Saturday, November 07, 2009

More on food allergies

After watching this video, my mother contacted the Media Specialist at FAI USA and requested some information to share with her coworkers and others. She received an immediate reply, and the DVD's are on their way. We are so excited! Education is essential, because in this case ignorance is not bliss, it is life threatening. And these videos present the information in a manner that is easy to comprehend as well as personal. Although I believe that it is important for our children to learn how to live and take care of themselves in a world that is full of danger, which for some children includes certain foods, I also believe that it is important for us to do everything we can to keep all children safe. I'm just beginning this journey in the world of food allergies, and although it is likely that my son will outgrown some, if not all, of his allergies, there are still precautions that I must take, and might have to take for years to come. The thought of day care or school truly strikes terror in my heart, but I've realized that educating others is my best weapon. Once I dispel the myths and emphasize the seriousness, my baby is safe and everyone is operating from a place of knowledge instead of a place of fear. I'll take knowledge over fear any day.

Here's a little food allergies story for you. Don't worry, no anaphylactic shock or death in this one, just a little comic relief. My son goes to a nursery class twice a week for about 2 hours. He's only been going for two weeks, and I send a bright orange paper with him that I take out and show all of the adults at the beginning of every class. I'm in the building, and the adults rotate, so I keep the epi-pen with me and take one of their pagers just in case. The paper that I show everyone looks like this:

Of course, his name is substituted for FIRST NAME, and a picture of his smiling face is beneath. The teachers and volunteers really appreciate the paper, and the other parents have also started to take note and inform the staff when their children have any of the major allergens for snack (in this age group, that includes peanuts, eggs, and milk, all of which my son is allergic to). This, in addition to his demeanor and other notable characteristics, have caused him to become quite well known. When we went this Wednesday, which was his fourth time, there was a lot of buzz as we walked into the room. "Here he is!" exclaimed one lady. "This is him," remarked a few people. "That's the boy with all the allergies, poor baby," said another. And then woman who was meeting us for the first time looked up to see the poor baby with all the food allergies. "But he's BIG!" she exclaimed. I looked in her eyes and saw the surprise there; she was expecting a frail child, which my child definitely is not. Then she looked at me, took a breath to regain her composer, and said "good job" while nodding her head and smiling. I said thank you and had a little chuckle as I thought about what a surprise it must have been for her to expect a frail child and get a robust one year old. "Poor baby" is far from an accurate description!


Memeeflye said...

You're doing an awesome job mommy!

Sacred Stitch said...