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Sharing the Food-Allergy-Mom Love

Sharing the Food-Allergy-Mom Love
Do you relate to those weeks when you blink and it's already Friday (and not in a good way)? They seem to just keep coming this month, for my family. This week was a different kind of eye opener, though---one that had me shifting parental worry from one child to another, unexpectedly. ​ I almost never mention my own food/other allergies or my oldest child's, in part because none of them have caused us anaphylaxis. My youngest gets to lay claim to the worst type of food allergies, and the most severe in our little world. Hers are the personal and family life-changers. So this week was an anomaly, because I spent 3 hours with my other daughter in the allergist's office for prick testing and lung function tests. We've managed her allergies at home for more than 10 years (and how did that happen so fast?!) with saline, and some well-timed antihistamines, quite successfully, I thought. But even I was concerned when she started wheezing with exercise---not something a mom or a health professional wants to hear. I was even more concerned when, after I suggested to this kid who's highly opposed to needles in any form that she might need allergy tests and shots, she still agreed to see the allergist. So, off we went for allergy testing and a treatment plan. Testing really just confirmed what we already knew from experience (so great when that happens and there aren't surprises), and round 2 was remarkably light on reactions. Our allergist, needless to say, is a very important person to our family, and I trust his judgment completely; we walked away with a functional plan and a set of goals that even worked around schooltimes. ​ But testing also revealed something that I sometimes forget: Even my oldest---my healthiest, my sweet, easy, and responsible kid---needs some extra love and attention sometimes. It's easy to get caught up in wiping down counters or bus seats, bringing safe treats to share with entire classes, and counting how many EpiPens in the house/school/sitter's are expiring soon. Watching my more delicate daughter brave not one but two rounds of skin testing, and then agree to a pretty aggressive summer injection regimen, made me so proud of her bravery and so sad that I sometimes overlook her health needs as less-than-pressing. My youngest happened upon the meaning of "bittersweet" this week during orchestra, and I think she nailed just how I felt with her sister, too. ​I have these great blogging plans to share what I've learned from my life and my med chem world about allergy testing, injections, challenges, and more. Today, though, I'm just being mom....worried, proud, overworked, but happy. ​