This blog is one small step in the direction of helping parents, kids, and anyone who is interested in learning more about how to live easier with food allergies. My daughter has a severe allergy to peanuts and I would have never known what was happening or what to do if I had not had a friend who’s daughter had the same allergy. I know that having that connection helped with a quicker response and faster relief as my daughter went into anaphylactic shock. Two years later, I know that having a common ground with other parents whether it is allergies to gluten, dairy, nuts or night-shade vegetables makes leaving your kid at someone else’s house for a playdate a lot easier.
For me, it’s as much about the balance of being educated and educating others as a safety precaution as it is about being aware of my child’s emotions. It must be difficult to be two and not understand why everyone has something you can’t have suddenly. Why have my parents suddenly become obsessive about snatching every package out of my hand and reading the label? Why do I get “special” snacks and milk?
Luckily I have a good-natured child and the brunt of unanswered questions came from me early on concerning dairy when she was a baby: Why does the pediatrician keep telling me that allergies to milk are very uncommon even though she has had a constant sinus infection and ear infection since she stopped breastfeeding? Is she ever going to be able to breathe out of her nose or is that green snot going to take over my house? Can she really be on antibiotics again? Will she have to take the turquoise bulb (snot sucker) with her to high school? Well of course I would never let it go on that long… and I didn’t.
After offering to write me a prescription for Children’s Claritin (“How long will she have to take it?” I asked. “Well…forever,” came the answer), I decided we needed to come up with a better solution. I didn’t even bother to check the sample Claritin packages to see if they were processed in a facility that processes peanuts, tree nuts…
I know there are a lot of stories out there that are very similar to mine and it can create a lot of frustration and anxiety and worry. But along with those feelings, I hope we can share things that have worked, helped or enabled our kids to eat, play and have fun…and just be kids! I have learned some fun lessons along the way and found some great substitutions for those things our kids would like but can’t have. In the days to come, I will try to get more out there. But for now, tell me about your kids.