Friday, November 7, 2008

The big 40 and an Apology

So this is my 40th post her at "Nut Free Living", it has gone by so fast. I have met some wonderful people that are on this same journey. I have learned so much, yet most days, still feel overwhelmed, with my little guys allergies.

I also have to say, I am sorry for my lack of posting over here. Seems like I have been blogging more on our family blog, Matters of the Heart. I'm coming up on the big 100 over there.

I think the overwhelmed feeling right now, comes from thoughts of the holidays. This is our first year we know about the allergy, and let's be honest, there are nuts everywhere this time of year.

Friends bake, thoughts of stressful play dates, wondering if a peanut or tree nut has been left behind. Others seem worried about watching my little guy, for fear of reactions. I worry to leave him, for the same fear. He's two, he puts everything in his mouth..

I feel like people look at me like I am crazy when I explain the serious nature his allergy. Some people close to me have a hard time really getting it. I put way to much thought into things.

I'm cooking Thanksgiving this year, which I have never done before, this way we can stay in our own home. Not sure what we will do about the rest of the holiday's.

So, I think I have been avoiding posting, because I am in a real bad place right now, with our allergy. My little guy has another unexplainable rash right now. The list goes on. I am so afraid we might have to give up wheat also.

All you seasoned allergy moms, any words of encouragement right now, would surely help me get out of this funk.


  1. Just know that I am 100% behind you. I have been dealing with this a whole year longer than you and looking (reading) at your frustrations, it's like reviewing my own story line. Have faith and it will get easier in terms of finding the right food for the whole household and how to deal with your own emotions on the daily basis. What will NOT get easier (in my own opinion) sadly, it's dealing with other people, (family and friends are the worst, because you think they should be the supportive ones)
    I still have hopes that my child will outgrow it, even with the sky high numbers and doctor's head shaking, and if that hope is not to be fulfilled, then the hope for a medical help. See, years ago, there was no epi pen, right?
    Take good care, and you know my email, I will be happy to share a talk over the phone sometimes too.
    One reminder to you and myself, limit ourselves on the internet, searching for the unreliable sources and getting upset and scared over them. A friend is making a connection for me with a doctor mom who raise 2 teens with peanut allergy, I love that idea of talking to a "real" person, with "real" knowledge.

  2. My dear little nephew (14mos) was diagnosed with a peanut allergy this year, too. It was an absolutely terrifying diagnosis for my sister. Reading your post was like listening to her. Your fears are totally rational. I, too, pray that your dear son outgrows this allergy. Hang in there. :)

  3. Thank you so much for your prayers. :)
    Oh, and congrats on your 40th post!

  4. I want to encourage you. It does get easier as he gets older and the people you know and love understand more and more. I want you to know, though, that it is normal to get overwhelmed. That happens to me more than I want it to. Just remember to pray a lot for his safety. Pray, pray, pray and do not worry! It is easier to stay home for the holidays. If you want to go somewhere for the holidays, you can just volunteer to bring a main dish (or you can bring your son his own meal - there is nothing wrong with that and it works easily). I used to avoid potlucks at church. This past Sunday we had one. There were signs on the food table to not put anything out with nuts or peanut butter. (That was really helpful.) We brought chili (and made sure my son got a nice big bowl) and I brought some oreo cookies. It worked wonderfully and
    I got to spend time with friends.
    Bottom line: It does get easier. You will still get overwhelmed at times no matter what. Pray.

    I am praying for you.

  5. Hi Elaine,

    I too, have had my "dark nights of the soul" regarding my daughter's nut allergy and its ramifications. Like you, I especially felt overwhelmed when I first got the diagnosis. But, it will get better.

    People, including friends and relatives, may take more time than you like to absorb your son's food limitations. Don't worry when this happens--if you keep being kind but firm, you'll be surprised at the support you may get. The other thing is: some people may never give you the support you want, so you'll minimize food activities with them. It's part of being the "nut gatekeeper" and though it can be hard, it soon becomes second nature and not a big deal. Most people will accomodate you, that's what I've found.

    Also, your son WILL grow out of the "stick everything in the mouth" phase (how I hated that phase! :)) and you will have more peace of mind.

    Two is a hard age for any parent. Add nut allergies and it sometimes feels impossible. But it will get better. I didn't want to let my daughter out of my sight when I first found out about food allergies and it took strength and faith to let her grow and go do things without me. But now she's doing so well (as I often brag on my own blog :)),that as she reaches age 9 this Feb. I feel she's on her way to managing her food allergies on her own.

    Don't let your son's allergy overshadow your holiday moments. Bringing your own food will allow you to visit other people's homes and a simple "no nuts" policy will need to be enforced at the table and in the home while you're there. Cooking the meal yourself is a good thing, too, because then you know what is in the food and everybody can get together without worry.

    Your son will be OK--you are cautious and caring with him, so that's half the battle.

    We're all rooting for you! Give your son a hug and don't be hard on yourself. Take care!

  6. Hi! I dropped on over from Jane Anne's blog, Gravity of Motion. My son, who is 2 also, has an egg allergy as well as a peanut allergy and a tree nut allergy. We have been dealing with his allergies for a year and a half now. I feel your worries and struggles to keep him safe. Drop on over to my blog if you get a chance. I talk about our Thanksgiving deal that I made with my MIL. I had to have a talk with her this year because last year he had major reactions to the egg in the dressing. This year, we will be going completely egg/nut-free and I will be doing the cooking of the items that traditionally contain these items. I'm def. going to stop by your blog more often to offer support & encouragement! Good job, mama!

  7. Hi Elaine,
    We dont have a nut allergy here but as you know my son has mastocytosis. Having mastocytosis is like knowing you can have a life threatening reaction to anything, anytime. It is totally unpredictable and inconsistent (you can go into anaphylaxis over something one time but not necessarily another time) making nothing totally safe. I am telling you this because I really do get your fear. Gavin has to carry epi pens, etc with him everywhere he goes and he is always with us because either no one wants to take care of him because of the liability or they dont mind but I dont trust them because they really wont take care of him the way he needs to be cared for.

    Gavin takes a ton of medication everyday to prevent him from shocking over anything that comes his way that day. I havent been reading over here very much, but does he take any daily allergy meds? If he is rashy again, etc I know you would first want to know what was causing it incase it is something you could remove, but have you considered a daily preventative med that would lessen his symptoms? The potential benefit would be a little "wiggle room" if he accidentally ingests something with secret nuts that no one realized. A daily med may not be necessary for him, I dont know--but I do know they help Gavin a lot. He still needs epi pens with all his daily meds sometimes, but I know if he didnt have the daily meds he would be a ton worse (because we cant remove the world if you know what I mean!).

    Anyways, I am praying for you. I am praying you settle into a nice comfy new normal spot with this soon and that things wont continue to be so hard.