How do you MAKE family \"get it\"???

Posted on: Sun, 02/25/2007 - 3:04pm
brown1442's picture
Joined: 06/20/2006 - 09:00

Anyone else really struggling with making the rest of their family understand?? OMG my husbands family is driving me NUTS!! I just can not get them to take my 21 month old son's food allergies seriously. No one else in the family has any food allergies but still... this is RIDICULOUS!! He's got peanut and tree nut allergies (and other food allergies too) and what does my mother in law give him for valentines day?? A container filled with M&Ms and hershey's kissed filled with PEANUT butter!!!!!! OMG I could have flipping kicked her!! This is after I've flipped at recent family get togethers when they had Buckeye's (chocolate and peanut butters) in his reach!!!!

So then today we are talking about birthday cakes and I told her he CAN NOT eat her cakes (he has the vanilla allergy too) and she keeps insisting that is okay if there is a just a little bit of the allergen in there. UM NO!!! She will NOT listen to me and its pi$$ing me off.

Please tell me I am not the only one??? How do you deal??

Posted on: Sun, 02/25/2007 - 10:03pm
PA-Mom's picture
Joined: 09/18/2006 - 09:00

I know exactly how you are feeling. Been there. My child received her share of snickers, etc from in-laws too. What helped them stop giving my child allergens is I call before holidays and give them names of candy she can have and I've requested not giving candy as gifts when possible They tell me "unless you are living it, you just cant be expected to remember (my family and friends remember)". So, I call and remind them of the allergy, "there is no cure... strict elminiation is key" ask what is on the menu before each holiday/party/etc. I explain the severity of the allergy over and over again. I also confirm that if they want to eat peanuts, nuts etc, we will be happy to leave and then they can have it. I always bring my own cake/kid friendly dessert for my child to enjoy and share. Once my sister-in-law had cookie decorations made for each kid (knowing my child could not have it). So I made my own version for my child and it turns out mine were a bigger hit! As your child gets older you will think of more you can do that works for you and your family.

Posted on: Sun, 02/25/2007 - 11:22pm
chanda4's picture
Joined: 12/14/2006 - 09:00

How do I make them get it...I don't and never will! I try as I amay, I email info, links articles...I share my trials with the school, letters to our local paper....and they still turn around and make me want to pull out my hair. He is MY son and always will be, he is MY responsibility and I will have to remind his family EVERY time. As much as I hate it, I've come to accept it. HUGS, sorry!
Chanda(mother of 4)
Sidney-8 (beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig & asthma)
Jake-6 (peanut, all tree nuts, eggs, trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma)
Carson-3 1/2 (milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig and EE)
Savannah-1 (milk and egg)

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 12:34am
turtle's picture
Joined: 12/10/2004 - 09:00

I don't think you can make them get it either. A few comments I have used are "would you like to be calling 911 and rushing your grandson to the hospital today?" Or "a tiny bit of peanut butter is like poison to him and could kill him. Do you want me to smear just a tiny bit of rat poison on your food and see if you get sick or die?"
Hang in there. It is really difficult to deal with people, but you are doing what you have to to protect your child.

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 12:35am
Lori Anne's picture
Joined: 07/13/2005 - 09:00

Sometimes it takes a while. Do what you need to do regardless of what your relatives think. Sometimes relatives come around and then "get it". Let's hope yours do.
I sent this article out to my relatives in the beginning:
It was helpful. Some really got it after that.
Recently, someone posted about this video. Looks like a good one to me:
Those might help. What clinched it for us was a letter from the doctor. We needed one to carry an epipen into a concert hall. (We were going to see the Wiggles)
The doctor wrote "potentially fatal reaction" in that letter. Those words shocked some of my family members. It was more meaningful to them because it wasn't an article that could be about just anyone. This was a letter written only for my daughter and it was on a physician's stationery.
We stuck the note on my mother's refrigerator (after we used it at the concert) so relatives could see it. It truly helped.
That very same note helped explain her allergy to the school too.
Good luck. Hope this helps.
[This message has been edited by Lori Anne (edited February 26, 2007).]

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 1:00am
NicoleinNH's picture
Joined: 06/21/2003 - 09:00

[This message has been edited by NicoleinNH (edited June 10, 2007).]

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 1:42am
k9ruby's picture
Joined: 03/25/2004 - 09:00

I'm 15 and my Dads parents dint get it at first either. Even though they were THERE when i had my first, ANAPHYLACTIC reaction, they still stuffed a whole bowl of walnuts into my x mas stocking. Now they get it and never get me anything else but kinnerton.

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 3:24am
gvmom's picture
Joined: 08/24/2005 - 09:00

[b]Anyone else really struggling with making the rest of their family understand?? [/b]
We used to. Now we don't. We learned that you can't make people do what they don't want to.
In our lives that has meant that after years of trying, hoping people would want to because they "loved" our children, we stopped. We stopped trying to figure out what other piece of information we could hand out to make family understand -- or want to care. We stopped going to things. We stopped allowing food from anyone -- and I mean anyone -- in our home. If anyone brought something we either told them to take it back out to their car, put it on top of the refrigerator so they could take it back home with them (and them knowing that was what was going to happen), or leaving something in it's container & not serving it and throwing it in the trash when they left(DH's parents consistently brought pies over for awhile from someplace -- so I wouldn't even open the box when they were over and tossed the entire thing when they would walk out the door). And really, as of now, we really have stopped having things at our home with family because it is just too hard to feel like we want to be around people who after 6 1/2 years of this still don't even remember, half the time, that our children food allergies.
To me, I don't see how people can care if they don't care to remember about something that could kill your child. And really, if they want to hand my child something that could kill them, I'm not going to care about them getting offended when I toss whatever it is in the trash, or I don't go to something at their home, or whatever else could put their nose out of joint. There isn't an equitable trade when it comes to the lives of my children.

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 3:36am
CorinneM1's picture
Joined: 06/20/2002 - 09:00

So sorry to hear this, but god, this is just so typical. It sounds as if your MIL is more stubborn than others. Most just don't understand and need to be educated. She sounds like she will need more than this.
First, purchase her the Peanut Allergy Answer Book and have it sent to her house. It is easy to read and written a physician, so perhaps she will take his word over yours.
I know that this will not solve all of the answers since you are dealing with multiple food allergies, but the principal is the same. An exposure is an exposure and it doesn't make a difference if it is "a little".
Secondly, get your hubby to back you 110% percent and have him reinforce everything you do and say. You need to be a team on this.
Thirdly, if she still refuses to believe or budge in her thoughts then you will have to limit your time with her and never leave your child alone with her.
Only after she is on the same page as you, would I teach her how to use an Epi pen and allow visits without you.

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 4:09am
Live4Him's picture
Joined: 01/23/2007 - 09:00

This is what we did. We got severel brochures or pamphlets, whatever you want to call them) from my sons allergist and gave them to the ones who didn't understand the seriousness of food allergy. I also got a video that shows about ana reations and one that shows how to use the twin jet and the other meds you need to carry in the pack with it. Watch it with people that your child is around alot. One point that was made very clear in the video is that your food allergic child should NEVER eat alone, even if they have their epi with them because they can get scared, panic and forget how to use it. My son is going back in in 2 weeks for a RAST test for all nuts since he has been reaction free for 11 years. If it shows nothing then we are going into the ICU for a challenge! Scary but excited at the same time.
Isaiah 53:5

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 4:22am
lilpig99's picture
Joined: 12/22/2005 - 09:00

Sometimes families just stink. They can be so uneducated about the realities facing our children. They do not see that many, many more children are dealing with food allergies these days. Sadly, many of us cannot trust our own extended families. When we visit them so infrequently, they just aren't faced with it very often and tend to be fairly laid back about it. It's 'in our faces' every day, but not theirs. Some families deny the allergy, some completely understand, yet sometimes their attempts at safety are just not 'good enough'. There's little room for error with severe food allergy...we need 100% safety, not 90%.
I honestly think you have to lead that horse to water, but realize you can't make 'em drink. Give them the info you can, lay it aaaaallllllll out there, even print off the photos of the children who have died from allergy and show them, and what they do with it is what they do with it. You cannot be responsible for what others choose to believe no matter how [i]horribly[/i] frustrating it is. Keep the focus on your child, not your [i]desire[/i] to please others or have things run smoothly (even though you [i]do[/i] want things that way). Your first responsibility is your child and keeping them safe obviously. Your MIL/family cannot be trusted right now, it's just the way it is. You need to lay down the law, make no apologies, make no elaborate excuses. Your consistency is key to having them [i]realize[/i] that you take this allergy seriously and you [i]expect[/i] them to do so as well. I would think it will become obvious to you when your family willingly chooses to understand and believe, their attitudes as well as their actions will clearly change. Be prepared to wait, it may take a veeeerrrryy long time.
You are not alone....hugs.



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