Hungry + Angry + Hank = Hankgry

Hungry + Angry + Hank = Hankgry

Picture it: Sicily, 1932. Wait. It’s 2018 and we live in the Midwest and my name isn’t Sophia.

Ok. Picture it: it’s 3:52 in the afternoon – school is out and the lunch box with the carefully packed Hank-safe food still in it. The snack is still nestled into the bottom of the backpack, with the library books on top, making the Cheerios a fine dusting. Very bluntly, you have approximately three minutes before the monster appears and takes over for this child who currently is so happy that you are there to pick him up from Kindergarten.

Minute one: Child launches himself at you. Hugs, forehead kisses and a 45 second sentence about his day. Fifteen seconds to look at the uneaten lunch and know that a whole minute has passed and you are running out of time.

Minute two: Child sees his older brother walking from the back of the building and RUNS to greet him. You mentally start to calculate if this is going to work down the three minutes faster.

Minute three:  Herd the kids to the car where there are drinks and snacks waiting. Lift up the back of the truck to allow climbing in from the back (it’s a bribe for 30 extra seconds). Get kids buckled and start rummaging through the snack bin.

Offer Cheerios. Yeah, no. Offer carob chips. No sir. Offer jerky, snack sausage, chips, cookies, bread sticks*, everything in the bin. They are all a no-go.

The seconds tick down. 3 … 2 … 1.

There is now a monster in the back seat. He’s hungry, he’s angry and he’s here to stay.

Reasoning with the monster and trying to get actual words becomes the next task as you start to drive them home. After 10 minutes of yelling, singing, seat kicking and raspberries, it comes out. He would like breakfast sausage. NOW. Of course you are in the car, not in your home, not at the grocery where the actual sausage lives.

The temper tantrum lasts for a while. You may have to run to catch him as he makes a break for it – bolting as fast as he can down the sidewalk, you may have to carry a struggling 6-year-old up to his special chair for a medical formula food. You may have to become a slap stick comedian. But finally. FINALLY. The yelling stops, the smile returns and the belly becomes full again.

A hug is given and a sad little sentence: Sorry, mom.  I was Hankgry.

*finding Hank-safe food is a task. Finding items like bread sticks without wheat, egg, dairy and soy is a wonderful thing.

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A Boring State of Bliss

A Boring State of Bliss

Welcome! This is the first of many posts about my silly and crazy little family. I am looking forward to bringing you further into my family than my book will be able to. Bring you a little additional insight into our everyday New Normal. Of course, we aren’t always doing interesting things, so it could get boring. If you know our story at all, you will find that boring is sometimes a major relief to us. In fact, we are currently in a boring state of bliss.

Before I go any further, I want to let you know that I am always willing to answer questions and will try to address any that you have. Please understand that sometimes, I may remove a question that I don’t feel is appropriate to our story for privacy reasons.

When we received that diagnosis, Hank was about two years old.

Together, my husband and I have two children, both rambunctious boys: Dave and Hank. Dave was born problem free and has remained that way for the past nearly 10 years. Hank, however, is our rare child. A spunky boy who has been diagnosed with the rare disease, Eosinophilic Esophagitis or EOE. When we received that diagnosis, Hank was about two years old. We didn’t know anyone with this affliction and thought that we were utterly alone in the world. In the past four years, we have learned that this is not as uncommon as we thought, we were not the only ones and frankly, we weren’t the only ones within a five-mile radius of our home.

We started the journey as a family to get to where we are today and will continue to work on it well into Hank’s adulthood. In this journey, we have discovered a New Normal, our support group, how to educate ourselves as well as others. We will continue to move in this direction so that when it is time to hand off Hank to his adult self, he can pick up and live his very best life.

In EOE, there is a high amount of white blood cells, eosinophil, and they hang out with no desire to leave.

What is Eosinophilic Esophagitis, you ask? Well, it is a very hard disease to pronounce. But really, according to APFED, it is the chronic, allergic inflammatory disease of the esophagus (the tube that connects your mouth to your stomach). In EOE, there is a high amount of white blood cells, eosinophil, and they hang out there with no desire to leave.

The symptoms vary from person to person and allergen to allergen. Refusing to eat, tummy pain, unable to swallow or vomiting as well as allergy shiners, facial swelling and eczema, rashes and itching.

With everything that we have to go through, we know that there are kids and adults who have this way worse than we do. We are lucky that he can eat solid food and that there are foods that he likes. We are lucky that there isn’t a high number of eosinophils anywhere but his esophagus. We are lucky that he can tell us when something is wrong. We are lucky that we have him and he has us. It just comes down to: We are so lucky to be the family that we are.

As a new reader, I welcome you to our family as well.

Want to know more about Hank and how he’s managing to live his own true life? Sign up for our mailing list!



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