

💸💰💵 Go team #NoLobsterOmelettesPlease! 💸💰💵 | #FoodAllergy Walk #Pittsburgh


📣 So, I have 1,103 “friends” on Facebook, and 985 “followers” on Twitter. If everyone gave just $1 to the FARE 🚶walk for Food Allergies in Pittsburgh this year on Sept. 14th, I’d have $2088 donated. If you all gave $5, that would be $10,440. (OK, if you follow me on both social media platforms, you’d technically have to donate double.)

Please consider taking a few minutes to follow the URL, and donating a buck or two so we can raise #FoodAllergy awareness, and work towards a cure for Molly’s egg allergy and my shellfish/crustacean/mollusk/deathfish allergy. Our goal as a family is a measly $300 and we have $100 so far. I would be so grateful and proud if we could surpass that goal. Thank you for listening (reading), thank you for considering, & thank you in advance for any donations.

[Also: This involves no video-ing, no wasted water, and no whining about how not-helpful a viral campaign is even though it clearly worked. Good job #ALS people!]

http://www.foodallergywalk.org/pittsburgh2014/carrollfamily

💸💰💵 Go team #NoLobsterOmelettesPlease! 💸💰💵

Five Guys Burgers and Fries: Doing It Right


So, the other day I posted a Facebook status about Five Guys Burgers and Fries, and I thought I’d share it here and maybe even add some more thoughts.  It seemed to get a lot of comments pretty quickly.

Here it is:

I’ll tell you what, for all the customer service and food service that I do complain about… one place stands out as incredible. Every time I’m at a Five Guys Burgers and Fries no matter the location, they are fully staffed… everyone is doing a job & doing it quickly & efficiently with a rather pleasant look on their face. They communicate with each other quite well. The employees seem to be having fun while getting their job done, and they seem to take pride in what they do. I can only assume they pay much better than the average fast food joint, or just know how to delegate responsibilities evenly & know how to treat employees. I was in the one in Robinson when they got SLAMMED at lunch time today, and they put more people on registers, and worked down an ridiculously large amount of people in a short time. It helps that they only have burgers & the occasional hot dog as a menu item I’m sure, but it still is pretty impressive.

I'll tell you what, for all the customer service and food service that I do complain about... one place stands out as incredible. Every time I'm at a Five Guys Burgers and Fries no matter the location, they are fully staffed... everyone is doing a job & doing it quickly & efficiently with a rather pleasant look on their face. They communicate with each other quite well. The employees seem to be having fun while getting their job done, and they seem to take pride in what they do. I can only assume they pay much better than the average fast food joint, or just know how to delegate responsibilities evenly & know how to treat employees. I was in the one in Robinson when they got SLAMMED at lunch time today, and they put more people on registers, and worked down an ridiculously large amount of people in a short time. It helps that they only have burgers & the occasional hot dog as a menu item I'm sure, but it still is pretty impressive.

I’ll tell you what…

I should take a video of 10 minutes in a Five Guys and 10 minutes in this damn McDonald’s on West Liberty Ave. and compare how they’re run.  McDonald’s employees are slow, confused, careless, and sometimes even slovenly.  Five Guys employees seem to be the exact opposite on every front.

I’ve been to several locations, the Waterworks, Murrysville, Robinson, and Greensburg… and they’ve all been run with the same efficiency, pleasantness, and extreme cleanliness.  I just think it ought to be said that it’s noticed by the customers, and they need to keep doing what they’re doing.

Of course, I’m very aware of food allergies, and peanuts are a big thing at Five Guys.  This seems to get a bunch of flack, but they do take allergies seriously.  The peanut-allergic have to accept it just like I accept that being allergic to shellfish, I’m not going to get a safe meal at Red Lobster.  It’s OK.  There are many many places to dine & choices to make.  I’m glad that I have Five Guys as a choice.  I’ve heard that they are excellent in handling a dairy allergy.  Just check out the comments in the image above to the right.  I see the allergy warnings on the door as a very responsible thing to do.

Even after all that… the burgers are just absolutely delicious.  I tend to get a bacon cheeseburger with A1 and green peppers… sometimes even mushrooms.  The french fries are almost as awesome as Kennywood’s Potato Patch fries, and that’s hard to do.  The ingredients are always fresh, the burgers always cooked perfectly.  One of these days I want to try a hot dog… but I can never get past the burgers.  Maybe a little burger & a hot dog will have to do some day?  I don’t even know if I can handle that.  I’m glad I don’t live too close to one of these places, I’d be there way too often.

I hope to send a link to this to Five Guys, just to tell them that I appreciate what they’re doing, and to keep on doing it.  Customers can see and appreciate that the employees are enjoying what they do, and doing it well.  It does make a difference.

Five Guys Burgers and Fries on Urbanspoon Five Guys Burgers and Fries on Urbanspoon
Five Guys Burgers and Fries on Urbanspoon Five Guys Burgers and Fries on Urbanspoon

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Really, I haven’t forgotten.


Haven’t been blogging much lately, but I have a new job, am trying to get mazes done when I can, and I’ve been researching several potential purchases to help with said job online.  I will no doubt get back to blogging once things level out.

Any advice on which Epipen leg pouch I should get?  The OmaxCare™ LegBuddy™, the Allergy Essentials Epissentials™ Epipen Holder, or something else?

OxmaCare™ LegBuddy™

OxmaCare™ LegBuddy™

Epissentials™ Epipen Case

Epissentials™ Epipen Case

Medipouch Leg Wrap

Medipouch Leg Wrap

I finally got my prescription renewed, & got a double-pack. Thankfully I’ve never had to jab myself with one.  I did try the practice one a few times.  So, what do you do with your expired ones?  Does anyone take donations or recycle them?

Help Me Reach My Goal!

Help Me Reach My Goal!

Don’t forget, I’ll be doing the FAAN Walk For Food Allergy on Sept. 16th in Pittsburgh, and I could certainly always use more donations!  I’m only about a third of the way to my goal this year, so I can certainly use some help.

I’m also always trying to figure out how to come up with cash to buy more goofy guitars, and Ernie and the Berts is writing more stuff & hoping to record ASAP.  I try to catch other local & national shows when I can.

Of course, I’m also spending time with the wife, as we have some fun stuff coming up… like weddings, hopefully the Renaissance Fair soon, the Food Allergy Walk, a camp service for church, and more.

I’m still not Kmart or McDonald’s, but I do have some blog feedback that I need to address.

I might have some more stuff asking opinions in the next few days.

First-Ever Allergy Awareness Night at PNC Park, Friday, August 10, to Raise Understanding of Life-Threatening Allergies


PNC Park

PNC Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I think I just got a press release.  How neat is that?  Ha ha.  I feel like an official Food Allergy news outlet.

I sure never thought I’d be blogging about baseball.

Please, feel free to pass along all of this information as soon as possible.  August 10th is quickly approaching!

From: Matthew Price <MPrice@ccapr.com>
To: me@my.email.address
Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 1:53 PM
Subject: First-Ever Allergy Awareness Night at PNC Park, Friday, August 10, to Raise Understanding of Life-Threatening Allergies

Dear Eric,

I thought you and readers of your blog might be interested in this story about an upcoming peanut-free baseball game.

The Pittsburgh Pirates can add another tally to the “win” column with a victory for fans with life-threatening peanut allergies when the team hosts its first-ever Allergy Awareness game at PNC Park on August 10, 2012. The game is sponsored by Mylan Specialty L.P.

Baseball games pose a significant challenge for many families living with life-threatening allergies, because many fan-favorite foods, including peanuts, can trigger anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction. Food allergies are the most common cause of anaphylaxis and affect about one out of 13 children in the United States. Insect venom, latex and medication can also cause a life-threatening allergic reaction.

Pittsburgh Pirates Allergy Awareness Night At-a-Glance:

WHAT: The Pittsburgh Pirates partner with Mylan Specialty L.P. to host the first-ever Allergy Awareness night at PNC Park.

WHEN: Friday, August 10, 2012 – 7:05 p.m. ET

WHERE: PNC Park, 115 Federal St, Pittsburgh, PA. Click here for directions and parking information.

WHO: Pittsburgh Pirates vs. San Diego Padres.

TICKETS: Order tickets for the peanut-controlled section through 1-800-BUY-BUCS or www.pirates.com/allergyawareness.

The full press release is copied below for your reference or is available at http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/mylan-specialty-lp-partners-with-the-pittsburgh-pirates-to-sponsor-pnc-parks-first-allergy-awareness-night-164421296.html.

Thank you,
Matt
Matthew Price
Chandler Chicco Agency
T. 212.462.8710
F. 212.463.6770
The Holmes Report’s “Healthcare Agency of the Decade”
www.ccapr.com

*******************

Mylan Specialty L.P. Partners with the Pittsburgh Pirates to Sponsor PNC Park’s First Allergy Awareness Night

  Fans with Life-Threatening Peanut Allergies Able to Enjoy Night Out Rooting
for Home Team

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. and PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Pirates are partnering with Mylan Specialty L.P., the fully-integrated specialty pharmaceutical business of Mylan Inc. (NASDAQ: MYL), to host the first-ever Pirates Allergy Awareness night at PNC Park on Friday, August 10. The Pirates will reserve a special area of the ballpark for those who have a life-threatening allergy to peanuts, the most common food allergen among children. The Pirates also will provide tips throughout the game to help their fans be more aware of life-threatening allergic reactions, or anaphylaxis.

“Life-threatening allergies are a growing public health problem, particularly among children and teens. In fact, a recent study shows as many as one in 13 children in the U.S. suffer from a food allergy,” said Heather Bresch, CEO of Mylan Inc. “We are proud to partner with our hometown team to help the people of Pittsburgh and their family members with life-threatening peanut allergies experience the fun and excitement of a night out at the ball park.”

Mylan Specialty L.P. is the official sponsor of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ first Allergy Awareness night at PNC Park to take place at the August 10 game against the San Diego Padres. That night, like every Friday home game is a Free Shirt Friday, during which all fans get a complimentary Pirates T-Shirt, with paid admission. To purchase tickets in the peanut-controlled area for this game, please visit www.pirates.com/allergyawareness or call 1-800-BUY-BUCS.

“We are excited to work with Mylan to ensure increased awareness of this important issue, and to help provide a fun experience at PNC Park for our dedicated fans with life-threatening allergies,” said Pirates President Frank Coonelly. “Pirates baseball is one of the hottest tickets in town and we want to take steps to ensure all fans are able to enjoy the best ballpark in America.”

Throughout the evening, fans will be educated about life-threatening allergies. Because anaphylaxis can happen anywhere and at any time, it is important for everyone to be able to identify and avoid their allergic triggers, recognize anaphylaxis signs and symptoms, and understand how to act quickly and appropriately by seeking emergency care when a life-threatening allergic reaction occurs.  In addition, Pirates coach Mark Strittmatter will present a 30-second video about the risks of life-threatening allergies, and encourage fans to visit www.MyAllergySurvey.com.

Pittsburgh Pirates Allergy Awareness Night At-a-Glance:

WHAT: The Pittsburgh Pirates partner with Mylan Specialty L.P. to host the first-ever Allergy Awareness night at PNC Park.

WHEN: Friday, August 10, 2012 – 7:05 p.m. ET

WHERE: PNC Park, 115 Federal St, Pittsburgh, PA. Click here for directions and parking information.

WHO: Pittsburgh Pirates vs. San Diego Padres.

TICKETS: Order tickets for the peanut-controlled section through 1-800-BUY-BUCS or www.pirates.com/allergyawareness.

About Anaphylaxis
Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction that has many possible triggers, occurs quickly, without warning, and should be treated immediately with epinephrine.Symptoms may include hives or redness of the skin, tightness in the throat, nausea, dizziness, breathing problems and/or a decrease in blood pressure. Anaphylaxis can be caused by triggers such as food, stinging and biting insects, medicines, latex or even exercise.The most common food allergens that can cause anaphylaxis include cow’s milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (walnuts, cashews, pistachios, pecans, etc.), fish, shellfish, soybeans and wheat. Epinephrine is the only first-line treatment for anaphylaxis. Epinephrine is a naturally-occurring hormone, also known as adrenaline, and it should be available at all times to patients at risk. Failure to administer epinephrine early in the course of treatment has been repeatedly implicated with anaphylaxis fatalities.

About Mylan Specialty
Mylan Specialty, a subsidiary of Mylan Inc. (Nasdaq: MYL), is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development, manufacturing and marketing of prescription drug products for the treatment of respiratory diseases, life-threatening allergic reactions and psychiatric disorders. The company puts patients first and facilitates efficient, cost-effective partnerships with customers. For more information, please visit www.mylanspecialty.com.

About Mylan
Mylan is a global pharmaceutical company committed to setting new standards in health care. Working together around the world to provide 7 billion people access to high quality medicine, we innovate to satisfy unmet needs; make reliability and service a habit, do what’s right, not what’s easy and impact the future through passionate global leadership. We offer a growing portfolio of more than 1,100 generic pharmaceuticals and several brand medications. In addition, we offer a wide range of antiretroviral therapies, upon which approximately one-third of HIV/AIDS patients in developing countries depend. We also operate one of the largest active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturers and currently market products in approximately 150 countries and territories. Our workforce of more than 18,000 people is dedicated to improving the customer experience and increasing pharmaceutical access to consumers around the world. But don’t take our word for it. See for yourself. See inside. mylan.com

SOURCE Mylan Inc.

Venezuelan Summer Pirates

Pittsburgh Pirates (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Am I an official media outlet now?  Ha ha.  I will do my best to spread the word on my humble little corner of the internet.  I really appreciate Matthew’s taking the time to pass this information along.  I know other ball parks have done similar evenings.  Raising awareness is at times an uphill battle, this is an incredible effort by The Pittsburgh Pirates & PNC Park.

So, how about a no shellfish night?  Ah, I stick to Primanti Bros. inside the parks anyway.

Food Allergies – Check out the Blog Carnival


I haven’t blogged about food allergies in a while.  I haven’t blogged in a while.  Life has been busy, and that’s a good thing.

Food Allergy Fun | Somewhere in the middle...

July 2012 Living With Food Allergies Blog Carnival

I hope to participate in the FAAN Food Allergy Walk in Pittsburgh again this year, and in that spirit, here’s a blog you need to read:

July 2012 Living With Food Allergies Blog Carnival

You simply can’t put together a better list of resources, articles, tips, and fun related to food allergies.  I suggest you read, subscribe, bookmark, or do whatever you do.  Take the time to take a look at the stuff that interests you, and pass it along.  We all know awareness is half (if not more) of the battle.

All of this reminds me, it’s time to get my Epi-pen prescription renewed…

Disney does food allergies with the best of intentions.


So, you know how I’m always saying I’d like a push from a consumer level rather than government regulations or mandates regarding food allergies?  This is what I’m talking about:

On our first trip we asked one of the chefs why they do such a wonderful job accommodating food allergic children at Disney World, he said, “We want the repeat business.”  It would be wonderful if other resorts would take this cue from Disney and realize that if they accommodate food allergic children and their families, we will return with pleasure and continue to be loyal customers.

Check out the full article by Lisa Giuriceo on Allergy Eats, it’s honest, inspiring and gives hope.  Someday we’ll be safe.  Someday accidents won’t happen.  I just may have to save my pennies & book a Disney vacation.

Former logo of the Walt Disney World Resort, u...

Sadly, my only dream is to not go into anaphylactic shock.

It’s Food Allergy Awareness Week!


It’s Food Allergy Awareness Week again, and guess what?  Food allergies and the food-allergic are still here… and we’re still allergic.  We’re still informing you about cross-contamination and safety.

A song from Kyle Dine:

Some #FAAW tweets from my #FoodAllergy tweeps:

A lot of people push for government recognition or regulation.  I look for a consumer push, and recognition from the general populace.  We can all agree that we need to convey the seriousness of cross-contamination with foods… at schools, in restaurants, at home… and everywhere.

Learn more about what you can do here:  Raising Awareness, Making an Impact

Check out my Food Allergy related posts here:  Allergies

Photo of skin test about 15 minutes after the ...

Photo of skin test about 15 minutes after the application of allergens and the scratching. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I hope to do the Food Allergy Walk in Pittsburgh again this year.  Perhaps I can pull together a team or get even more sponsors than last year?  Your donations were incredible last year.

Also… don’t forget, Adults can have food allergies too.  We don’t “grow out” of them.  We can’t “just pick it off” or “have just a little”.  It’s a very serious thing.

So, how are you celebrating Food Allergy Awareness Week?

Dey Mylan’s irresponsible TV ad and its possible consequences…


Food allergy parents & patients… Brace yourself, then watch this:

Dey Pharma (Mylan) must have handed full control over to their ad company, & not approved (or even watched) the commercial.  That’s the only scenario I can possibly accept.  They certainly could not have come up with this… could they?

Is it loaded? - Food Allergy Cartoon

Is it loaded? - Food Allergy Cartoon (Another great one from Tiffany!)

They didn’t notice that it contradicts their own patient information not to mention common sense?

If they did run it knowingly, I’m going to talk to my doctor about switching brands to TwinJect unless they issue some sort of retraction or apology.

It is wholly irresponsible to convey the EpiPen as a fail safe live-saving device allowing you to disregard caution and eat foods with unknown ingredients.  To clear it up for the non-educated (and Dey Pharma/Mylan):

  • Epinephrine does not work every time.
  • Epinephrine buys you time until the ambulance can arrive or until you can get to  hospital for proper medical treatment.
  • Epinephrine is not a “cure” for knowingly eating your allergen or cross contamination.

The worst part is it’s already difficult enough to convey the severity of food allergies to people who aren’t afflicted… and to impress the very rules above in addition to why you can’t “just try a little” or how scary cross contamination can be.

This commercial is ignorant, and it spreads ignorance.

Get informed here:

Let Dey know (& let Mylan know) how upset you are!

Thanks for reading, now pass it on!  Share, tweet, post to Facebook, pin, tumblr, press, blog, +1, and do whatever you do!

EpiPens are portable epinephrine-dispensing de...

EpiPens are portable epinephrine-dispensing devices which can be used to alleviate the symptoms of severe, acute allergies. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr. James Logan: Food Allergy Mad Scientist


Ancylostoma caninum, a type of hookworm, attac...

Ancylostoma caninum, a type of hookworm, attached to the intestinal mucosa. Source:CDC's Public Health Image Library Image #5205 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This cat is nuts, but the good kind of nuts.  I’ve blogged about these scary possibly-food-allergy-curtailing bugs before… but this guy has sprung into action by swallowing the damn things along with a tiny camera to see just exactly how they work.  Screw animal testing and clinical trials… this dude is D.I.Y. all the way.

Check out this article: Hookworms And Allergies – Doctor Infects Himself For Experiment

Here’s an excerpt:

In using his own body in the service of science, Logan joins self-experimenters like Sir Isaac Newton, who in the 17th century nearly went blind after staring too long at the sun in a mirror in order to study the after-images on his retinas.

Quite apart from the ethical implications of putting a person’s health at risk, such self-experimentation is much less common nowadays, with trials tending to be on a much larger scale in order to get enough statistical power for reliable results, but, as in Logan’s case, it occasionally happens, under carefully controlled conditions.

Logan was interested in the experiment because research suggests, a hookworm infection can cure or alleviate symptoms of allergies like bowel disease and food allergies. It is thought the worms release compounds that reduce the over-reactions in the immune system that cause the allergies.

He allowed himself to be infected because he himself suffers from a long-standing food allergy that means he cannot eat bread without feeling very ill.

He also wanted to demonstrate, using new state of the art imaging for the first time ever, how the worms get into the body.

CRAZY.

Then again, if an herbal supplement works, why not try that first?  Maybe this guy just likes creepy little bugs so much, he wanted to eat them.  I’d rather eat herbs than bugs, but to each his own.

Then again, you or I might already be infected with a hookworm & not even know it.  The article states “According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 576-740 million people in the world are infected with hookworm. The infection usually has no symptoms, although some people, especially those infected for the first time, have gastrointestinal symptoms.”  Ew!

There’s a video (& a transcript) about Dr. James Long here: Dr. James Logan’s Hookworm Experiment

Vodpod videos no longer available.

A video highlight, and the meat of the experiment…

Eosinophil blood cells are an important part of the body’s immune system which is the mechanism within us that fights infection. Eosinophils are associated with fighting parasites like hookworm. Normally they make about 1% of our blood. But people like Dr James who are infected with hookworms usually start producing more of these cells.

He’s going to need a lab coat an some hair like Christopher Lloyd in Back to the Future if he’s going to gain any respect as a mad scientist.  But any way you look at it, this guy is pretty badass.

No, no, no, no, no, this sucker's electrical, but I need a nuclear reaction to generate the 1.21 gigawatts of electricity I need.

No, no, no, no, no, this sucker's electrical, but I need a nuclear reaction to generate the 1.21 gigawatts of electricity I need.

The itch that wouldn’t die.


Black & White Cat Scratching EarSo last Friday or Saturday, my back started itching.  It wasn’t a bug-bite itch.  It didn’t seem like a dry skin itch.  The closest thing I could equate it to is that feeling when you get a haircut and those stray clippered hairs that they couldn’t blow away with the hair-dryer or brush away with that tickling brush jab at you until you can get home & get a proper shower.  I just assumed it was dry skin, & asked my lovely wife to hook me up with some of the plethora of lotions in the house (ask me about her Bath & Bodyworks addiction some time).  She graciously applied some non-smelly Aveeno & confirmed that there wasn’t a rash or anything.

At least, that’s what we thought.

Cat getting back scratchedThrough the week it didn’t seem to subside.  I used some Benadryl one night to go to sleep, and we switched to Eucerin and then to some weird stinky pink (and ridiculously expensive) Aveeno Oatmeal lotion.  I Googled “itch without rash” to some benign and some alarming results.  It’s never good to search for afflictions online because common symptoms of everything lead to you dying of some unheard of horrible disease.

The itch had spread to my chest eventually, by again we couldn’t see any kind of rash or hives.  My skin was obviously hydrated to the touch thanks to the lotion(s), so dry skin couldn’t be the answer.  I was starting to think it might even be nerves.  It wasn’t constant, it’s just intermittent & weird.

We figured it couldn’t be too horrible as the wife didn’t “catch” anything, so it probably wasn’t some gross fungus or bugs or anything you’d see in a sci-fi movie.

Cat trying to scratch ear through coneI finally broke down & went to Med Express on Saturday.  (I hate missing work for doctor’s appointments, and Med Express was so easy to get in & out.)  The nurse-practitioner there did see a rash under her light… called it “micro-” something “dermatitis”, & the printout they gave me says “contact dermatitis“.  She gave me a steroid to take for 5 days, & said to keep using the Eucerin.  As weird as it sounds I was relieved that it was an actual rash & not all in my head or anything.  She also recommended Claritin instead of Benadryl as it apparently has less knock-you-out type side effects.

I’m still a little itchy occasionally, but I can hopefully see an end in sight.  Hope the Prednisone works!

Cat scratching another cat's back...She said I might be allergic to something, and may have to start some detective work.  If it was laundry detergent or fabric softener, it would most likely be on my thighs too… and it’s not yet.  Plus, we’re on the end of the detergent bottle & fabric softener sheet box… I would have thought it would have affected me by now.  I did try some new generic soap, but it stunk (literally & latherally) … so I stopped using it.  I don’t think that was it.  I don’t have any new shirts that I wore that I can remember.  It’s quite maddening.  I wonder if it was something I ate or a medicine… but I’ve been on my stomach stuff for a while now, & there’s nothing new.

Fat cat can't scratch his itchy ear...Has this happened to any of my other food allergy friends or their family?  I have little to no experience with allergic rashes… other than a minor itch caused by wool… but I generally stay away from wool clothing or blankets… and my (minor) allergies to wool, cats, & dogs for some reason tend to give me sniffles not a rash.  And with shellfish, I guess there’s a rash, but the whole throat-closing thing kind of eclipses that.

Any advice on how to find the culprit?  (Especially if it should return, provided it actually does clear-up.)  Any advice on home remedies or alternate things too sooth an itch that might work better than the Eucerin & Claritin?

Many thanks in advance!