Adapting & surviving

My youngest was born in late November 2007 – a solid 10 lbs, healthy and thriving it looked like nothing could stop our big boy. When George was 3 months old and while I was on maternity leave, I got a part time job working on Saturdays in a local baby store. Mostly I would express breast milk, but on one occasion my husband decided to ‘top up’  George with some formula – this was the first of many nights spent in hospital as all of George’s allergies started to unfold.  It was around this time as well that the eczema reared it’s head. Tests showed George was allergic to everything from nuts, eggs, dairy and soy – to wheat, dust mites pollen, mold and this was partnered with intolerance to wheat, citrus, tomatoes, and washing powder among other things.

IMG_0044 (1)An egg beater touched George’s face this day -very swollen yet still his cheerful self!!

The first few months after this were really difficult – with two older children with no allergies at all – we struggled to come to grips with the way allergies can dominate everything you do. While still breastfeeding I gave up everything George tested positive to, we removed nuts from the house completely in all forms we had to educate our other two children about food and allergies too. George’s skin became so bad he spent over a year wrapped in bandages and all in one body suits that completely covered his hands and feet, if we left him with any skin free he would immediately find carpet or concrete and rub his skin till it bleed.

IMG_4547I sewed bandages into the ends of all his tops to stop him scratching.

We learnt some tricks along the way and like all families we just learnt to adapt to our new situation.  Food habits, bedding choices, clothing choices, contaminants and our approach to birthday parties all had to change. Funnily enough  peace of mind did came in the simplest forms.  I sewed bandages into the arms of George’s clothing so he couldn’t scratch. We traded in our buggy we had used for the other children and acquired a phil&teds smart buggy with the hypoallergenic aerocore seat.  This meant we had no more fabric collecting dust and it eliminated the worry bacteria. The aerocorewas soft and easy wipe clean, and superbly portable – we loved it!

IMG_0221George at the beach in his phil&teds smart

I’m fortunate enough to work in the nursery industry- so I get access to a lot of products. By far our favourite child item was our phil&teds wriggle wrapper. After a reaction from a cafe highchair that had not been cleaned well enough – the wriggle wrapper also became our best friend.  This super product kept George secure, safe on chairs in cafes and gave us peace of mind that George was in a ‘safe’ zone away from allergens. We took that wriggle wrapper EVERYWHERE – cafe’s, mums house, to weddings, on trains and on planes. We attached the wriggle wrapper to almost anything you can imagine from my lap, to chairs, benches, picnic chairs,  and even highchairs that had no harness. I really rated the wriggle wrapper as a truly genius product, lightweight, portable, easy to clean and for our family- a problem solver.

wriggle wraper monkey

If you haven’t experienced allergies you really can’t understand how they have the ability to dominate everything you do if you let them- George’s allergies have dramatically decreased over the last 5 years – nuts, eggs and dairy still cause a nuisance – he has unfortunately developed food phobias  which is another story in itself),  but armed with his Epipen and some good common sense George has recently started school – we’re celebrating allergy awareness week this week knowing we got through the tough years and we’re learning to control a condition that tried to control us!



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