Blog Cancellation


I am hereby cancelling this blog because someone access to it who should not. Perhaps in the future I will begin blogging again, but it will be under a pseudonym to protect my personal information and identity.

It is really key that a person’s privacy and confidentiality are respected. 

Thank you so much for understanding.

Sincerely,

Emily Gamache, CHHC

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Blog Changes


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I know that I have typically blogged 3 to 4 days per week but I am ill. The diagnosis is still unclear and I have many appointments with specialists each week. It is definitely something neurological (brain-related). Thus, I wanted you to know that I will likely be blogging once per week at the most. There will likely be weeks that  I will miss.

Thank you very much for being such loyal followers. I love you all.

When my health has returned, I will likely continue blogging 3 to 4 days per week. 

Celiac, Lies and Vertigo


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As most of you know, I’m the mom of a 3 year old who was recently diagnosed with severe celiac disease. Due to her fragile health, the GI doctors decided to forgo the endoscopy which would confirm her diagnosis until she is healthier. I was fine with this, in fact, I was relieved.

My little one is a pistol – too smart for her own good. She’s been dying to go to preschool since she was 18 months old when her brother started. So, this spring I signed her up at the same preschool he attended. I was clear in all of the paperwork that she had celiac. I even included a separate sheet that explained the condition in plain English.

In early August, I sent a letter from me along with a letter from my daughter’s doctor about the extent of her disease. I requested that she be kept from sensory tables that contained gluten products and that she not play with Play-doh that has gluten in it. The director of the school called me and said that if she could not play with Play-doh, she could not attend preschool. I calmly and politely explained that there are gluten-free options. By the end of our conversation, my daughter could attend school as long as I made homemade gluten-free play dough for the entire class (4 cups per month, a new color each time to match the curriculum). No problem, right? Well, the cost for the ingredients was $40 for one month! I requested reimbursement or a tuition credit and was denied.

Late last week the principal called and said that my little angel had to miss the first day of school because they have a tradition of making friendship necklaces out of Fruit Loops! Again I very calmly and diplomatically offered several gluten-free options and was turned down. It was just too inconvenient. I grudgingly agreed to keep her home. Several days later I had a voice mail that my daughter had to be kept home the following days: the day of the field trip to the pumpkin patch (they hand out pumpkin cookies), the harvest party (too hard to “police” the snacks), the Christmas party, the Valentine party and the end of the year picnic.

Needless to say, I am pissed off! I feel lied to and betrayed. How can they say they will work with me and then say she can’t attend any of the fun things? 

On top of all of this, I’ve been ill since August 15th when I was literally blind-sided by severe vertigo and a splitting headache. I was bed-ridden until several days ago. After a brain MRI, a physical therapy evaluation, my GP’s evaluation, a trip to urgent care and 3 visits to an ear, nose and throat specialist, no one knows what’s going on. I have more appointments next week: neurology; ear, nose and throat specialist; and physical therapy. The drugs the doctor gave me have virtually removed the vertigo symptoms but they make me very groggy and tired and I can’t drive. The downside is the constant splitting headache and occasional blurred vision have yet to resolve regardless of drugs or anything else. 

Sorry I haven’t posted but if I’d tried I would have been puking all over my keyboard. 

What is your experience as a parent or child with food allergies or celiac and schools? Helpful and accommodating or a royal pain in the ass? Please comment, I’m dying to know… I am feeling pretty alone right now.

Thanks! 🙂 

Family Time


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One of my favorite things about this summer is family time. I’m not sure how it happened exactly, but we seem to have more time in the evenings for family time and we all LOVE it! 

Monday night was LEGO® building night where we each built our own creation. Then last night we played one of our favorite card games. It’s called “Sleeping Queens” and is supposed to be for kids ages 8 and up but if we all have our cards face up so we can help our 3-year old, then everyone can play. 

We’ve gone to the park and played “Lava Monster” together, had family movie night and played rousing games of hide-and-seek or have just hung out in the backyard and eaten snacks from our organic garden.

It doesn’t matter what you do during family time as long as everyone unplugs and enjoys one another. We’re all so recharged and happy afterwards. It’s been excellent. 

I am resolving to change up our schedule once school starts – Will is going to complete his homework in the afternoons so we can still have some family time after dinner.

What are your favorite activities to share as a family? I’d love to hear from you!

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Gluten-Free Laundry Detergents


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If any of you suffer from dermatitis herpataformis as my daughter did, you know the importance of locating all products including cleaning and personal care that are gluten-free. In an effort to create the optimal home for my daughter, I have found this information and wanted to pass it on. Hopefully it will save some of you the energy and stress in searching for all of this information. At the very bottom is a recipe to make your own laundry detergent, if you are so inclined. 

Products that Guarantee They are Gluten-Free:

BioKleen Products

Dakota Free Laundry Detergents (environmentally friendly)

ECOS Free and Clear (environmentally friendly)

GrabGreen Laundry Detergents (environmentally friendly)

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day

Purex 3-in-1 Laundry Detergent

Purex Free and Clear

Rockin’ Green Laundry Detergent

Seventh Generation Free & Clear 2X-formula laundry liquid (environmentally friendly)

Sun and Earth 2X Liquid Laundry Detergents

Tide (liquid and powder)

Tropical Traditions Powdered Laundry Detergent (environmentally friendly)

Homemade Laundry Detergent:

                1 bar Ivory, Zote or Feles Naptha soap

                1 cup borax

                1 cup washing soda

Grate soap. Mix together. Add 1 tablespoon per load and voila – you’ve got homemade gluten-free laundry detergent. 

Here’s to clear skin and clean laundry! 

Does anyone else have another gluten-free laundry detergent that you love? If so, please share with a comment. Thanks!

Parenting, Perceptions and Peace


This past weekend we went on an awesome camping trip – best weekend of the year! An adoption group that we belong to meets at a local recreation area complete with beach, lighthouse, playground and meadow. We all join together for a potluck and s’mores as well as some R&R at the beach for the younger kids and a 10-mile hike for the older, more adventurous teens. 

It really hit me this year how much our group resembles a junior United Nations. One of the other moms and I were commenting that if only the world leaders were here for just a several hours, perhaps their perspectives would change. These children don’t care about religion or diet or skin color; they care simply about getting along and sharing a lot of laughter. There were some minor altercations, of course, but they were all resolved peacefully. I wish we could say that for our country’s involvement in their foreign affairs…

What if the world were more like our camping trip where we all shared one water source (oh yeah, technically, we do!) and what if we all cared about everyone being well-fed, tended to medically and loved? Wouldn’t life be amazing?

My son used to ask every year why we couldn’t all just live in one gigantic house. To him, that’s what heaven looks like. And you know, I agree with him. It’s wonderful having so many parents and children and we’re all tending to each other together without any concern for monetary reimbursement or recognition – just knowing that our part improves the greater good…. 

What is your vision of heaven? Your dream of an ideal world? Shouldn’t we all hope for an expect a more balanced existence here on this earth? 

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CDC, Camp Closures and Stomach Bug


This article was published in the Detroit Press this morning. Several local camps have sent campers home because of the health departments’ concern over contagious flus:

CDC: Mystery stomach bug spreading

7:08 AM, July 25, 2013

Federal health authorities say more than 275 people in seven states have now been sickened with an unidentified stomach bug.
Federal health authorities say more than 275 people in seven states have now been sickened with an unidentified stomach bug. / Associated Press
By Mary Clare Jalonick 

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Federal health authorities say more than 275 people in seven states have now been sickened with an unidentified stomach bug.

The Food and Drug Administration is investigating the cyclospora infections, which are often found in tropical or subtropical countries and have been linked to imported fresh produce in the past. It causes diarrhea and other flu-like symptoms.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the infection has been reported in Iowa, Nebraska, Texas, Wisconsin, Georgia, Connecticut and New Jersey. Most of the illnesses occurred from mid-June to early July. The CDC says it isn’t clear whether the cases are all linked.

The illness is spread when people ingest foods or water contaminated with feces. The agency said it isn’t clear whether the cases are all linked.

Please note that if you eat fruits such as cantaloupe, there is a large bacteria load on the rinds of the fruit. It’s best to cleanse them as soon as you get home. Dish soap and warm water then rinsing well works but I prefer to spray the fruit with a 50/50 dose of hydrogen peroxide and white vinegar to ensure that the salmonella and listeria bacterium have been eradicated before eating…