Friday, January 7, 2011

New Diagnosis

Having a child with a peanut allergy or any allergy for that matter is a huge responsibility. It is not trial and error like so many aspects of parenting can be, as the error can be fatal. Anyone who has an allergy or a child with an allergy will establish their own way of handling it and develop their own comfort zones. Like anything, with time they will become more comfortable with the way of life that comes with it. Some parents are more relaxed than others, and some people like myself take the allergy issue to another level, and use extreme caution at all times.

In the past three weeks two of my friends have told me their respective son’s were diagnosed with peanut allergies. When I read the first email, I got teary eyed, not for her son who has to live with this allergy, rather I felt sorry for her. I sort of just accepted it with no tears when the allergist told me that my own son seems to have an allergy to tree nuts. I am used to this way of life, I know the ins and outs, the safe restaurants, the questions to ask at restaurants, how to use an epipen, how to teach the teachers about handling an allergy, how to explain to the other mom’s, what to teach the boy about not eating food from anyone but his parents etc… For my two friends who are new to this world, I can imagine how overwhelming it is. They have to figure everything out, and change so many parts of their respective lifestyles. Of course both mothers’ will make these changes, and they will eventually forget what life was like before they had to check ingredients every time their kid eats. They will educate themselves, and they too will become ‘experts’ on how to handle an allergy. Like me, they will have no choice but to go through life asking questions and reading ingredients.

We all know there are worse things in life. As my friend’s kids are growing older, statistically speaking I will get more calls, and I will tell them all the same thing, that it is scary but manageable, and to never let your guard down.