What can I say about 2016?  I must say that along with many blessings, it’s been one of the toughest years I’ve had.  I’ve had some health issues arise (nothing major, but significant enough in my life to make things difficult sometimes), and my Lennon’s allergies became significantly worse this year.  He began having hives around September, and we racked our brains trying to figure out what he was allergic to.  We kept thinking it was fish-related.  Lenny’s first allergic reaction was a couple of years ago when his face swelled huge and we had to take him to the ER, and after a blood test, nothing really showed up, except for basic allergens.  They thought it was idiopathic.  His reactions were very little from there, until this year when in September he started having hives, which was a first.  It seemed he was always around fish or fish being cooked or something, so I thought SURELY it’s fish-related, but after about 15 shots in the arm a few weeks back, he showed no allergies to fish.  Mind-boggling.  What is my baby reacting to???

A month or so ago he’s playing in our front yard.  It’s very cold out and I notice his cheeks are quite rosy.  A little bit later, after playing with sticks and being by the trees, I notice his face is quite red and developed hives.  The TREES!!!!  He’s reacting to the trees!!  (as I remembered he had a high allergy to the trees in our area)  He was holding a branch… all around our trees… that’s it!  So we need to keep him away from trees, I thought.  😦  (I just thought with his medicine he took that he could be around trees but the medicine would keep him from sneezing and all.)

A few days later we go to the Tennessee Aquarium and he shows me an arm covered in hives.  At this point I’m starting to panic and thinking… he’s not around trees or dogs… we’re in a building… Oh WAIT!  He only had hives on ONE arm, and that was the arm he stuck in the sturgeon tank to pet the sturgeon!!!  (which he’s done since he was little)  It MUST be fish!  They have to be wrong… it Must be fish.

The Tuesday before Christmas break (last week)… his teacher messaged me pictures of his face and hands covered in hives (some of the worst I had seen, so at this point I’m thinking the reactions seem worse).  He was on the playground.  There weren’t really many trees close… no dogs… definitely no fish… What is my baby reacting to?!  I’m crying at this point.  Worried to no end.  Feeling helpless (funny enough… as I’m a strong believer in the Chief Healer, our Lord… but when it comes to something we love so dearly, we seem to fail in faith at times do we not?).  I was about to pick him up when I called my Mom and she said she and my Dad would get him (since I was at work).  By the time they got there the benadryl had cleared it up, and they took him and got him a Starbucks hot chocolate.  😉  Lenny was pretty excited about that.

That afternoon I called the allergist yet again, and they had no openings, so I left a message for one of the nurse practitioners and she so kindly got me in.  On the way to the doctor Lenny told me he was allergic to the cold.  I said, no baby… that’s not possible.  We got there and talked to the FNP, and she put together all the scenarios of his breaking out in hives and said she had a patient that had Cold Urticaria and she wanted to test Lennon for it.  So she put a bag of ice on his arm, and he cried throughout the procedure (God bless his heart), and when they lifted it, it was blood red… and they began to see a hive or two form.  She said he has Cold Urticaria!  Cold WHAT??!!  … as I tried to phonetically put it in my notes on my phone… Cold Urticaria is a very rare allergy to the Cold.  He’s allergic to cold temperatures.  So I looked it up, and sure enough… it’s very real and you can hardly find any information on it, and the only real remedy is to avoid the cold… as we just now get into winter.  😦  Some people have it so bad they can’t even go in air conditioning or drink / eat cold things.  Lenny does not have that.  His is only when he goes outside in the cold.  So we upped his medicine and filled the prescription for epipens.

A couple of days ago it was 65 degrees, and after a little playing time outside, his cheeks became pink… he started itching under his chin…  so I took him inside.  It’s really all about “cooling” and not only the cold.  I thought I’d test it again a couple of days ago to see how quickly he’d react (at this point I’m wondering how he can do recess at school), so after about 7 minutes outside, he started forming hives again.  This day it was maybe in the lower 50s.  I took him in and we layed hands on him and prayed, and Nana anointed him with oil, which touched my heart so much.  Most people outgrow the allergy after about 5 years, though for some it’s life-long.  God can take this allergy away from him, and I’m believing for that miracle and ask that you also pray with me for that.

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Please know that 2016 was also a beautiful year.  Lenny and I took a big trip up north with Dad.  We went to Disney World.  I got my baby boy Chihuahua, Boots.  I had a wonderful year in photography and even changed my business name to The Memory Box Photography.  Lucas is doing so well at work.  He has one of the highest return rates for clients in town and surrounding areas.  God is so good.  I mention the above to share with you some of what we’ve gone through this year (that I would love for you to pray with me about) – but at the end of the day – God is always good.  He’s bigger than any allergy – He’s bigger than any tough situation you’re going through or illness you may have – He’s our true Healer.  We can’t let fear control us and make us think otherwise.

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So here’s to an amazing 2017.  God can do amazing things in our lives if we let Him.  I’m holding up barrels for him to fill and pour his love and blessings on us.

Love to you all and Happy New Year!





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