How has PA changed your outlook on life?

Posted on: Thu, 08/09/2001 - 5:23pm
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I thought I would post a bit about how my son's PA has helped shape my life a bit.

There are the obvious things that I do that are different than what I may have done were it not for PA. I take the time needed to read labels. I never have left my sons at a party by themselves. I cook more now than ever before. I check his breathing every night before I go to bed and any time I wake up at night (often, with two babies still in the house). I actually threw out my peanut butter! Man I love that stuff! I could go on and on...

Other things that have changed in me:

I have an appreciation for those around me who suffer from other problems. I feel blessed that I haven't had to deal with so many other things and my son is happy and healthy, able to play and be a normal little boy. I remember years ago, before I had any children being asked to sum up my life in three words. What came to my mind was -blessed beyond belief- I feel it now more so than at any time in my life.

I am diligent to always show my love towards my kids. I never want to be in a situation where I am left wondering if they knew how much I adored and loved them.

Although I have spent many nights crying about the possible loss of a perfectly healthy son, I know that if I do my best to protect him and teach him how to stay out of harms way, I have an excellent chance of seeing him through through adulthood and far beyond.

I have developed a habit of talking to my kids in a totally truthful manner. I want them to know that an ambulance is there to help or that a shot is medicine that will help them not be sick. I want them to know that there are consequences to their actions and that not acting promplty when there is an emergency could be the difference between life and death.

I hope that as they grow older they will come to me with questions and concerns knowing that I will not filter the truth.

I want them to know that they are not alone in being 'different'. Everybody has something about them that makes them different. Many have challenges or difficulties they may never have to face. they can learn to be grateful for what they have.

I have had to develop listening to my inner 'intuition'. To trust in myself and the impressions I recieve.

I have learned to ask questions and not worry about looking 'stupid'. I have learned to educate myself. Ignorance is not bliss, it is carelessness.

Every day my son and and other three kids, for that matter, are safe and well cared for helps my self esteem. I feel good that I can manage motherhood! It is a difficult job.

I have learned to communicate with those around me, my fears, worries, hopes, dreams, sucesses and failures...

So much more, so little time left for me to sleep tonight. I just wanted to share that I believe I am going in a positive direction and much of it is due to facing the realities of having a child with a life threatening peanut and nut allergy.

Funny how life works?
C&N's Mom
Alisa

Posted on: Fri, 08/10/2001 - 12:08am
TLSMOM's picture
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Joined: 05/25/2001 - 09:00

How beautiful!
I have also been forever changed due to my childrens life-threatening allergies.
You do a wonderful job of expressing the positive perspectives that some people can lose sight of.
I say that because it's so easy to get bogged down with all the negatives and "what ifs".
Several month's ago while I was having a particularly bad PA week so I was feeling sort of sorry for myself. I was with a good friend. I told her"How come I have to have two children with PA/TNA ?". She told me that maybe things happened this way because I was the "right" kind of mother to handle it. I know I am.
I've found that this PA situation isn't the end of the world and that there are many positive things that both my children and I have gained from it.
A renewed Love of Life and just how precious the things are that most of us take for granted. Things like perfectly normal, loving children that I Love with all my heart and soul.
Since this has happened it seems I'am so much more aware of how vulnerable all our children are.Their shining eyes ,their sense of wonder with no judgements.Proof that there is a heaven!
Thanks for reminding me of what I too have learned. Love TLSMOM
[This message has been edited by TLSMOM (edited August 10, 2001).]

Posted on: Sat, 08/11/2001 - 1:23pm
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Joined: 07/17/2001 - 09:00

C and N's Mom-
Your words bring tears. What amazing perspective. My daughter's diagnosis has been relatively recent, and so I'm still working through a lot, while trying to take "one day at a time" in order to keep her safe. I'm still completely devastated and blind-sided by her PA. I'm a passive person by nature. I tend to avoid confrontation, worry about saying the wrong thing, and let others take charge. A few months ago I was thinking that God "gave" this PA to the wrong mother...that I couldn't handle it. Then I realized that I had no choice.
I'm struck by your post b/c every so often, I have glimpses of the things you write about. I have been surprised by my assertiveness in some situations that I didn't know I had. I am amazed at the power of love. I am starting to realize that in the end, I might be a better mother and a better, more compassionate person for having dealt with PA. I've noticed that I'm more patient and unconcerned about the things that really don't matter and am starting to truly recognize the things that do. I'm grudgingly learning how to cook...and it's about time. I'm finding out who friends and family are who really listen and care. And I am learning that the simplest things are the greatest joys, like when Maia pointed to the night sky recently and said "Moom!" (moon) for the first time.
Thank you for your post. I hope to someday be as aware of the real life lessons as you are. Your children are fortunate to have you as mom.

Posted on: Sat, 08/11/2001 - 9:11pm
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Joined: 03/26/2002 - 09:00

allergys have changed not just my life but our whole familys. The older boys are protective of their younger brother , reminding the adults around them that william has allergys. It was my second son age 7 who recognised that william was haveing an allergic reaction in the playground last feb. Andrew took his brother by himself to the first aid room.
My determination to be a good enough mother to four children has become more of a challange. I still feel guilt that i do not have the ability to cope with a small part time job and running a home and the childrens lives , as well as keeping william safe and well.
Some days i feel that god has givern the right children to the right mother, if you know what i mean, then i feel crushed by the relentless demands that keep popping up with williams school , his teachers , the playground children, the partys , the cooking , his diet.
The positive things are when i look back and realise that i didnt totally crumble when he was a baby, mainly because i am still here, still telling others how much easyier life would be for allergic folks if they did this or that. But most important that i still care , that the exhaustion i felt draining me years ago has gone, i know that if any one harmed my child , they would know about it. My children will have what i always wanted , the best i can give them. Allergys have increased that desire, reading labels, writing to manufacturers,etc etc what to look out for , the sheer learning curve that i have acheived with the treatment of his excema , his food reactions
the list is endless.
On a good day(and this is one!) williams allergys have made me grateful and that all my children are well and happy.
now back to the housework, the dishwasher is leaking.....sigh.
bye sarah

Posted on: Sun, 08/12/2001 - 9:18pm
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

C&N's Mom,
That was really beautiful. You couldn't have said it better. I, too, check my son every night. I put my hand on his back to feel his calm, steady breathing. I probably hug him more tightly than my other kids because I always think about the "you never know when..." stuff. When I look at him, I really look at him. I look into his gray-blue eyes and see the sparkle of life. I kind of etch his whole smiling face into my mind, because sometimes I think what if I never see him smile like that again.
I think overall, I'm much more compassionate than I used to be. I try to look at the important one-on-one times with my kids, looking at how special each one is.
And you know that hug goodbye when they go to school every morning? I hug them, say, "I love you," and really think about it when I say it. Much more so than I ever have before.

Posted on: Mon, 08/13/2001 - 12:29am
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Joined: 10/14/1999 - 09:00

This really is a lovely thread! I thought I'd offer my perspective as a PA adult.
While I can't say that it has changed my life (I can't remember life without PA!), these are a few observations.
I've learnt that people who forget about my PA aren't being purposely ignorant. We all have our problems to deal with, and unfortunately we sometimes forget details - I know I do.
I know that forgetting about PA has much more far reaching consequences than just forgetting if someone hates carrots, but this leads to the realisation that ultimately the pa person is responsible for his/her safety (once they are of a proper age), and that we can never assume anything about what we are about to eat. We can never be complacent.
I've learnt that some people will never accept the severity of the allergy no matter what medical facts you show them.
I've learnt it is possible to say "Does this have nuts in it" up to 10 times a day! And that you never get bored with saying it [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
I've learnt that only my true friends are willing to "stab" me with the Epi Pen. I've also learnt that they have no hesitation in giving up pn while I'm around.
From these boards, and my vacation in Florida, I've learnt that it is MUCH easier to avoid pn/tn in Ireland and UK than in the US. I've learnt to be grateful for my situation, and to feel sympathetic to yours.
I grown to look at my dd as a miracle of genetics! How a child with no allergies of any kind can be born to a mother with allergies gallore is still a mystery to me. I'm incredibly grateful that she has none.
I've noticed that there as many explanations for pa as there are pa individuals!
I've learnt that there are far worse things in life than pa. Yes, it can be fatal, but pn can be avoided, it may be difficult, but it is possible. I've learnt to be grateful that I only have pa/tna to deal with.
I've grown to admire all the moms and dads on this site. You have much more difficult situations to deal with than I do. You should all be proud at how relentlessly you advocate for your childs safety. From what I can see, you are all doing an amazing job!
Gwen

Posted on: Tue, 09/04/2001 - 12:02pm
Chicago's picture
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Joined: 04/21/2001 - 09:00

Thanks Gwen. That is a cool message.

Posted on: Wed, 09/05/2001 - 2:06am
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Joined: 02/21/2001 - 09:00

Alisa, on several occasions I've read this thread from beginning to end, and each time, I get a nice warm feeling from your words and those of everyone else who has replied. I wish I could express myself so eloquently! I hope this thread stays near the top of the list, so that frightened families encountering this site for the first time will see that PA indeed has its silver lining. Thanks!

Posted on: Tue, 04/16/2002 - 5:16am
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I accidentally came across this thread and it brought so many tears to my eyes. EVERYONE took the words right out of my mouth.
I just wanted to bring it up again, for those that might of missed it.
It's a great piece to look at on the moments you're feeling "why?"

Posted on: Tue, 04/16/2002 - 6:11am
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

This is a nice read. My daughter is only 2.5, so we are just teaching her about her allergy. She has never needed her epipen, thankfully. I will add my little life lessons form this allergy.
I never feed anyone elses kid, no matter how well I know them with out asking if it is okay!
I recognize the fortune of others who have non-allergic children, in not having that nagging worry 24/7, and slightly envy the ability they have to feed their children anything anywhere.
I actually value my daughter's excellent health more than ever. Having this threat hanging over us makes me count our blssings more. Things can always be worse.
I learned the hard way, so much more about food allergies, which are on my husband's side of the family. I was one of those who tried really har, but just did not always get it. I always asked, though, and tried to bring at least one treat(I bake alot for the family) I knew was safe for the chocolate allergic member. Now, I feel so ashamed I brought any chocolate anything to any party. Ugh!
I have learned lots of creative and more healthful ways to cook for our family, and anyone for that matter. I have decided to make the most of that challenge, as I do love to cook.
I also enjoy extra close times and simply feeling my daughter's little breath on my face. However, she was so young, I was still gushy about that anyway!
I have learned about the graciousness of some, who call me or try to go out of their way to prepare a safe food for my dd(but it is really hard without practice to cook without eggs, too!)
I am gradually coming to grips with understanding that those who "just don't get it" are not evil ignoramuses(sp?), and learning to think more graciously of others. They do not mean it. There are some who do seem to buck acceptance, but most really do try. It is just as hard for them, as it was for me, to believe this could really kill our precious child. On that note, I am stopping. I don't want to cry and the tears are almost there. becca

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