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Making a consultant appointment a successful one…

I can’t quite believe that it’s been 3 months since Callum’s repeat allergy testing back in September. I know I’ve said it before, but my goodness has this year flown by!!

So, 3 months after allergy testing can only mean one thing, yep, consultant time yet again.

I don’t mind these appointments, there’s nothing to be worrying about, getting concerned about or having sleepless nights compared to when they allergy test.

These appointments are actually fab, especially if you do your homework!

They’re the best opportunity to discuss observations, voice concerns, request advice, suggest possible addition/ alternative routes that the consultant may think is sensible to try.

Ultimately, to make a success of these appointments, you need to work as a team with the consultant. They should know your little ones history inside out, know what’s worked previously, be fully aware of other issues and concerns, and pre-empt any possible questions you have.

I’m well aware that sadly, it’s not always the norm, and that’s what Intolerant G was set up for!

We’re lucky though, Callum’s consultant is really good, one of the best. The fight for us was to get to see him in the first place, but once that happened, things really started to change for the better for us, as anyone who regularly follows this blog will tell you.

So, back to this latest appointment….

We have been trialling a wheat free diet on top of everything else that he has to avoid, due to blood in stools, severely distended tummy, very moody behaviour, and so on.

Well, after just 3 months, even the consultant agreed there was a substantial improvement. Callum’s tummy looks ‘normal’, there’s no more blood in his stools, he seems more comfortable, his shiners under the eyes have reduced even more – it’s all really positive.

We also had trialled baked egg in the form of a tiny bit of cake, but Callum reacted within an hour, with hives all over his body. Having taken photographic evidence, the consultant was able to make an informed decision. No eggs!! He clearly can’t cope with them at all!

Callum’s eczema seems mostly in control too, there’s a few patches that are stubborn to steroid creams, but on the whole, it’s fairly well managed.

On top of that, it looks like the asthma is quite well controlled too. The consultant wants us to trial montelokast (think that’s how it’s spelt) to see if it helps Callum at all, especially due to him suffering with what the consultant described as a ‘multi system allergic response’. He did mention that it sometimes has an adverse reaction to behaviour/ moods….

So, my question to you lovely lot, do you have experience of using montelokast? Have you seen a change in behaviour/ mood? Is it worth doing?

I want to make absolutely sure it’s right for our brave soldier, before giving even more meds to deal with!

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Oh Christmas Tree…

There is a real festive feeling starting to descend on our house this week! It’s lovely!

The advent traditions have been going strong for almost 2 weeks now, but it’s as the rest of the Christmassy things come together, that the festive glow starts to build.

It started with Jon’s work christmas do last weekend, followed by the baking of Christmas goodies at the beginning of the week. Then came Chloe’s nativity at school, and Christmas jumper day today!

But the one big event in any house is the decorating of the Christmas Tree!

We always have a real tree! To me, Christmas Day is all the more special when you’re sat there with the smell of a real tree, with the fire going, whilst opening presents with your nearest and dearest!

I was worried about how it might affect Callum with his asthma, but thankfully it doesn’t seem to be one of his triggers!

There’s a nursery in the village next us, that we always go to.

So we rock up with the trailer hooked to the back of the car, über excited kiddos in tow!

Then comes the exciting ‘run’ to the Christmas trees, followed by the choosing of the ‘perfect’ one, before paying and heading home to decorate it!

I always say it, and this year is no exception, the tree is an absolute beauty this year! Evenly proportioned, perfect height, and lovely deep bluey green colour!

It’s been the perfect afternoon and evening, with the whole family involved in decorating it!

I think it’s safe to say that we’re all getting a little but excited about Christmas now!

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Mince pie cake…

Mince pie cakeNothing shouts of Christmas more than the wonderful scent of cooking mincemeat.

It is a truly warm, welcoming, ‘smell a hug’ type of aroma, isn’t it!

You know exactly what I mean!

Homemade mince pies baking in the oven…… just the thought puts a smile on your face, right!

So, being a foodie, and loving coming up with new ideas, (especially ones that are safe for the little dude!) I started to wonder whether it was possible to create a mince pie cake. I love cake, and I love mince pies, so to have the two as one, well that’s just happy days all round really!

Well guess what, I cracked it!

Yep, I really did!

It can be used as a mix for cupcakes, or a cake, or a loaf – just adjust cooking times according to the size.

Ps – I make my own mincemeat so that it is totally safe for Callum, but you can buy good stuff from the shops – just always be careful and check the labels, so that it works for you.

You will need:

  • 8oz self raising flour (gluten free works well with this recipe too – just add 20ml vegetable oil to the mix)
  • 8oz golden caster sugar
  • 8oz dairy-free butter
  • 8oz mince meat
  • 4 eggs (or egg replacer equivalent such as Orgran)
  • 2 tsp baking powder

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180c/ 350f/ Gas 4, and grease and line your cake tin/ loaf tin/ 12 hole tray.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, butter, eggs and baking powder until well combined and smooth in texture.

Add the mincemeat, and stir in gently until only just combined.

Turn out into your prepared cake tin, and bake in the oven for around 35 minutes, or until the cake has turned a golden brown and is springy to touch.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

You can either coat in some fondant icing, or simply leave it as it is. Either way, it tastes just as good.

Enjoy!

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

Wow, how on earth is it 1st December already?! This year has absolutely flown by hasn’t it!!

If you’re anything like our house, today marks the beginning of a level of excitement in the kiddiwinks that the rest of the year simply can’t match.

And why?

The return of the advent calendars of course!

Now, if we were a regular house, and had no worries over allergies, advent calendars would be far simpler than they are. There are so many options on the shelves these days, Thomas the tank, One Direction, Barbie, Spiderman, Cadbury’s, Mars – there’s almost too many to choose from.

Trouble is, they are all totally unsuitable for Callum.

So, what’s an allergy mum to do?!

Well, this is where the special ‘make your own’ advent calendars really come into their own.

And ours are a little bit special.

Tree adventWhen Jon and I first started dating, many moons ago, we decided to get each other an advent calendar with a difference for our first Christmas together. I got him a ‘Father Christmas’ one, and filled it with his favourite Lindt chocolates. And he got me a ‘Christmas Tree’ one, and filled it with my favourite chocolates, also Lindt! For many years we kept the tradition going, until the kiddos came along!

Chloe now has my ‘Christmas Tree’ one, and Callum the ‘Father Christmas’ one.

They’re really special now, and the Christmas countdown just wouldn’t be the same without them!

The beauty of these calendars, is that we can fill them with whatever we want, and this is perfect for Callum.

Dairy-free chocolates here we come!!

They’re both none the wiser, and are so excited when they see them for the first time. This morning was no exception,Santa advent with the little dude exclaiming a ‘whoa look, loads of mine chocolate, amazing!’

Just makes your heart melt doesn’t it!

On top of the calendars, this year, we’re also doing the ‘book advent’.

I really love this idea. 24 books, individually wrapped, 1 a night right up to Christmas Eve, with the 24th book being ‘The Night Before Christmas’.

We always read a book to the children, every single night, no matter how late they get to bed. It’s a lovely chance for some extra cuddles with them before the end of the day!

When they saw the pile of wrapped books all ready to go this morning, they were in awe.

24 nights of special cuddles, reading special books, during the most special time of the year.

What more could a mummy ask for?! Book advent