Saturday, September 22, 2007
Dealing with food Allergies
O.k. so I have two kids with severe food allergies This has been a huge struggle for me as a mom. I know that thousands (probably millions) of people deal with this on a daily basis and let me tell you it can be draining. I already make two different dinners every night to make sure no one has a reaction. One can drink milk but not soy, one can't have eggs the other can't. Tonight my oldest daughter had a reaction to God knows what. She was eating carrots and ranch. Carrots that she got from snack provided by her soccer team. Pre-packaged baby carrots and homemade ranch that she has on a regular basis and pretty soon she is coughing and complaining about her throat hurting and feeling tight. My anxiety raises. We have had numerous trips to the ER with my youngest daughter including two trips by ambulance due to anaphylaxis and the closing up of her throat. I have even had to use the Epi-Pen on the little one. It is scary. This time I gave my oldest, we call her Peanut (how appropriate, because it just happens to be that she is very allergic) two shots of her inhaler and that did not help. I then gave her Benadryl which finally kicked in a few minutes later. Now my anxiety ridden self will get no sleep tonight because I will feel the need to check on her every two minutes and make sure that she is breathing o.k. The littlest one, we call her Scout has extreme allergies to milk, eggs and perfume. I am sure I am like any other Mom who's child is afflicted with something that is potentially deadly. You wish somebody would just come up with a cure already or something that could help your child be safe. They are in the process of making a "safe" shot for people with peanut allergies and it should be available within the next couple of years. That I am very excited about. I myself am extremely allergic to peanuts and tree nuts and am an anxious mess going out to restaurants and getting on airplanes. Even to send our little Peanut to school can be quite a bit of anxiety. Last week they made a gingerbread man and were going to decorate it with M&M's. I quickly reminded her teacher that she couldn't have M&M's and she was glad for the reminder. Whew! Avoided that disaster. Anyway, I had to write about it tonight because I will go on for awhile with no anxiety about their allergies and try to stay on the positive side of things and then "boom" an allergy creeps up and it sends me spiraling down into oblivion. I know that through time things will get better. The kids will be old enough to let me know when they need to have an Epi-Pen and when they are o.k. Right now I am relying on my five year old's description of how she feels and my motherly instinct. For those of you who have kids with food allergies there is the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network which is a great resource (www.foodallergy.org) and there is also some really great support in schools due to the rising number of children with food allergies.