Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Living Your Life...

It's been an awfully quiet few weeks around here at Casa Peanut Free.

No reactions.
No strange products found.
No stupidity from friends and family.

So what's a Peanut Free Mama to write about?

First off, if you are in the Bay Area, please join the SF Food Allergy group that is meeting this Friday (April 4th) at 10 am at the Starbucks on Laurel Ave. in San Carlos. Connie and I are lots of fun to hang out with (really, I'm not just saying that :->).

Second, I thought I should write about our lives on a normal day. On a day when we're not fighting the fight, so to speak. Many blogs that focus on food allergies tend to highlight so much of the negative involved in managing a food allergy.

But you know what?

Most days, and weeks (and now we're going on months) things are just fine.

We wake up. We eat breakfast. We go to school (and work). And there are no calls. No hives. No swelling. No nothing. We go home. We eat dinner. We go to sleep.

Rinse. Lather. Repeat.

Ultimately, this doesn't take over our lives as much as it did in the past. At the beginning, so much of what you read about peanut allergies is what you have to say no to, and what will be hard for you. But in reality, it is just a small slice of your life.

The biggest thing to remember is that eating peanut free (or tree nut free or dairy free, etc.) just becomes part of your fabric. You adapt. And you live. If you let it make you crazy, it will. Sure, you can't wish away the allergy, but you can choose how you react to it. You find a peanut safe airline, you find foods your child CAN eat, you find restaurants in which you feel comfortable, and you find caregivers (hopefully) that understand.

Please remember that (especially those who are new to all of this). It gets better. It REALLY does. Sure we face challenges from time to time - you need only read back a few posts on this blog I'm sure - but being peanut free is just part of our lives now.

But it certainly isn't the identifier. I don't want Bella to ever be known as the peanut allergy girl. Just as Bella. And, oh-by-the-way she has a peanut allergy.

OK, back to what you were doing. Have a good Wednesday everyone.


Growing in Grace (Nicole) said...

Exactly. Most of the time I really don't think about much at all except for the usual, day-to-day things. Every once in a while it rears its ugly head. I've had a few refer to my son as "peanut boy" and I hate it. Only after the fact have I been able to think of a retort. Usually I'm just shocked that people actually say something like that.

ChupieandJ'smama said...

Great post Gabs! It is true. People will ask me what my son is allergic to and I rattle off "wheat, rye, barley, egg, milk, peanut and tree nut" and they look at me like I have a 3rd eye. I always say "I should have a t-shirt printed with all that on it, and it's not as bad as it sounds". And it isn't. We do adapt and we do figure things out. And like everyone else, we have good days and bad days.

MommyCheryl said...

Thanks. I really needed this post. We've been living with FA for almost 4 years. My son has outgrown soy allergy -- yay -- and for the past year has been able to eggs in baked goods. Melons aren't hard to avoid so that one doesn't bother me much. But yesterday we learned that after going down significantly a couple of years ago then holding steady last year, his peanut IgE level is higher than ever AND he's allergic to virtually all treenuts.

It's easy to let disappointing test results blur my thinking. Yes, he's going to be part of that vast majority who don't outgrow their peanut allergies. Yes, he's getting more sensitive so we'll have to increase our vigilance slightly (no more "may contain traces" or "produced in a facility that also..." even on special occasions).

But for the most part, it's all OK. He's alive, with no breathing problems or hives in months. We know how to do this. It's not the end of the world.

tanal said...

I think this is the best post I have read in a very long time. I am new to my son's peanut allergy (3 months now) and have been reading a lot and learning many things...albeit mostly negative stuff. It is so nice to read something about a positive lifestyle and acceptance of peanut allergies. I think to myself sometimes that maybe I am researching too much or too often. It is a good thing no doubt to be well informed but I think I need to take a break from the research for a while because it is becoming overwhelming. Maybe I need to accept this and take the steps that I have learned to ensure his safety but to stop letting it consume me and my life and just live! Thanks so much for your words. I will continue to check out your site since it is one I get comfort in:)

Kathy said...

My son is 7 and has had a peanut allergy since he was 15 months old. I have Homeschooled him until this year and now he goes to a small private school. We have had to train our school about his peanut allergy since there was no other kids with allergies or procedures in place-peanut free tables, ect. Our big problem is HIS fear to eat anything at a friends/family members home if he is visiting. He is having so many fears that he might have a peanut allergy reaction. We have talked to him so many times about how we read the labels together, our family/friends are aware of his condition and that we have a PLAN in place. However, his fear is making him not want to eat much food any more. He is a very active boy-playing sports, riding bikes, ect. I'm looking for suggestions or ideas on how to handle his food fears-we don't eat out much...I'm thinking about taking him to our Dr. and see what he recommends or any resources that would be helpful. If anyone has any thoughts to share-I would apprecite your help!