10 phrases allergy moms “love” to hear

  1. How allergic is your child?  When I tell someone my child has a food allergy, I’m telling them so that my child can avoid the allergen.  It doesn’t matter “how” allergic he is.  He doesn’t need the food, and we don’t need the agony of an allergic reaction.
  2. Is he really allergic or do you just not want him to have sweets? Of course I don’t want to constantly shove sweets down my child’s throat, but just because he can’t have certain foods does not mean I don’t let him have sweets.  Besides, why would you ask a mother (whether or not she has a child with food allergies) if you can give her child sweets?  Why can’t you offer my child an apple or even better a non-food item like stickers?
  3. I feel bad that he can’t have the same food as other kids.  I don’t want him to feel left out.  Most moms of children with food allergies come prepared with alternative options for their children.  While the children may feel a little left out from not getting to eat certain foods it is far better than the alternative of them eating the foods and having a reaction.
  4. Ugh…my life is so inconvenienced by your child’s food allergy.  Why do daycares, schools, airplanes and public buildings have to be peanut free?  First, if you seriously can’t wait until you get home to eat your peanut items, then maybe you have a bit of an issue?  Second, the severity of some allergies like peanuts differ from person to person.  Some people react just by touching an item that someone who had peanuts earlier touched.  It’s like with the flu.  If you have the flu virus you shouldn’t be bringing it out into public where it can hurt others.  Just keep your peanuts and your flu at home and to yourself.
  5. How long has it been since your child has tried this food? Maybe he’s built up a tolerance.  Yes, some people may grow out of their food allergies, but some of them may get worse.  Currently, there is no way to know either way.   There are some research efforts underway to see if there is a cure for food allergies.  No, we will not test his tolerance right now in a non-medical environment without his doctor’s consent just because you want to see if he reacts.  I can tell you that I am probably losing my tolerance for you.
  6. You must have eaten too much of that food during your pregnancy or while you were breastfeeding! You must be ignorant. Thank you for blaming me for my child’s medical condition though. Bless your heart. Do your own research and know that we blame ourselves enough for our children’s reactions without others trying to blame us too.
  7. Giving them a little bite won’t hurt. Right, and neither will letting them hold a rattlesnake. To allergy moms those two things are equal. Both could kill our child. Let me say that again to make it clear: ONE BITE COULD KILL MY CHILD. I’m not willing to take that chance. You shouldn’t be either. Killing people is frowned upon last time I checked.
  8. Oh, they’ll grow out of it. We actually want this. We desperately want our child to grow out of their food allergies. For them and for us. Unfortunately we don’t know if that will happen. Neither does my child’s allergist. I’m so glad you know though.
  9. It was processed in a plant/on a conveyor belt/on a counter top with the allergen, but it doesn’t have the allergen in it.  It should be safe. If it wasn’t potentially dangerous, then why do the products have to tell you they were processed near the allergen?  What if your favorite food item said processed by someone who had the flu or TB?  Would you feel comfortable chancing contamination?
  10. This one we will never hear said to our face. We’ve heard others say it about other allergy moms when they don’t realize we are listening or don’t realize we are also allergy moms. They’re just doing it for attention, I doubt their child even HAS a food allergy. Don’t be this person. This person is not a nice person to be. Please know that we are not seeking attention. Most of us HATE having to ask what ingredients are in everything when we are at a restaurant, a person’s house, on vacation, etc. I don’t like inconveniencing people. I hate it. I’m a southern girl to my core and I love making people feel at ease. I’m way out of my comfort zone when I have to seek people out to ask questions. I will do it for my child’s safety EVERY SINGLE TIME no matter how uncomfortable it makes me. I can assure you if I could take it away from them I would in a heartbeat.

This post is not intended for people who genuinely care about our children’s safety. If you are asking us questions that are intended to really help our child or if you are wanting to know details so that you can make them or give them a safe treat we welcome that. We always know your intentions as soon as you speak though. We can tell when you are a caring person and when you’re just trying to be a busybody or a tush.

~Hope & Lacey~

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Just when you think you’re winning

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DR’s egg allergy was diagnosed in October of 2014.  While we were devastated, we were also motivated to cut out all egg products immediately.  It was very much a learning process as so many products we do not think about contain eggs.

About 3 weeks into our egg-free diet, we had a scary reaction.  I was baffled, as I was sure he did not have any egg products.  I called my husband, Justin on the way to the pediatrician’s office to ask if he knew of anything they could have added to chicken salad that would cause this reaction.  There was a pause on the other end, and then Justin calmly said “Well, mayonnaise is made out of eggs.  Everyone knows that.”  No, not everyone knows that, and even those who do, don’t always think of it as an egg product.  I had never made mayonnaise in my life, and I hardly ever used it except in potato, tuna, and chicken salads.  The day before I had fed him tuna salad.  Couple that with the school lunch of chicken salad, and his poor immune system was under attack.

For weeks I beat myself up over this incident, but I learned to be even more vigilant.  We scoured every ingredient list we could find.  We researched every food item that could possibly contain eggs.  We were prepared for any food question.  We were prepared!

Or so we thought.  When you think of food allergies, most people only think of food products.  We were in that mindset, until one day when I went to pick up DR from school and he was covered in hives.  We looked over the food list that day, and as we were doing so, a new teacher from one of the older kid classes approached me.  During recess, one of her students had passed pieces of chalk to DR.  As a one year old, his initial thought was to put it in his mouth.  The teachers caught him half-way through the piece of chalk, and washed it out of his mouth.  No one thought to check the ingredients, though, until he started breaking out.  Believe it or not, the non-toxic chalk being used in the school was made out of eggs.  This prompted us to look at other non-food objects like crayons.

Another random incident with packing peanuts, brought us to the realization that these bio-degradable items could also be made from eggs.  As the list continues to grow, I become less comfortable with the world around us.   I have become a hover-mom, never letting him out of my site, constantly checking to see if he’s chewing on something.  I feel that even with all our hard work, we will never win.

~Lacey