Are You Sure You Can Walk Out The Door To-Day?

Posted on: Thu, 07/29/2004 - 4:05am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Perhaps it's just me. Perhaps I'm in a mood. So pardon me. Perhaps it's just been the board of late and the questions that have been asked (although there is no question too stupid to ask).

Are you sure you can walk out the door to-day with your PA child and you will be completely safe? Relatively?

I'm going to walk out the door with my PA son probably in a few minutes time. He'll have his Epi-belt on because that's the practice we have when we leave our house (in case my mind veers off and I decide we're going to have something to eat somewhere).

I'm going to walk across an extensive front lawn and go along a sidewalk that is strewn with litter (the front lawn isn't, the sidewalk is). The sidewalk usually has a Reese's Peanut Butter cup wrapper on it. I'm not going to cross to the other side of the street.

Then, we are going into the grocery store. I am only shopping for to-day, so I will not need a cart, but I will need one of the basket things. I am going to purchase whatever it is we decide we want to purchase for to-day (read the labels if it is something I haven't bought really recently), place it on the check-out counter roller thing, check-out and leave the store.

Oh, and I really *should* return the video to the video store that was due three days ago.

I may stop with the kids at McDonald's and let them sit at a regular McDonald's table and eat a sundae. Either that, or on such a hot day here to-day, I may buy Chapman's ice cream and bring it home.

Then, we're all going to walk home.

Now, for a longer excursion, I would actually be getting on the public transit - a bus and sitting down just like any other person on the bus.

And you know what? My son is going to be okay.

My point?

Yes, we all have different "comfort zones" and I respect that. But, my soul, you cannot wig out about everything in life or something as simple as going to the grocery store is not going to be simple. You are not going to be able to send your PA child to school. You will have to have your child live in a bubble.

Have a strict comfort zone, yes. Carry your Epi-pens (or two - my son has one, I have one when we go out). Know that sh** happens and that unlike another family, you may have to call for an ambulance when you're at McDonald's (I had to do that this past winter, but interestingly enough, it was for my non-PA daughter).

Either that, or go right now and ask your doctor for the heaviest anti-anxiety medication possible because surely everyone is going to go insane! Especially as your PA child gets older and you are not so much in "control" of their allergy. They are. Yes, you have taught them. They are empowered and responsible, but they are going to go out there and live their lives.

My son has had his anxious moments about PA. He's allowed. But he's not allowed to live in daily fear whereby he'll end up on anti-anxiety meds at a really young age and because of his PA.

Yes, it is life threatening. Yes, there are reactions to residue and airborne reactions. But you and your child will be okay. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------

Posted on: Thu, 07/29/2004 - 5:35am
jtolpin's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2003 - 09:00

ATM,
See... Thats what I try to stress to people -- That you do NOT have to live in a bubble.. you CAN go out, you CAN go to grocery stores, you CAN go swimming, you CAN go on vacation, you CAN go to Mcd's (just not eat, in our case...) [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Who was singing the Clash before with the lyrics change...? Poor Joe Strummer, RIP
Jason

Posted on: Thu, 07/29/2004 - 6:01am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Well, see, Jason, at least you know what I'm talking about and yet, I also got the sense that you got "in trouble" this week on the board as well, for making light of things.
I even know it was me that raised "The Death Thing" thread and that it some pretty weighty reading or even thinking and it did cross my mind and I did post it and I had to deal with the repercussions, in my own mind, of thinking about *it* all over again.
But my soul. I don't want to make people feel badly so I'm not going to say which threads I've found to be *unusual* if you will of late because I'm sure I have a longer list than anyone else of *unusual* threads that I've started, but Good God Almighty, comfort zones have to be found, Epi-pens have to be carried, and then you have to get on with your life.
Of course, I'm a fine one to talk because I don't have a really active life. My children are at home with me now. I don't work outside of the home right this moment so I don't have to worry about daycare. I'm moving like an Idiot Woman again so my kids didn't do day camp this year (and perhaps they wouldn't have any way). My children don't participate in stuff like Boy Scouts and Girl Guides simply because their Mother is an idiot that doesn't drive (but I'm hoping that will change with our move in two days - not me being an Idiot but them being able to do things close to home).
But I do really believe that we lead, as best as we can, *normal* lives. If our lives are considered abnormal by anyone, it certainly wouldn't be because of PA, it would be because of other stuff.
I know when you find this board it can be overwhelming and downright frightening. But you really have to step back and realize that you are going to be okay and so is your child.
Am I guaranteeing anyone a reaction free life? Of course not!
I remember a day similar to the one I posted about above, going to the grocery store, but in a different town and there was a chocolate bar on the sidewalk melting and despite being TOLD no to, my daughter decided she was going to squish it with her foot. Damn Snickers bar all over her sandals. I was totally freaked. I had to walk to the donut shop (it was safe, thank heaven) and go into the bathroom and wash the bloody guck off that I couldn't get onto the grass beside the sidewalk and then I had to wash myself, so, no, it wasn't an *ordinary* family going to the store that day.
Or, when I pass by that chip wagon on the corner, two doors down and see everyone drive up (although people do walk up as well), big, smiley happy people (REM?) and they're getting what looks like a really good meal and I know I'm trudging over to the grocery store to spend probably the same amount of money on food that I will have to come home and throw in the oven or do something with and not sit there on the picnic table with such ease, because, damn, they fry in peanut oil.
And yes, even though my son is entering his 6th year of school this year, I will have the bejesus scared out of me for quite some time after the first day of school (perhaps even the whole year) and I will worry every time the phone rings, but dammit.
(Or yes, to the tune of Rock the Kasbah - I do think it's with a "K" and not a "C" we could all chant right now and very seriously this time though:-
Up the Paxil
Up the Paxil
'Cus I really really need it )
And I'll also be the first one in here bi*ching within the next couple of weeks about family that doesn't "get it" after being away from family for six years because that's what we do do here and it's okay, but I'm just hoping people don't go insane along the way as well.
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Thu, 07/29/2004 - 6:59am
jtolpin's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2003 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream:
[b]Well, see, Jason, at least you know what I'm talking about and yet, I also got the sense that you got "in trouble" this week on the board as well, for making light of things.
[/b]
I never see myself 'in trouble'
I just speak what I feel. I don't sugarcoat much... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
Jason

Posted on: Thu, 07/29/2004 - 8:09am
California Mom's picture
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Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

Cindy, I am in very strong agreement with you. But, I must ask how you are going to make sure of the following?
Quote:Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream:
[b]My son has had his anxious moments about PA. He's allowed. But he's not allowed to live in daily fear whereby he'll end up on anti-anxiety meds at a really young age and because of his PA.
[/b]
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Miriam

Posted on: Thu, 07/29/2004 - 8:16am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

There is a point that I'm trying to make that I hope I'm doing with anyone (and I mean anyone at all) feeling berated, belittled or even bad that they asked a certain question (whatever that question(s) may have been).
It's a hard journey and I have been doing it for seven years (I'm thinking it was seven years last month, would have to do some math I don't feel like doing right now, actually it might be seven years this month).
And it is he** to do it alone - without PA.com, without family "getting it", "paving the way" with your child's school. It's not an easy journey.
Seven years and I still don't have ALL the answers. I still F up and okay a jelly bean for my son that was probably "may contain" just because he** I wanted my kid to be able to say yes to a jelly bean. Was it stupid? Yes. Extremely. Will I do it again? No, not with a jelly bean.
There is the analogy used often lately about driving in a car and car accidents and stuff and since I don't drive, the best thing I can come close to is the walking down the street and crossing the street thing. Traffic is really quite heavy where I live and I know each time I go out the door, there is the chance that something could happen.
One day I went to pick up the kids from school. Return trip, it's a half hour to 45 minutes. I left my house and everything was fine. I come back home and there has been an accident right in front of my house. Thank heaven the person who was on the bike (that was under the one car) had been put in the ambulance already.
We cross the four lanes of traffic to go to the store on a daily basis. There are certain precautions I put into place before we cross the road. Then, as with everything, I guess I've noticed a particular "comfort zone" developing with this thing that I do every day. Okay, it's okay not to cross with us all holding hands, as long as I say it's okay to cross (meaning I've checked high and low and there are no cars coming that pose a threat to us).
PA is scary. I did re-explore that this week in the death thread. Hadn't thought about the death thing for quite some time. Then it blipped into my brain and then someone here posted about it and there it was.
Where I live, all of our food seems to be fairly well labeled or at least labeled. What we don't have are ingredient lists on most of the toiletries and other things we would use, like detergent, etc.
Certainly, with the L'Oreal Kids' shampoo that has almond oil in it, I did stop using it. Almond oil was clearly labeled on it. But I have not called each time I've switched shampoo and conditioner. I honestly do believe that I would drive myself batty.
Perhaps it's just me. Perhaps other people can think about every little thing without worrying about every little thing. There is a difference between thinking about something and worrying about something. Just as there is a difference between worrying about something and obsessing about something.
I honestly can't tell you what I'm going to be like a week from now. I'll be in a new city (albeit an old one for me), a new "home", and close to family. I do suspect that most of what you'll read from me that has to do with moving will have to do with dealing with family that don't "get it", something I have escaped for six years.
And, come late August month, I'll be in here very active in the Schools section as I am every year (although hopefully not on such a negative note as last year [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] ).
We need PA.com to come to to raise questions and to get answers and to feel safe. That's why I don't want anyone to feel as though I posted this in response to something that was asked in particular. It wasn't. It was a whole series of things and I just related it to myself personally and thought, you know, if I start to worry about ..... I'm going to go insane. Personally, I can't do it. And he**, I'm the one on two anti-anxiety meds to begin with (although nothing to do with PA), so a "fine" one to talk.
With weather so beautiful to-day (albeit damn hot) and our children home with us (those who have school age children and those of us who are fortunate enough to be SAHM's right now), I just wanted to say, please, just take a deep breath and know that you can do the journey. We're all in this together and we all will band together to help one another (I have had people offer from around the world to help me when I have had difficulties with Jesse's school, honest to God), but I also think we need to take a big breath and realize that it's going to be okay.
Keep in mind, of course, my sh** happens clause, but just go out somewhere and run an errand in public and try not to think about PA. See if that's do-able for you (aside from having to read the labels).
I finally ran that errand I had to run earlier. I didn't think about PA at all except when it came to reading the label on a box of cereal that I hadn't bought in some time. I worried more about the traffic to and from.
It's not an easy journey, but it is a do-able one and what I find makes it even more do-able is that you/we/I have found PA.com.
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Thu, 07/29/2004 - 8:25am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

California Mom, sorry, we were posting at the same time.
Okay:-
My son has had his anxious moments about PA. He's allowed. But he's not allowed to live in daily fear whereby he'll end up on anti-anxiety meds at a really young age and because of his PA.
I'm not going to be able to guarantee that Jesse won't end up taking anti-anxiety meds sometime during his life-time. I'm not clear what I meant by a "really young age" in my above statement. Earlier than his teens? His teens?
Given that DH and I have both been on anti-anxiety meds since time began (for us), our mid-twenties, it would seem highly likely to me that one or both of my children would have GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) (a term I do find laughable, however). I would think that both of my children are pre-disposed to a LOT of "conditions", not all of which I need to write about here.
So, I can't ensure that Jess won't end up taking an anti-anxiety medication sometime in his life, based particularly on family history (Dad and I are both, well, whatever).
But what I'm hoping, and I think that's what I was trying to say, is that Jesse won't be taking anti-anxiety meds SOLELY because of his PA. That there are NO other things troubling him at all and that his PA is troubling him so badly that he has to be medicated? Hmmm.
I don't like the sound of that. I really don't.
Can't say that that's not going to happen. Perhaps it will. And I will post about it here and get everyone's advice. But I will be very sad and a lot of other things should the day ever come that Jesse needed anti-anxiety medication because of his PA ONLY. Other things contributed into it, and his PA, okay, but his PA only, no, then I would feel as though I had done something wrong and perhaps really wrong.
No, no way to ensure that whatsoever, especially given family history. Perhaps that will be what Jesse decides to focus on.
I just hope not. A combo of things, including PA, okay. But not PA solely.
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Thu, 07/29/2004 - 9:20am
MommaBear's picture
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Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream:
[b]
My children don't participate in stuff like Boy Scouts and Girl Guides simply because their Mother ...............doesn't drive
[/b]
(liberal edit. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] )
count yourself among the lucky. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
hey, speaking of driving......I had a dream my car was split in two. 'nough to keep me inside you say? Couldn't. Had some stuff to do today that couldn't wait. (Funny, we had an appointment with the physician today, and in my dream I brought him [i]the car[/i]. Old as it was, and split in half.
[i]creepy, I tell ya.[/i]
Anywhoooooooooooo....... I have a few minutes to spare and I decide to stop by the local fast food establishment with the cubs. (Cuz I know they will beg for candy in at the pharmacy in the clinic and i wanted them to have a meal, even if only [i]fast food[/i], prior to gobbling down a hoard of candy.
Anywhoooooooooooooooooooooooo. We're all in the car (grandma too) and ya never see it comming.
Tick tick tick goes the starter.......[i]and then nothing.[/i]
I'm like "[i]sonofab................[/i]
I JUST REPLACED THE BATTERYSTARTERANDALTERNATOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
WHAT GIVES?????
oh, yeah. I remember leaving the door open yesterday since my arms were full at the time. Never closed it. [i]FIGURES.[/i]
where are the pliers??????? I mean, my inside hood release broke years ago and I rigged some wire to the remains of the handle. the pliers are the only way to get a good grip on the wire in order to pop the hood. Which never really pops. Ya have to kinda sit on it after unlatching it and [i]bounce[/i] then.............tickle the latch under the hood (which is probably raking your fingers open by now----thank God for tetanus shots...........) and hope by some turn of fate...........[i]it opens.[/i]
[i]of course, i edged the nose of the car last night right up against the garage wall[/i]. HATE THAT STINKING TENNIS BALL. Someone drew a face on it long ago [i]and now it's mocking me.[/i]
ARGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGH.
(whacked my head on a stroller hanging off the garage wall above the car hood.)
Grab the jumper pack out of the trunk. Go to hook up the cables............[i]won't fit[/i].
I mean, the new battery is [i]too fat[/i] and the ingenious people who engineered this masterpiece [i]used every availabe cm of space[/i] to place the contents of the engine compartment.
I mean, would you believe you have to loosen the dog bones in order to tilt the engine back to reach the spark plugs up against the firewall------ THAT IS JUST PURE EVIL........
So. The cable clips are enormous and the space available to reach the red battery thingamabob is [i]teeeeeeeeeeeny tiny.[/i]
I'm hot. I MEAN RAGING HOT. DA#^ LUCK.
I suddenly understand why my husband's demeanor when he's working on automotives.
I MEAN, MURPHY'S LAW PREVAILS. NOTHING, I MEAN, NOTHING EVER GOES YOUR WAY. BLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.
I call my husband on the cell phone. (I'm in the garage to, to boot.)
[i]"Sigh".[/i]
What ya mean: [i]"Sigh"[/i]?
"make it fit"
"HOW, YA LOON???!"
"[i]push things around a bit[/i]"
I hang up. I don't have time for this.
Grandma comes up with a teeny tiny key chain flashlight and grabs my battery cables outta my hand.
WTF???? (i [i]think[/i] [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]) "Gimme THOSE cables............"
"Shut up, and let me do this."
OH NO, THOU AGED ONE. THOSE ARE *MY* CABLES, AND I'M NOT LETTING YOU BLOW UP MY GARAGE, let alone [i]yourself[/i].
See, my mother is one of those little bent over grandma's------you gotta get the [i]Big Picture[/i] here and I'm not trying to be disrespectful. Just protecting everyone involved. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
She's cussing now. Along with me. The folk at the model home office across the street have come outside to watch. Great salespitch, huh?
The cables *are mine* again. I carefully pry the square box that is supposed to be the air filter compartment aside. (The battery is under the windshield washer tank and the contacts of the battery are on the vertical side perpendicular to the aircleaner and some little silver lines. Air conditioner, I think, but who gives a heck, since the air [i]hasn't worked in years.[/i] Neither do a lot of other things, but that is besides the point.
No go. And the charger pack keeps falling into the engine block or off the front of the hood between the wall and the license plate. What's left of it, that is.
I decide the air filter is [i]expendable[/i].
To make a long story short, a lot of elbow grease and one pink tank top later....... I got those cables into that space. Well, you know, [i]the red one[/i]. Amazing what you can hold with your elbows and forehead while your hands are occupied. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/cool.gif[/img] And I got that car started. I'm multitalented, I tell ya.
Oh yeah, disclaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form. Just relaying my dumb luck. I *should* consult professional automotive personel when presented with an mechanical need of an automotive nature. For my own and other's safety.
[This message has been edited by MommaBear (edited July 29, 2004).]

Posted on: Thu, 07/29/2004 - 9:30am
MommaBear's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

BTW,
the air filter made it.
What ever happened to air filters that [i]looked[/i] like air filters anyway????
oh, yeah. Fuel injection.

Posted on: Thu, 07/29/2004 - 10:33pm
StaceyK's picture
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Joined: 05/06/2003 - 09:00

I walk out of the door and the kids and I eat out, shop, my PA daughter has camp, tennis lessons, ballet. My son (maybe PA, maybe not!) has Gymboree. They visit the park, the zoo and other kiddie spots where - no doubt - peanut butter has been smeared - maybe even recently.
OK, it sounds like we're ok. We get out. There are some points, though. I worry nonstop but don't verbalize it. I worry more DRIVING than about PA though. I am a guilty, guilty environmentalist in a Trailblazer EXT. I feel safer in it. Maybe against reality.
We belong to a club. They are hyper-educated about PA. I feel safer there. There is that 'safe' word again! It has a restaurant too. They know us by name and condition. We eat there most often. My PA daughter's tennis lessons are there. The nursery there is peanut free for the kids, while I work out. They have a pool. None of it is open to the public, so it feels 'in control' to me. The Gymboree classes also take place at the club.
The only other place I frequent is a small '50s hamburger joint in my husband's small hometown which takes me 30 minutes to get to. They are so small, I can talk to them like people, not just customer-cook. It's not formal. I feel like we have a rapport. As a bonus, they have the best burgers in any surrounding town, even according to the newspaper (not just my opinion!).
The ballet school is also peanut-treat free. Well, on their end. They don't really control what other people bring in. But, I never leave the premises and they have a big window that you can see through into the classroom.
The biggest risk was camp, but the counselors and program head asked me and another PA mom to come in and train them. They took it very seriously. I feel pretty good about it.
My PA daughter starts preschool for the second year in a few weeks. Just a few hours 3 times per week. It's a peanut free facility. Very good place.
So, we leave the house, but I admit to remaining largely in extremely controlled environments (mostly - the zoo and park being rare exceptions). My daughter has NEVER stayed over night with ANYONE except my parents, and they are just as much worrywarts as me.
Note - I was this way BEFORE PA.
Still to this day I am way more worried driving than about PA. This may change when my daughter is more and more (through school, etc) in the hands of other people.I wish I could relax. This is my normal state of mind though. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Thu, 07/29/2004 - 11:46pm
Claire's picture
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Joined: 04/19/2000 - 09:00

If there is anything Chris has had is a normal life. He may be spoiled but loved and let be a child.
Sure things are tough sometimes but life has to be enjoyable and I give him a kiss hello and good bye every day. If anything PB allergies have made my family very close and loving.
Yes there are certain things we avoid but only restaurants mainly.
Chris has been to the circus,ballgames, concerts,malls, vacations and the zoos.
Now of course he is dating and god only knows where they go.
As James Taylor says and I always tell Chris. "You just call out my name and I'll be there".
at age 18 is it any easier NO, but are we happy YES.
However Cindy when I walk out this door today I am hoping that it gets a little bit cooler out.
supposed to be in the high 80's from what i hear. Grammas pool here we come. Take care Claire

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