Quinoa, Craziness, and Ear Infections

<chirp chirp chirp>

That’s the sound of the crickets chirping in the silence of the last week here at Cradle Rocking Mama. I’ve been, as they say, out of pocket.

And out of my mind, but that’s starting to seem all too typical!

So, to ease any concerns I’m going to start by saying: quinoa is looking good!

Noshing away on a feeder full of quinoa!

Noshing away on a feeder full of quinoa!

I created a teething biscuit recipe for Zac out of quinoa, and while he’s not a huge fan of just plain, cooked quinoa flakes, he LOVES the crackers! He gnaws on them all day long and is thrilled to death to do so!

Even better? Because he’s got something to eat, his Roomba tendencies have greatly diminshed! The kiddo isn’t picking up EVERY SINGLE THING off the floor and eating it any more! (Now it has to be something that looks particularly interesting, which is still a HUGE improvement!)

And after the rocky start we had last week, there have been NO bad symptoms!

So we were planning on taking a quinoa break this week on Wednesday for 3 days and re-introducing it on Saturday to see how he handled it. If he did okay on it after another 7 days we were ready to call it SAFE.

Isn’t that a glorious thought? My son would finally have a safe food!

And then our plans went down the toilet.

OK, so I started with quinoa because that’s where I left off, but the last week was Cah-Ray-Zee around here!

The day of my last post, I got a call from work. Turns out they needed me to go to training – on FRIDAY. And I had to pee in a cup and get fingerprinted and do paperwork BEFORE I could go to training. Which meant the rest of Wednesday was spent scrambling like mad to be ready to fly down for all this insanity on Thursday morning.

It’s not so simple, you see, because NOTHING in my life can be simple!

Thursday was travel, return-to-work-stuff, and go to my parents house.
Friday and Saturday was training.
Sunday we were driving back to Arkansas…with all my parents worldly possessions packed in a 26 foot moving van!

So, you see, I couldn’t really cook down at my folks house because their house is all packed up for the move, and since I can’t eat anything I don’t cook…well, Wednesday was frantic, balls-to-the-walls cooking extravaganza as I prepared all the food I would need to eat for the next FOUR DAYS!

While I was darting like mad around my kitchen last Wednesday, I noticed Jed had a runny nose. Like “faucet stuck on low” runny nose. Not. Good.

By Thursday afternoon, when Zac and I were landing safely in Houston, Darrel reported that he and Jed both had coughs, sneezes, and incredibly runny noses, and that Darrel, at least, felt like crap.

I was grateful Zac and I escaped unscathed.


Friday Zac started up with his own runny nose and cough. By Saturday, he was worse, and my cough was starting. Sunday? We just kept the box of tissues next to me in the car the whole drive…it wasn’t pretty.

And on Sunday night when we got home, I saw Zac reach up and tap his head, then flip his ear, and I suddenly realized he’d been doing that a lot since Friday night. Then Darrel, who was holding him, turned a bit and I saw a HUGE wad of ear wax in his left ear. Like, horror movie ear wax! I had just cleaned his ears the night before! How was that possible?!

So yesterday morning I called the doctor to ask about it. It’s obvious we all have “summer colds”, and I know there isn’t anything you can really do for a cold. But the ear thing – was that some unknown-to-me part of having a cold or was it something to worry about?

They suggested I bring him in to be examined, so yesterday afternoon we were at the doctors office.

The doc came in, checked him over, then went to look in his ears.

Zac did NOT like that. AT ALL!

After physically restraining him so she could take a peek, she had to use those weird little scraper thingies to dig out the crap in his left ear. Two archaeological digs later, she had some nasty little piles of gunk out of the way and could actually see what was happening in his head. Yikes.

Sure enough, ear infection. One so bad that it perforated his ear drum (that’s what all the gunk and ear wax was from). He needs an antibiotic.

Big sigh. This…is a problem.

No matter how you cut it, antibiotics are rarely friendly to FPIES kids. (There are exceptions to this rule, as I’ve learned from my fellow FPIES moms, but the rule still holds.) Not to mention that Zac is INCREDIBLY corn sensitive! So anything we give him must be compounded to death!

The doc sent off a prescription to the compounding pharmacy, and we dashed over to chat with the pharmacist about how we could make this corn-free for Zac.

After over an hour of trying, we realized…we couldn’t. There was nothing the pharmacy had in stock, and nothing they could order, that would enable Andrew to make an antibiotic of the proper class for a child Zac’s size and age without corn-y fillers.

While this was going on, I was begging my fellow FPIES moms and Corn-allergy friends on Facebook for advice. Eventually, they reached a consensus: Rocephin. Antibiotic shots.

So I called the doctor back and asked if that was possible. At first, they didn’t know what I was talking about and wanted to look it up. By the time I made it back to the office, they had all the info. They can do the shots, but theirs is in a suspension of Lidocaine 1%.

Back to the internet I went with the ingredient insert in my hot little hands, trying to discover if the lidocaine had anything corny in it. I couldn’t find anything definitive, which I decided is a good sign. If it was a corny thing, the corn people would certainly have discovered it by now!

So, we gave him the shot. 

Now I have to take him back for the next two days at approximately the same time for the follow up shots. 

Thanks to antibiotics, we’re pulling quinoa from Zac’s diet for now. And…I really don’t know what to do next. Re-start the probiotic that we said wasn’t good for him (because while a slow burn reaction, the good buggies did benefit him and antibiotics could wreck that)? Leave quinoa off the table for a while after the antibiotics are done with and start a meat broth trial (if he is safe with the proteins of the particular meat we choose, the broth is very gut-healing)? Just re-start quinoa about three days after his last shot?

Not a clue! But a perforated ear drum puts this well beyond the range of garlic oil, so it is necessary to endure this insanity.

It’s just really ticking me off that this might set us back weeks – or even months – of our FPIES progress. It feels like we can hardly catch a break!

First things first, though. I want my babies well. I HATE when they’re sick! Just breaks my heart to hear Jed say “Blow Jed’s nose again” and have it sound like he’s underwater. (But isn’t it cute how he asks for it?)

Oh! And while we waited for the shot at the doctors office, I got another call from work. My background check came back clean and I’m cleared to return to work. So now I need to go pick up work assignments off the computer for the rest of the month.


I knew it was coming, but I’m just woefully unprepared. I don’t have enough food ready, I don’t have my uniforms hemmed, and I’m still having anxiety attacks at the thought of going back to work.

However…a long time ago I learned a quote that is commonplace in the Flight Attendant world: “Ain’t nuttin’ to it but to do it”.

Usually this is in reference to getting back out in the aisle for the second beverage service, when we’d all prefer to sit down and take a break for a bit, but it applies to just about everything in life.

And especially this season of my life! There just ain’t nuttin’ to it but to do it. Like it or not, I’m heading back to work.


Anyway, I have some new recipes to share and other stories for you, but with this whole returning to work thing I have to say that posting might become patchy here for a while. I need to get my “air legs” back underneath me and I don’t know how well I’m going to be able to juggle all these new balls I’m being thrown. I’ll probably drop a few now and then.

So don’t be too worried about us if you don’t see anything new for a few days at a time. I intend to do my best, though! (And thank you for worrying already – this post was prompted by concerned messages from YOU! I feel all warm and fuzzy! HUGS!)

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Quinoa, Craziness, and Ear Infections

  1. Lesley says:

    Yay for quinoa!!! Booo for ear infections! I think Bryon brought that same summer cold home from work. I didn’t realize your parents were moving here! That will be wonderful to have them so close! Hope everyone is all better soon!

  2. Jeshyr says:

    Good lord, it never rains but it pours eh? Hang in there … and when you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on even tighter OK? You will cope with all of this somehow!!! *sending hugs & love from Australia&*

Comments are love! Tell me what you're thinking!