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  1. I don't know much about it, but I was thinking of having my dd, age 11, do the online latin here: http://www.ctd.northwestern.edu/ . It's a talented/gifted classes and some are online. They also have in person classes if you are near Chicago. Hopefully this link will take you more directly (you might have to copy and paste, I can't get it to become a link): http://www.ctd.northwestern.edu/courses?f[0]=field_division%3A412&f[1]=field_grade_level%3A426
  2. We have started it with two of my kids. We are lucky that our local allergist is doing (one of only two in IL)! Definitely read the OIT101.org website linked in a previous post, there is so much information there. The facebook group mentioned in the same post is also really great. There is a lot of mis-information out there about it. OIT isn't for everyone, but I would hate for people to dismiss it for the wrong reasons or because they don't understand it. Even a lot of allergists are really behind in the research and are spreading bad info. Here are some OIT myths: http://www.oit101.org/top-10-oit-myths/ . The biggest one is that people won't do it because it isn't FDA approved. Here is the answer from the OIT website: Dr. Chad Mayer explains the answer simply: “Many question if this procedure is FDA approved. OIT does not utilize a medical device or medication and therefore does not fall under the purview of the FDA and it will not approved or disapproved by the FDA.†Dr. Richard Wasserman shares his perspective: “Regarding your question about FDA approval, the FDA does not approve treatments. They only approve drugs and devices. FDA “approval†is not required for a physician to treat a patient with OIT. In fact, the FDA will only approve a “drug†for use in desensitization by OIT. There are investigators who are studying the use “pharmaceutical quality†foods for desensitization. Most physicians currently doing OIT use off-the-shelf foods. If the FDA approves, for example, a peanut formulation for OIT, it is likely that the cost will increase dramatically because instead of paying a few dollars for a pound of peanut flour, it will become a drug. I don’t think this will help patients.†There are a couple peanut allergy treatments that are in clinical trials and will likely eventually get FDA approval. So far they do not seem as effective as OIT and they will be expensive. The peanut pill is just the same peanut flour used in OIT and putting in in standardized doses making it easier for doctors to administer. But then doctors lose the ability to tailor the doses to what the patient can tolerate. It also means that doctors who aren't really qualified to do OIT will prescribe it and that seems like a recipe for disaster. OIT is time intensive for both the doctor and the patient. It relies on doctors being super on top of what is going on and being specialists in OIT. OIT has been studied for over a decade at this point and has a very high success rate in private practice (higher than in clinical trials because of the strict rules required in trials). Although not common now, the science is definitely moving towards this being the answer to food allergies. I think over time the methods are going to be refined even more as we learn about the long term requirements (you have to frequently eat your allergen to maintain the desensitization), and hopefully make the whole process easier and more available. Our insurance is paying for it because the visits are just in office food challenges that they have always paid for. I pay my regular co-pay each visit. We also paid a supply fee upfront. This is to cover the food and supplies they buy. Our doctor has a local pharmacists that compounds the low peanut doses (the first doses are measured in micrograms! suspended in liquid) and the fee pays for that.
  3. One of the other times this same office sent us somewhere else was for a minor sprain. Again, they wouldn't even see the my DD, they automatically send every hurt wrist, ankle, etc. to the orthopedic clinic. That time I gave them the benefit of the doubt even though I really didn't think she needed an xray. This same child broke her finger later and it looked broken so I knew to take her to the orthopedic clinic without seeing the pediatrician, but I thought the sprained ankle was a little annoying. It's just this splinter thing was maybe the third time they sent us somewhere else... And they didn't use any anesthetic to numb the area with the splinters. That was my initial thought on why they wouldn't do it at the pediatrician's office, but immediate care didn't either. And it did hurt, poor girl! I suppose the ER would have. Thanks for making me feel like I'm not crazy with this.
  4. I'm looking for people's opinions on when something is worth going to the ER vs seeing the pediatrician. It seems to me that our pediatrician's office does less and less and instead refers you to different places for things that seem like they should fall under the umbrella of "primary care." Today at school my 10 year old was playing on a wooden play structure and sat on a wooden bridge. The edges must have been damaged and when she sat, several long splinters went into her leg. The school nurse removed one but my daughter was feeling anxious and so the nurse didn't want to continue because she didn't want to make her more upset. The nurse said she thought that I could probably remove them at home, but that I might want a doctor to do it since it would probably hurt and they would make sure to get them all. The area on her leg was maybe 2 or 3 inches square and had maybe 5-10 splinters. I took her to the pediatrician's office and they wouldn't even see her (we had an appointment, that wasn't the problem). They let me talk to a nurse who said that splinters required an ER visit. She saw the area and how small it was. I told her straight out that going to the ER to remove 5 splinters was ridiculous. She then backtracked and said that I could take her to "immediate care" instead if I really wasn't willing. So I drove to immediate care which it turns out is a walk-in clinic in a family practice (same large healthcare system as the pediatrician). They saw her right away, spent 15 minutes pulling out splinters, and we went home with further instructions. Now it seems to me that a few minor splinters from wooden playground equipment really falls under the umbrella of primary care/ pediatrics and not the ER. If the whole side of her leg had been covered with them or they were metal or glass, I can totally see going to the ER, but that wasn't the case and the nurse and the doctor she spoke with knew this. It took another doctor just 15 minutes to deal with it. How long would we have sat in the ER? How much more would this have cost? This isn't the first time in recent memory where this same pediatrician's office has told me they don't do certain things and sent us somewhere else without even seeing the child in question, just a blanket statement "we won't see kids for that". While there are times I completely agree a specialist is necessary, for instance my kids definitely need to see an allergist, these instances are all for minor things that I remember seeing my regular doctor for as a child. This office seems like all they do anymore is well baby checks, strep throat tests, and pink eye. Has anyone else seen this trend? Do splinters really deserve a trip to the ER and I'm just out of touch?
  5. I got my fitbit zip on ebay for just under $40. It was brand new but the box had been opened (most likely a return). It worked well and then the second time I needed to replace the battery, the fitbit wouldn't turn back on after putting in the new battery. I emailed fitbit and they gave me instructions to check a tiny little spring that can get bent. I fixed it with a mini screwdriver and it's working great again. I would email fitbit and see if there is an easy fix before buying something new.
  6. Our deal with Penn didn't have many strings attached like that. They gave some money as a loan that would be forgiven over a number of years. So if you sold your house a year after moving in, you had to pay most of the money back, but if you moved after 7 years, the entire amount was forgiven. It was an incentive to actually live in the house for years and not try to flip it. You could also get a separate loan, also forgivable, to use towards visible improvements like your roof, house exterior, or yard. Neither of these loans was for huge amounts (under $10,000), but was enough to be a good incentive since most people who work for a university aren't making much in terms of salary. Plus, this was about 10 years ago so I'm sure things are quite different now.
  7. My husband and I both attended grad school in Philadelphia. The university of Pennsylvania is in a bad part of Philly . The living areas closest to campus (outside of student housing) were at the time poorly maintained, lots of vacant houses, and lots of crime. Penn set out to gentrify the area so that staff could live there. After grad school, I worked for the university and one of our benefits was that Penn would help staff buy a house within a certain area near campus. They gave us money and paid our mortgage insurance, among other things. Their plan was working last I knew (we moved out of the area about 9 years ago). The housing prices were going up in the area which meant that demand for houses was going up. Most of the long time residents owned their houses outright. Some were well maintained, but a ton weren't. It wasn't landlords, it was the homeowners that weren't maintaining their properties. It was a mix of people who just didn't care and people who really didn't have the money to properly maintain a house. While I sympathize that some people were forced out of their communities, if they couldn't afford basic maintenance on their house, they couldn't afford to live there whether or not the area was undergoing gentrification. Houses just cost a certain amount of money to keep up (roof work, electrical, heating, etc). Property taxes on our street were under $2000 a year at the time. Having people with enough money to fix up vacant and poorly kept up properties was a good thing for the neighborhood as a whole. We aren't talking about rich people buying these places for summer homes, it was people who made $40,000 a year and held steady jobs nearby. We bought our house there from a older lady whose kids had grown up and moved out and whose husband had died years before. She used the money from the sale to move into an apartment close to one of her kids. The way things were in that area before Penn started gentrifying it, she would not have been able to sell her house for much, if she was able to sell at all. She wanted to move because the house was too big for just her and I'm guessing she would have had trouble over time maintaining it. The other houses on our street that were well maintained all belonged to older women/couples whose children were now adults, and they were mostly sad to see how their neighborhood had deteriorated.
  8. My 7 yo ds regularly comes out of the shower with dry hair. He insists he is getting completely under the water and washing his hair. I send him right back in to try again...
  9. I carry auvi-q injectors in a little pouch in my purse. I also keep the chewable benadryl in there . One childrens chewable benadryl is the same as one liquid teaspoon but easier to carry. I wouldn't worry about temperatures unless you are in a lot of extremes. If people are ok with the temp, epipens should generally be ok. Just like you wouldn't shut a person in a car on a hot day, you can't leave an epi-pen. You'll get use to taking them everywhere with you, it isn't a big deal after a while.
  10. You described my 9yo old dd when she was that age. She was covered in eczema and when her hands were free she would spend all her time scratching all her skin off. She also cried all the time. We had her allergy tested at 9 months due to an actual food allergy incident and she is currently allergic to milk, eggs, sesame, and shellfish. Taking foods out of my diet never did a thing. Definitely check for laundry products, lotions, etc. I think the current thinking is that it is super important to fully treat the eczema even if it means extended steroid treatment. It used to be thought that the eczema was a symptom of food allergies, but now it might be that the open skin and inflammation of eczema are first and are actually causing the allergies and asthma. So really doing everything to keep the eczema down can actually prevent asthma. Google "bleach baths." It sounds horrible but they can actually be amazing and do so much to reduce inflammation. Stay on top of the steroids. My dh hates using them on the kids but it really is a quality of life issue.
  11. When we lived in India, we couldn't get ANY auto-injectors. Our Indian pediatrician wrote a prescription for a vial of epinephrine and a syringe and said that she would teach me how to inject someone. If you really just need it for backup, I wonder if a dr would be willing to prescribe something like that. It's no different than how they give epinephrine in a doctor's office or hospital. Get a set of epipens for out of the house/school, expired ones as backups and then vials as ultimate backups. I keep expired epipens for about a year after the date as our backups. We keep them in a dark hall closet so it should keep them in good condition.
  12. At the price ranges people are quoting for that salary, you could maybe get a condo here. I just checked zillow and the cheapest house available in our city is $500,000 with $10,000 per year property tax. There aren't many condos here, but some were in the $200-$300,000 range. That particular house is a 1950's ranch with 1500 square feet. We are in a North Shore suburb of Chicago.
  13. Do you have any restaurant supplies stores in the area? Google it. When we lived in Philadelphia, they had a whole restaurant supply district. You could buy cases of glasses and plates for cheap.
  14. Ice and maybe some over-the-counter antibiotic ointment. Then concealer tomorrow.
  15. The basic membership is $50 for the year. If you'll save more than $50, I would just count it as part of the cost of the hot tub. If you get the $100 membership, you get a small percentage of your total purchases for the year back as a check. I can't remember the percentage, but if the hot tub is expensive enough and you get the $100 membership, you might actually get the membership fee back as the rebate.
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