Friday, August 16, 2013

I spit tea out of my nose writing this post.

You may or may not have noticed (I'm flattering myself here, but leaning towards the may-not) that my blog was down for a few days - I'm working on a new host and site design, while working on a "brand identity" that works for selling any textiles IRL or on Etsy, and still works as a blog name. Because you asked :)

Let me take you on a quick trip down immunology lane. (Very quick, and very ignorantly. I haven't come close to finishing my Biology degree, but I love to read, and if I ever had to research anything just for fun, it'd be immunology. Immunology, and theology.) So let's start with this:

Darn. Every. Tick. To. HADES.

Take all these guys:

And give them to this guy:

And then I'll be all: 


Honestly, I laughed so hard at the :16 mark, I spit my tea out of my nose AND EYEBALLS. Truly. Is there anything funnier than Kronk?

Alright, to be fair, I do believe that in God's sovereignty, there are aspects of Creation we will just never understand. Like mosquitoes. I wish birds would just eat flowers instead of mosquitoes, but they don't. So we have mosquitoes. Ticks are another mystery to me. Maybe someone can comment with a purpose for ticks, because other than making me so ma-yad, I can't think of any. I digress. Let me sing you the song of my personhood:
A few weeks ago (12 weeks, isn't that cray!?), while I was enjoying my 39th week of pregnancy, I took my eldest peanut to one of my favorite happy-places, Johnson's Farm. I sat under zero trees, walked through zero woods, and watched my kid have a blast on the plastic splash-pad. Upon returning home, I felt a bug bite me behind the knee. I searched for the offender, couldn't see anything, and went on my way. Five minutes later, I felt another bite an inch over from the first one, and while scratching, I found what felt like a teeny tiny scab. This scab would not come off, no matter how hard I scratched, so I took a closer look, which was very difficult considering it was behind my knee. I peeled the sucker off and to my dismay, it was hanging onto me by a "hook". A blasted tick fang hook. This tick was smaller than the tip of a sliver of thumbnail, so I knew it was a larvae. It was not black, so I knew it wasn't a deer tick. What larval ticks bite? Lone. Star. Mother. Farming. Ticks.
The Lone Star Tick is distinguished amongst its nasty deer-loving peers in that it does not cause Lyme's Disease, although it can give you STARI, which still sucks.
You' nasty, tick.
No. This dastardly fiend has been giving folks above and below the Mason-Dixon line a run for their BBQ-loving money by causing an allergy to Galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose, otherwise known as Alpha-Gal. This is a sugar (not a protein, as is the case in most allergies) found in the breakdown of meat. This manifests itself in fun forms such as anaphylaxis or generalized GI upset, not in the usual 2-45 minute timeframe after ingestion, but 3-6 hours later, so as to thoroughly confuse you as to what on earth you are allergic to. I had originally read about this last summer, in this CNN article, and then promptly forgot about it.
When, shortly after birth, I began to notice a reaction anytime after eating red meat, that stupid article was the first thing that flashed to my mind. I ignored my symptoms for a few weeks, then scheduled an appointment with my allergist so as to avoid dying or something less inconvenient. We did the skin tests, which showed a mild allergy to beef, pork, and lamb, along with my usual sunflower seed welt as big as my head, and my fall pollen buddies. He did a blood test to see what my IgE count would be; normal levels for Alpha-Gal are anything < 0.3, or undetectable. Mine came back at a 7.0. Well, nuts.

This means for the near future, all beef, pork, lamb, and their associated dairy products are out. The meat I can handle, but dairy? That one takes the cake (ba dum dum!). Do you know how hard it is to find anything not prepared by your own hands without some form of dairy in it? Sidenote, maybe that's why God gave me a love of cooking and baking some years ago, to prep me for the time when I'd have to cook my own food. Maybe!
Anyway, I shed exactly two tears over this, then brushed my shoulders off because I have no time to feel sorry for my sweet-blooded self, and there are plenty of folks in worse positions. And thank God for poultry, because those hens are quickly becoming my BFFs for life. There is a glass of whole milk waiting for me at the end of the tunnel hopefully - one of my doc's patients with an IgE of 12.0 outgrew her allergy after 6 months of total abstinence from meats and dairy. When she retested, her levels came back undetectable and she now enjoys normal food on the reg. That original CNN article gave a timeline of 3-5 years, so I'm taking this 6 months example in faith and counting down the days like it's Christmas time. Except that instead of snow, I'll be rolling in piles of Locatelli.
And that's more than you ever wanted to know about the tick that bit my knee. 

Until next time,
Your favorite tale-teller.


Friday, August 2, 2013

Full circle.

This day. It's not even a bad day!! Sing it, this is the day, this is the day that The Lord has made (that The Lord has made).. It's like in high school, when you had four things go wrong, and all of a sudden EVERYTHING IS WORSE THAN ALEXANDER AND HIS NO GOOD VERY BAD TERRIBLE DAY. Sometimes that happens in my brain :) 

Last night some careless driver (I'm not judging, it's what her ticket says.) plowed into my 2 year old's corner of the car while my hubby was driving home. Miraculously, they're both fine. Korban had a little seatbelt rash, but otherwise was his jovial self. ThankYousomuchLordseriouslyiamsothankful. 

After an adventure to the ER, Korb got to bed at the ripe time of 10pm. He woke up before 7, clearly with enough rest for a toddler. Just kidding. He's exhausted. Did I mention he tried to skip his nap yet? 

In all his sunshiny exuberance which I truly do adore and appreciate and find adorable(!!!!! Really !!!!!) he managed to wake up Grace this morning, way before she had finished getting her beauty rest. As a consolation prize, he won approximately 57 minutes of screaming from her. Yaaaay. 

She managed to drift off to sleep just in time for us to go grocery shopping. Korb woke her up again. 

Thinking she'd fall asleep in the car, we filled up her boobie tank, and hauled off to Wegman's (Trader Joe's, why you no stock dill?). Grace cried the whole time. It may have been because when she'd finally drift off to sleep, someone short and sweet would loudly talk about how Grace is sleeping. 

I cried in the car. 

We turned around en route to Wegman's to go to Shoprite instead because I thought maybe some more drive time would help her sleep. Lulz. 

She fell asleep in the parking lot of Shoprite. 

We went inside, and she slept until it was time to checkout, when she decided to bless everyone with an especially acoustic rendering of how a two month old's lungs function. 

I picked her up to swing her 63lb carseat while pushing Korb in the cart with the other hand. She stopped crying :)

We get to the pharmacy to pick up my meat-hating epi pen (future post pending) and even though I have a coup for $100 off, it still costs me $34.00. My eyes welled up with tears and I cried in the pharmacy line over $34.00. 

It's not really the $34. It's the sleeps, I think. And the car. And my husbands paycheck being short 1/5 of our income for the rest of the summer. And the sleep stealing my son does to my daughter. And the attention stealing my daughter does to my son. And the mommy guilt over both of those things I can't control. 

We went home. I picked up exhausted Grace, fed my toddler, and put him down to nap. Grace fell asleep on the boob. I put her down to attack LAUNDRY MOUNTAIN. My sweet princess woke up because her bassinet mattress must have been hiding a pea under it. I picked her back up because I truly feel bad for her lack of sleep. She fell asleep on the other boob. 

The laundry is sitting wet in the washer, and right now every spore of mildew in the house is making a closed group on Facebook to discuss when to invade the clothes, and how many washes it will take to make them leave. 

I have 30 mins till Korb wakes up. My options are:

- Sleep with Grace. 

- Put Grace down to switch the laundry, which risks her waking up and taking 30 mins to put down again, just in time for my happy boy to possibly awaken her. 

- Put Grace down to prep dinner. See above risks. 

- Have 30 mins of Bible time, risking the laundry getting smelly, but ensuring rest for my daughter and I. 

- Sleep with Grace. I doing this wrong? 

Joking aside, I am thankful for perspective. It's not even a bad day. Wanna know who has bad days sometimes and always manages to keep a great attitude? Canon Andrew White, Vicar Of Baghdad. The man is incredible, and so humble, and so sweet, and like a very tall teddy bear in person. He spoke at our previous church on reconciliation one time and it has never left my heart. Look him up on facebook or the web sometime, then come punch me in the face for whining. 

Honestly, I have nothing to complain about and everything to be thankful for. It's just hard sometimes, having a flesh :). I've heard the days are long but the years are short. 

We got approved for a house, and thankfully the last three paychecks got seen for our mortgage before this lessened one showed in our bank account. Thank You Lord. 

Through a serious of honestly, miraculous events, our lease is being taken over with no gap in renter, so no fee for us breaking contract 8 months early. Thank You Lord.

My husband doesn't have to leave me home for a week with a toddler and 8 week old to work in Boston; I prayed, and God answered, and the work can be completed in Philly. Thanks, God. 

My toddler didn't die in a car accident last night, and I wasn't widowed. Thank You, Lord.

I live in a country where my two month old can be immunized against polio, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, and rotavirus for very low cost, possibly preventing the unthinkable. Thank You, God.

I have a car so I can drive to the grocery store, and I have money that my able bodied, healthy husband has worked to earn to buy food, and I am of sound mind and health to prepare it and put it on the table. Thank You, Lord. 

I have a table, and chairs, and floors covered in toys. I do not live under a tarp. Thank You, God. 

No one tried to blow up my condo this morning, and artillery shells don't fill the air. Thank You, Lord. 

I get to go to Church on Sunday, and I won't be imprisoned for it and my pastor won't be murdered for preaching the Gospel. I get to openly confess my faith and worship my Savior without fear of repercussion. Thank You God. 

I have friends, and family, who love me unconditionally and offer support, because God sets the lonely in families. Thank You, Jesus.  

Off to read the Bible now. 

"God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy. But he makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land."(Psalms 68:6 NLT)