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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Your kids can play Pokemon Go from their hospital bed!

This falls under the category of "What a Great Idea!" and "Thank You From Tired Parents in the Hospital!"

If you haven't heard of Pokemon Go, you must be living under a rock somewhere. Seriously.

 This game has taken the world by storm! Millions of people are using their smart phones to capture Pokemon in real world locations. If you have seen a large crows gathered around at places that don't usually have crowds (the library, police station, etc) and they are all glued to their phones, chances are that they are catching Pokemon.

So, what happens when you are a kid and you are stuck in the hospital? You have someone play Pokemon Go for you!

A group of college students  from BYU (Brigham Young University) created "Go For Good"

(By the way, I am a BYU alumni and I think those students are brilliant!) 

So, what is Go For Good, and how does it work?

 1. Volunteer "trainers" connect with kids via video-conferencing software

2. The software lets kids see what's going on in the outside world

3. The kids tell the trainers where the Pokemon are, and the trainers catch 'em all  (and the child can see it happen in real time)

Fox 13 TV station had a story about a local child in the hospital, who is having volunteer trainers catch Pokemon for him. And here is another story from KSL

What a smart idea! 

Those of you who usually read my blog know that my kids were hospitalized 12 times (2 ICU) when they were younger  - thanks to asthma and pneumonia (and smoke from a forest fire.)

When Son #1 was 7, he was visited in the hospital by the costume character Pikachu. I can still remember that day! (and Son #2 is in college now.....)  Pikcachu gave Son #2 a Pokemon shirt which he wore for YEARS - until it was faded and worn out. I can't tell you how much it means to parents and children stuck in hospitals to have SOMETHING to do while they are in there.

So, now kids can still have fun with Pokemon, but you can have a brother, aunt, dad, etc "be the legs" and "catch 'em all" while your child is in the hospital.

Have fun! And I would love to hear stories if you and your hospitalized child uses this.

With all the attacks, bombing, etc on the news, it's so nice to hear a GOOD story filled with love!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Keepin' stuff clean

(Shutterstock image)

One of the things that helps our family control our asthma is cleaning. For those of you who read this regularly, you will know that Hubby and I and all 3 kids have allergies. The 3 kids and I all have asthma. 

There are so many things that can make your asthma worse, or "trigger" or cause an asthma attack.The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology has a page on their website about common asthma triggers.

Triggers can be different for everyone, and change over time. 

Dust has always been a problem for me. It's so hard to keep things clean and dust free.

We have wood floors, which really helps because you can SEE all the dust and suck it up with the vacuum. Some people hate having wood floors (because you can see dirt, crumbs, etc.) but I LOVE them.

In fact, we live in a historic AKA old house. One of the things I love about my historic house is that is has wood floors. They were covered up with carpet when we bought the house, but Hubby and I tore out the carpet and he refinished the wood floors. 

We seem to breathe easier when we have wood floors and they are kept really clean. 

Some people sweep wood floors, but it seems like it just stirs up the dust into the air. We have a vacuum that allows us to switch the settings so we can vacuum the wood floors and a few areas rugs. 

If you are having a lot of asthma symptoms and can't figure out why, take a look around your house. 

Is it the carpet? Mayo Clinic says that hard flooring (wood floors, tile floors, etc) can be better when you have asthma.  

There are other things in your home that can cause asthma attacks, but today I talked about dust. 

Tune in later for more ideas of things to check for in your home,




Monday, July 11, 2016

Make an anaphylaxis video today (seriously....deadline is today!)

Well......I'm VERY late in posting about this, but better late than never!

Sarah Jessica Parker has a son with severe food allergies, and he experienced anaphylaxis as a young child. Her son is now a teenager, but they learned a lot along the way.

She would like to hear about other families that deal with severe allergies (food, latex, stinging insects, and medication allergies) and anaphylaxis. 

You can make a short 5 minute video and submit it. Winners will get to premier their film in New York City!

The deadline is today, July 11th 2016!!!!

She teemed up with Anaphylaxis for REEL  - get it? Reel as in film reel?

What should you include in your video? In an email from Allergy & Asthma Network, it said:

"What are the challenges you face managing your allergies and avoiding anaphylaxis?"

"How do you overcome those challenges?"

"What do you want other patients and families to know about managing severe allergies?"

Grab your phone and start filming. Share your story.

Help other families. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

It does get better!

(Shutterstock image)

Being a parent is hard. 

Having a chronically ill child (or children) is hard too. 

Some days you think, "Will it ever get better?!"  

I had friends whose kids NEVER seemed to be sick. Or, they would get a "little cold" and sniffle for a week and be done. My kids would get "a little cold", get pneumonia and end up in the hospital.

A coughing kid can wake me out of a dead sleep faster than anything. "Who's coughing?" I yell, as I run from bedroom to bedroom with my heart pounding in my chest. 

That's how it would start at our house. A little cold. A little cough. And then it would go downhill from there.

We did everything right. Washed our hands. Used paper towels to open the door handle in public bathrooms. Washed our hands again as soon as we got home. Got flu shots every year. And we even had the pneumonia vaccine!

Made our home allergy and asthma friendly by tearing out the carpet so we could have the wood floors instead. Vacuuming. Mopping. Washing bedding. Washing curtains. Dusting blinds. Washing  the couch slipcovers.  Changing the furnace filters.

I had a chart on the fridge for each kid's allergy and asthma medicine. Who needs what at what time. We didn't miss a dose. Ever. 

And still nothing helped.

Friends would come over to play with my kids and I if could see a runny nose or hear that child coughing,  I would send them home.  (This is after I already told their parents to PLEASE not send their child over if they were sick. I would tell them a cold to you is pneumonia to us and ANOTHER hospitalization). 

Other parents with healthy kids don't "get it." 

We had 12 hospitalizations for asthma (2 of those were ICU.)

We get it. We get what it's like to know where every pediatrician's office is on our network - so we know where to go for After Hours help (which for us is from 5pm to 10pm.) After that, we would head to the ER.

We get middle of the night trips to the Emergency Department.
We get prescriptions, doctor bills, hospital bills, x-ray bills, lack of sleep, and crying. Lots and lots of crying. (From me....not from the kids!)

It hurts when my child can't breathe, and I can't fix it. Many times, I was in over my head. That's when I let the hospital take over. That's why I have insurance!

I let other people help too. I'll never forget a friend who said, "Is there anything you need?" I told her I was craving a hot, gooey chocolate chip cookie. She brought a whole plate to the hospital - still warm!

Friends took my other kids to and from school, and let them stay and play after school. Neighbors picked up groceries when my fridge was bare after a hospital stay. 

Friends brought "goody bags" to the hospital for Hubby and I. Full of magazines, crackers, gum, juice and most of all - chocolate!

It will get better. Kids get older. They can tell you when they hurt/can't breathe/don't feel well. You fine-tune their medications and learn when to increase their controller meds/start them on an oral steroid/ head to the After Hours vs the Emergency Department.

You learn to sleep when you can.  

Son # 1 and Son #2 are in college now and rarely have problems with their asthma. Daughter Kitty is in high school and still has her days, but hasn't been in the ER or hospital for a LONG time. 

It does get better. 

Take care of yourself. Ask for help. Watch a funny movie. Read up about asthma! Allergy & Asthma Network is a great places for families to learn more.

Keep your chin up! You can do this!