my sister in law things PA are a joke

I have a 3 yr old with a severe PA. A lot of the local schools have gone peanut free this year, which has caused my sister in law to act like a wild woman on a rampage against PA. She is continually posting jokes and making nasty comments out leaving residue on a surface so a PA child can find it. She does not believe that there can be reactions from other contact other than ingestion. I have tried to educate her and talk to her about how this is a very serious allergy and can be fatal. She refuses to listen and continues her comments. It is very very hurtful to both my husband and myself. Luckily, our child isnt old enough to understand the hatred that is coming from her aunt. It also shows that she has no love, care or empathy for our child. My husband wants to write her off and be done with her. I struggle with that because I grew up in a very tight family and family is very important to me. But I am not sure what else we can do to get her to understand this allergy as well as how much pain she has caused our family. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated on how to deal with difficult family members. I know that people that dont have to live with PA, dont understand them. I didnt understand them until I had to when my child was 13 months old and we found out the hard way. But my family has gone above and beyond to protect my child and learn about this. I dont know what to do with someone that looks at this as a joke.

By saralolawill on Mon, 10-28-13, 22:30

It could very easily be her child or her next child (if she plans on having children). I once did not understand the severity. After I educated myself and then had a child with a PA/TNA I gained a new perspective.

My in-laws don't take my son's PA/TNA seriously and continue to expose him to Peanuts. There will be a coming to Jesus moment because it is no longer safe for him to be there if they don't respect my child's health and safety.

I am so sorry that you have to deal with this.I would treat her with complete compassion and just tell her that you hope on she understnds

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By Kim k on Fri, 10-18-13, 20:46

I really feel for you. We have dealt with some ignorance with my inlaws, but this goes WAY beyond ignorance. I personally have chosen for my family to only spend time with others that support us, and clearly love our children, specifically where our daughters PA is involved. her life depends on it. Sadly, that excludes some of our family members. We have great friends and most often, almost strangers are more supportive than some family members.

Not everyone has to agree, but your family should not be sabotaging the well being of your child. Don't waste your emotional energies on this person. Surround yourself and nurture relationships with people who genuinely care for your family. Clearly this woman does not. If she did, she would do anything to keep them safe. I wish you luck. I am so angry for you!!

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By jap on Fri, 10-18-13, 01:52

Don't take it personally regards the nut allergy
People in every situation in life shock me , From drivers on the highway to the obesity epidemic etc etc. Expect the worst in people and you won't be disappointed.

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By survivingfood on Fri, 10-18-13, 01:12

There seems to be something much deeper going on with your sinl then anger over PB sandwiches ban. From a psychological perspective so much can be advised but more information is needed. The simple answer might be is that she is stuck between Denial and Anger stage of dealing with this life changing event (someone has to push her along to acceptance). There could be so many reasons why...You don't have to write her off, but possibly keep at a safe distance from your child until she reaches the acceptance stage (this could take a while). But this could also send a strong message on just how serious your child's disability is. You could say things like "I love you as my family member, but your behavior and attitude towards your nice's very serious life threatening condition are not acceptable at this time so until they change we will not be able to spend time together out of concern for our daughter's well being." I also don't think that you are the right person to educate her about PA because she's already established a bias against you. If you feel like it you can also remind her that if she is caught intentionally spreading PB to cause harm to a child with PA it might be considered a felony. And remind her that the PB that she spreads can become ingested when one touches the residue which goes along with her theory. At any rate don't give up. The more people we have on the side of our children the safer they will be, but it's not an easy process.

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By mb1554 on Thu, 10-17-13, 18:29

I am continually shocked at the calloused indifference of some people towards life threatening food allergies, especially family members who should hold the safety & well being of the child above all else. As another stated, are NUTS to be given priority over safety, as if the ingestion of nuts were sacred or the only food available? I applaud your efforts at protecting your child while attempting to maintain family harmony, however, we all know that safety comes first. I am in a similar situation caring for my goddaughter's little one newly diagnosed with PA/TNA. Since she is here during the work week, we have made our house peanut & nut free, even though difficult for my kids to give up PB & Nutella. My kids agreed 100% as they love this little girl & want to keep her safe. My goddaughter is faced with ignorance and stubbornness from both sides of the family. One side seems confused & has had bowls of nuts at family gatherings. Her own sister insists on cooking the turkey in peanut oil for Thanksgiving. I have typed up a short info sheet on PA for those who seem ignorant of the condition. Continued refusal to provide a safe environment for any PA child is either due to ignorance or some other serious issues. If you have provided education on PA, I would then confront your SIL & ask what the real issue is. I would state that while she may be willing to risk playing Russian Roulette with your child's life, that you will not, and cannot come to her house if she continues to treat your child's life in such a hurtful & cavalier way. Enlisting the aid of health care professionals and other family members may help, too. Don't give up altogether, continue to send PA information her way, but be prepared that there may be other issues here affecting her judgment. Good Luck!

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By tandgmom on Thu, 10-17-13, 02:29

One thing food allergies has taught me is that it has a way of showing you people's true colors and/or how they really feel about you. The people, like your snl, who are in denial and are negative just because they don't want to believe your child's food allergies are dangerous have serious issues and are a danger to your child. For some of them, no amount of "educating" is going to help them understand because the actual problem is not the fa it's their negative attitude. You are doing the right thing by distancing your child and your family from this person. We've had to do the same thing. It's sad, but it's usually family members, the people who are supposed to love you, that this happens with, which is what makes it so hurtful. I'm sorry this happened to you, but I can tell you that later on you'll be glad you learned who this person really is.

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By ldwells62 on Mon, 10-14-13, 01:14

Unfortunately, your SIL will not be the only person you will encounter with the same attitude. Some people just don't care and others are just uneducated. I still have several family members, including my child's grandparent, that thinks my child's peanut allergy is just a bunch of "fooey". Stand your ground and avoid this person and/or these people. If they cannot show compassion, understanding or empathy towards this type of situation, what will they?

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By Kiwi Mum on Sun, 10-13-13, 23:12

Have her watch the Discovery Channel documentary about the allergy epidemic in America. I had some family members watch it and they were quite shocked at what happens when a child has a reaction to nuts. It is a real eye opener. Until then I don't think they realised quite how serious it was. http://www.discoverychannelcme.com/patient-education/food-allergies

By firthfamily on Sun, 10-13-13, 22:48

My son and daughter both have nut allergies one to peanut and the other to tree nut so we have not been able to have nuts in our house for years now. At first my family didn't get it either and thought that it would be ok to have nuts around even when they were little. We had to sadly say that we wouldn't make it to holidays or family get togethers unless things changed. We did have to leave a few times before the holiday parties even started. Since then we have compromised and the family is still able to have peanuts but only when we are not there. So they do it before we get there or after we leave. For the actual meal everything is safe.
I have had something similar happen at school, in the end after trying to work with the principal we ended up changing to a school that would be meet my childs safety needs.
Leaving if it is unsafe and showing your child that you support them is the biggest thing I think that you can do. It throws a strong message, and most importantly you keep the moral high ground.

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By raye on Mon, 10-14-13, 04:19

What a strong set of parents! And very inspirational to those of us just entering this wicked peanut allergy situation, with its attendant fear, frustration and sadness. One is usually inclined to "be nice and go along with others' wishes" in a case of what foods are to be served at a gathering, but this is one situation that requires diligence for your child's safety, and that does not always allow being nice (or at least, does not always allow one to do exactly as the family thinks they should at family parties). I am so amazed that some of our family members seem to be the biggest problem with understanding the importance of "absolutely no nuts or cross-contamination by nuts at get-togethers" Is the party ALL ABOUT EATING NUTS? We and our children do not want to even have to address this problem and we certainly do not enjoy making special requests, but it is simply a life-threatening medical condition out of our control. Do people really think we are being vigilant in order to feel special?? Goodness, no. There is not anyone among us who would not be thrilled to never have to give nuts a second thought again! Heaven forbid if the casual ones ever have a child with life-threateing food allergies. And I would have found it amusing, if not so serious a subject, that your family did finally comply with not serving nuts WHILE YOU ARE THERE, but had them BEFORE YOU ARRIVED! (Who is to say a stray nut would not be on the floor or in a crevice in the sofa when your child arrived--or even small amounts of nut protein still on their hands??). I was also bowled over that they HAD to have nuts AT ALL, almost as though they were a vital part of a religious ritual or something. It seems immature that they don't "get it" enough to simply forego eating nuts for a half-day of a special family gathering a few times a year. And DO NOT LET ANYONE KISS YOUR CHILD at the party unless they go brush their teeth first! My mind won't let go of the fact that they still HAVE to have their nuts "before or after" you are there. Sounds like a bad case of either stubbornness or ignorance! Hang in there. You are great parents and your child is learning valuable lessons from your example.

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