The day I learned my 7-month-old son had a peanut allergy was one of the scariest days of my life. When the tests came back positive, I instantly cried. I knew this meant so much change and so many precautions for my pretty laid back little family.
I went home to study and read the paperwork that our allergist gave us. Our doctor told us that we would have to read all food labels (yuck), constantly have to wipe things down when out, she did not recommend kissing him (how do you not kiss your own baby?!), if we go to restaurants always pack him his own food, avoid birthday parties, and the list goes on and on. After feeling bad for myself for a minute, I remembered that it could be so much worse. I knew children literally fighting for their lives. So what? Blake had food allergies; we will move on with our lives.
The day my son developed a second food allergy out of the blue, this time to sesame, was a terrifying day. It was about a year after his nut allergy diagnosis, and I was not expecting it at all. So many thoughts ran through my head. Do I give him his Auvi Q (which is like an EpiPen)? Should I call 911? I don’t have any family to call. Who will take care of my older son? So much to think about, and I only had minutes to figure it all out. I ended up giving him Benadryl and he was ok, thank goodness! But now I had to constantly worry about what new anaphylactic allergy would pop up next?
According to Kids With Food Allergies, “A diagnosis of food allergy is a major adjustment that can have an adverse impact on the whole family’s quality of life. Families need to read food labels, learn how to cook and bake without things like milk or egg, and learn how to safely navigate schools, restaurants, vacations, birthday parties, and holidays. Families also need to learn how to be prepared to treat anaphylaxis, an allergic reaction that can be severe and life-threatening.”
I’m not going to lie, living in quarantine has actually been easier as far as worrying about my son. It’s the little bubble I’ve always wanted for him (lol). In honor of Food Allergy Awareness Week, I just ask everyone to please be a little more aware of people with food allergies. I’m not asking you to stop eating the foods you love, but please don’t kiss someone without asking. Please do not bring and eat certain foods on airplanes: peanuts, tree nuts, and shellfish. Please don’t share food with children without asking their parents. Please be mindful of the top 8 allergy foods. And overall, just please be a little more cautious.