DEALING WITH FOOD ALLERGY
Updated: May 16, 2019
May 12-18, 2019 is Food Allergy Awareness Week. Never in a million years did I think I would have to talk about this topic. One thing I have learned is that talking about it helps and I can encourage other people going through it as well.
Back story: We found out our son had food allergy when he was 10 months old, I feed him boiled eggs and in about 10 minutes he was scratching his neck and before we knew it his body was covered in hives. To cut the long story short, we ended up in the ER. That was one of the scariest days of my life, after that incident I made an appointment with an allergist and it was confirmed that my son has an egg and nut allergy. To say the journey has been easy would be a lie, egg is one ingredient that is in almost everything you can think of.
There are lots of fears that goes on in the minds of food allergy moms, what if someone gives my child something he is allergic to? What if there is a cross contamination and I am not aware of it? Personally, the only way I have been able to overcome this fear is by this scripture "For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you, says the Lord , plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope" JEREMIAH 29:11 AMP. I also know that faith without works is dead (James 2:14), so I make sure I'm always prepared for every possible outcome.
THINGS THAT HAS HELPED ME AS A FOOD ALLERGY MOM
I make sure I have disinfectant wipes so I can clean every surface to avoid cross contamination when we are out.
I ensured no one kissed my son when he was a baby because I don’t know what they had eaten prior to contact with my son
When my son is invited to a party I make sure he eats before we leave the house and I take safe food and snacks along. I don’t eat at parties so my son doesn’t feel left out #solidarity
I never leave the house without safe food and snacks
When my son started daycare I made sure I told his teachers about his allergies and we had a medical action plan in place in case of an emergency
I made sure our home was safe for our son by not buying any eggs and nuts.
I joined online groups with other FA moms .This helped me connect with other moms with kids with FA, so I don’t feel isolated.
A major issue with being a FA mom is explaining to people the severity of food allergy, for example if I tell someone my son can’t eat eggs I would get a response like “ I am sure if you give him a little he would me fine”. In the past this used to upset me but now I know better and I use it as a teachable moment to educate the person about food allergy.
In an effort to educate and contribute to the FA community for Halloween this year (my church has hallelujah night for kids) I will be putting together goodie bags for kids with food allergy with safe candy they can eat so they don't feel left out.
WAYS TO HELP FOOD ALLERGY MOMS
Don’t assume, ask questions if you are in doubt
Be understanding and accommodating when you can
If you are having a party share the menu with them in advance so they can plan accordingly
Don’t be judgmental
If a FA mom doesn't attend your kids party understand that it is not about you, it is more of a safety issue for her child
Ask how you can help
My advice to anyone new to this journey will be to trust your gut and do what it takes to keep your child safe, people might not understand and that is okay. Take all the time you need to process the new normal. There will be a lot of changes you will have to make, take it one day at a time.
This has been a very emotional post for me, but I am glad I can share my experience with food allergy. Let me know in the comments below if you know someone living with food allergy.
Remember you can do ALL things through Christ