How other siblings deal with PA in the family.

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I was just wondering about other experiences with siblings dealing with PA. In my own family I have two sons. My oldest (7 years has PA and other potentially life threatening allergies as well). He also has asthma. My youngest hasn't any allergies to speak of and is asthma free as well. I find that my youngest son doesn't feel as special and this truly breaks my heart. He loves his older brother and is always looking out for him but at times you can see the underlying resentment. I have told him how lucky he is to not have any allergies and that he is very special in so many other ways. I believe my worry for my oldest son's life on so many occasions has really affected my youngest. Of course I love them both equally but I don't think he sees it this way. Any other experiences out there??

On Sep 6, 2002

I have the same problem here, mostly unspoken, but I still realize it's there...Except mine are reversed, my youngest is Cam- 4 1/2 and he's PA and asthmatic, our other children our 10 (mine and my husbands oldest son) and his two from a previous 17 (boy)& 15(girl)...Our 10 yr old feels that we "love" Cam more too, but is the most careful and protective of him also...I get comments (occasional) from him and our daughter that Cameron gets all the "good" snacks (I only buy him name brand, and the others unfortnately, mostly store brands-due to cost w/4 kids) My reply is: "well, we can let you have what Cameron has but that also means you can only eat the things he can eat....That usually nips it there, b/c in reality they know it has to stink living w/this allergy and they do understand the reasons, I think that sibiling jealousy just pops up once in a while. But they are all still protective of him and watch out for him outside of home.

This is an interesting question, I too wondered how other families have dealt w/it...Be nice to see some other replys and situations.

Take care! Lana

On Sep 8, 2002

We have the same problem. Dd feels that it is her fault that we don't go to movies or bowling, ect.. My 16 yo is so nervous about her and my 7 yo cries a lot. To top the pa off, my oldest has serious heart problems, we are in the waiting/watching stage, another open heart surgery, I guess. My youngest has a mild heart problem. So between ER for the reactions for dd and the appointments for the boys, our lives are full of stress due to health problems. I never feel like I am doing enought for any of the kids. I gave up everything this summer to stay home 24/7 with dd, I thought if I spend more time with her, maybe she would calm down. Nope. I don't think there is a answer, we just have to do our best.

On Sep 8, 2002

I too, was interested in others experiences with the siblings of these allergic kids. Our son, age 6 has the PA and our daughter is age 8. We feel that she gives up a lot and misses out on some things because of her brother's PA, but we try to spend some special time with her too. I try to find small windows that I can take her out for an ice cream or a special treat that she doesn't usually get to have. She is also very protective of her brother. All in all, I think that it makes these siblings more empathetic to people with certain types of differences. We all could use more tolerance...couldn't we? I think they'll end up being very caring, considerate adults!

On Sep 11, 2002

My 4yr old non PA daughter is extremely protective of her 1 yr old PA brother. She tells people that Austin is allergic to Peanuts, Eggs , and Peas...She is aware that we are constantly reading labels, and is starting to know which foods are "safe" for her brother. We, too, feel that she can be left out at times....some of her favorite eating places are off limits now, but we still run out for ice cream, or let her have a peanut treat if she is staying at her grandma's house overnight. I try not to deprive her of "may contains", but we do not allow nuts or peanut butter in the house..or anything that could be messy and that my son could get into.

On Sep 11, 2002

I am very proud of the way Kayde handles her brothers "issues". She is very aware and very protective. Maybe a little too aware. Recently she had a pretty passionate argument with her teacher that she couldn't bring her Reading assignment home because it might make her brother sick. The name of the story? You got it; Peanut Butter and Jelly. Finally the teacher convinced her to take it home, but ask me if it was okay before she took it out of her back pack. That's exactly what she did. I realized it was time to talk to her on a little more grown up level about the precautions to take and where to draw the line. She was right with me the whole time. One of the few times ever I have had her undivided attention. Later in the week, they made peanut butter in class. Kayde cleaned up with wipes like the rest of the class, but apparently wasn't sure that was enough. She asked if the teacher would take her to the restroom and help her clean up better before she came home. I couldn't have been more proud when the teacher told me this!

So far there have been no jealousy issues or feelings of being less special, but I am always on the look-out.

I also want to take this as a chance to give thumbs up to the extended family "siblings". There are several cousins in the family that we see on a regular basis. Not once have there been any hard feelings about not getting a particular snack or not getting to play a certain game when Manuel is around. They are very concerned and always ask lots of questions to make sure all is okay before they offer him anything to eat or drink.

Three cheers for the big hearts of our little family members!!!!! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ Little Man's Momma a*k*a Kendra

On Sep 12, 2002

I guess I should count myself lucky that my younger non-PA child has as many health problems as my older PA child! Actually, comparing the two, my DS's problems are far more time consuming on a day-to-day basis (daily breathing treatments and antibiotics), while with my PA DD, it just requires vigilance with food.

As the younger sister of a sibling with allergies so severe that it makes PA look like a walk in the park, I have to say that I never felt like my parents loved my sister any more than they loved me. I did resent her fairly often because her problems required so many restrictions on our activities (she actually doesn't have allergies, but my parents used to say she was "allergic to the sun" as a way of making her problems comprehensible to a young child. She has a genetic condition called xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) that leads to all sorts of various problems, including degeneration of the nervous system. When she was young, the biggest problem was simply that she couldn't be exposed to UV rays, which meant no sunlight and no uncovered flourescent lights. So we couldn't do any outdoor family activities like picnics or trips to the beach, my parents almost never came to see us play sports when we were involved in them, etc.). In any event, being the sibling of someone who requires constant parental vigilance can cause resentment, but I think most children realize pretty early on (I know I did by age five or six) that you wouldn't trade places with your sibling for anything so any resentment you feel is pretty short-lived, and I think is the equivalent of a sibling of a totally healthy child saying "I hate you Mom! You love Tommy more than me!" when Tommy gets to watch t.v. because he finished his homework and you still are dragging your heels over your spelling words. That is to say, resentment and jealousy among siblings is normal and even inevitable, but allergies--whether to peanuts or the sun--just make an easy target for the resentment!

Sarah

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