Ever since my son Yang was born in 2002 and was diagnosed with Eosinophilic esophagitis (EE) in 2003 with severe allergies, I have had people asking me to do a blog. In 2005 I tested positive for food allergies and Fibromyalgia on top of my ADD, and in 2006 my husband Chuck was diagnosed with EE and his allergies were completely opposite of our son’s. Our littlest one Yin is right now allergy free but, is highly sensitive to chemicals, preservatives, and food colorings. Yin last year was diagnosed with Nonverbal learning disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder, and severe ADHD. When God puts people in my life and they are dealing with the stress of learning about EE, food allergies, or learning disabilities I always get the response, “WOW! I don’t know how you do it!” Then they ask me for my email address so that they can contact me with questions or just talk about the struggles they are going through while trying to figure things out.
I do admit that our life is very chaotic, and there have been days when I feel like I can not handle all that has been laid before me, but God has always met me where I have needed a stronghold and has made miracles in our household that somehow just work.
I want to say to anyone who is coming to this blog for information that I am not and expert or a doctor. I am simply a stay at home mom, who home schools her two completely different special needs kids, and through God’s grace has been able to juggle a multi allergy and multi learning disability family. Just like all of you I am still searching for answers, still trying to figure things out. So, I am starting this blog so that you can come along for the ride. I pray through this blog God will reach the people who need a place to go when they are struggling with allergies, EE, NLVD, ADHD, sensory integration disorder and Fibromyalgia. I invite you to come along with me and enjoy the ride that I call our family. Laugh with me, Cry with me, and Pray with me as we go through this journey God called us (you and me) to be in charge of.
MEET Yang: It amazes me all the time how different my children are in personality and how God made that difference to aid them in their special needs. Yang is my straight and arrow. He is a rule follower is very cautious and likes everything to run in a certain way. He keeps his room , on the most part , organized and neat and loves to wake up before everyone else and have some quiet time to himself ( must get that from daddy 🙂 ). Yang loves Lego’s (mostly star-wars legos), air soft guns, and is working with his Papaw on marksmen shooting. He hopes to be able to compete someday. HE also likes riding his bike and spending time with his pet Chica, a parrotlet who just happened to be his favorite color green. (she is in the pocket of his jacket.)
Yang was diagnosed with EE and food allergies when he was 1 years old. It was a huge adjustment for us as a family especially me. I came from a foodie family and cooking was a way to express who I was and serve my family. So when I first got his list of foods I was in shock. Chicken, rice, some fruits, and few veggies. I had no idea how I was going to cook for him. But now 10 years later I think I am getting the hang of it. Yang loves to be involved in the kitchen and loves to cook. He has been cooking since he was 5. He hopes to one day own a food truck and make great tasting food for those who have food allergies. Currently he is allergic to: Dairy (anaphylactic even to it cooking in the air), wheat, egg, soy, all types of fish and shellfish, all nuts and tree nuts, turkey, lamb, and celery .
Meet Yin: This is are darling little fire cracker Yin. She is the complete opposite of Yang. She is a fee spirit and loves to be doing something all the time. Where Yang will keep things tidy and hates messes, Yin loves chaos and mud! If it is raining and there are puddles she is in her element. Yin also loves weapons: she has a fascination with Knights, swords and bow & arrows. Her favorite Nintendo game is Zelda and you might say she is a bit obsessed with it. Yin has a love for all animals, and right now her sites are on bunnies and Zebras/horses. She loves to dig, work in the yard, help daddy with any building projects, and be outside all she can. Digging and hammering is her happy place. I’ll never forget the first time I took her to the beach and when she saw the sand and the coast line she dropped her buckets and screamed ” THIS IS THE BIGGEST SAND BOX EVER!” and ran out and dug the deepest hole she could.
Yin was diagnosed this year with Nonverbal Learning Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder, and ADHD. We are still questioning the extreme ADHD and wondering if it could be something else due to the meds not working and just making her mean and destructive . Most people when they meet her would say she is like a little professor due to her language, and she seems to have a mild case of Aspergers. From what I read NLVD mimics Aspergers and there is still debate on if NLVD,SPD and ADHD is just compartmentalizing what Aspergers is? All I know is having the so-called “Label” has helped us to understand her more and get her the help that she needs.
Yin is extremely smart and has a wonderful vocabulary. She loves to listen to music, make up her own songs, and listen to audio books. She is mainly an audio learner , which makes sense that she is strong there since her ability to pick up on visual cues is very weak. Right now her favorite book is Black Beauty. Yin has a remarkable way of memorizing books when she listens to them and spitting them back verbatim. She currently is in 2nd grade but struggles in math, writing, and reading. She takes Occupational Therapy once a week to help with small motor skills, impulse control, and managing her emotional outburst. She is also in a social group which has a speech therapist and an occupational therapist. This group helps kids to learn social cues and appropriate responses to normal situations. I have found these two working together have been a great help to her. She has learned to use her words to communicate dislikes instead of hiding under tables, running is circles, or screaming with her ears covered. In last 6 months it has been amazing seeing her grow now that we understand her point of view and how the world seems different to her.
THen there is Chuck ( Mr. Yang) and me ( Leslie ,Mrs. Yin). Compared to the kids we are pretty boring so I will group us together. Chuck and I met in college the first week of school and we have been best friends from that moment on. Yang is a lot like his daddy. Chuck is a straight arrow and follows the rules to a tee. He grounds us in all we do, makes our structure and keeps us in line (especially me 🙂 ). He works in my dad’s small family business and is involved with all he can be with the kiddos. If Chuck had time he would love to play more golf and do building projects on the home. He was diagnosed with EE after Yang was born and had to get his throat stretched out due to scar tissue in the esophagus. We know that he is highly allergic to Soy, peanuts, and most legumes. We know there is more due to recurring flair ups of the EE but he has not gone to find out what those are.
I am a stay at home mom, who home-schools both Yin and Yang. We decided that homeschooling was for us when Yang was little and would go into anaphylactic shock when cooking with dairy and being touched by cheese powder on chips and crackers. We were afraid he would not be able to handle all that is cooked in a school cafeteria. It was a hard decision but one I have never regretted and the kids love it!
I was diagnosed with ADD as a child and have had Fibromyalgia since I was a kid. The Fibromyalgia was not diagnosed until I was married and it has pretty much taken over my life. BUt this year has been a good year and I hope that it will keep going that way. I have learned some great techniques and I am trying to lose all the weight I gained from pregnancy and a bit of indulgence :). I am thinking about adding my food journal on here to keep myself accountable ;0.
I found out I too had food allergies once I had Yang, which also explained why I was so ill as a child. I am allergic to: Coffee ( i know it was a killer), mustard, dill, black and white table pepper (yup it is everywhere), grapes, carrots, oranges, splenda and artificial sweeteners (so not only coffee but diet pop too UGH!) and variety of medications ( so meds for my fybro is pretty much a no go). Some of the food allergies I have I can tolerate in small doses along with Allegra and Benadryl ,like cooked carrots not raw, grapes (sometimes I do like a glass of wine every once in a while) , oranges if cooking with but not just to eat, mustard in small amounts but not combined with any other of the foods above. I am also struggling lately with some of the whole grains. Not sure if it is wheat or just whole wheat or another grain.When I get time I love to , crochet, bake, read, any type of craft and drawing and totally addicted to pinterest. My favorite place to be other than home is my camper at the beach. With my kids, my favorite time of the day is story time at bed time. We have read some great books which I will make a list of later. Other than that I am pretty boring.
So that is our cozy little family. Only other members are CHica whom you met, Milo our dog ( part Maltese and Cotton De Tulear) , Beata fish Ocean , and 4 hermit crabs which are going to my sisters after Christmas if still alive. Yin is already talking about a bunny or sugar glider for her next pet. If daddy has his way that will not happen. It will depend if he can say no to those cute blue eyes when she asks ( He says he can. Stay tune to see 😉 ).