Losing friends over dd\'s PA!

Posted on: Tue, 03/09/2004 - 2:51pm
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Has anyone lost close friends because people don't understand your children's PA?

I have a friend of 10yrs that got mad because I wouldn't let her 4yr old play with my dd's toys while he was eating snacks that I couldn't find out if were peanut products or not. This is just another issue of people not understanding the danger of PA's!
I am most annoyed because I had just finished telling her about my dd's last reaction because of someone touching her ear after touching peanut products!
It boggles my mind how people would rather their kids be able to play with toys instead of teaching them that it could kill someone w/out the proper precautions.

Does anyone have any personal stories that they would be willing to share with me? My dd (19mo) has only had her PA since 12/03 and I feel like I've been in tears the whole time! I need a friend that understands to work through my emotions with!

Who do you turn to when having PA issues?

Emotionally overwhelmed in Idaho~Cindy

Posted on: Tue, 03/09/2004 - 10:49pm
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Hi,My Ds is 24 months old and I know how you are feeling...I am very happy I found this board.I havent lost any friends of yet to this but I am feeling some exclusion for me and my Ds with others.I am sorry I cant offer more advice of yet but there really seems to be alot of people here that have been dealing with it for some time more than you and I ..Take care email me if you would like to chit chat or just need support!! Casey
------------------
Casey-Ann DS:Tyler 4 Cats,DogsDS:Joshua 2 PA,mold,Cats,Dogs, Cock Roaches,

Posted on: Wed, 03/10/2004 - 12:55am
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Anonymous (not verified)

Cindy,
I haven't lost any friends over this, but live 2000 miles from where I grew up and all my family and friends. I have 2 PA DD's and feel we all stay to ourselves so to speak. I am glad my daughters have each other. I just wanted to tell you, even though I have been dealing with this longer, I do understand what you are feeling. Where in Idaho do you live? I live in the next state over. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] If you ever need to vent or chat, just email.

Posted on: Wed, 03/10/2004 - 1:28am
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Anonymous (not verified)

Cindy, I'm an adult with pa - so it's totally different issues for me, but I remember when my friend's son had his first reaction to fish, and eventually it did cost his mom, and him, and his brother a friend.
'P' and her boys were visiting her friend 'C'. On the way home, 'P's son started coughing and by the time they got home he was in ana. A neighbour drove her to the hospital and when she got home she called me because I was the only one she knew who had a food allergy. She also called 'C' to tell her what happened. She was not angry and did not at all blame 'C'. It was her BEST friend and she just wanted to talk. 'C's response was something like "fish is good for you".
Eventually 'P's son wanted to play with his friend again so she called 'C' to find out if it was OK to bring him over. Sure. 'C' served fish again. 'P' took her son and left.
'C' then made a big stink about how people make up all this allergy stuff just because they have fussy kids. 'P's son loved fish and is one of the least fussy kids I know. 'C' said that if it was her child "he'd just have to learn to get over that d*** allergy wouldn't he"
At school 'P' did not request a fish ban, or even a fish free room. He does react to smell and touch, so she asked that nobody at his table be allowed to eat fish. If anyone was eating fish he would ask his lunchroom supervisor (me) if he could move to a safe seat. And he got to pick two friends to go with him.
Usually if he had to move it was because of 'C's son bringing fish. All the other kids told their mom's they didn't want fish in their lunch because it could hurt their friend (and also they wanted to be picked to change seats). 'C's son probably said it to, but she didn't care. It did break up the boys friendship as well as the mom's. And eventually their two older brothers stopped hanging around together too.
***********
Personally, I think my friend was better off giving up that friendship. With friends like that, who needs enemies.
I am sorry you've been hurt by a friend, especially one that you've been friend's with so long. But I truly believe MOST people have good hearts and care. Eventually you may find the opposite happens - someone who takes that extra step to keep your daughter safe might become a close friend.

Posted on: Wed, 03/10/2004 - 2:46am
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Casey-Ann~I might just take you up on chit chatting. The last two weeks have been awful PA-wise. Things come in good spurts too though. THanks
mom2nickie~I'm in Southeastern Idaho. What state are you in? Thanks for the words even though you might not think it was much just a response of anykind made me feel better at this point. THanks
AnnaMarie~Thank you for sharing your friends story. It's easier going through things knowing I'm not the only one to go through it. Although, I am sure your friend had just as hard of a time with it. I am also interested in your experience with being an adult with a PA. Did you grow up with it? If so, did you have any school problems? thanks again!
Hugs to you all~Cindy

Posted on: Wed, 03/10/2004 - 3:03am
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AnnaMarie, what a depressing story. That other mother didn't sound terribly bright, and acted unnaturally full of revenge against a small child (is it really normal to send in that much fish unless you are making a point? Maybe it is, it just seems odd (fishy!!) to me.) This person shouldn't be a friend anyway, most likely, I bet we'd say if we knew more about her. Ick.

Posted on: Wed, 03/10/2004 - 3:23am
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I did sort of lose a friend because of my daughter's allergy. There is a long thread here from last Sept/Oct detailing the whole story. [url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum1/HTML/004172.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum1/HTML/004172.html[/url]
The abbreviated story is that we were at the beach, and she ate some trail mix with peanuts. I asked her not to touch my daughter because she had eaten peanuts. I emailed to explain why I had acted the way I had, and had to email again because of no response. When I finally got a response, I really didn't feel good about it. And I want to make clear that I wasn't really angry about her eating the peanuts as much I was about her not seeming to understand how serious it was. Honestly, if she had just come back and said, "I'm so sorry, I just didn't realize" everything would have been fine. But she didn't, and it escalated pretty badly, and I was most hurt that she never admitted she did something wrong or said she was sorry that she put my daughter's life at risk.
A few months went by and I tried to patch things up, and finally just called her to see if we could talk things through. We ended on a pretty good note, and we started emailing again, but I just can't feel the same about her. I've just sort of drifted away from returning the emails. It makes me very sad.

Posted on: Wed, 03/10/2004 - 4:18am
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Anonymous (not verified)

Mom2Sariah and Casey-Ann, welcome! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] I've been dealing with my son's PA for 6 years now and I can't say that I've lost any friends because of his PA, but let's put it this way, we certainly haven't gained any and I do believe PA plays into it. I have always posted on the board about my belief that my PA son is not invited to birthday parties because of his PA and I also think that's why he's not invited on play-dates or other things as well.
It's not so much about me losing friends but about my son's ability to make friends outside of school. It's really quite sad.
We do live quite aways from family (both his Father's and mine) so I'm not sure how our families would really deal with PA either. They do seem to "get it" but then they don't really have to deal with it very often.
On the up-side, I have had some absolutely tremendous experiences with people - one woman in the previous town I lived in wanted to be friends with me and wanted our children to be friends as well. She arranged for a play-date for the children and really an afternoon for her and I to get to know each other. The night before we went over, she scrubbed every one of her children's toys that my children may come into contact with in the play room. She was and still is a truly amazing woman and great friend.
I think I also have a great deal of guilt that plays into all of this as well. We have had to move quite a bit, especially during the last three years and I really feel if we had stayed in our previous town where the other children grew up knowing my son was PA and seemed to deal with it really well, he would have more friends, more birthday party invitations, more sleep-overs or play-dates.
Since moving here, he has changed schools each year and as he gets older (he's now 8) he's finding it more difficult to make friends even though he is so outgoing and social and again, I do think PA does come into other parent's/children's decision about whether or not to invite my son for whatever.
As far as you losing a friend because of PA, I am so sorry. It is extremely easy for me to say that you are better off finding out now and that your friend isn't worth your time if she can't understand your child's PA, recognize it and "get it", but that's easier said than done. Just as when I read about people having difficulties with their families with regard to PA, I feel really sad and disheartened for the person experiencing it.
However, having said all of that, and also having said how easy it is to say all of that ( [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img] great grammar), I do basically believe it to be true and that you will recover.
I had a friend for a long period of time and every time I would talk to her on the phone (we didn't live in the same city anymore), I would feel really crappy afterward. Something she said always made me feel just crappy. I realized that it was a toxic relationship and although I desperately wanted to keep our friendship because we had been friends for so long, I came to realize that that crappy feeling was better gone and if that meant the friendship was gone as well, so be it.
I'm wondering if it's possible for you to subtly educate your friend and see if she is one of the people who will come to "get it" or if you should stop wasting your time and energy on the friendship.
And, having said all of that, I still feel very sad for you. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]
I'm going to try to find the thread re Positive Experiences so that you can read about some wonderful people "out there" who have chosen to "get it" for the sake of friendship or even the simple inclusion of a PA child at a birthday party.
Also, you'll be okay. You found PA.com. You have found the best place for support, caring, concern, encouragement, and information.
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
------------------

Posted on: Wed, 03/10/2004 - 4:21am
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Kim H~ I did go back and read your whole story along with all of the responses. Thank you for giving me the link. I am just as shocked at your friends comment and how it ended as I am with my friend. Although it has not ended and I am in the waiting period for her to email me back. I am sort of expecting her to not answer like your friend did not. I am not sure that I can let things just slide or end the relationship so easily if she does not admit that she is wrong. I guess I am in the same kind of situation that you were in. THank you again for your story!
Hugs~Cindy

Posted on: Wed, 03/10/2004 - 7:46am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Cindy, I developed my allergies when I was near 30 so I never had to deal with school problems. There are a few adults on the board who did grow up with it and I'll try to put links here to anything I can find.
Stacey, yes, the person was very revengeful, in many aspects of her life. Neither of the boys were regulars in the lunch room, but since they tended to be in the same clubs they usually both stayed on the same days. And I agree that she sent fish just to make a point. I can so I will.
She was never actually a friend of mine - I had entire different issues with her but most did revolve around the safety of children in and around school.

Posted on: Wed, 03/10/2004 - 8:11am
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My 7 yr old PA DS has many friends at school, sports, scouts etc....Many of them come over to visit. However, my son has only been to 2 of his friends houses. The other parents are ABSOLUTELY TERRIFIED to have him over. Many have stated this directly to me. I look at it like "oh well, their loss." On a brighter note: One mom actually took note of all peanut products in the house right down to the dog food. She later consulted with be about inviting my son over. She cleaned with soap and water the areas that she suspected peanuts residue (ex: dog food area) and then put the dogs out where the kids would not be around them. This mom even watched with her husband the epi-pen video! She was (is still) a blessing. She has no idea just how many ways she helped my son. The boys had a blast!

Posted on: Wed, 03/10/2004 - 10:30am
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Yes, I lost a good friend. Not exactly lost, as we still see one another. But our closeness has definitely changed due to our differences over my dd's PA. It was sort of like Kim M's experience... once you have a very close relationship, it's hard to adjust to a less intimate relationship with that same friend.
But I will say that my dd's PA has also brought me many, many very good friends. I liken it to a filter... if someone is willing to try to understand and accommodate, then it's sort of a litmus test for me. I hope that doesn't sound terrible, but I have found that people who are compassionate and willing to understand my needs are just wonderful people who make very good friends.
While I did lose a good relationship, the scale is overwhelmingly tipped the other direction... toward PA opening relationship doors that have led to some very wonderful and meaningful friendships.
I think that this aspect~ friendship~ is the one true blessing for me re my dd's PA. There was a time when I could not find a single "good thing" about my dd's PA. Even the question was an insult to me. Now I know that her PA has brought some truly wonderful, exceptional and valued friendships into my life. Friendships that would have not revealed themselves to me if it had not been for her PA.
Not to be too sappy, but the friendships resulting from the compassion others have given me is truly a wonderful gift.

Posted on: Thu, 03/11/2004 - 12:13am
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Anonymous (not verified)

Mom2Sariah,
I am pretty close to you. I just wanted to tell you if you ever want to chat you can email. Like someone also said, I worry more about my children being able to make friends.
As I said, we stay pretty much to ourselves. My girls are toddler and preschool age, so it hasn't affected them to where they notice yet.
I think if this person is truly a friend, they will go out of their way to keep your children safe. Sometimes, it is incidents like this that make us realize that maybe a friendship really wasn't what it appeared to be. I hope all works out and your friend realizes what you have to do to keep your child safe.

Posted on: Thu, 03/11/2004 - 12:48am
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I've probably lost a friend or two over my son's PA and his frequent illnesses.
I had one friend who would roll her eyes every time DS would be sick. It turns out her two son's would have ruptured ear drums and she would not even take them to the doctor, she is a nurse practitioner too!
She still rolls her eyes if I am talking about PA. We all sent our kids off to college at the same time so we share stories, PA was part of my story naturally.
Another "friend" told DS that he had surely outgrown his PA by now and tried to get him to eat a PBJ at her house. DS refused, called me, I brought him home but I first blasted her up one end and down another! I had always been accepting of her son and his many quirks and she decides to feed my son PB!
I have said this before. Life is short and if I find someone that is too difficult to be around, or unsafe, or dishonest, I take that person out of my life. My kids don't need their kids, I don't need the friendship, there are plenty of people out there in the world who respect me and DS and we'll stick with them thank you.
One thing, maybe do some research on this site and refine your feelings about "May contains." Sure you cannot let your child eat them but will your child really react from touching a may contain? I sometimes think we carry things a bit too far. And I will be the first person to say this is what has kept my son alive all these years, BUT maybe a may contain is dangerous to eat but to touch? I'm not sure.
Peggy

Posted on: Thu, 03/11/2004 - 5:08am
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Peg, I am with you ~ I have just in the past few years gotten into the mindset of 'taking out the garbage.' It's hard to let people go sometimes...But I made the decision to stop wasting time and energy on people who aren't true friends! It has worked out very well, actually!

Posted on: Thu, 03/11/2004 - 6:32am
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Peg~Regarding rethinking the "may contains" and if just a touch would hurt. As I wrote above.....my daughter already had a HUGE reaction from being touched. Swelling twice the size, hives, redness, itching....all w/in minutes of being touched. So, no I don't believe I carry that to far and have done plenty of research on it. Maybe your PA child was a little luckier and did not have to deal with the touch reactions. I am so glad not everyone has to deal with that worry too. Thank you for sharing your story about your friend not understanding. It really is a shame to lose friends but as we have both seen it is well worth getting rid of them to keep our children safe.
Hugs~Cindy
[This message has been edited by Mom2Sariah (edited March 11, 2004).]

Posted on: Thu, 03/11/2004 - 6:43am
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Hi Peg- my dd reacts from "touch". She's reacted from a table that "looked" clean, kid's who have supposedly washed their hands and from playground equipment. There are some people who are that sensitive. I know that if she was just ingestion, I probably wouldn't be as concerned.
As far as friends and family go, I've gotten a pretty thick skin over the years. I've let go of some friendships but in turn have made some great friends who have no problems helping me out with my dd. My one friend has 5 kids under 6 and 1/2 and she even went so far as to keep the peanutbutter out of reach and handwashing rules. Other friends have since followed what she does. Kelly

Posted on: Thu, 03/11/2004 - 7:03am
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Welcome to Idaho, I'm up north. Anyway I haven't lost any friends but sure had a hard time with DH's family. They are starting to understand, I keep senting articles on PA, I think that has really helped. Donna

Posted on: Thu, 03/11/2004 - 7:55am
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Hey Cindy,
I just wanted to add that PA has strained some friendships, but it has certainly strengthened some too.
My son has had minor reactions when we go to one of my friend's house. We don't know if it is peanut, or some other allergen there. I just found out yesterday that she scrubbed her pantry out, and quarantined her peanut butter. Then went and washed all of her walls & her boys' toys before inviting us over for breakfast tomorrow morning. She even had the rugs cleaned!
Another friend went to great lengths in order to keep Michael safe at her twins' birthday party.
So the times like these more than make up for the bad ones - and I've had those too. I had one lady get irritated with me because I wouldn't let my "other twin" eat a chocolate chip cookie with walnuts in it - when the PA twin was standing right there! She was yet another "twin" mom (can you tell I hang out with a lot of twins?) and so I asked her how often she allowed one son to eat anything that might kill the other - she never did get it and I had to ask her to not join our gatherings any more.
So there is good & bad out there. I can't remember who it was that likened it to a litmus test - but that is how I feel too. People that care for my Michael's health are worth dealing with - those that don't aren't.
------------------
Sherlyn
Mom to 4 year old twins Ben & Mike - one PA & the other not.
Stay Informed And Peanut Free!

Posted on: Thu, 03/11/2004 - 8:35am
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[b]OF COURSE [/b]I fully understand that some kids will violently react to touching a may contain. It is possible that some kids do not but how you find this out I cannot imagine.
My son has probably never (knowingly) touched a may contain or a peanut product so we don't know if he reacts to touch. I am also not willing to ask him to test this out.
And again I emphasize that if people are not willing to help you keep your child safe/alive, then it is time to find new friends. There are plenty of people out there willing to go the distance for a friend.
Peggy

Posted on: Fri, 03/12/2004 - 5:27am
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momtosariah..... I am in the same boat, I have a 15 month old DD and just this morning I had to escort her out of a play-date, because one mom opened up a PB sandwich bag for her kid, about 3 feet away from mine. The other moms looked at me like I was nuts (pardon the pun), but they just don't understand how dangerous that is! I HATE having my DD singled out! It's not fair! She's too little to understand, but someday she will and it makes me sad. I feel very alone, no friend or even aquaintence has a kid with food allergies. I am open to venting e-mail anytime from you!
Sincerely, Amy
Emily's mom

Posted on: Fri, 03/12/2004 - 6:17am
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Hi All! My DD is 3 1/2 PA/TNA and is very sensitive to contact and airborne and has had her major reactions that way.
As far as friends go we have been very blessed. We have had some friends not understand and others who have been absolutely awesome. We belong to a Mom's Club that the President of the Club told every mom that no Nut Products are allowed at our gatherings just for dd. She has friends who will go the distant for her and get it and would never bring anything for snacks for their children unless they called me first to make sure that if there child ate it that she would be safe. We have had friends and family who just don't get it and they just don't spend time with her. But when we have close friends that get it and care for her we are thankful for those friends. We also always bring enough of her snacks to share with all her friends so that they are all eating the same safe things. You just have to change things in your life and in your childs so that they always feel a part of the group and special too. Not different.

Posted on: Fri, 03/12/2004 - 9:59am
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Donna~Thanks for the Idaho Welcome! :P Everyone I meet is up north...that's a five hour drive for me. lol
Hey Sherlyn~I sure hope I end up having a good friend that will go the extra mile so that Sariah can go to a birthday party! What a great friend. I think that's so cool that you have friends with twins too!
Amy~ Thanks for the email offer! I'm sure I'll use it sometime! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
And EVERYONE else thank you so much for the stories and advice too! After several emails from my friend we have both choosen to end our friendship. She was not able to understand. Which is just fine with me in the long run because my dd is #1. I do have other friends I think it was just a shock. Thanks again so much!
Hugs~Cindy

Posted on: Sat, 03/13/2004 - 1:02am
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That really is too bad that you had to end your friendship. However, if she is that unwilling to go the distance for you, I can bet that it would've ended eventually anyway.
I don't have a PA child (I'm the PA one), but it's amazing how in times of crisis you find out who your real friends are. Two years ago I had to rush DH to the ER for a serious lung problem, and had DS with me (home sick from school). My DH lay DYING in the ER and I phoned a friend to see if she could take DS for only an hour so I could get DH settled. What was going on in the ER was traumatizing DS. This friend said no. Her reason? She was going out. Our friendship ended that second. If the situation had been reversed I'd have taken her kids in a heartbeat.
Another friend, who lived 30 minutes away, left her work, picked DS up, kept him ALL DAY, and then dropped him off after dinner.
My point is that if a friend isn't willing to be there for you and support you after 10 years, move on and you'll find someone who will. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] You'll find another PA person, there's more of us then you think [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Sat, 03/13/2004 - 1:29am
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Cindy, I'm so sorry that things ended this way for you, but I completely understand. It's just not worth trying to be friends with people who can't put a child's life above eating a particular food. I really thought I could put things behind me when I tried to mend the fences with my friend, but even though I tried to act as if everything was OK, I just couldn't get how she acted out of my mind. It made me realize that my first impression was the right one. You will find lots of people who have their priorities in order. Good luck!

Posted on: Sat, 03/13/2004 - 8:04am
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KarenH, I was on bedrest while pregnant with my second child for many weeks (8, if memory serves). My daughter was 2 years old at the time. It was very difficult, especially with my husband working til 9:30 every night. My friends did not offer to help - not the first casserole, not the first offer to take my 2 year old out of the house for an hour - nada (like I would have done and HAVE done for others). No one from various social groups offered to help, though they REGULARLY do so for other people. Not the first time. Most of the family didn't help - the only ones who did were *my parents* - and they came over DAILY to help me after they got off work. It was very hard on them, but they were there. My son's life was on the line - if he had been born prematurely. GRANTED - no one *owes* us their help but it was terrible how fast they all ran away from us, too. I was really hurt by it and from the day he was safely born forward, I have become more family-oriented (immediate-family) and taken the attitude that charity begins at home. I am not the giving person I once was!

Posted on: Sat, 03/13/2004 - 2:07pm
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That's awful Stacy [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]
I'm glad that your son was born fine though...and by the way my DH is fine too.
I've been described as a marshmallow, and will do whatever I can for people. Mostly for the kids I work with, and close friends and certain family members. Basically once you have my trust I'm very loyal, but burn me and you don't get it back. Sort of sad, but especially at work I just leave it as a work relationship and don't get too personal. I found out real fast the other week when I had to sit in a room by myself to eat lunch (another teacher made a nut stew in the staff room). Not ONE person I'm friendly at work with joined me or even cared that I was sitting down there by myself. DH asked me awhile before that why I'm so distant with my co-workers...that's exactly why. I have three best friends, and really-I'm pretty happy to just leave it at that.

Posted on: Fri, 10/15/2004 - 8:15am
travelplus's picture
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I have to agree that going out of your way if your friend is in a crisis is very important. I would do anything possible to help a friend in such a situation. When you mentioned that your firend would not pick up your kid when you took your husband to the ER makes me wonder if the friend had an obligation that she could not back out of. But that's besides the point. As the Song Thats What Friends Are For says"In good times and in bad times I'll be on your side for ever more that's what friends are for". And this really is true that friend should be there at all times.
Even a simple telephone call is most welcome during a time of stress.

Posted on: Fri, 10/15/2004 - 10:48am
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Joined: 06/29/2001 - 09:00

"FRIENDS?" A real friend would not give you a hard time about your child's peanut allergy.
If you are losing friends because of this...consider the fact that these people are selfish and uncompassionate and not very Christian.
There's no loss at all....not at all.

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