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Posted on: Fri, 06/07/2002 - 10:28am
stuffguy's picture
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Joined: 05/20/2002 - 09:00

****Warning, rant. Read fully before launching into an anti-Stuffguy tirade, or don't read at all...****
Ok, I'd left, but I had to check back in.. Who knew it was such an issue?
I was talking to my parents the other day, and pointed them to this thread (hi mom! And dad). I have to admit, they were as suprised as I was to find that things have changed as much as they have, be they for the better or the worse.
I doubt that they'll comment, as pretty much anything that could be said for either side has been said, but I just thought that they'd find it interesting. So smile.. You're on stuffguy parent camera. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Now if they'd just give up bugging me for grandchildren.. *grin*
Anyhow, there have been some interesting statements made in this thread, and some that are just said over and over and over again.. Honestly, I don't care one way or the other about the school thing. I don't have kids. I didn't have one. Twould be nice, but *shrug*. Hell, ban 'em from society. I'm for that. Outlaw the pesky little buggers.. Heck, while we're at it, lets outlaw anything that could hurt or inconvenience someone. Waitaminute.. There are lobby groups working on that right now. I'm suprised that hammer ownership isn't banned yet, after all the horrific crimes that have been commited with them over the years.
Fish allergys, milk allergies, wheat allergies.. Latex allergies, perfume allergies, pollen allergies and the like. Some fatal, some not. But all are things who's presence is either an extreme hazard or a major inconvenience to someone.
I don't know about you, but I don't want to accomodate everyone.. Society turns entirely too bland and orweilian at that point.
The question that seems to keep coming up, is what level of accomodation can be reasonably expected from other people? If forcing lifestyle changes on others to accomodate our weaknesses a fair thing? Is there a way that a fair comprimise can be worked out? We all want to be accomodated, but nobody wants to accomodate. Hence the tension in schools where peanuts are banned, and where the mother handing out peanut-butter sandwiches comes from. Neither are right, but both are a symptom of the me-me struggle.
Be it right or not, it is this "me" focus that both saves and condemns us. It saves those who do not have the same substance tolerances as the "norm" and it brings condemnation when they seek accomodation.
Lack of understanding, or caring about the plight of others (like myself and some of your children)is what leads to problems. From my experience, people I know offer me things with nuts in them, either because they forget, or because they don't think that peanut butter might contain peanuts.
As silly as you think this sounds, it happens on a regular basis.. "There's no peanuts in this cookie.." "What kind is it?" "Peanut Butter"..
You've got to realize that it's not an obvious affliction. And relying on the attention of another "me-focused" person does not work. My own grandmother didn't realize that double-dipping the margarine with the peanut-butter was a bad thing. How could I expect a stranger, or casual acquaitance to do so?
My original advice is sound. Your child cannot trust anyone. There are times when you will slip up. And if you educate your child properly, they will catch you on it. And when they do, many of your fears will be assuaged. One of the above posters detailed out an experience similar to that. And that brings me great comfort.
You see, that's what brings me here. I could give a rats heiney about the school thing, or "people who just don't get it". The world has peanuts. You deal with that, and you move on. You can trust no-one but yourself, and you must dicipline yourself to accept that there are food items that will kill you.
I'm here because I've gone through life (29yrs so far) living with this every day. My teachers all knew not to give me nuts, and I've never eaten an M&M. But that didn't prevent many offers of things that were potentially dangerous. Almost anything can contain nuts, and most people won't know what's in it.. (Almond flour anyone?)
I wrote my little rant because I'm wagering that anyone "living with the peanut allergy" isn't someone who has it. Those who have it know what I mean already.
Do you think I have anything to gain from talking to you people? Money? Power? Influence? Make friends and influence people? Uhh.. Other than mild entertainment at the expense of the rather fanatical, and only "doctor informed"? Nothing.
I came here to share what kept me alive through the years. And it wasn't coddling. It was the near-misses and my mother's constant drumming into my head that did it. There's no such thing as a peanut-free potluck.. (Betcha they used that contaminated margarine...). I really doubt that there can be such a thing as a peanut-free school.
To all of you who decided that calling me, and others who may understand my viewpoint, all manner of things, I wish you good luck. Being a parent to a child with the allergy isn't being the child with the allergy, no matter how you want to think that. You're job is to protect and educate for the first seven to ten years of their life. After that, their survival depends on how you did.
Blunt? Yes. True? Yes. You can't lock 'em away forever.
It may seem scary that you're thrust into this great unknown, and you're taking info from websites (case in point), doctors and whatever else you can find. Unfortunatly for you, most of these people have never lived it. There are a few of us here, but most are here for the benefit of those who come after.
Think I'm learning anything that's going to affect my life from being here? Think this is new to me? Live with it for awhile. Not deal with living with someone who has it, but live it.
And y'know what? It becomes automatic. You forget that you're allergic. It becomes a part of life. You forget to mention it to people, because to you, it doesn't matter. It just is.
The new peanut-drug? I don't think I would take it. I fear that it would make me careless, and placing one's life in the hands of a drug is not a position I choose to be in.
I'm here because I wanted to share what the school of hard knocks told me. If you don't want to listen? Fine. A simple "I don't choose to follow that approach" would work fine.
You have no idea how difficult it is to resist lashing out at the book-learned, reality-lost people. I just keep telling myself that without prior exposure, discovering your child could be killed by an innocuous substance would be a hard thing to deal with. And if I weren't allergic myself, I would probably buy in. The mental hardship that it must inflict on a mother is something that I can only imagine. Seeing your child stop breathing would be traumatic at best. Discovering this allergy is the most painful part, for most, unfortunatly.
Anyhow, I've digressed into another ranting brain spew, which I'm sure will draw the ire of those.. Well, y'know.. People...
But to be honest with you all, I don't care. I'm not here for me. There are many less-depressing topics to bluther on about.
Play nice. Whether you are the accomodator, or the accomodated? Play nice. We've all got to share this nutty planet... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
(Oh, and some of your stuff that you post in the various forums? That depresses me. Before I visited, I had a peanut allergy.. Now I've got a debilitating disability.. Damnit...)

Posted on: Fri, 06/07/2002 - 9:59pm
LaurensMom's picture
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Joined: 05/23/2001 - 09:00

Stuffguy,
Exactly...you said this perfect:
"Play nice. Whether you are the accomodator, or the accomodated? Play nice. We've all got to share this nutty planet... "
Beautiful sentiment. Probably the first thing we agree on.
"Play Nice" That is exactly it. We, ***the human population***, should all play nice.
Just understand:
>>>"There's no peanuts in this cookie.."
>>> "What kind is it?" "Peanut Butter".
Being in the presence of this in-hand cookie is enough to cause my daughter a reaction.
Shouldn't the other person "play nice" also, and respect her right to breathe if she is not able to walk away from the situation (on a moving train, bus, classroom)?
*That* is my point. Respect. I most definitely, through both my words and actions, respect the rights of others to eat waht they want when they want. In return, I expect nothing less than that same respect for my daughter and am raising her to expect it for herself too. Eat your PB until your tongue sticks to the roof of your mouth. Doesn't matter to me...except when my daughter is nearby and is either "stuck" (airplane) or has to be there (classroom). At that point, it is up to others to "play nice". If she can walk away, or move to a place where it wouldn't affect her...she will and that is how she "plays nice".
Much better stated here but you still only addressed half the problem.

Posted on: Mon, 06/10/2002 - 12:34am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Hey stuffguy, where'd you learn to be so eloquent? Welcome mom and dad!
I realize I'm risking bannishment here, but what the heck. I live dangerously (cross streets and everything).
I still feel that if a child is ingestion allergic only, the particular food does not need to be totally banned. I am not accusing anyone here, but my own experience has been that people sometimes will use anything they've read to make their point. If peanuts can cause a reaction by touching, they want it banned, and are willing to lie about their own child's reaction to get it banned. This, of course, cannot be tested publicly. We need to be able to trust parents.
I also object to people wanting *peanut free* areas. (sports, etc.) Why not *food free* so it's safe for everyone. Anything that's only a few hours long does not require food. If people with ALL allergies joined together there's a better chance of winning these battles. Sometimes, it sounds like people want everyone to accomodate them (peanut free) but they don't want to accomodate others (food free).
I agree with stuffguy that these boards can bring people down. They did with me for a short time. However, after screwing my head back on, I have found much more help here than I could imagine.
Hope I haven't offended anyone, that's not my intention.

Posted on: Mon, 06/10/2002 - 2:04am
river's picture
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Joined: 07/15/1999 - 09:00

I think that bans are appropriate in some places in society. Public schools are one of them. In Ontario most private schools are peanut-free. If your some poor little pa kid who has to attend public school especially in a poorer neighbourhood, (pb is considered the essential food of the poor), you're out of luck. It's unfair.
Kids only die at school from accidental exposure, where there is no ban in place. I think that says it all.
Please don't accuse parents of lying about their children's allergies---the fact is none of us know the extent of this thing---not even the allergists.
I like your idea about a food free area---besides people on this continent being way too fat, these allergies are not going away---they are getting worse. More and more children are being diagnosed as having this severe immune system disorder. It's a new world and regardless of what we are doing to cause this problem, we all better be ready to deal with it like adults.

Posted on: Mon, 06/10/2002 - 4:52am
Carefulmom's picture
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Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

Lying about their children`s allergy? My daughter`s allergist informs me that peanut allergies can be airborne or contact sensitive at any time. This is the reason that he has instructed us to have a peanut free table and to fly peanut free. A child could be fine sitting with children eating peanuts 100 times and have an airborne reaction the 101st time. Or a child could have an airborne reaction the 3rd time; there`s no way to know. The same is true of contact reactions. In MOST cases, peanut allergy gets worse with age. A case in point is my daughter who ate imitation ice cream for 3 years which was on shared equipment with peanuts and not stated. After three years of no problem, she had a reaction from it. Many allergists feel that any exposure also decreases the chance of outgrowing the pa, even if the child doesn`t have a reaction from the airborne exposure itself. Forgive those of us who are following our allergist`s instructions to request a peanut free table even without a history of airborne reactions; it doesn`t mean we are lying. The whole idea of living with pa is to prevent a reaction, and if my allergist wants me to give my daughter the best chance possible to outgrow her pa by making every effort to limit airborne exposure, that is what I`ll do.

Posted on: Mon, 06/10/2002 - 6:02am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I'm sorry to have offended. Actually, I did mean exagerate as opposed to lying, but basically, I figure you still are angry with my opinion. I am not accusing anyone here personally, I'm saying it happens. I know that for a fact because I dealt with it. It was also a parent who was not properly teaching her son how to live with PA. If you are teaching your child, then chances are you don't feel the need to exagerate anything. The facts speak for themselves.
However, you said you have a peanut free table. I TOTALLY SUPPORT THAT FOR ANY ALLERGY!!! If a child has a *minor* reaction to ANY food, I support a table that is safe for that child. A room if it's feasable in their school. I DON'T FEEL THE NEED TO WAIT FOR AN ANAPHYLACTIC REACTION.
My objection is to totally banning peanut butter from a large school, especially when other students have different food allergies. Yes, I know, sometimes that might be necessary, but not for the majority of PA people.
[This message has been edited by AnnaMarie (edited June 10, 2002).]

Posted on: Mon, 06/10/2002 - 6:57am
Carefulmom's picture
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Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

Thanks for clarifying that. There is no excuse for a parent not teaching his or her child not to eat other people`s food whatever the food allergy may be. Even at age 5, my daughter was so astute that she refused to eat cantaloupe from a salad bar because of two tiny white specks on the cantaloupe. The two specks turned out to be cottage cheese from the next bin (someone must have spoon shared) and she is allergic to milk. Personally, I would never ask for an allergen free table, whatever the allergen, as a substitute for teaching my daughter how to keep herself safe.

Posted on: Mon, 06/10/2002 - 9:34am
river's picture
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Joined: 07/15/1999 - 09:00

I think that there is a myth, (we won't discuss who started it), that parents who advocate for peanut free schools are irresponsible and don't teach their children how to manage their peanut allergy. Nothing could be further from the truth! I've found that it is the parents who are the most vocal, who are also meticulous about teaching their child what he or she needs to know.
My child knows everything about his allergy at age 6. He handles all sorts of risky situations. He knows how to say no to the yummiest looking sugar filled foods. He knows all about the epi-pen and how it works. He understands the importance of his medic alert braclet. Even though it is sometimes isolating and hurtful, he knows that he may have to have something different from the other kids. And by heck, he's going to have a peanut "free" school environment to reduce the risk to absolute minimal. That's the least I can give him.

Posted on: Mon, 06/10/2002 - 11:48pm
TLSMOM's picture
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Joined: 05/25/2001 - 09:00

River,,,,
Thank you for writing so eloquently!!
I get tooo emotional, I know. That's me.
I vent on these boards. Anyway!
I had a disagreement with my Allergist yesterday about this very issue.
I asked if she could draft a general letter to my son's Kindergarten Principal all about his severe food allergies,eczema and asthma.
She was great about doing this, BUT,,,,,
In the letter she wrote that in her view it was her view that a Peanut-Free school was "inconsiderate" to the other children and "unrealistic".
I called her and told her my position on at least trying for a Peanut-Free Kindergarten and why. I think I opened her eye's and she changed her view!
Yes, having a Peanut-Free Kindergarten and/or school might ruffle a more than a few feathers, BUT in my opinion ANYTHING that can lessen the chance of accidental exposure , cross-contamination and saving my son's life is WORTH DOING!
I'm tired of living in a society where children's needs are put LAST!!!!
If other's feel so inconvenienced, GET OVER IT!!
When it's come to dealing with Terrorism or Anthrax, people will put up with any inconvenience to save a life. I see no difference here.
At school it's a few hours out of their day to help save a life.
I'm not asking people to give up their right to eat as much Peanut Butter,etc as they want during their PERSONAL time. My son is going to PUBLIC school! The children are there primarily to LEARN not just EAT!
My two cents
TLSMOM

Posted on: Tue, 06/11/2002 - 3:14am
LaurensMom's picture
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Joined: 05/23/2001 - 09:00

oops
[This message has been edited by LaurensMom (edited June 11, 2002).]

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