Monday, December 23, 2013


We have our new artificial tree up. I ordered it last Monday and received it on Thursday. It was delivered in three large boxes! It is 10 feet tall! I love it. It took forever to fluff out the branches, but it looks great. I ended up finding it on sale, with free shipping, and I even found a $70 off coupon at! My niece and nephew and one of Ashley's friends came over on Saturday to help decorate it. So happy to have it up for Christmas.



Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Salicylate Sensitivity

Over the past several of weeks, Emery has not been herself.  Very disregulated.  Inability to focus. Easily upset.  Just not my happy go lucky little girl.  I associated these behavioral changes with the various necessary preparations for the upcoming holidays.  But, I was somewhat concerned.  She seemed to be reacting quite negatively to relatively little changes in our lives.  The only real change was that the house was decorated for Christmas.  Then about 2 and 1/2 weeks ago, it seemed like the hair on top of her head was thinning.  At first, I thought it was my imagination.  But, then Bruce said something about it and so did Ashley.  By last Thursday, she really had quite the bald spot and it was obvious she was losing hair.  Emery has therapy on Thursdays, so I asked her therapist about it.  Her therapist asked if we had a real Christmas tree.  Yes, we do (or did).  Apparently, people can have a sensitivity to the chemical that is released from pine trees.  This chemical is called salicylate.  It is found in numerous everyday products and foods.  Some people have an intolerance to large amounts of the chemical.  So after an afternoon of research, I determined that Emery had several symptoms related to salicylate sensitivity.  In addition, all of these symptoms began surfacing around the same time we put up our tree. 

There are many symptoms.  Some that Emery had included red cheeks and ears, disregulation, inability to concentrate, hair loss, bed wetting and hyperactivity.

By that night, Emery's bald spot was quite prominent and she was having major meltdowns.  Hitting herself hard in the head with balled fists, 45 minute crying and sobbing spells, and such misery that it just broke your heart.

Well, by 7pm, we had the tree undecorated and sitting out in the garage.  I was convinced this was the cause of her behavioral issues over the past several weeks and her hair loss.  The sad part of this story is that Emery experienced all of these same issues last year during the holidays, with the exception of the hair loss.  We assumed it was just a hard time for her because it was her first Christmas home with us. 

By Friday night, we already noticed she was doing better.  She was even able to go to her cousins house for a visit from Santa.  By Saturday, just 2 short days after removing the tree, Emery was 100 percent back to her happy little self.  Giddy, giggly, silly Miss Emery (and mischievious)!  If it wasn't for the hair loss, we would just have assumed she was having difficulties at holiday time.  I guess the hair loss was a blessing!  Now that we know for sure she has a salicylate sensitivity, we are having a consultation with her therapist to discuss changing some things in Emery's diet and removing high salicylate items from our home. Reducing her salicylate intake could be beneficial for sensory and speech purposes. 

Never a dull moment in this household!  Merry Christmas Everyone!

My little baldy.