I am coming forward to shed a new light on some things.
I haven’t talked too much about food allergies since my daughter was fighting for her life May 2012. Just because I didn’t talk about it much or throw statistics at everyone doesn’t mean I wasn’t praying for miracles, not only for my child but for every child out there battling their food allergies. I didn’t know much about food allergies till that dreaded day.
I didn’t know it could mean life or death within minutes of eating something or that I would spend so much time and energy researching things you have to do to make sure any food you touch was safe. I am not talking about just reading labels here. I am talking about the every detail of everything you do.
Did you know that half of the time you have to either call companies, or send them an e-mail to see what is actually in their food? You spend most of your time helping, or protecting your child. It is not just about companies, it’s also restaurants. Those times where you just want to go sit down as a family and have someone cook for you. After doing some research in our town, we found that we only have two options for sit down restaurants: Cracker Barrel & Olive Garden. Even though recently, Cracker Barrel changed their menu, so I will have to contact them before our next visit to make sure they are still food allergy aware, and if anything has changed.
Half of the time, we (parents of food allergy kids) just want people to ‘get’ it. It is life or death. How hard is that for people to understand? When you have a child who is sick you don’t take them to the hospital for them to run around and play. So, why would I take my food allergy child to your birthday party and let her run around free of everything, when I have no clue what is there. I have no clue what is in the cake, the ice cream, and those donuts you decided to pick up and bring. So sorry if I come off being “overly protected”, I am just being a mom.
Food allergies just happen. It is not planned out. It is not something that I would wish on anyone. Just because one day my child eats nuts, then the next day she is in the ER, doesn’t mean I am just going to go back to our way of life before. That ONE day changed our life, and we changed our life-style. It is a way of living, it can be restrictive but at least this is something I can battle. This is something I can manage.
Your next question could be about my faith. “If your faith is strong enough you wouldn’t worry so much. Let Go, Let God” Really? So, I should just throw that common sense God gave me right out the window and say “Run along Jade! I will watch you from here! Even though I saw you battling for your life, I just want you free-spirited. In the meantime, I will sit over in my corner and pray while you run free”
So, let me inform you about my faith.
My faith is loading my daughter up on the bus every morning for school. I don’t know what Sally has brought on the bus that morning. I don’t know if Sally is going to give Jade her walnut ice cream, or did Sally just saved her Nutella sandwich to share with Jade on the bus. Don’t tell me this can’t happen, because when I was in school I brought snacks on the bus. My ride was an hour and half, so of course, I brought me something! Who is not to say some little kid does the same? Why would a kid bring something so dangerous on the bus? The reason why is because to that child it isn’t dangerous. That kid is living the Free-Spirited life.
My faith is letting my daughter into a public school. A public school where they have no clue, nor have they seen a child go through Anaphylactic shock. The teachers and staff don’t know what to even look for if something happens to my child. I have to tell them the warnings signs. My faith is, for them to remember exactly what I told them.
My faith knows God can change this. My everyday prayer is finding a cure, finding a way to ‘fix’ whatever is wrong. And now my faith is really showing and do you want to know why? Because just today we found out that Jade might have outgrown her allergies, but that’s not why I have faith now. I have faith now because I am going to put her life in her Doctors hand. The Doctor is going to do a food challenge and feed her Walnuts. The Doctor and Nurses will watch her closely. I will be facing the devil head on, but I will not bow my head. I will push through because I know who has this, and it is not me. So, next time you hear food allergies think about everything it takes for that parent to push through everyday life. Don’t judge them; don’t start pointing fingers at them, because in my eyes they have the best positive outlook on life. For they know what true Faith is.