Looking for parents of teenagers w/ food allergies

Posted on: Sun, 09/05/2004 - 11:04am
BostonMary's picture
Joined: 06/02/2002 - 09:00

I'd like to start a dialogue with parents who have kids with multiple allergies who are now teenagers. My daughter is PA/Soy/Kiwi/Tuna/TN/Beans/Pea allergic. We are getting to the period in life (she is 12) that she is self conscious about her allergies and wants more independence. Challenges such as more frequent sleepovers, wanting to go the mall with friends, birthday parties at restaurants. All of these present multiple challenges and I am trying to keep her feeling "normal" while keeping her safe. I would love to hear from other parents of teens on what has worked best in the teenage circumstances. My future fear will be dating but we are a few years off from that! Thanks much.

Posted on: Mon, 09/06/2004 - 8:00am
kellyhensl's picture
Joined: 03/23/2000 - 09:00

I think this is a great idea. My son is 14 just starting high school this year. I would love to exchange thoughts and ideas, also during this new phase of life.
We just got home from vacation so I'm a little pooped (wait, vacations aren't supposed to do that, are they?!) so I'm not very creative or forthcoming with info right now. But will definitely keep this post in sight and will contribute as I have time.

Posted on: Mon, 09/06/2004 - 7:03pm
kajc's picture
Joined: 06/09/2002 - 09:00

BostonMary - Your daughter sounds a lot like mine! She is also 12, will be 13 on the 18th though, and she is also allergic to peanuts, soybeans and all legumes, as well as milk and fish. It is an age with many choices to make, and I'm not sure I've made all of the right ones. (Like letting her go to places without her epi-pen.) It's really hard to know where to draw the line sometimes, especially when she has not had a life threatening reaction in a long time. I look forward to discussing this with others in my shoes.

Posted on: Tue, 09/07/2004 - 12:20am
Peg541's picture
Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

My son is 19 and away at college. He has never been without his epi pen since his diagnosis. Too risky and he got so used to carrying it he would never think of being without it.
He was diagnosed at 4 but did not have his first reaction till he was 14 and he handled it beautifully.
We did not have any rebellion regarding peanuts because he has a natural aversion to them thankfully. We had no rebellion anyway, he's pretty laid back and easy to reason with.
DS is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, fish, milk, soy, oats and tomatoes. So far peanuts are his only anaphylactic allergy although the allergist tells us that any of his allergies could turn anaphylactic at any time.
I'm going to write to Chris to ask him to maybe start a board for [b]Parents of allergic teenagers[/b] That might be a good place for us to meet.

Posted on: Tue, 09/07/2004 - 2:47am
KarenT's picture
Joined: 10/30/1999 - 09:00

My DD is 14, first day of High School today!!
She loves to go to the mall with friends. She meets them at the same place every time. I drop her off and pick her up at a predetermined time (usually two hours). They do not go to the food court, only clothing shopping. All her friends know about her allergies and know that she carries an epi-pen in her purse.
When she entered grade 7 we went from her wearing a fanny pack to carrying a purse. She has become a purse shopper. Some people shop for shoes she shops for purses! I figure it is her fashion statement and if it keep her always carrying her epi-pen so I will support her purse shopping habit.
As for sleepovers we do more at our house so we can control the food. If she does go to a friends it is only after I have spoken to the parents and make sure they are comfortable and I am comfortable. She has been told by kids that their mom does not think their house is safe for her and she has had to miss out on sleepovers. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

Posted on: Tue, 09/07/2004 - 11:17am
BostonMary's picture
Joined: 06/02/2002 - 09:00

Thanks for all your replies. It would be great if we could have our own section on the board. Peg; can you let us know what Chris says? I'd love for us to post a challenge on a regular basis and then have all of us give our ideas of how we have handled it or how we would. I alreay have picked up one idea---I am going to splurge on some new purses for my daughter! Thanks

Posted on: Tue, 09/07/2004 - 11:50am
Peg541's picture
Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

No problem if I hear from Chris I'll let you know.

Posted on: Thu, 09/09/2004 - 8:00am
Jana R's picture
Joined: 02/09/1999 - 09:00

Are you aware of the FAAN teen site? They have a "He said/She said" type board.
My son is 16 - with multiple life threatening food allergies he tends to pre-eat if his friends are going out - he'll do McDonald's with them but he really hasn't branched out. Purses don't work for him [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] but we just discovered that a "two fingered" leather cigar case is much sturdier than the amber tubes for Epi-pens for shoving in and out of pockets.
I did want to caution folks - DS went more than 14 years without an anaphylactic reaction - from age 11 months to age 15 and a half. No recent anaphylactic doesn't mean you can let your teen drop their guard.
I wrote Chris a couple years ago about a teen board but never heard back.
[This message has been edited by Jana R (edited September 09, 2004).]

Posted on: Thu, 09/09/2004 - 11:40am
BostonMary's picture
Joined: 06/02/2002 - 09:00

Good reminder about not letting down your guard...ever.
The only positive of my daughter having a severe reaction when she was three is that she still remembers the ambulance ride and I still remember the 2 days in the ICU!

Posted on: Fri, 09/10/2004 - 10:14pm
Sandy's picture
Joined: 05/27/2002 - 09:00

My son is 14 and just started High School. It is totally different to preliminary school where they have banned peanut products. One the first day I asked him if he told his 4 teachers about his peanut allergy. He said he forgot! Day 2,3,went by and he said he forgot! So I called the principle and he emailed all of his teachers. Luckily on day 4 he had to stand up in front of the class and talk about himself. I asked him if he told them about his p.a.? He said he wasn't going to, but there was some kids in his class who used to go to his old school who asked him "Do you have any allergies?" He then had to tell them. The teacher was shocked, and said "WHAT!" "Thanks for telling me". Then they had question and answer time, and my son was stuck telling the kids everything from how an epipen works etc.
I know he doesn't want to tell anyone because he feels different. It drives me crazy...anyone else have this problem? I gave him his medic alert braclet to wear, but when he came home it wasn't on. He said it made his arm itchy.
During lunch period, he eats with kids from his old class, or goes to the mall and eats at McDonalds, or pizza pizza. He wants to come home for lunch like he did in primary school (walking) but I work from home during the day, and it is to far. (He takes the bus.)
A section on teens would be a great idea!
Sandy [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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