December is a time for reflection for me. I LOVE Christmas, and the lights, music, gifting, snow, and magic! It also is the winding down of the year, a month that reminds me of what I have gotten done, or failed to get done! A time to review, and plan what needs to be done better in the new year.
2013 is winding down. It has been an amazing year! I was able to attend the Mylan Summit in NYC in January. While there, I had a wonderful meal with my good friend Caroline Moassessi, of Grateful Foodie, where we discussed the dream I had of having a conference for all our social media blogging and food allergy friends. That was the birth of the Food Allergy Bloggers Conference. I am still radiant with the afterglow of the conference (that happened November 2-4). The thrill of getting to see, and meet (in REAL life!) and connect all these wonderful people, and companies that I love! Now as I watch the connections forged at the conference weave stronger ties through our social media interactions, supporting and cheering eachother on~ Well, It simply fills me with joy! I am happy to say that we are getting close to announcing the dates for next year’s conference, so if you missed #FABlogCon this year- you’ll get a second chance to be part of the magic at FABC2014!
2013 marks my son Jacob having a g-tube for a year- [October 2012]. I am grateful every day for the miracle of feeding tubes and Ele-care. Jacob is in the 97th percentile now for height and weight! He has started pre-K and is having a wonderful year. I am blessed that our public school offers free pre-K, and that they have taken wonderful care in making sure the environment is accommodating, safe, and inclusive for Jacob. The bus stops before our house, while the bus aide uses wipes to wipe down the railing and seat on the bus before they stop and pick Jacob up! He has a one on one aide who helps make sure he is safe. He is getting speech therapy through school as well. With the continued Budesonide medication we do to treat his EoE, we have been able to avoid any flare ups AND add some food back into Jacobs diet! I am so happy that he is currently able to eat coconut, rice, potato and chicken! I can actually bake for him again! He is thrilled about getting to have home-made safe chicken nuggets!
My son Caleb is doing wonderfully in school, and I am so proud of the empathetic and caring young man he is. He too has a wonderful teacher, who does a lot of movement and activity through-out the day which helps tremendously with the mild ADHD he has been diagnosed with. He loves nature, salamanders, reading, and art. I LOVE having him read to me or to his brother! I am so happy he likes books and reading! I hope it stays with him! My days are scheduled. As I must hook Jacob up for (3) one hour pump feeding a day. One first thing in the morning, a 2nd one by 10:30 AM, as his bus comes at noon. Then I literally have 3 hours before the buses are coming back and we start in with snacks, homework, evening feeding, and bedtime routines. The weeks slip by so quickly!
2013 also marks the passing of my grandfather, Frank Pimentel. He was 93. A veteran of WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. He was a kind, quiet man, and I miss him terribly. My grandmother and I take solace that he is at peace with my mother, who passed away 14 years ago next week.
2013 also saw the passing of the federal Access to Epinephrine legislation; as well as many states passing state mandated Epinephrine laws saving many lives this year alone! I am so excited about the progress being made for the food allergy community! We will have the exciting debut of Henry Ehrlich’s new book about Dr Xiu-Min Li’s research, (Food Allergies: Traditional Chinese Medicine, Western Science and the Search for a Cure), both the book and the science are so exciting and promising! We are seeing more restaurants and food companies adapting gluten-free products and allergy friendly options. It may seem like progress and change is slow, but I think we are in the midst of a wondrous revolution! More and more people are developing food allergies. The upside of this- [yes- I do TRY to see a blessing in everything!] is chances get better and better that soon every person will know someone living with and effected by food allergies. (As with cancer). This means more people will know about epinephrine, how to use an eli-device, and maybe, just maybe, all this will influence even more positive changes for those living with food allergies! (Like getting epinephrine on ALL ambulances, ALL kids with epi-pens and asthma inhalers self-carrying or having their medicines with them at all times- in ALL schools and when riding the bus!)
Well 2013, I did not get nearly as many books read this year as I had hoped. I did not get my photos all into books, nor did my recipes get filed; as evidenced by the stack of scrawled recipes, computer printouts and dog-earred magazines I have on my cookbook shelf prove! I still don’t exercise enough, or eat right [living on coffee, and ice cream! 😉 ]. I still am not nearly as organized as I want to be. For the new year, I want to save and donate more money next year than I did this year- [but that goes for EVERY year!] I want to read more, write more, blog more, and laugh more!! Thank you 2013, you have been a very good year. Here’s to 2014 being even BETTER!! With a HUGE thank you to all of YOU! My readers, my friends, my fellow advocates, and warrior moms! I wish you all a wonderful holiday, and health, wealth, and happiness for 2014!!!