Tag Archives: Health

Parenting Tact.


I’m certainly far from a perfect parent, and I realize everyone learns on the go, but I may have found something specific to work on over the weekend.

The wife and I have always said from the time the first one was in the womb that we would strive to answer questions with real answers, no baby talk, and to not unnecessarily dumb things down.  Certainly some situations call for a simplified answer, but we feel no reason to squash an inquisitive nature with short answers.

You may know I can be a little sarcasic and opnionated.  You may know that two-and-a-half year olds are great with absorb > imitate > repeat.

So, it may have not been my best moment when I provided an answer to a perfectly innocent question that was probably tinged a little too heavily with personal opinion and social commentary.

We were sitting in unusually heavy traffic headed into the Liberty tubes when my daughter asked her 493rd question for the car ride; “What’s that… what’s that white thing hanging from that lady’s mouth?” (She’s got a pretty damn good vocabulary for a 2yo if I do say so myself.)

My answer was “That’s a cigarette, she’s white trash.”  Immidately I got the “Eric!” along with an arm smack from the wife.

I did follow it up with an “Oh, that’s not nice.  I’m sorry.  We shouldn’t call people things like that, but cigarettes are bad for you.  Daddy doesn’t like them.  People are silly for smoking, it makes them sick.”

I find it hard to temper my opinions on such things.  Look, smoking is fine if you’re an adult and make your own decisions and are curteous of where you choose to partake.  I just have my own reasons for not being a fan and I never once needed the “don’t smoke” presentations in elementary school or Jr. High health class.

I want both of my kids to eventually make their own informed decisions about things.  I get that it’s part of my deal to help inform them.  They’ll get my opinions over time, no doubt.  I don’t want my opinions to be forced on to them, or so strong that they get a case of “wow, dad’s an asshole.” 

I just need to pace myself.  Temper the quick observation and judgement.  I’m still learning.

Go ahead, push the button… I dare you.


You know I hate public restrooms.  This sign may be a wave of the future.  Think it’s a good idea?  Think it will work?  Is it too easy to abuse?

Cleanliness is important to all of us...

Intimidating button…

I saw a full garbage can, & thought about pressing the button…but thought it may only be for emergencies not maintenance.  I didn’t want to be the guy that whined about the garbage can being full.  Then again, I’d rather empty a trash bag than pick it up off of the floor if I were an employee there.

Is a button the way to solve all of your bathroom problems? This reminded me of the pull-strings in hospital bathrooms.  Ha ha.  If you find one of these buttons, I dare you to push it & yell “I need someone to wipe!”

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.

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!

What’s in Cheerios that’s also in pee?


Cheerios

Cheeri-uh-ohs.

TMI Alert! Sometimes, my pee smells like Cheerios.  I bet yours occasionally does too.  It happens when you’re dehydrated.

I don’t eat Cheerios that often, but if I did… I might stop.  I don’t know if the generic Cheerios smell like that too, or if it’s just the original.

I might need a scientist to chime in here.  What is the common ingredient?  More importantly why do Cheerios and urine share an ingredient?  Why does it smell like that?

Not so cheery O's.

Not so cheery O's.

It’s just crazy to me.

Why would I want to eat something that smells like urine?  Didn’t anyone at the Cheerios factory ever think “Wow, it smells like pee in here?”

Seriously.  I need answers.  Cheerios doesn’t answer tweets, I guess.  I’m also guessing that they probably won’t address my concerns.  They don’t address this issue on their Q&A pageThere’s not even a submit button on their contact page.  Well, there is, but it disappears after you fill out all the fields…

What's My Pee Telling Me?

Dr. Stool Might Know?

Can anyone in the medical community chime in here?

I understand that if my pee smells like Cheerios, that I need to drink more water, but again… why would my pee smell like Cheerios, and why on earth would Cheerios smell like pee?

What’s in my pee that’s also in Cheerios generating that smell?

This is crazier than the whole asparagus thing.