PracMedic Bag – Sammie Medicine Case

Food Allergies, Our Latest Adventures

When Olivia was first diagnosed with food allergies, I didn’t even know where to start. First thing we did – get our Epi pen! I put the Epi pens in a small zip pouch and moved on with my day. Unfortunately, I would soon find out that this zip pouch was not a great place to store Olivia’s life saving medication. Our first trip to the beach with her Epi pens, the pouch got wet, hot and squished all in one day. Not good!

Little did I know, Epi pens need to stay cool and dry in order to stay viable. This became our #1 priority. So I started to do some research on the best Epi pen holder! I looked into several different brands but landed on the one that checked all my boxes and more.

PracMedic bags.

We ordered the Sammie Medicine Case in pink. Not only did this case have the best reviews but it was by far the cutest of them all! The entire case was pink with a little girl and outside, sunny day scene on the front. The first day we got the case in the mail, Olivia opened the box and ran! She wore the bag as a purse all night and kept saying she looked so “fashion”.

When I opened the bag up, I was even more impressed. Not only are there two pockets that fit two Auvi-Q perfectly, but there are more pockets to fit other medications you might need. In our case, we filled that side with Benadryl, a contact cup and contact solution. This allowed us to have all of Olivia’s medications in one spot, at all times! The bag zipped with ease and just like that, my anxiety went from 60 to 0 in a matter of minutes. All of Olivia’s supplies in one place – I couldn’t have asked for more.

We spent the summer going to sunny beaches and sweaty play gym classes and I never worried about her Epi pens. The case is insulated and padded to help keep the medicine inside at the right temperature. It’s even water resistant with an optional ice pack pocket for those days you know the temperatures are going to be really off the charts. When we would go to the beach for the entire day, I would throw the case in with an ice pack near by. Since the bag is water resistant, the medicine stayed dry and the ice pack helped it stay even cooler when the temperatures were over 90 outside! (I only use the ice pack on days of extreme heat. Most days we throw the case in my diaper bag and forget about it!)

My husband’s favorite feature to this bag? He can take it out of the diaper bag and attach it to his belt! He HATES carrying my giant diaper bag. As a food allergy mom, I am no stranger to a big bag! Of course I need a bag full of snacks and treats, extra clothes in case of emergency, hand wipes and seat covers! Rather than Dan having to take my giant bag when he has Olivia, he can just take the Sammie case out of the diaper bag and go on his way. This way he has her medications no matter where they go, without having to take the giant bag.

I have to mention the quality of these cases as well! Olivia has run around, thrown it everywhere, brought it out fishing, on hikes and even to Disney World. No matter the adventure, the case has stayed clean, in tacked and looking like new. The material is so durable that no matter what she’s thrown at it, it’s held up. We could not be more impressed.

Dealing with medications that could save your child’s life in an emergency require a lot of responsibility and sometimes it can feel very over whelming. Making sure you have all the medications, making sure they stay safe and temperature controlled – can be so stressful!The PracMedic cases and brand know how hard this can be and this is why they created this amazing product – to set our minds at ease. I have felt my anxiety melt away as I’ve watched Olivia carry this case with confidence. She’s proud to have her medication on her and feels so cute with the bag on her arm.

We cannot wait to try even more of PracMedic products – especially as Olivia is growing and getting older! Next we will be trying out the COMPACT Epi pen case! Stayed tuned to hear how we like the new bag!

Be Better, Netflix

Food Allergies, Our Latest Adventures

Alexa and Katie is about two best friends are how they navigate high-school, grades, boys, but most of all, how they deal when one of them is diagnosed with Cancer. It is one of my favorite shows to throw on. When I see the red ‘new episodes’ sign in the corner or the picture – I immediately curl in to binge watch them all – I mean they are only 20 minutes long! The show hits on some really sensitive subject matter. In between the light girl talk of boys and basketball are the issues of chemo, hair loss and all of the feelings that go along with that. This is a show I would be proud to show my daughter. It teaches kids and teens to be brave, inclusive and kind. It treats disabilities and challenges with respect. At least it did…

My husband and I were sitting down, relaxing after a long day, watching the Christmas episode of the latest season – Episode 5 – All I Want for Christmas is You – when all of a sudden we both froze. This show, about medical needs and acceptance, made an EPI pen joke. 

One of the customers in the coffee shop asks Katie (who works as a barista) for more foam on her latte. Katie being frazzled and frustrated grabs some nutmeg and sprinkles it all over her coffee. The customer then says “Nutmeg, eh I have my EPI Pen” – cue laugh track. And the show moves on. 

This is not funny. Laughing about an allergy or an EPI Pen is not a cool way to get laughs. You know what the show did do? It made light of something very serious. It let kids and teenagers and adults know “hey you can give me what could KILL me as long as I have my EPI pen.”

I wonder if Netflix or the show Alexa & Katie had any clue that every 3 minutes, a reaction due to food allergies sends someone to the Emergency Room. Did they know that if someone consumes their allergen, use of an EPI pen needs to be done within minutes and may need to be done with more than one EPI Pen. Finally, did they know that EPI pens do not work every time – or maybe I should send them over the list of children that have died because they didn’t have their EPI pen present or they didn’t get to it in time.

Did they know that 1 in 3 children – yes 1 in 3 kids – are bullied because of their food allergy and if the child has more than one food allergy, over half reported being bullied because of it. Take those facts and factor in that a widely watched television show finds that food allergies are okay to joke about and what do we have? More media making my daughter feel silly for her medical condition. More outlets making parents feel like they cant trust others because they may be looked down upon for protecting their child.

As a food allergy mom, I struggle with a lot of anxiety. And as I read through these food allergy facts, I learned that I am not alone. Parents of children under the age of 5 have significantly higher blood pressure and report high levels of psychosocial stress then moms of kids without food allergies. Most parents avoid restaurants all together. More than 1/4 of food allergy parents surveyed said that their kids don’t participate in sleep overs or camps, don’t go to restaurants and 10% avoid play dates with friends. This is all because of food allergies. These statistics should be enough to make the world stop joking about a world wide epidemic and start taking notice about how many families deal with this on a daily basis. 

This joke took up exactly 12 seconds of the show but is forever burned into my mind. To everyone who doesn’t deal with food allergies on a daily basis, this joke let their sub-conscience minds know that food allergies are curable and can be handled with the simple use of an EPI pen. And to all of us that deal with food allergies every single day, the joke increases that anxiety just that much more.

We can make the difference that the media is not having the courage to make. Take this opportunity to talk with your kids. Let them know how serious food allergies are. 

**Food Allergy Research and Education, Facts and Statistics**

First Dentist Appointment with Food Allergies

Food Allergies, Our Latest Adventures

Everyone’s worst nightmare…a trip to the dentist!! At Olivia’s last pediatrician appointment we were told that it was time to take her to the dentist and my heart stopped. Not because they would be checking out her teeth but because they would have to put things in her mouth – things that could potentially contain her allergens! We have to be so meticulous about ingredients in everything that even comes close to her. We know every possible name for dairy, wheat, eggs, peanuts and tree nuts, but I had never had to worry about ingredients in a medicine or at a doctors’ office. Through the years, there have been a few stories where children were given a fluoride or toothpaste that contained their allergen and they had to go into pure survival mode – EPI included. I went home and started doing research. 

Cue Google Search –> Food Allergies and the Dentist

I wrote down all of my questions, all of the names that could possibly mean the same as any of her allergens (ie Casein is another form of Dairy!) and had a plan of attack. 

The morning of the dentist appointment, I told Olivia we were going to the Dentist so the doctor could check out her teeth and she couldn’t have been more excited. She pointed to her teeth all morning and kept yelling “momma, teeth!” It’s so funny how all the fear and anxiety I had been holding on to for this appointment can just melt away with one smile from that little girl. I took a page out of her book and we walked into the Dental office with all the confidence and courage I could muster. 

We filled out our new patient paperwork and waited to be walked in. My stomach was in knots! When we were called back, the dental hygienist told me to avoid the dentist chair and sit Olivia on the bench next to the computer. She said most kids get really freaked out by the big, scary chair and they tend to shut down. She had obviously never met Olivia! She climbed right up onto the big girl dentist chair, with a smile so big it could be seen from the moon. 

“Momma, look, chair” she would say followed by “Momma, teeth!”

While Olivia played in the chair, I pulled the hygienist over and asked her to see an ingredient list of anything they would be using on Olivia for this appointment. I needed to be 100% sure nothing contained her allergens. Unfortunately, the office didn’t have a printed list of the ingredients in their products, which threw me for a loop. My research had shown that they had to have the product ingredients available and the fact that they didn’t have them made me so nervous. Instead, they gave me samples of the Floride and cleaner to have it tested at the allergist to be sure it was safe. I settled for this solution but it did leave me underwhelmed.

Thankfully, the first appointment at this office simply consisted of a short medical history interview, a discussion about what types of foods and drinks are consumed and a quite look into the mouth! Olivia was a rock star and got her teeth checked out an the all clear from the dentist! When they were done checking her teeth, she kept signing more so they would keep going – she is the only kid that LOVES the dentist. I was relieved nothing was put in her mouth today – but to be honest, without knowing the product ingredients – nothing was going in her mouth regardless. 

She picked out a stuffed animal prize and we took a trip to Dee’s One Smart Cookie for an allergy safe cake pop. 

For any allergy parents that might be nervous for their child’s first dentist appointment – there’s nothing to worry about! The first appointment was very straight forward – interview and quick check with no products. Remember, if you can’t see ingredients or don’t have that reassurance that the product is safe, don’t let them use it. Just Keep Advocating!! And tell them why you aren’t able to proceed with your appointment and hopefully they will get you what you need to feel comfortable.