Finding Joy in Him

Through Every Season

Tag: Corn Allergy

Black Friday Deals

We are not one of the brave shoppers that spend their 
Thanksgiving waiting in line then shop all night, but we do enjoy 
going out late Friday morning and seeing what they’ve left behind.
The last year or so having popcorn popping in the house
hasn’t been the best thing for my corn allergy.
It makes me dizzy, confused, and really irritated.
So for a while I stopped buying it.
I finally suggested that we buy a microwave for the back porch.
We found this one for $40 at Target on Black Friday.
It’s actually too small for a regular bag of popcorn,
but it works great for those new microwaveable popcorn bowls.
 I made this shelf totally out of scrap wood. $0
Then bought two cans of spray paint for it. $8
 And now we have a popcorn station.
We could have gotten a used microwave for less.. 
but Mike has this thing about used and public microwaves.
Our other great Black Friday deal was these golf clubs.
There’s a group of men at our church that plays golf 
together from time to time that Mike would like to hang out with.
He needed someone to practice with before playing with them
and suggested that it would be a good way for usto have fun and exercise together.. especially if we walk the corse instead of riding a cart.
I made him promise several times that it was
 just for fun and not competition.  
We played a couple of times before and really enjoyed it.

The clubs were regularly $400 for each set.  We got both sets
for around $150.  I didn’t think I needed my own set..
Maybe Mike didn’t want to share his with me.

Mike rented “Golfing for Dummies” from Net Flicks.. and
we found a driving range and have gone out a few times.
I might be enjoying them even more than Mike.
We also found a cheep course near by.
It’s closed for the season.. so we’ll have to practice up for the Spring.

Love,
J

What’s Cooking for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is my kids’ favorite holiday, “because we get to eat.”  
Joel and I spent 3-4 hours on Monday grocery shopping.
He had to take his car in for an oil change and 
was happy to hang out with me while he waited.
  
Judi is my regular grocery shopping helper.  
She is so well trained.  
I made a Thanksgiving Shopping List that 
I re-print every year and she knows it well.  
She’ll be home from Guatemala late tonight.
It doesn’t usually take quite so long.. 
but we were out of EVERYTHING after 10 days of no fridge.  
I am so glad Mike fixed it.  So far so good.  Yay!
As my mom pointed out, it usually takes me several days
to do all the cooking for Thanksgiving.. but
I don’t mind because the kids enjoy it so much.
Yesterday, I made some stuff that turned out great:
Cranberry-Orange Relish
1 lb. cranberries
4 apples, peeled
1 orange with about 1/2 of the peel
1 1/2 c. walnuts 
1/2 c. pineapple with juice
1 c. sugar in the raw
Blend in blender.
Refrigerate overnight.
Will keep in freezer for 2 months.

Spicy Pumpkin Ginger Soup (for lunch)
1 onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 apple, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 oz. ginger root, grated
2 T. butter
1/4 c. peanut butter
1/4 c. roasted pumpkin seeds
salt
black pepper
4 c. pumpkin
4 c. vegetable broth
thyme
nutmeg
Two pumpkin pies (one sugar free).
Then the sugar-free Peanut Butter and Oatmeal cookies
didn’t turn out so great.  I so need help with those. ๐Ÿ™
Today I made some Banana Pudding with Xylitol.  
I hear it’s good, but can’t eat it because the xylitol comes from corn.
  
I also made some Pumpkin Chip Muffins.. the kind we eat every year 
for breakfast ..and a gluten free recipe I tried for the first time.  
I had to run to the store for muffin liners mid-mixing them 
(I added them to my grocery list for next year.)
 and almost forgot to add the pumpkin in when I came back.  
Thank God they looked funny and I realized my mistake.
They went really well with my leftover pumpkin soup.
Pumpkin Chip Muffins or Cake
4 eggs
2 c  sugar
14 oz. can pumpkin
1/3 c vegetable oil
2/3 c apple sauce
In a small bowl whisk together,
 adding each in order until smooth.
3 c  flour
2 t. baking soda
2 t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon 
1 t.  all spice
1 t.  nutmeg
1 dash salt
Mix in a large bowl.  Make a well.
1 c walnuts
1 c  chocolate chips
1 c  raisins
Stir in wet ingredients about 25 strokes 
until just combined.  Don’t over stir.
Spoon or use a 1/3 c. measure to fill well 
greased or paper lined muffin tins about 3/4 full.  
Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 20-25 min. 
or 55 minutes in a bunt pan.
I made the gluten free muffins basically the same way with only 2 eggs, 
and 1 and 1/2 cups sugar, then substituted 1 and 1/4 cups teff flour 
and 1/2 cup tapioca flour for the flour.
I just finished the Strawberry Jello Salad – and realized that 
I could probably safely eat it.  ๐Ÿ™‚
I stumbled across this recipe this morning 
Olive Oil and Vinegar Dipping Sauce:
3 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 pinch salt and black pepper
and decided to add it to my Thanksgiving Dinner list..
I think I’ll enjoy it more than gluten free/corn free gravy.
Tonight, I am making Cheesy Spinach Burritos (for dinner).
Then I’ll put the turkey in the oven to cook over night on low.
And we’ll go the the airport to pick up Judi!!!
Tomorrow we’ll make:
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Green Been Casserole
Ore-ida Crinkle Crispers
Crescent Rolls
Gravy
Turtle Pie

 and
APPLE MALLOW YAM YUMS  
4 med. sized apples
2/3 c. pecans or walnuts
1 c. raw sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 pkg. frozen sweet potatoes, thawed
1/2 c. butter, sliced
Cut apples and sweet potatoes
 into chunks and toss together.
Layer in buttered dish.
Dot with remaining butter.
Cover.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. 
It will probably all last a couple of days at the most.
3 Large boys who “get to eat.”
Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Love,
Jenny

Back at Home and to Birmingham

We packed up camp fast as we could Sunday morning.  A storm was blowing in and we didn’t want to take home wet tents.  Arrived home safe and took a nap.

After lunch, we took Holden home and went shopping again.  Lucked out and found an ice truck at Publix shortly after it pulled up.  Ice, propane, batteries and generators were still going fast.

3% of Huntsville now had power.  We saw a couple of lights 3-5 miles from our house that gave us some hope, and Publix now had generators for running their freezers. 

Mike and I went to bed shortly after dark.  Joel fell asleep on the couch in the living room with the dogs and they were all three awakened around midnight by a looter on our back porch.  The dogs earned their keep by barking up a storm and Joel by screaming.. the looter ran away and jumped in his get-away car.  So glad we were there that night and I am hoping that we can find a solar motion sensor light for our back porch today. 

I woke up two hours later being bit by a big tick.  Boy, can they bite.  I ran to Judi’s room because she had a candle lit.  She couldn’t sleep after the looter incident.  She tried pull off the tick with tweezers.. he was stuck on tight.. then to burn the tick with her candle lighter – I suggested we find some matches and get Mike to help.  He burned it with a lit match (not much better) and was finally able to get him off.  I should really look up symptoms for lyme disease.

Next morning I was about to enter an ice cold shower when I had an idea.. we could spend the night in Birmingham that night, take a hot shower, and not wake up as early for my appointments the next morning.  Didn’t take much to convince Mike; he’d already been thinking about it.  We went to a near by store and used their internet to find and book a hotel, bought the kids a few groceries then ran off to civilization.  Almost felt like a date instead of a doctor’s visit.

We had two hot showers, ate at Jim and Nick’s (one of our favorite bbq places) and slept in maybe the nicest hotel we’ve ever stayed at.  Appointments went well.  I didn’t have an allergic reaction to the CAT scan die (yay!) but did have a reaction to the rubbing alcohol the lab prepped me with.   It was probably a good thing.. it was my first time to have an immediate reaction.. and now I can just tell them I had a reaction and request they use something else in the future. 

It’s nice to be home again and now that the power is back on, I can get some laundry done.  We have a lot to do before Judi goes to TX on Saturday, and even more to do before Mike and I leave for Alaska.

Love,

J

Deodorizing

I did a little dance in Walmart the other day when I found this deodorant.  
I think it’s “corn free” and it seems to be working!  
The last several years I’ve been using an aluminum free 
“salt crystal” that didn’t leave me smelling oh, so pleasant.
So looking forward to not smelling this summer.
 
I also bought some Borax (also corn free)
and looked up some of it’s uses
http://www.20muleteamlaundry.com/
I found even more uses in other places and turned them in to a page for my 
laundry room door.. Can’t wait to try it in my toilet bowl and dishwasher.
 
I made you a PDF of it to print 
Last year this sun screen worked for me.. 
I bought it after having a bad reaction to my favorite sun block.
This year I turned pale and had a headache with in minutes of putting it on.
So glad I found a bathroom.  Time to find or make a new one.
J

Seeing an Allergist

I went to see a very nice allergist on Monday and discovered that I am allergic to the “pure” allergen scratch test which the doctor said I “cannot possibly be.  Only possible reaction is the small whelps on back.  Not enough allergen to cause a more severe reaction.”

I went in feeling pretty good; had a little bit of sinus trouble from the bite of wheat I had eaten the week before.  Within 3 hrs. after the test, I had 30 spots on the inside of my elbow and eczema on my neck.  5 hrs. all the scratch spots swelled, itchy eyes, ears, scalp.  7 hrs. sinus head ache and eczema on arm.  By 8 hrs. I was very irritable.. just ask my poor mom who got an ear full. 

I woke up at 1 AM the next morning feeling miserable with fluid in my ears, sinus head ache, itchy patches on my legs, sore joints, indigestion, icky feeling, constipation, insomnia, swollen face, foggy thinking.. all of which the allergist confirmed were allergic reactions.  When I asked him if the vials had a preservative made from corn, he said that I could have not reacted to them no one else had.. “must have been the trees or mold or something else.”  I said that the trees and mold were all there before and that the only thing I did different was to come to his office.  “I don’t know.”  I have never had all those symptoms at once and didn’t know they were all signs of an allergic reaction, so I did learn something.

He completed the second half of the testing and was happy to report that I wasn’t allergic to corn or wheat and could eat as much as I wanted.  I showed him my eczema again and said, “See this rash?  The one I didn’t have yesterday?  Remember?   I get this rash the day after I eat corn.  I have a delayed reaction.”  He said, “Don’t eat corn then.” and offered to give me a prescription for hydrocortisone for the rash.  I said, “No, thank you.  It will have something in it that comes from corn.”  He said he could guarantee that I would not react to it..

The problem is this: He only believes you can have a reaction to corn proteins; not things made from corn sugar or oil etc.  I (and others) do react to corn starch etc.  I told him how I put on a pair of powdered (corn starch) surgical gloves once and my hands turned red and swelled.  I am not allergic to latex.  He said, “Must have been something else.  Gloves have more than just latex in them.”  I told him how I reacted to Lays potato chips with corn oil.. he said “How do you know it wasn’t the potatoes?” When I told him that popcorn fumes bothered me, he said, “Take an antihistamine.”

As soon as I got out of there the second day, I took some of my herbal cleanse that I had with me in the car.  Within half an hour my eczema was improving, by the end of the day my sinus head ache was gone, and I slept much better that night.  I am still a little achy, but I have to take into account that he injected me the second day, too.  I hope to never see an allergist again.

Jenny

Monday’s Progress

This is what my day was like yesterday..

Wide awake at 4 AM.
Which was good because I needed to get some questions together for the allergists I was planing to see.  God so totally helped me with them.  Sunday I didn’t have the ability to think straight enough to even start.

6:30 AM .. Drive with James to work.
We are sharing a car right now.  I made him a little late because I lost track of time.. but not too, too late.

7:30 AM..
Run home get ready really quick because I was already behind schedule.

8:00 AM
Run out the door to drop Zoรซ at the vet for her spay.

I hate being late.. God cleared the roads for me and the GPS got me to my first appointment only 5 minutes after their office opened and 25 minutes before my appointment.

8:30 AM See first allergist..
Actually, I never saw any allergist.. I handed an introductory letter to the receptionist who gave it to the doctor to read over first so I wouldn’t waste time and money if they couldn’t help me.

Both allergist suggested I go to UAB which has a cancer center where I would have a team of doctors including an allergist (I think) work together.

9 AM  See breast cancer nurse for counseling at Breast Cancer Center.
She was wonderful, sweet, a Christian and has an interest in and some knowledge about holistic medicine.. which makes her just perfect for me.  ๐Ÿ™‚  She will be following me throughout my case.

She mentioned a couple of things that were really helpful.
One.  The doctors can give me something like Benadryl before the surgery to help lessen any reactions I might have.  I don’t like to take stuff, so I normally just suffer through.

Two.  Although for the most part my allergy symptoms have only been uncomfortable, they can be prepared to help me if they escalate into anaphylactic shock during surgery.  I should also read more about anaphylactic shock, so that if I do go into anaphylactic shock, it won’t be as scary.

Three.  They caught my cancer so early that it’s actually considered pre-cancerous.  I like that.  ๐Ÿ™‚

10:30 AM  Second allergist suggested I go to UAB.

**Through all this I started thinking about how your body is designed to destroy it’s own cancer cells and how the stress that my corn allergy causes in my body is probably a big part of why it hasn’t.  This is a HUGE thought that I am not sure what to do about yet.. something I am setting at Jesus’ feet.

11 AM  Home for a lunch break..
And a bunch of phone calls to our insurance, to a doctor’s office at UAB, and to cancel appointments here.  And I got a 30 min. nap in.   ๐Ÿ™‚

1:30 PM Run to Costco for black ink and pick up James for his doctors appointment.
I got to talk to Mike on the phone for a little bit here.  He is starting a new office at work.  They are having a hiring “pause,” which is making it difficult to build a team to do all the work that they want him to do.  He is flying to DC today to work on setting up the people he has there so far and won’t be back until Thursday night.  **He is really getting hit from all sides and needs lots of prayer.

3 PM See James’ doctor
Which is also my primary doctor.. who did a very good job with him.  She talked to him about exercising so that his body could be in top shape and fight off the little cancer cells that develop in each of our bodies everyday.  So now, we all have extra motivation to exercise.

4:30 Pick up Zoรซ

5:30 Eat and phone calls

6:30 Update Mike in person

7:30 Gymnastics with Judi

I am so glad life goes on.  I wouldn’t want it to stop for me.. ๐Ÿ™‚

Bed.. and I slept really good.. Mike said something about the kids accidently hurting Zoรซ and did I hear her screaming last night.  I didn’t hear a thing.  ๐Ÿ™‚

So to sum things up.. I learned:
Stress is bad.
Allergies cause stress.
Exercise is good.

My next steps are to get in to see a radiologist at UAB so that I can decide if or not I want to totally rule that out, to learn more about seeing an allergist there, and to look over this huge notebook the breast cancer nurse gave me.

Have a great day,

Jenny

Struggling with Corn

I’d appreciate your prayers.  I’ve been really struggling with corn lately.

I’ve been having reactions to corn for about 2 years now.  The first few months I stopped eating corn to the best of my knowledge and tried to treat the rash on my neck and chest with natural rash remedies such as vitamin E and C.  It only got worse.  After visiting a herbalist in Montgomery, a whole new world of what corn is opened up to me.  For starters, I learned that my rash “treatment” of vitamin E and C is actually derived from corn.

I found a list of 200 things that can mean corn such as salt, sugar, natural flavorings and many more that I can’t spell.  I started reading labels more carefully and eating more from scratch.  I discovered that I can’t even touch corn with out having a reaction.  It was in my shampoo, tooth paste, everything.  I avoided all I could and started feeling much better.

Then we moved here.  I ate lots of comfort food, gained weight and my rash returned.

Several weeks ago I went back on my gluten-free, ‘corn’-free fast.  Fast – that’s what it feels like – a forced fast, but also a daily offering of prayer as I don’t eat what I’d like to or what is convenient and try to find things that are safe to eat.  Sometimes it seams like it’d be easier just to stop eating all together.

It’s difficult and frustrating to me to try to educate myself on corn – it’s such a huge, complicated subject and I have so many other things I’d rather spend my life on.  Sometimes I wish I could hire someone to come show me what is corn and gluten free, where to buy it and how to cook it.  There are a several Trader Joe’s products on the corn free lists.. we don’t have one…

This summer I’ve been forced into trying to learn more by a bad spell.  It’s not bad now, but constantly irritating under the surface and makes it difficult maintain a pleasant disposition and has led to this post.  I keep discovering things I been eating, drinking or touching that come from corn.  And have I mentioned that we are surrounded by corn fields?  Our house may even be sitting in what was a corn field just a few years ago.

Learning about corn is hard because it’s comparatively a rare allergy to have, it’s basically in and on everything and not labeled as clearly as nuts, or eggs or even gluten.   The research can also be so depressing.  I learned last week that a lot of my other symptoms such as urinary and sinus infections can be caused by a reaction to corn.  Then today I learned that the wax used on the produce in the grocery stores is often derived from corn.  I guess it’s time to find a farmer’s market.

Please pray for me.. healing would be nice.. more wisdom.. lots more patience.. more of Jesus..

I do have one praise report.  Before Passover every year the Jews are required to clean their houses top to bottom.  It’s where we get the idea of Spring cleaning.  They are not to leave on speck of dust anywhere in their house – because it could be a speck of leaven – which represents pride and sin in our hearts.

Passover night they play a hide and seek game where the parents hide 10 pieces of leavened bread around the house for the kids to find.  After all 10 are found they pray something like, “Let any leaven which we have not found be as if it never existed.”  Grace covers the law.  Good thing because it’s impossible to keep.

Remembering this I felt like God said that when I eat in a public place and can’t possibly know if or not the food I am eating is corn free that I can pray, “Let any corn that may be in this food be as if it never existed.”  This was a big breakthrough for me.  I wanted to be able to pray, “No poisonous thing will harm me.” and eat the corn chips and all, but didn’t feel like God gave me that freedom.. so I avoid the things most likely made with corn; salad dressing and the like and pray over the rest.

Thank you,

J

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