a good PA related school story

Posted on: Thu, 08/17/2006 - 1:21pm
joeybeth's picture
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Joined: 09/01/2006 - 09:00

i had a nice thing happen today. it was our first day of school and i have one 15 yr old dd (no fa's), one PA 10 yr old dd, and one PA 7 yr old dd in the school system.

during openhouse last week the nurse at my middle child's school commented to me that we might have a problem. she had two children enrolled in the intermediate school this year with special dietary needs, one with diabetes and one with some other sugar related problem, who would be eating peanuts and peanut butter crackers in her office during the day this year. (apparently this was the food of choice for both these new students and it's what they have always had daily at school in the past).

she offered to phone the parents of both children, explain our situation and that my daughter will occasionally be in the nurse's office for meds (she has an inhaler she uses every once in a while...not often and, of course, her epipens and benadryl for the PA). she's really not in there much, but there is the potential for her to be.

i told the nurse i had mixed emotions about what to do. on one hand i felt it was pretty awful that we had to share our formerly "safe" place (the nurse's office) with pb and peanuts but, on the other hand, i felt it would be wrong of me to impose on those two families since they were dealing with serious health issues themselves. in the end i wasn't happy but asked her to not bother the other two families but to be sure to clean up after each child, thoroughly after they had their snacks each day.

she said she would keep wipes near where they sit and clean the room anytime any food was opened and consumed in her office. we decided that was the most fair thing to do for everyone involved.

today the nurse found me in the hall and said she had news for me. she had decided to phone and explain PA to both families. both sets of families said, without hesitation, "no problem. we'll just bring in something else for our child to eat during the day. no big deal."

even though it is the most obvious solution to the problem, and not that difficult to accommodate,i just thought it was very sweet of two families with children who also have special needs while at school to be so considerate. no grumbling, no griping; just "sure, no problem." it made my day.

Posted on: Fri, 08/18/2006 - 12:04am
cynde's picture
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Joined: 12/10/2002 - 09:00

That's so sweet, but doesn't surprise me at all, of course families with health concerns would be understanding and accomodating.

Posted on: Fri, 08/18/2006 - 3:40am
joeybeth's picture
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Joined: 09/01/2006 - 09:00

i guess i hadn't thought of it in that way...i just thought that they might be overwhelmed with their own childrens' needs (which are serious and legitimate, of course) and that they wouldn't feel our situation was serious enough for them to change their long-term routines. i was surprised....but very pleasantly.
but i do see what you are saying. after dealing with PA all these years i am definitely a changed person when it comes to trying to help others in any way i can. i like to think i was always thoughtful and considerate but i know i try harder now if it's in my power in some way to help someone else out.

Posted on: Fri, 08/18/2006 - 4:46am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

I agree totally-- how many of us here would be more than willing to ban a food our children are NOT allergic to in order to keep a classmate safe? I am always a little bemused when non-allergic parents aggressively argue with, "where do you draw the line?" Well, gee-- having lived it myself, I guess I would draw the line at eliminating things a child isn't going to anaphylax from. That's where I draw it. So I'm okay with a wheat, dairy, soy, latex, and nut-free classroom. Inconvenient? Or course, but my inconvenience is nothing compared to what it means to the children involved to know they are safer.
I think that you tend to just be more sensitive to things in general. BTDT kind of thinking, you know?
What a very compassionate gesture of these other families to have made!
Under the circumstances, I might offer to replace the PB with natural Sunbutter if they'd like to try some.
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Fri, 08/18/2006 - 4:52am
Maple Leaf's picture
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Joined: 02/10/2006 - 09:00

That is so nice to hear [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Life often feels like such a battle, when you have any disability. Sometimes, we then forget how easy it can be!
Thank you for sharing!

Posted on: Fri, 08/18/2006 - 5:38am
joeybeth's picture
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Joined: 09/01/2006 - 09:00

corvallis mom: so coincidental that you suggested the sunbutter idea. i JUST mentioned that to our school nurse yesterday. i told her i had a wonderful pb alternative (sunbutter, creamy) that i'd be happy to buy for each of the two kids so they could keep some on hand at school. she thought it was a great idea too. our school actually uses sunbutter (natural) in their kitchens as a pb replacement (they no longer use peanuts or treenuts) but i love the creamy version so much better. so...yes...the sunbutter is a great idea.
i have soybutter available here locally but i just don't love it like i LOVE the sunbutter. it's too runny and too sweet for me (though my non-PA teenage daughter likes it a lot). soybutter is a replacement, but sunbutter is even better than pb, imo. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
*just another day brightener* my 2nd grader's teacher just mentioned to me (at lunch today, when i stopped by school) that two parents mentioned they were trying hard to find pb alternatives for their childrens' lunches because they were concerned. they also asked if having their children wash up well after lunch would help if they did happen to bring pb or peanuts in their lunches. and to think, i said nothing to anyone and these people just met my daughter a couple of days ago at a school openhouse. i'm just always so touched when people make an effort. i truly feel it's word of mouth, media coverage, etc about food allergies that has created an environment that encourages people to take notice and concern. back when we first started dealing with PA almost 10 years ago, we never ran into people who had even limited knowledge about PA , much less a desire to help in some way. it just wasn't talked about much or if it was, i just wasn't informed.

Posted on: Fri, 08/18/2006 - 12:04am
cynde's picture
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Joined: 12/10/2002 - 09:00

That's so sweet, but doesn't surprise me at all, of course families with health concerns would be understanding and accomodating.

Posted on: Fri, 08/18/2006 - 3:40am
joeybeth's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/01/2006 - 09:00

i guess i hadn't thought of it in that way...i just thought that they might be overwhelmed with their own childrens' needs (which are serious and legitimate, of course) and that they wouldn't feel our situation was serious enough for them to change their long-term routines. i was surprised....but very pleasantly.
but i do see what you are saying. after dealing with PA all these years i am definitely a changed person when it comes to trying to help others in any way i can. i like to think i was always thoughtful and considerate but i know i try harder now if it's in my power in some way to help someone else out.

Posted on: Fri, 08/18/2006 - 4:46am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

I agree totally-- how many of us here would be more than willing to ban a food our children are NOT allergic to in order to keep a classmate safe? I am always a little bemused when non-allergic parents aggressively argue with, "where do you draw the line?" Well, gee-- having lived it myself, I guess I would draw the line at eliminating things a child isn't going to anaphylax from. That's where I draw it. So I'm okay with a wheat, dairy, soy, latex, and nut-free classroom. Inconvenient? Or course, but my inconvenience is nothing compared to what it means to the children involved to know they are safer.
I think that you tend to just be more sensitive to things in general. BTDT kind of thinking, you know?
What a very compassionate gesture of these other families to have made!
Under the circumstances, I might offer to replace the PB with natural Sunbutter if they'd like to try some.
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Fri, 08/18/2006 - 4:52am
Maple Leaf's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/10/2006 - 09:00

That is so nice to hear [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Life often feels like such a battle, when you have any disability. Sometimes, we then forget how easy it can be!
Thank you for sharing!

Posted on: Fri, 08/18/2006 - 5:38am
joeybeth's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/01/2006 - 09:00

corvallis mom: so coincidental that you suggested the sunbutter idea. i JUST mentioned that to our school nurse yesterday. i told her i had a wonderful pb alternative (sunbutter, creamy) that i'd be happy to buy for each of the two kids so they could keep some on hand at school. she thought it was a great idea too. our school actually uses sunbutter (natural) in their kitchens as a pb replacement (they no longer use peanuts or treenuts) but i love the creamy version so much better. so...yes...the sunbutter is a great idea.
i have soybutter available here locally but i just don't love it like i LOVE the sunbutter. it's too runny and too sweet for me (though my non-PA teenage daughter likes it a lot). soybutter is a replacement, but sunbutter is even better than pb, imo. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
*just another day brightener* my 2nd grader's teacher just mentioned to me (at lunch today, when i stopped by school) that two parents mentioned they were trying hard to find pb alternatives for their childrens' lunches because they were concerned. they also asked if having their children wash up well after lunch would help if they did happen to bring pb or peanuts in their lunches. and to think, i said nothing to anyone and these people just met my daughter a couple of days ago at a school openhouse. i'm just always so touched when people make an effort. i truly feel it's word of mouth, media coverage, etc about food allergies that has created an environment that encourages people to take notice and concern. back when we first started dealing with PA almost 10 years ago, we never ran into people who had even limited knowledge about PA , much less a desire to help in some way. it just wasn't talked about much or if it was, i just wasn't informed.

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