Alexandria Durrell: Irritated By Allergies

Nov
08
2016
keeping allergies in check during winter season

Canadian allergy sufferers are currently breathing sighs of relief because, yay, pollen season is over. But as soon as those spring/summer/fall allergy symptoms disappear, we're all still sniffling and clearing our throats. I spend most of September through, oh, August, with a stuffy nose and I'm pretty sure I'm not that sickly. So what's up with that? Most likely environmental allergies.

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Oct
23
2016

The Simple Reason You Should Give Nut-Free Candy This Halloween

For children with food allergies, Halloween can be truly terrifying

safe trick or treating

I know there are plenty of you out there who think we should just keep my allergic kid inside this Halloween. I know it would save you the hassle of once again having to think of someone else, but here's the thing: we love Halloween and so do our kids. They love trick-or-treating, and they love gorging themselves on the bounty of sugar when they get home from their neighbourhood walk. It's a childhood rite of passage, and nope, we don't keep our anaphylactic boy at home in a protective bubble.

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Sep
20
2016
School Lunches Idea List

I went to buy school shoes for my kids today, and guess what? Apparently I've nearly missed the boat, because they were out of stock on almost every pair my kids liked. And why is that? It's because other parents out there were way more prepared than I. 

Here's my organizational contribution: this amazing list of lunch ideas I've compiled! I'm so prepared, I've got ideas to last... I don't even know how long. A long time, though.

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Sep
06
2016
Skin Testing for Allergy Oral Challenge | YummyMummyClub.ca

Forgive me the backstory on this one, but you'll need it to understand how we got to this point in our food allergy journey. My son is turning seven this year, and has had food allergies his entire life. He used to react to allergens through breastmilk, even though multiple doctors told me I was mistaken. Allergies were confirmed by his reactions, and then by skin tests at nine months of age. At 14 months, he had a serious reaction to tilapia and was taken to hospital by ambulance.

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Aug
31
2016

Advancements in Allergy Research Apparent

SickKids Hospital Making Leaps in the Field

Here's how SickKids is changing the lives of allergic children.

One year ago, after a whole lot of pushing, we were given a referral to the SickKids Allergy Clinic. Three months ago, our son had a successful oral food challenge to almonds, and I cried happy tears in the clinic waiting room. Could this mean he's outgrowing all his tree nut allergies?

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Aug
15
2016

What Kind of Monster Would Do This?

Only an A**hole Risks Children's Lives

Aug
09
2016

Restaurant Server Nearly Kills Allergic Man

Are Restaurants Responsible for Protecting Allergic Customers?

Restaurant Owner charged after serving allergic man fish | YummyMummyClub.ca

A British restaurant owner was charged with manslaughter after willfully serving a peanut-allergic customer a dish that contained peanuts. It was a groundbreaking sentence, reinforcing the importance of allergy education in the restaurant industry.

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Aug
04
2016
Nuts on planes pose no real risk to allergic passengers according to study | Health | YummyMummyClub.ca

Never have I received more hate mail than when I wrote about whether peanuts and nuts on airplanes are a risk to those with severe allergies. I was told that as someone who represents the allergy community, I was being reckless by spreading misinformation. I was told I should be ashamed of myself for being a negligent allergy advocate.

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What Companies Need to Know About Allergies in the Workplace

By now, you may have heard about the Saskatchewan teen fired from her job after having an allergic reaction. I sat on the news for awhile, because, well, something doesn't sit right with me, you know? Ever the critic, I wasn't sure that the timing of her firing was just really bad (and had little to do with her reaction), and I wondered why anyone with allergies as severe as she alleges would ever leave home without an EpiPen.

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Jun
21
2016
Those with food allergies know to always, always read the labels.

Those with food allergies know to always, always read the labels. Always ask, even at regular restaurants, if ingredients have changed. Always read the allergen list. We double- and triple-check for allergens. This is why when Lisa Macpherson ate the same seafood salad she's eaten countless times before at a Milestone's restaurant she didn't expect to discover peanuts in the new dressing. Posted on Facebook, Macpherson reached out to friends to see what her course of action could be.

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Jun
10
2016

Deadly Kissing: Reality for Peanut Allergic Teens

One Bereaved Mother Seeks to Educate Others on Risks

Allergies Triggers | YummyMummyClub.ca

In 2012, Micheline Ducre's daughter died of anaphylaxis after kissing her boyfriend who had eaten peanuts earlier in the night. Myriam Ducre-Lemay's boyfriend was unaware of the allergy, and wasn't able to save his girlfriend once she had difficulty breathing. 

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Your phone is tracking your every move. Here's how to stop the spying.

Where were you last Tuesday at 2:35pm? Not sure? Well, your iPhone can tell you. Your android can, too, actually.

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Jun
06
2016

On Bridges: Mend 'Em or Burn 'Em?

5 Ways to Know If It's Time to Strike the Match

On Bridges: Mend or Burn | YummyMummyClub.ca

Relationships have been on my mind a lot in the last couple years. Work ones, personal ones, old ones and new ones — it takes finesse to manage all the relationships we have in our lives, and often I think we don't appreciate just how much work that really is.

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May
26
2016

This Happened at My Son's Oral Food Challenge

How Could We Feed Him Nuts After All These Years Avoiding Them?

Here's a step-by-step description of an oral food challenge for a nut allergy.

Awhile ago, I interviewed Dr. Adelle Atkinson of the SickKids allergy clinic about the process of Oral Food Challenges, and this week, I got to see firsthand what one is like. Nine months ago, our son was referred to the SickKids clinic by his paediatric allergist for an oral food challenge (OFC) for almonds.

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May
25
2016

Restaurant Owner Jailed for Peanut Death

Case Sets New Precedent for Food Industry

A British restaurateur has been found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence, and charged with six food food safety offenses, resulting in six years' imprisonment.  It's a decision that could set precedence in the food industry worldwide, placing more responsibility on restaurant owners and staff to ensure safety of ingredients.  Mohammed Zaman was found guilty in part due to his wholly careless attitude toward food safety.

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May
12
2016

FARE Hosts Food Allergy Awareness Week May 8-14

But Every Week is Food Allergy Awareness Week for Me

Food Allergy Awareness Week | YummyMummyClub.ca

Every year, FARE works hard to help the general public understand the severity of food allergies through Food Allergy Awareness week. As a parent to an allergic kid, this is my life every day, every week, every year. It's exhausting trying to explain why my son can't eat a cupcake, even though it doesn't specifically contain nuts.

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May
12
2016

5 Bizarre Allergy Triggers

Betcha Never Thought These Things Caused Sneezes

5 Unusual Allergy Triggers | YummyMummyClub.ca

When we think about spring allergies, we're usually thinking about all the pollens being released outside, and the cleaning up of last year's dead shrubbery (and all the moulds that come with that). But for those with seasonal allergies, spring is a particularly rough time for a few other reasons you may not have thought about. When your immune system is already compromised, any stress on it can worsen allergic symptoms, so here are some of the stranger culprits you may not know about:

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May
10
2016
Peanut Butter in Schools | YummyMummyClub.ca

Heather Spohr wrote this HuffPo piece in 2015, and it was posted again on their Facebook page yesterday, to much heated debate, as always. And I sighed heavily. Are we seriously still arguing about this crap?

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Apr
11
2016

New Allergy Warnings from McDonald's

People With Dairy, Tree nut and Peanut Allergies Need to Be Aware of Menu Changes

Peanuts, tree nuts and dairy warnings for McDonald's menu items.

Attention McDonald's customers with dairy, tree nut and peanut allergies: there are a number of changes to their menu that you need to know about. 

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Apr
06
2016

Miscarriage May Soon Qualify for Disability Leave

Ontario Human Rights Tribunal Could Change How Pregnancy Loss Treated

Miscarriage may soon qualify as disability leave | YummyMummyClub.ca

I suffered a miscarriage at 19.5 weeks gestation.  I remember the nurses hustling around me discussing my "fetus," and the ultrasound technician talking about the "fetus." It seems absurd to classify my baby as a fetus, to not be able to "technically" say I had a stillbirth despite labouring and delivering my baby.  At 19.5 weeks, a baby is around 14cm (almost 6") long. Look at your hand.

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