Am I being unreasonable?

Posted on: Tue, 06/12/2007 - 4:01am
hollys2funboys's picture
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Joined: 06/12/2007 - 09:00

Hi everyone,

This is my first time posting.

Our 3 year old was diagnosed with a severe peanut/treenut allergy at the age of 18 months (had a severe reaction and spent 2 days in hospital).

My husband and I disagree about our son attending a family reunion next month. Here are the details.

The family reunion has been declared a nut-free party, which is very considerate of the hosts. But let's face it, even those who have the best of intentions do not understand the chance of cross-contamination nor the possibility of non-suspecting foods containing nuts.

Even though our son would eat his own food and cake from home, I am worried that being the mischievious and curious 3 year old that he is, he may grab a piece of cake or icing, or a bite of a bun (bread is his favourite) when we are not looking. Don't get me wrong - we always watch him like cautiously at these things, but we also have a 18 month old and there will be a lot of people at the function - hence, a lot of distractions.

But here is the main thing - the reunion is being held at my uncle's cottage, which is about 35 minutes from the city (and about that far from the hospital). The cottage is literally in the middle of nowhere. My husband is saying that if something happens, we could just use the Twinject and that would buy us 40 minutes. But I'm set against taking our son to the reunion at all. I don't EVER want him to know what it's like to need his epi-pen, let alone a double dose of it. Also, what if something happens along the way? The car could break down, the highway could be closed due to an accident, etc. I would just as well leave my dear son with a sitter and attend the party in peace!

My husband thinks I am overanalyzing this whole thing. Am I???

I know that I can't shelter my son forever, but under the circumstances, I want to for as long as possible. He's only 3 years old! The time will come when he'll be off on his own, and then I'll REALLY worry.

I would like to know what you would do in this situation.

Thanks so much!

Holly

Posted on: Tue, 06/12/2007 - 4:19am
Greenlady's picture
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Joined: 06/30/2004 - 09:00

Hello and welcome, Holly! I don't think you're being unreasonable, but I also don't think your dh is being unreasonable either. I think this is a classic case of different "comfort zones."
Personally, I'd be right on the fence on this one (if we were talking about my family). If the extended family had a poor history of keeping events "nut free" then I'd definitely keep him home. If he was older, or if the event was in town, I'd definitely take him.
The trade-off of increased protection vs. family bonding isn't as straightforward as it first appears. Excluding your son from events does have a cost - he deserves the chance to bond with cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. At the same time, he deserves to be safe. I can't tell from your post the relative weight of these two considerations.
In general, when my husband and I disagree on a "comfort zone" issue, the one who feels the strongest decides, and if both feel equally strong, then safety trumps other considerations. (BTW, this applies to things besides allergies).
But that doesn't mean I devalue other considerations (yes, I'm usally the one arguing 'safety'). I hope you see that your husband loves your son and wants what he thinks is best for him.
This argument should be seen as an opportunity to practice communication skills and figuring out how to resolve parently disagreements in general.
Sorry for the length - hope this helps!

Posted on: Tue, 06/12/2007 - 4:31am
Spoedig's picture
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Joined: 09/17/2004 - 09:00

My husband and I differ frequently on our ideas regarding my son's PA/TNA.
While I would not be Dramatically concerned about being 35 miles from a hospital, I DO NOT LIKE the idea of your husband's - just use the twin jet. Of course that is what you would need to do if a reaction, but it sounds a little like he thinks that is a "cure all" -- buying time isn't always what you want. NO EXPOSURE IS WHAT YOU WANT.
How many hours will the reunion celebration be? Are you staying elsewhere?
Can you relax and have a good time or will you be miserable? It is not the end of the world if your son does not attend!
Go with your gut.
If you go, in order to make it "easier" perhaps each parent could take complete responsibility for 1 child. You will need to be completely vigilant with your son.

Posted on: Tue, 06/12/2007 - 4:34am
hollys2funboys's picture
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Joined: 06/12/2007 - 09:00

Greenlady,
Thanks for your reply.
Our son sees these relatives often, so the idea of bonding with family members is not an issue.
As for the care taken by members of the family (re: keeping things nut-free), well, there are some concerns here. Some of these same well-meaning family members have kept peanut butter on their counters when they know we're coming over; my own mother-in-law packed sweets for us that had been stored on the same tray, side by side, as sweets with nuts; my inlaws routinely order commercially-baked birthday cakes without even asking if the cakes are nut-free. See, these are just a few examples that make me nervous. I don't trust anyone, even if they say that this party is nut-free.
I hope that clarifies things.
Holly

Posted on: Tue, 06/12/2007 - 4:44am
hollys2funboys's picture
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Joined: 06/12/2007 - 09:00

Thanks, Spoedig.
It's a 35 minute drive, not 35 miles.
I would be on my toes the whole time if our son attended, so to answer your question, NO I would not have a good time.
Also, it's only an afternoon thing.
If he wasn't so young I probably wouldn't worry so much. He just turned three and is still much like a baby (like putting things in his mouth).
Anyway, thanks again.

Posted on: Tue, 06/12/2007 - 4:45am
hopechapel's picture
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Joined: 12/11/2005 - 09:00

Is it possible to hire a babysitter to help? I think that even if the party is nut-free, and that does provide one level of safety, you run the risk of people forgetting and all those good things and somehow there those nuts are. (my child's last day of school party) But, if you have a professional watcher who is told to make sure the small child eats NOTHING you yourself don't give him would that give you and dh enough breathing room to enjoy party? Lord knows watching an 18 mo old is enough without the FA vigilance. I'd try to hire more help.

Posted on: Tue, 06/12/2007 - 5:06am
MommaBear's picture
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Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by hollys2funboys:
[b]Hi everyone,
This is my first time posting.
Our 3 year old was diagnosed with a severe peanut/treenut allergy at the age of 18 months (had a severe reaction and spent 2 days in hospital).
My husband and I disagree about our son attending a family reunion next month. Here are the details.
The family reunion has been declared a nut-free party, which is very considerate of the hosts. But let's face it, even those who have the best of intentions do not understand the chance of cross-contamination nor the possibility of non-suspecting foods containing nuts.
Even though our son would eat his own food and cake from home, I am worried that being the mischievious and curious 3 year old that he is, he may grab a piece of cake or icing, or a bite of a bun (bread is his favourite) when we are not looking. Don't get me wrong - we always watch him like cautiously at these things, but we also have a 18 month old and there will be a lot of people at the function - hence, a lot of distractions.
But here is the main thing - the reunion is being held at my uncle's cottage, which is about 35 minutes from the city (and about that far from the hospital). The cottage is literally in the middle of nowhere. My husband is saying that if something happens, we could just use the Twinject and that would buy us 40 minutes. But I'm set against taking our son to the reunion at all. I don't EVER want him to know what it's like to need his epi-pen, let alone a double dose of it. Also, what if something happens along the way? The car could break down, the highway could be closed due to an accident, etc. I would just as well leave my dear son with a sitter and attend the party in peace!
My husband thinks I am overanalyzing this whole thing. Am I???
[/b]
you're talking to someone who routinely takes both her food allergic children and 1 year old THOUSANDS of miles away from home at a time. We just spent nearly three and a half weeks on the road and in Disney only to leave the week after we got back for five days camping [i]in the middle of nowhere[/i]. We've been to Disney like that four times with the cubs. Camping trips? Oodles. Too many to count. My biggest fear is the vehicle and others like it on the road. I'm not offering you advice, I'm just telling you who you're talking to. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] I can't wait to camp at the family reunion next week! I haven't a clue what they are serving. I'm pretty sure the clods will be using peanut oil [i]again[/i] for the fish fry. [b]Turds[/b]. Anywhooooo. Our family reunion. I wouldn't eat anything the cheap you know what's brought, bought, or baked. I will, however, if circumstances permit....[i]drink their beer[/i]. It's just another excuse for us to camp at our summer place. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] I hope it will be warm enough to float the Tippy.....
edit brain blurb.
[This message has been edited by MommaBear (edited June 12, 2007).]

Posted on: Tue, 06/12/2007 - 5:09am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I understand where both you and your husband are coming from. I would go and be very careful of what comes in contact with my son. We go just about everywhere that we feel like going. That is again our comfort zone. Then again my son just had a reaction to cookies that were safe (which I am going to have tested!) I just feel for our family that we do not want to live in a bubble. That is just how I feel. I am not saying that you are living in a bubble. BUT when I first learned about my son's allergy my family used to yell at me and say WHY DON'T YOU JUST PUT HIM IN A BUBBLE. Well, I made it very clear that if they wanted to see or do anything with us then they would live by my rules. My parents still have nuts all over the house, but they are in their 70's so what can I do. Could you have a safe table for food for your son? Can you call and find out what is safe so that there can be options for him. My son loves being like everyone else so he always wants what everyone else is eating. I guess I am rambling but my point is I would go. Isn't there EMT in the vicinity of where the party is? (which hopefull you will not need)
Hiring a babysitter to come with you is also a good idea. But if you truly will not enjoy yourself then get a sitter at home and go with dh and enjoy yourself. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Tue, 06/12/2007 - 5:58am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Take him to the reunion. If I can give one piece of advice: Do NOT let a peanut stop you from doing ANYTHING (except being a peanut farmer).
Have a blessed day,
Bridget

Posted on: Tue, 06/12/2007 - 6:30am
Greenlady's picture
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Joined: 06/30/2004 - 09:00

Hello again - I hope you see what I meant by "comfort zone" -you'll see all sorts of opinions here. :-)
I think because it's such a grey area.
Given your past experiences, and that you have plenty of other opportunities to visit, I would totally understand just leaving him with a trusted sitter.
Obviously, only you can make this decision, but when in doubt, I'd go with your gut. Those mommy instincts are there for a reason.

Posted on: Tue, 06/12/2007 - 6:39am
Sarahb's picture
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Joined: 01/22/2007 - 09:00

I would take him - but first I would call the local police dept and find out what happens when you call 911 from there. We just were in a national park and after a few frustrating calls I was able to speak with the actual ambulance company AND the dispatcher - I told her our situation and she said with a 3 year old her guys FLY to get there - she also was able to tell me their training - what they carry - where would be going , etc. It made me feel better. She told me that the firemen would come too and that her guys would beat them there b/c the firemen were volunteer, etc.
Anyway I felt better having more information.
You need to teach your son NOT TO TAKE FOOD FROM anyone...but also watch him like a hawk. I think ALL of your concerns are really reasonalbe and I would have the same ones but I would go....I think. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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