We still can only have about 30 foods each (though symptoms have improved), and we are still hemorrhaging money paying out of pocket for speech, occupational, and physical therapy for John. BUT there are a lot of GOOD things going on at our house right now….lots to be thankful for!!!!
1) I WON a SteamVita unit!!!!!!!!!!! This is a stainless steel stacking steam cooking unit. I will be able to steam different foods in different compartments!!! Given that I often cook between 6 and 9 meals a day to accommodate for all of our food allergies, this will help A LOT!!!!!!!!!!
This is the SteamVita unit I will be expecting on my doorstep in a couple months!!!!
2) We paid so much in medical bills this last year that it looks like we don’t owe anything in taxes….as in we will get EVERYTHING they already took out back!!!!!!!!!!!! (You know how you have to have spent 7.5% of your taxable income on medical expenses to be able to deduct medical expenses? Yeah….David and I spent at least 21% of our taxable income on medical expenses last year….and that’s only the ones that I could find electronic receipts for because I didn’t realize I could deduct them until the end of the year!)
3) John is potty trained!!!!!!!!!!!! But only around the house…..while he can talk, he does not tell me when he needs to go, so going diaperless in public is not an option yet. The funny thing is that he feels the need to empty his potty IMMEDIATELY….so when he was in his room for rest time, he dumped it all over the carpet… David and I have fixed this problem by installing a 5 gallon bucket in his room for him to dump his potty into. Some days you just gotta “steer into the curve”…..
Latest addition to John’s room
*Speaking of excrement, I have a funny story on Jessica (there is no shortage of funny stories on my kids where excrement is concerned)! We came home from playing at the park with one of her new friends, and I said “Jessica why is your skirt tucked into your tights? You didn’t go to the bathroom.” She said, “Yes I did.” I said “No, you didn’t come get me to take you to the bathroom.” She said, “No. I went with my friend in the grass (this friend is a boy).” Obviously, my eyeballs about popped out of my head, but I pulled it together enough to not say anything and calmly ask her a couple questions a little later. Turns out she was the only one that had to go, and she did manage to do it by herself without any help. However, she did get a sad look on her face and say “But, I didn’t have any wipes!” I said, “Well, what did you do?” Then she got a big grin on her face and said, “I used my hand!!” I about died!!! The next week I told her friend’s mom what happened and apologized profusely!!! Thankfully, he has a very sweet mom who was very understanding! lol….the stories I have thanks to my children!
4) We discovered about a week ago that we can ALL eat venison. Unfortunately, it is the tail end of deer season (pun intended). I put out a request for venison to our friends, family, and church, and FREE venison has been pouring into our house! I think we might actually be able to make it to the next deer season after all, and it is really going to help my grocery budget (it’s VERY expensive to feed a child fish for almost every meal)!!!!! David also went and picked up a 24 cubic foot freezer we found on Craigslist for $125! It is an old one made of steel that still works great!!!!
That’s a 1/4 grass fed beef for the boys, 4 deer (I think), 16 pounds of unshelled nuts, and plenty of room for more!!! I don’t know how much venison it will take to feed our family until the next deer season, but I’d say we are at least well on our way!
5) I made up a soup for Jessica, AND she liked it!!!!!!! I used 1 quart of fish stock, spinach, chick peas, pulled venison, and about 1.5 teaspoons of salt! Also in food news, Jessica has been enjoying fermented lentil pancakes, and both of the kids are IN LOVE with water kefir!!!!!!!!
Jessica loving her soup!!!!
And I have been enjoying oat tortillas with peanut butter and strawberry slices on them! Yum!!!! (The ratio for the tortillas is 2 parts GF oat flour and 1 pat water…part out and cook in a dry skillet on low heat)
6) We are famous (again)! 2nd time in a local paper in 7 months!
Our most recent article featured in the Health section of the Navarre Press this week!
Our article from June of 2012 on the front page of the Pensacola News Journal!
And the second page of our article in the Pensacola News Journal!
7) I got a nibble on selling my bass trombone….that could be a $1,000 towards paying for the next round of medical expenses!!
8) After a year of searching, I think we are finally nearing the end of our search for a diagnosis for John….which means insurance would start applying all of our expenses towards our deductible (which we are getting closer to meeting….especially if all of those past therapies are counted)!!! It also means that we will be able to better help John because we will know WHAT the problem is!!!
I guess that last one requires a bit of an update…. This month John is seeing the following new professionals: a speech therapist, an opthamologist, an orthopedist, and a neurologist. (This is in addition to his regular appointments with his nutritionist, occupational therapist, and physical therapist.) He is still being evaluated for autism, but we still need to make sure nothing is wrong with his legs. Also, we are revisiting the idea of mild cerebral palsy.
Once I started adding up all of the things that are “not quite right,” it led us and his pediatrician to believe it is important to take a closer look at the possibility of cerebral palsy. John has fine motor delays, gross motor delays, speech delays (he drooled until just a few months ago, and while he can talk, he does not enunciate well and seems to only mimic phrases, though often in correct context), mild hearing loss (he’s only had one ear infection and there is no family history of congenital hearing loss), poor vision (He saw a really dark black guy in a bright purple shirt at the grocery store and kept saying “There’s Dad! There’s Dad!” Once the man passed, John said “That’s not Dad.”), his feet turn in, and two of his toes are beginning to curl outwards.
I had hoped that we would be done with all of the doctors’ visits and just be “working our plan” in 2013, but we aren’t and that’s ok. Here’s to having a diagnosis by sometime this summer!!