Comfort levels-Monday rant revisited

Posted on: Mon, 02/05/2001 - 2:43am
Michelle2's picture
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Joined: 10/25/2000 - 09:00

pLast Monday I posted my rant about the Sunday school teacher feeding Nicholas donuts juice "behind our back." Yesterday I attended his class so I could talk to the director as well as his teacher. I'm glad I waited a week, as I was much calmer and instead of accusing started with some questions./p
pSeems as if the new director's son is PA! She more than double checked Nicholas' file and talked with me a long time about the allergy. She was quite savvy./p
pHere's the thing--the week before the kids were doing a unit on taste and smell. I've noticed this is a common pre-school theme. Well, because the teacher was aware of the director's child being PA, she cleared the food with her instead of us. I'm glad she was so careful and awareness is high./p
pHowever, this scares me. The director had bought the donuts at Dunkin Donuts. She had the worker check the ingrediants of all the donuts carefully. None of them included nut products. But I would NEVER let Nicholas eat donuts from there--the cross contamination issue is too scary for me. /p
pOn one hand, I'm glad the school is so careful. There are two food events coming up, and we are invited to attend both in order to keep Nicholas safe./p
pI don't know what I expect back from this. Just that even with people in the know, there are different comfort levels with everyone. I STILL want to be informed of anything that touches Nicholas' lips (or skin). /p
pHow do all of you handle it in situations that are not as informed as this!?!? I feel like I have to be with Nicholas every minute!/p
p------------------/p

Posted on: Mon, 02/05/2001 - 2:58am
Merri - Kim's picture
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Joined: 01/31/2001 - 09:00

Did you say Sunday school?? And they have files for each child and a director?? Wow!! Anyways - I definately do feel like I need to be with my son every minute!! We went to church for the first time yesterday and it was really nerve racking and scary! I felt like everyone around us could potentially hurt my son! I felt like the only thing that came out of my mouth all day was "Did you hear yet about Keeton's allergy to peanuts? Well he's really allergic and there are no nuts allowed in the nursery ever again!" or "Did you have any peanut butter today - did you brush your teeth and wash your hands?" or "Oh wait, before you open that, is there any nuts in it?!?" Do you know what I felt like?? One of those people who tells EVERYONE about all of their ailments because they are really needy. I hate feeling like that! By the end of church, I was so frustrated that when one of our best friends invited us to stay for lunch downstairs and I had to tell her why I thought we couldn't - I started crying - I hated that too!! That friend and her husband are very supportive, I'm very thankful for that. OOPS - I guess I needed to vent a little! Sorry!
Kim

Posted on: Mon, 02/05/2001 - 3:03am
Michelle2's picture
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Joined: 10/25/2000 - 09:00

Merry-Kim, sounds like a HORRIBLE experience! But I know how you feel. Still, you mean you were in church or Sunday School? WHY were people eating!?!?
I've put this rant before--I don't think it's necessary for a child (or anyone!) to eat during that one hour you are at church (or sunday school or play group).
I bet you were exhausted after this! How old is your child?

Posted on: Mon, 02/05/2001 - 3:05am
Michelle2's picture
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Joined: 10/25/2000 - 09:00

Merry-Kim, I just read my reply, and wish I could reword it.
I guess I was saying that there is light and hope. As your church becomes more aware, I hope they become more helpful. Then it won't be as exhausting (hopefully).
My heart is with you...
Michelle

Posted on: Mon, 02/05/2001 - 4:03am
Merri - Kim's picture
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Joined: 01/31/2001 - 09:00

Thanks Michelle2! I was pretty exhausted! My son is 12-1/2 months. We've only known for two weeks about this - I'm trying to get as much info as I can - and quick! I'm not feeling badly towards my church though. Next Sunday my husband and I are taking my son to the front of the church to "make a big fuss of it" and hopefully everyone will be more aware after that. Our church service starts at 11:00 and a lot of the babies are wanting lunch before they leave. Our service is usually an hour and a half. I am actually the nursery coordinator, so I feel that I'm in a great position to make change in that room at the very least. I know things will get easier eventually. I'll just recognize this as part of life. Thanks for your thoughts and kind words.
Kim

Posted on: Mon, 02/05/2001 - 7:00am
Frances's picture
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Joined: 11/28/2000 - 09:00

Having an older child with PA (he is 11) I can say that I think it gets easier as they get older. He was 8 when we found out--so I didn't have to deal with the young child issues--which would be very overwhelming. The only advice I have is that with time, your feelings and comfort level get better. You never get rid of that "peanuts are an enemy" feeling--but it does get easier to manage. Like many other things--getting information helps--but so does the passage of time. Hang in there. I really believe a PA child can live a normal life and do normal things--but it is a process.

Posted on: Tue, 02/06/2001 - 12:11am
Michelle2's picture
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Joined: 10/25/2000 - 09:00

Frances, your reply was heartening. I had pictured it only getting worse, not better. Thanks for your perspective.
Michelle

Posted on: Tue, 02/27/2001 - 4:24pm
supermom1023's picture
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Joined: 01/12/2001 - 09:00

I know how frantic you become after you first find out your child is PA and your trying to educate yourself and everyone around you all at once. We found out about our daughters allergy when she was two and I was about 3 days away from major surgery. Sara would be staying with family and friends plus our church family would be bringing meals each day. I really don't know how I made it through.
We later changed churches and when we were visiting around we walked into a church one morning and we knew we were home. Before the next Sunday the Childrens's Director called me to check on snacks and such. She had just spent 3 hours at the grocery store reading labels and was almost in tears over what I go through to try and keep Sara safe.
We've been at that church for almost 5 years now and things have gone from good to great as everyone has become more educated. Sara is now 7. Every summer our director, Lora, has made sure the VBS snacks and all food that she's ever around are safe. To make it easier on Lora I offered to buy the Sunday School snacks for Sara's class. We do avoid potlucks and such but last October for our fall festival Lora made sure it was PEANUT FREE. Chili, hot dogs, candy, snacks, everything Sara could have. There were 3 little slip-ups but we caught them before it started. Sara lives in so much fear of a reaction and I wish you could have seen her having the time of her life that day.
I can never sing enough praises about our church family but I didn't mean to carry on so much. What I wanted to say is that once you settle in and can educate a few then a few more and so on that your church may be the safest refuge you have. My feelings went from thinking of our church as full of people who could potentionally hurt my daughter to knowing that it is, next to our home, the safest place she can be.

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