Oct 12, 2013

Homemade Latex Free Underwear Pattern

It's no secret I make my own undies. There's no way I'm forking out the dough to buy manufactured latex-free underwear that I could react to anyways.

Quite some time ago I bought Kwik Sew K3301 as an easy pattern to make my own underwear. Specifically, I use my hubby's old t-shirts as the material. I cut out two pieces of material, approximately 1/2" outside the pattern, sew it up, and I'm done. Sometimes I'll finish up the edges, but if I'm in hurry, they can wait.

I skip the elastic. While I do have some latex-free elastic from Sew Sassy, the stuff isn't cheap. For this particular pattern, I end up with undies that are similar to boy shorts. The pattern covers pretty much all sizes, so I'm not worried if I gain or lose weight.

Someday I'll make pretty latex-free underwear.... some day....

Also, there's a decent comfy bra pattern included. I haven't tried it yet, but I will at some point, whenever I have enough of my comfy upcycled latex- free bras finished.

Currently Amazon has this pattern for $12.31 with free shipping (Prime not necessary!). I downloaded the pattern online, printed it out, cut it up, and pieced it together. It was rather annoying, and I wouldn't recommend the process.

Oct 11, 2013

A Day with Latex Allergy

In honor of Latex Allergy Awareness Week, I am pulling my hands and my brain together to share with you the dangers of living just one day with a severe latex allergy. I apologize in advance for any typos or any sections that do not make sense. I've got issues. (This is pretending that fibromyalgia and all my other medical issues are magically gone!)

6:00(ish): My husband's alarm goes off for work. Good thing we have an alarm without latex buttons on it. Oops, that was his phone alarm. I almost touched his phone! He has an Otterbox, and that's rubber. Whew! Disaster averted.

6:15: Take morning medication. Since I can no longer take a lot of medications due to the additives, fillers, and handling with latex gloves, it's only a few. There are no longer any medications I can take to keep me awake, so thank goodness the narcolepsy is magically gone for today!

6:30: Check e-mail and such on laptop. Thankfully my hands are functioning today! In order to avoid tingling hands and reactions due to the latex underneath the keys, I wear gloves and my mask.

7: Start coughing from reacting to the husband's body wash and shampoo. I'm allergic to him after he showers for at least 2 hours. Use asthma inhaler and take Benadryl.

7:15: Try to figure out what I can eat. Due to all of my food allergies it's a challenge to find foods that are both delicious and nutritious. Many mornings I skip breakfast now since I don't have the energy to cook. This morning, though, the only problem is the latex allergy, so I cook! Fortunately I went through and got rid of lots of our kitchen items a year ago, so I know all of my cookware is latex-free and I don't have to worry about touching something rubber.

7:45: Brush teeth with the one and only toothpaste I can use (I've become allergic to everything else) and a latex-free toothbrush. Toothbrush grips can be rubber.

8: Think about working. Dreamily wish I could work again. Cry.

8:15: Turn on some music to get motivated to move and wash dishes. Since I'm allergic to all dish soap, I use baking soda, lemon water, and extremely hot water. It's a rather long process, but it gets them clean. Even if my husband washed dishes in dish soap, I would still react if I ate off of them.

9:15: Realize that I haven't showered. Oh wait, showers take energy, which I don't have. But today latex is the only issue, so I do take a shower. Every time I wash my hair I think about how I used to love my long hair, which I shaved off because there was NO safe shampoo for me. Now I'm down to one bar soap which is specially made for me. Now that I'm reacting to that, my only options are soap nuts and a baking soda/lemon water/ spices mixture. My hair is a couple inches long now, and I'm having my husband shave it off again this weekend. I just can't stand the itching.

9:30: Itch. Everywhere.

9:45: Realize I'm wearing pajamas. Oh, wait! That's almost all I have left to wear that is safe after purging my closet of latex! All spandex/Lycra/elastic/elastane has been cleared, leaving shorts, pajama pants, a couple dresses, a pair of khakis, jeans, and some t-shirts. It's been over a year and I just never seem to have the energy to sew like I need to. Today, though, I've got energy!

10: Sew undies, bras, socks, shirts, shorts, pants, dresses, hats, and gloves. Have you seen the prices for latex-free clothing? Not with this budget!

12: (Let's pretend I just sewed a new wardrobe in two hours. Awesome!) Try to figure out what to eat for lunch. Again, I've got energy, so I cook after debating for quite some time what sounds good and will give me some fuel, without risking an allergic reaction.

12:15: Take noon meds.

1: Get ready to go to the grocery. This means ensuring my phone is fully charged so I can always call 911, bringing my purse, Benadryl, epi-pens, medical information binder, nitrile gloves, respirator, and any latex-free medical supplies I have been able to afford at the time. Eventually I'll be purchasing more latex-free supplies, but I can only afford the bare essentials right now.

1:15: Go to the grocery store down the road. (I can drive today since I have no arm/elbow/hand issues!) Wear mask and gloves. Skim over produce section since everything has rubber bands around it. Try to focus on my list but get confused and can't think or focus. Realize this is a reaction and high-tail it to the self-checkout, avoiding the rubber conveyor belts. Accidentally pass by the Halloween section. Abandon cart and stumble outside to take two Benadryl. Call husband and/or friend to try to decide if I am cognizant enough to drive home. Let them make the judgement call since reactions often rob me of my decision-making skills.

1:45: After waiting it out, my mind clears, the Benadryl kicks in, and I drive home. Carefully avoid known balloon-zones such as car dealers and the fairground. Just driving by, with the windows up and my mask on even, can leave me gasping for air.

2: Collapse upon arriving home. Reactions take everything out of me.

3: Still collapsed on the couch, but now I have used my phone to turn on the television. We had to get rid of a lot of the remotes since the buttons were rubber and left me dazed and confused.

4: Think about the mail. Since mail is often handled with latex gloves, moved via conveyor belt, and rubber banded, I don't even have a mail key to avoid temptation. I can't open it or even touch it. It has to air out for quite some time, and even then I often react to the ink on printed letters.

4:15: Look at my husband's tools that he accidentally left out. Debate whether putting them away is worth a pair of disposable nitrile gloves. Since most tools have rubber handles, I can't touch them or risk badness.

4:30: Notice shortness of breath, itchy ears, and disorientation. Immediately take Benadryl and alert husband and friend just in case and put on mask. There is construction going on nearby, which kicks latex particles into the air from the ground-up tires used in/on roads. Since we have yet to find a latex-free sealant, there are gaps around the air conditioner allowing the particles in the air entrance.

4:45: Disorientation has slightly diminished and breathing is almost normal. Ears are still very itchy though, so I take two more Benadryl. Sit down and think about how many Benadryl I have taken today. At least 2 days per week I hit the maximum dosage, often 3 or more.

5:30: Husband comes home (let's say it's an early day). As I stay across the room from him, I cry because I really need a hug from him. I know that it's too risky though since he works in landscaping, around grass and exhaust fumes all day. (I haven't been able to go to the gas station in ages.) Even after he showers I'll be allergic to him since my soap isn't very effective for him.

6: After showering, husband suggests going out to eat. Following a year of no dates due to restaurants using latex gloves and the fact that I can't take off my mask indoors hardly anywhere, this means the pizza joint around the corner from us. Since they have tables outside, with rarely anyone taking advantage of the tables (perfume about knocks me out), we can go there and eat! Unfortunately they don't have any food that I'm not allergic to.... but they do have food that doesn't leave me gasping for air after eating. After much debate and consideration, we decide that would be a stupid thing to do.

7: Since I'm completely wiped out from all the reactions today, I eat whatever my husband makes himself for dinner, no doubt something I'm allergic to- but not deathly allergic. I resign myself to at least 3 days of misery and accept the plate he offers since I'm hungry. We are a cinnamon, banana, and black pepper-free home, so I know anything he gives me won't trigger an asthma attack or anaphylaxis.

8: Watch TV from bed. The apartment we have downsized to is so small I can do that. Less than 450 square feet, but at least I can have my plants outside to grow a little food. The downside is that it is on a busy street, which means exhaust fumes generally make me have to wear my mask when I go outside to take care of my plants. Many times I have to come inside and wait for low-traffic times to go outside, even while wearing my mask.

8:30: Take meds.

9:30/10: Fall asleep on my non-latex mattress, without a fitted sheet on it. (The elastic has latex in it.)

11:30: Wake up from a nightmare. Oh wait, I have a severe latex allergy. I am living my nightmare.

Think it can't happen to you? You're wrong. The only way to avoid latex allergy is to AVOID LATEX. It's much more than just condoms, gloves, and balloons. Check out my list of items that contain latex, and avoid them as much possible. You don't want to be like me, do you? 

Please, if you are in a position of influence, choose latex-free options. Someone's life may be on the line. 

Oct 6, 2013

Cheapest Price Ever on Crayola Air Dry Clay!

I'm a big fan of Crayola since their products are generally latex-free, so they're safe for me to be around. Back in the days when I was able to work, I loved dreaming up new fun uses for their air dry clay. Granted, I tried just about every recipe known to man for homemade clay, but nothing beat Crayola's!

Amazon currently has their 5 Pound Bucket of Crayola Air Dry Clay on sale for the lowest price ever, just $7.06! Shipping with Prime is free, so try this fun clay out. Latex-free clay and arts and crafts supplies aren't easy to find, but I for one am happy Crayola's got my back.

As always, be sure to confirm the price before checking out. Amazon's prices change constantly!

Great Deal on Silicone Loom Bands or Hair Bands

Latex-free hair bands are insanely hard to find! Not that I have any hair to pull back anymore, but just in case you do, Amazon has their colored silicone loom bands for just $3.70 right now. That's 600 bands plus 25 "S" hooks for less than $4! Plus, shipping is FREE!

If you are like me and have minimal hair, these are still handy to have around in place of expensive latex-free rubber bands, or use them for their original purpose, with a loom!

Remember, Amazon's prices are constantly changing, so don't sit on this deal and be sure to check pricing before checkout!

Sep 12, 2013

Amish Origins Pain Relief Cream- It WORKS!

This is the ONLY pain relief cream that I use. Nothing else works- everything else may as well be made entirely of water!

Check it out on Amazon. Right now Amish Origins Pain Relief Cream is $10.19 with free Prime shipping for 3.5 ounces. Remember, prices change faster than my body temperature, so be sure and check prices before checking out!

Sep 10, 2013

Weleda Salt Toothpaste: Way Better than Baking Soda!

Yay! Toothpaste I can USE!

You can find Weleda Salt Toothpaste on Amazon. The tubes are only 2.50 ounces, but you don't need nearly as much as you do with "regular" toothpastes.