A huge wake up call on Saturday!

Posted on: Mon, 08/16/2004 - 9:19pm
Claire's picture
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Joined: 04/19/2000 - 09:00

As you all know Chris has been with his girl friend for about 2 years. I love this Girl. She is shy but talks well when she knows a person. She treats my other children very well and lets Chris enjoy his family as well.
She gave up eating PB for him which I just was amazed by.She let me teach her how to use the epipen and was great at listening.

Her family has friends up here from Germany and they really love Chris. They were not aware of his allergy and that is understandable. They came here with a ton of German chocolates from their country loaded with hazelnuts and other things.
they were very understanding about him not taking any.

Anyway I get a phone Call on Saturday from his Girlfriends mom. She has an important question for me. She was very nice and everything but here is our phone call. Please remember she has been talked to more than a dozen times about this allergy.

"Hi Claire this is ********. I have a question to ask you because Chris has accepted our dinner offer and we were so pleased because he usually will not eat here."
"What I want to know is this. How serious is christopher to peanuts because i have made a peanut butter cheesecake for dessert I will be serving." Now I am freaking out.
This is the same lady i have taught about the epi pen and discussed many many times with.
I told her he would not even be able to attend dessert and should leave immediatly after dinner and the cheesecake could not even be near him to ingest.I told her he would just come back latter in the evening when things were all cleaned.
She didn't want me to tell Chris she called because it may scare him. Now at this point I have to tell him and that way he can avoid things and make an adult decision. I went in the bedroom to talk to him as tears are rolling down my face and talked with him. He said "Holy Sh**" mom I can not go there." YES people he said those words and I hope you don't think he is a bold kid but he was scared and I completly understood.
After talking with him she called me back. She had decided that she made a huge mistake and should never have called me because she should have never made the cheese cake knowing the allergy.
She sent the cheesecake out to a neighbors home and had it after he left.

My point to this whole thing is that we can never assume people are listening and get it. We just have to hope we have raised our children to do what is right.
He did have a good time and said the dinner was good. He had no dessert even though she claimed it to be a plain cheesecake she made just for him.
He was to afraid of cross contamination.
I was happy for him but upset at the fact that i have told her a million times and she doesn't yet get it.
oh well today will be a better one.
take care claire

Posted on: Mon, 08/16/2004 - 10:22pm
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Claire,
Wow! I'm impressed with the way you handled the situation, I'm impressed with the way your son handled it, and relieved that the girlfriend's mother gave the PB cheesecake away.
This post is a testament to how you have raised your son in dealing with PA.
I can relate in some way to the constant education of a someone close and thinking they "get" it. My own mother seems to get it about 80% of the time. The other 20% evokes the "What are you thinking?!?" response in me.
This happened a few weeks ago when my two boys were at Grandma's. My BIL brought up some Rita's ice in a large quart container and she offered it to them. Ryan did not think it was a good idea to eat because it was not from our Rita's (I've checked, they don't serve PB flavors). I can't vouch for other Rita's however. She gave some to my youngest with no food allergies, but Ryan wisely declined and said something like, "Mom would probably say no (for PA reasons), so I don't want any." Great for him for empowering himself at such a young age. What also annoyed me was the fact that she would serve something to my youngest son in front of him. We are a
"all for one and one for all" family. If one can't eat a food, then in most circumstances none of us will eat it. Although Ryan did have Phillyswirlwiches available, that wasn't the point.
Anyway, it is a relief to hear of a young adult with the courage and knowledge to make the right decision in a situation like this. Give us much hope and positive feelings for the future.

Posted on: Mon, 08/16/2004 - 10:35pm
synthia's picture
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Joined: 10/05/2002 - 09:00

Thank you" both " for sharing your stories.
Hope the kids are well
Love this site
Synthia

Posted on: Tue, 08/17/2004 - 12:00am
Peg541's picture
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Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

Claire,
Good for Chris, he said all the right things.
Yes, it was a dumb move to make that cake in the first place but you got to see that Chris knows enough to stay away and that was a good thing for you to see.
Peg

Posted on: Tue, 08/17/2004 - 12:17am
California Mom's picture
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Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

Claire, did I understand correctly that she brought the cake to a neighbor's only for the duration of the dinner party, and then brought it back for the guests to eat after Chris left? If so, that makes me really mad.
It also concerns me a bit that she didn't want you to tell Chris about her phone call. I hope that in the future she won't "hide" information about food in her home just so Chris won't be concerned.
Good luck with this woman!
Take care, Miriam

Posted on: Tue, 08/17/2004 - 3:46am
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Joined: 03/12/2004 - 09:00

Claire,
Good for your son [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] It sounds like he knows exactly what he needs to do to keep himself safe.
I'm very confused by the mother's actions...Making a peanut butter cheesecake and calling you to figure out how serious is it really and not wanting you to tell him?!?!? It sounds like she doesn't believe him about how serious his allergy is. I'm glad she gave the cheesecake away, but boy I'd be p.o.ed she planned to serve it in the first place!
------------------
Meg, mom to:
Matt 2 yrs. PA,MA,EA
Sean 2 yrs. NKA

Posted on: Tue, 08/17/2004 - 5:45am
becca's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

I am thinking a little differently. I think she made it and realized it might be a mistake, hence the call. At least she did call, and called back and got it out of the house.
It is strange she asked you not to discuss the call with your son. However is also reaffirming that he is so safe with himself even if it hurts.
All in all, in the end, I think she understood since she sent the food out of the house. It took me awhile to really get it and it is my child(she never had anaphylaxis). So, I realize how unbelieving others can be. I just could not grasp that PB or nuts could kill my child. I do get it now, of course, but it was a process over time of learning the facts. I was extra motivated becuase it was my child.
I am not trying to debate anything said here, just trying to see the other side. I think it is most important you have an open and civil, if not friendly, dialogue with this parent about the allergy. She learned something from you with this incident and it will hopefully carry over to future situations. I hope, for your son's sake. becca

Posted on: Tue, 08/17/2004 - 5:56am
Claire's picture
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Joined: 04/19/2000 - 09:00

OHH where to begin. I know that I was very angry by the whole thing in the first place. I think you all seem to have it pegged though. She really seems to think it isn't severe. I am not sure why however she is a very intelligent woman as far as her education and knowledge of the world.
I was a wreck that she even made the cheesecake but happy that she thought of Chris at some point.
Chris totally agrees with you people that she may not remember next time she invites him to dinner.
His biggest fear is what did they do with the leftover stuff. Is it still in the house or what.
Peg I was so happy to see how he reacted. I knew then that all of these years that people have told me to lighten up were well worth being on his back at all times.
mommyofmatt, The thing about her calling me and not wanting him to know really bothered my whole family. The one thing in my family is that we talk about everything good or bad. I never would want to keep a secret like that from my kids.
One thing about her is whenever she calls me for anything she tells me to keep our talk a secret. She will call and check up to make sure her dd made it to my house ok. Then she asks me not to tell her. Well I would think she would be happy that her mother cares.
I call Chris whenever I want because I gave birth to him and that is my parental right.
I just hung up from talking to Chris and he is at her house. As I told him good bye I then said "Chris the leftover cheesecake could be in the house". He turned right around and asked where it was. He then said"NO mom the cheesecake is gone they were to afraid of me being here". I really don't care if we offend anyone I just need to keep him safe and happy.
As I said I love this girl and do like the mom but will not trust their ways.
sometimes I just hate the fact that I have to share my boy now.
Thank you Claire

Posted on: Tue, 08/17/2004 - 6:21am
Peg541's picture
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Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

Claire,
I understand where you are coming from and I also have to agree with Becca.
I can remember (and this is embarrassing to admit here) when the allergist told us about DS peanut allergy. The words that came out of my mouth were "Well a peanut is not going to jump in his mouth is it?"
The idiot allergist agreed with me and we went blithely off. It was more than a year before I heard accidentally on the radio that peanuts carry the highest rate of allergic deaths!
I was totally unaware, me a nurse, my husband a physician! Unaware.
And I repeat, your son was smart because you taught him how to be smart and good for you.
I might cut the mother a bit of slack, now she knows. I wonder if she ever heard of airborne or touch allergies? Probably not. We live with this every second of every day but others are really unaware.
If your son had sat there for the dinner and she carted out that cheesecake he would have just left then. Either way, you win.
Peg
[This message has been edited by Peg541 (edited August 17, 2004).]

Posted on: Tue, 08/17/2004 - 6:36am
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Joined: 04/21/2001 - 09:00

I agree with the above comments about the mom probably just not being used to thinking through the airbourne/touch issues.
Also, (this may sound stupid) I have had friends and family members ask if dd's peanut allergy means she can't have peanut butter! I have no clue what they think peanut butter is made out of (duh)but they ask about it. I think that maybe since p-butter is so prevalant in our culture that they sort of think of it as a different food item then in the shell or chopped peanuts. And some of these people are those that (before that question) I thought really got it. Maybe this was the case with this mom who finally put two and two together and called you.
Good for you in how you and ds handled it.

Posted on: Tue, 08/17/2004 - 7:04am
Claire's picture
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Joined: 04/19/2000 - 09:00

Becca I totally agree with everyone here because I really like this woman alot and feel that she did what was in her heart. She is not a mean lady and loves Christopher very much. She I guess surprised me and caught me off gaurd with this. She was amazed when I told her that if they ate it and then touched him or his stuff it could turn fatal. She really must care about him because she probalby spent a great deal of time making this cheesecake and then turned and made something else.
I am so happy to listen to all of you and believe me I take no offence to your responses.
In a way I think I started this thread so that you would all point out things that are in my head and am trying to sort out.
Does she get it now? I don't know
Will I be comfortable with him there? He is there right now.
If I could pick my sons Girlfriend this would be the girl I would pick.
Mom doesn't butt in and I am just glad she called and didn't serve it.
I really thought the people on this board should see though that even as a teen it is still on our minds a lot.
Good luck and thank you everyone here.
Claire

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