April 27, 2006 at 9:50 am (Uncategorized)


Originally uploaded by taylorkoa22.

It's allergy season!  Let me know how you cope!


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Return of the Podcast

April 27, 2006 at 9:49 am (Uncategorized)

Podcast Wallpaper

Originally uploaded by OllyHart.

I recorded it last night and started editing. Everything I promised and more. Thanks for staying tuned!

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Swollen lips

April 21, 2006 at 7:30 pm (Uncategorized)

i bet you can’t do that…

Originally uploaded by Ms Jackson.

An allergic reaction can take many forms. It might just be a runny nose or red eyes. If you start to swell in any way (lips, eyes), take Benadryl and call your Dr. immediately. If you have an epi-pen, know how and when to use it.

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St. Louis Arch

April 14, 2006 at 11:31 am (Uncategorized)

St. Louis Arch

Originally uploaded by J.S. Hollands.

Speedy delivery!

It just so happens I may get the chance to meet my contest winner (Laura) in person while I’m in St. Louis. How cool would that be?

Also, for you podcast listeners, I just wanted to say that this little unintentional hiatus I’ve been on has given me some time to think about the format of the show, as well as the audio quality, etc. I have some decent tools at my disposal, but not as much time as I’d like. Therefore, I am going to begin making my show an every-other-week show. Previously, it’s been a weekly show that has sometimes been an “every ten days” show because of time constraints.

Also, one thing that can make the show better are your comments. Audio comments. Stories, wishes, desires, rants, raves: this is your outlet! Please feel free to use my toll-free #.

Info for calling the show is here.

Have a reaction-free week & a great holiday weekend. 🙂

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Which flowers and trees cause the most allergies?

April 8, 2006 at 12:00 pm (Uncategorized)

We are looking at planting a butterfly garden in our front yard to fill in some bare patches where two dead trees were cut down in the fall. I was researching perennial plants, and my wise husband said we ought to find out which of them were the most allergenic, so we could plan on NOT putting anything in our front yard that might make life hard for me and the boys (I live on Zyrtec this time of year).

Boy, is he smart!

Here's a great article I found on the HGTV website:

Home & Garden Television
Allergy Alert
Gardening by the Yard : Episode GBY-613 — More Projects »

If you're sneezing a lot in your yard, check to see if you have any of these allergy-causing culprits. Fall means cooler temperatures, more abundant rainfall, fewer pests and gorgeous leaf colors; on the other hand, fall is a time when the air is filled with all sorts of things that cause allergies. Major culprits are pollen, mold spores and, if rainfall has been sparse, dust. Master gardener Paul James shares the reasons certain plants cause allergic reactions as well as some natural methods of allergy control.

Only male plants produce pollen, which means that only male plants can produce the symptoms associated with pollen allergies. It's not always easy to identify male and female plants, and in many cases there's no real way of knowing what sex your plant/tree is, since gender is rarely indicated on nursery tags. To further complicate the matter, you can't always tell the sex of a plant just by looking. Here are a few general guidelines to help you sort it out:

Within the world of gardening there are male plants, female plants and plants that are both male and female.

1. Monoecious plants have separate male and female flowers on the same plant–examples include oak trees (figure A) and corn. The male tassels at the top of the corn plant (figure B) contain the pollen that floats down to pollinate the female ears of corn. Because monoecious plants often rely on the wind to move pollen from the male portion of the plant to the female portion, they are notorious for causing allergies.
2. Dioecious plants–plants that are either all male or all female–also rely on wind to transfer pollen from a male plant to a female plant.

3. Many plants, such as roses (figure C), have what's called perfect flowers, which means they contain both male and female parts; as a result, the pollen doesn't have to travel far–this means that these plants rarely cause allergies.

The only way to know the sex of a given plant is to consult references, but there are clues to look for that will give you an idea about whether or not a plant is likely to cause allergies.

1. Small flowers with little color tend to cause more allergies than large, brightly-colored flowers.

2. Off-white and greenish-colored flowers cause more allergies than all the other flower colors combined (figure D).

3. Trumpet-shaped flowers (figure E) seldom cause allergies because their pollen is held deep within the flower.

4. Fragrant plants–as a rule–don't produce as many pollen allergies, but they may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to certain odors.

You don't have to plant female plants exclusively if you suffer from pollen allergies–that might result in a pretty boring landscape, and female trees can produce all sorts of messy seeds and fruit. Instead, follow these few rules to cut back on your allergy suffering:

1. Avoid planting the most notorious pollen producers, like goldenrod (figure F) (see list below).
2. Create as much diversity in the garden as possible.

3. Stay out of the garden on windy days.

4. Avoid planting pollen-producing plants near areas where you spend a lot of time or near windows that you like to open on nice days.

5. If you're allergic to grass pollen, cut the grass and weeds before they have time to flower.

Mold is another cause of allergies, and you can usually find plenty of it in the garden. The good news is that mold can be somewhat controlled by making sure that your landscape gets plenty of sunlight and good air circulation. The bad news is that one of the key features of any good garden–the compost pile–is also a notorious source of mold. Molds are beneficial catalysts in the decomposition process, so have someone else turn your pile and spread your compost if you're allergic to mold.

Worst trees and plants for allergy sufferers:

ash (male)
Arizona cypress
aspen (male)
bald cypress
black acacia
Chinese elm
fringe tree (male)
Kentucky coffee (male)
mountain laurel
Osage orange (male)
poplar (male)
privet (male)
red cedar
Russian olive
silver maple (male)
smoke tree
sumac (male)
willows (male)

Allergy-causing flowers and grasses:

Bahia grass
Bermuda grass
blue fescue
castor bean
centipede grass
fountain grass
gamma grass
orchard grass
sedge (Carex)
Timothy grass

Gardening by the Yard : Episode GBY-613
• Growing Fall Veggies
• Allergy Alert
• Clay Soil
• Stumps and Roots
• Asters

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Hospital ignores child’s allergies repeatedly – parents’ vigilance saves him

March 12, 2006 at 11:59 am (Allergy News!, Uncategorized)

Hospital Ignores Child’s Allergies Repeatedly

Parents’ vigilence saves him

By ClubMom Member Chris, Clermont, FL

Story from the Heart

At the age of two, my son came down with a virus. To this day we still don’t know what kind.

The doctors at the hospital did all kinds of tests, and were never able to determine what type of virus my son had. We had taken him to the emergency room, when after only an hour of vomiting, he started vomiting bile (his stomach acids), and was inconsolable. As soon as we got to the ER, the staff told us it was a good thing we came in, as he was very dehydrated. Two people, tried six times to start an IV. It seems our son was so dehydrated that his veins were collapsed.

Even as they rehydrated him, our son couldn’t hold anything down, and was eventually admitted into the hospital. The very next day is when the trouble started. They had brought my son son milk and saltine crackers, to see if he could hold anything down. I had already told everyone we came in contact with that he had multiple food allergies, all of which were written on his chart. I told the nurse again about his food allergies, and she said she would send for the head floor nurse so that I could talk to her.

Later that day, they sent him something else to which he was allergic. Next, I was referred to the head of food services for the hospital. I did not feel very secure when she told me she couldn’t tell me what was in some of the foods. Again, later that day, my son was brought food to which he was allergic.

It got so bad that my husband and I had to take turns staying with him at the hospital for fear that someone would give him food or drink to which he was allergic. A week later, when he was finally able to keep something down without vomiting it back up, we even brought all his food from home for him to eat.

All this time that our son was in the hospital, my husband and I were suffering with the same virus. It’s scary to think that people in the medical profession can be so uninformed about food allergies, and at a hospital no less — the one place you should feel safe.

When it comes to your child, don’t assume anything.

View this article online at

© CMI Marketing, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Beautiful Pollen

February 14, 2006 at 8:57 pm (Uncategorized)

Centre of a White Helleborus orientalis

Originally uploaded by Colour.

The podcast story about the Tokyo hotel got me in the mood to search for “pollen” photos.

Nice one, huh?

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