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Posted on: Mon, 09/15/2003 - 1:10am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Well, I have not been great. I have been BAD MOMMY at best. Jesse and Ember both attended school the first week on the Thursday and the Friday having missed the Tuesday and Wednesday.
Then, Jesse got a cold, which is not unusual for him at this time of year (or any time of year [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] ). So, I got a call around lunch time on Monday, the first day that he would have been eating lunch in his classroom, to go and pick him up. He stayed home Tuesday as well.
He returned to school on Wednesday. Ember was there all week, so her first full week of school, five days, since she's in Grade 1.
She didn't understand that she was supposed to be taking her snack out onto the playground and eating it at recess so she had a lot of food left at the end of the day.
Then, I had provided the principal with two sample letters that he could use (he asked me to provide them) for the peanut free classroom. One was a member's here, which specifically said that coconut, poppy seeds or sesame seeds do not present a problem. Well, he had the school board district letter that says coconut can cause a severe reaction in PA individuals and that's the one he sent out. Fine. So why ask me for my input anyway?
Ember had two Oreo chocolate cream filled cookies last week in her lunch. Another child in her class told her that they weren't okay because they had coconut in them. I said Ember, you're going to have to learn to speak up for yourself, these are safe for the peanut free classroom.
A child eating at the playground equipment Friday morning, a breadstick, but just as easily could have been something pb and then playing on the equipment.
Children angry with me because I won't let them stay after school and play in the playground.
By the end of the week, the school yard is filled with litter.
Ember had a notice in her knapsack over the week-end giving us a Safe Snack list. Three of the snacks were, IMHO, NOT "safe". Called the company and they could not confirm for me as I knew they would not be able to. So have to find out where the teacher got the list. Did Jesse get the list as well and his class? And why aren't I being contacted to go over these things except that I have the principal who thinks he is an allergist as well.
Had a doctor prescribe an Epi-pen Jr. for Jesse. Pharmacist couldn't even talk him out of changing the 'script. Fine. I have one here for back-up I guess.
I am overwhelmed, scared to death and frustrated. The kids are not happy, although they do like their teachers and are trying to make friends. They are just not pleased that they have had to move again and I cannot blame them. Ember has her birthday this week-end and again no kids to invite to her birthday party. Just bloody lovely. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]
I have not followed through on anything with the school for last week at all. Didn't check to see if the pizza for pizza day was "safe" because I've been told that even if it isn't, it's a school "tradition" and I can't interfere with school "tradition" (the superintendent even told me that).
Very depressed but trying to pick myself up to-day. Have called to request copies of the school board policy re anaphylaxis be sent to me. Left a note for each of the teachers requesting a meeting re each child. Left a note for the principal requesting a meeting. Called Loblaw's re those three things on the "safe" list. Called another PA parent for support.
If I was in the old house and this was happening I might be dealing with it better. I don't know. Right now, I have two men downstairs installing a new furnace in my dining room, having just exposed more of part of the dining room wall, an indented bit that is covered with ghastly paper, and the best part of the new furnace is that it won't heat the upstairs, just as the previous one didn't!
Too many things and finally I am getting beaten down, something I never thought I would see happen when it came to Jesse's allergy and how I dealt with it with the school. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Mon, 09/15/2003 - 1:48am
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream:
I am overwhelmed, scared to death and frustrated.
been there, done that, refuse to buy the book. If it's any comfort at all, my family has found [i]solution[/i] *in our individual, personal and highly unique situation.* I absolutely can identify.

Posted on: Mon, 09/15/2003 - 2:17am
California Mom's picture
Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

Oh Cindy, my heart goes out to you.
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] Miriam

Posted on: Mon, 09/15/2003 - 11:51am
mae's picture
Joined: 07/12/2002 - 09:00

Huge,huge, hugs,Cindy
- will post later-- take care of yourself!

Posted on: Mon, 09/15/2003 - 2:29pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Spirit must be lifting - just sent this e-mail to the principal with a copy to the superintendent. Now, I just have to wait for the sh** to hit the fan. Wait, it already has, hasn't it? What the heck?! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
Dear Mr. T:
Hello! I would like to address a couple of concerns I have about written materials that have been sent home for the peanut free classes of Grade 1/2 and Grade 3.
On Friday, I received a Nut Free Snacks List from my daughter's class. It is an excellent, comprehensive list. However, there are three glaring errors on the list - President's Choice Fig Bars, President's Choice Raspberry Bars and President's Choice Apple Bars.
To make sure I was not mistaken, I did contact Loblaw's in Toronto to-day and was told that unless I was able to provide the specific bar code from the actual product, they could not guarantee that the product was "peanut free" as most of their products are made in facilities that also process peanuts/nuts.
To further confirm this, I visited the [url="http://www.nuconnexions.com"]www.nuconnexions.com[/url] website which is a website used regularly by food allergic parents/people to check on different manufacturers and their labeling practices. This is the information I pulled off that website re Loblaw's products, including President's Choice:-
Loblaw Companies Ltd. - a Canadian grocery store chain with numerous affiliated chains (information last updated August, 2003).
Subsidiaries (If Any):
Loblaws and other grocery store chains (e.g. Zehr's and No Frills) which carry "Too Good to be True", "President's Choice" and "No-Name" brands of numerous types of food products.
Food Allergy Safety Measures:
Due to the fact that "Too Good to be True", "President's Choice" and "No-Name" products are made under contract by numerous companies (and these companies may change periodically), Loblaw Companies Ltd. cannot guarantee that allergy alerts are consistently placed on "at risk" product packaging. Enquiries about specific products can be made using the contact information.
Contact Information:
Call President's Choice toll-free at 1-888-495-5111 or contact them with your question by e-mail by clicking here. They request that you submit a maximum of 20 products within one request, and that you refer to the UPC code numbers of the products in question.
Also, you had asked me to submit my letter re the "peanut free" classroom to you for you to look at and compare with the standard school board district letter. I submitted two letters, one which clearly states that for a peanut allergic individual (solely peanut allergic), coconut, poppy seeds and sesame seeds do NOT present a problem. However, the standard school board letter clearly says that coconut can cause a serious reaction in peanut allergic individuals. This is not true. It is an out and out falsehood. Jesse even spoke up respectfully and said that he eats coconut.
My daughter came home last week with two Oreo cookies with chocolate cream inside. Of any child, other than a PA child, she would know what is "safe" to eat as she is not allowed to eat any peanut products or "may contain" or "made in" products even though she is not PA. Another child in her classroom had told her that the cookies contained coconut and they were not okay for the peanut free classroom.
On the one hand, kudos to the child for thinking about the peanut allergic child in his classroom. On the other hand, this information stemmed from the incorrect letters that were sent home.
If Jesse's written school plan had been allowed to be implemented this year, as it has been for the previous four years, I would be the food monitor for the school, which is really no big deal, except that the Nut Free Snacks List that was sent home with my daughter would have been seen by me before it was sent out.
My basic question to you is how effective our education of the Park Dale school community is going to be if you allow dissemination of incorrect information to go out to the parents/children directly involved with the peanut free classrooms.
On a totally separate note, I learned to-day that Jesse's teacher has not yet been trained in the use of an Epi-pen and is hoping that I will train her when I meet with her next Monday. It was my understanding that this would have been done by now. In all schools that Jesse has attended, not only in Hastings Prince Edward, the custodial and administrative staff were also shown how to use the Epi-pen "just in case". In fact, at P.C.P.S. here in Belleville, the custodian there specifically told both Jesse's Father and I that he kept an eye out for Jesse.
I did leave a note for you to-day asking if we could please meet to follow-up to see how the transition is going with Jesse and the peanut free classroom. In speaking with his teacher after school to-day by phone, I understand that no blatant peanut products or peanut butter are being brought into the classroom. This does not cover "may contains" or "made ins".
I am also looking forward to discussing with you the different approaches you may now have with regard to eating on the playground and the resulting litter thereof. I was shocked this morning, Monday morning, to see how much litter was on the ground of the school yard.
Truth be told, I would just as soon drop my children off in the morning and pick them up after school every day like I did last week and not say a word, but as I told you in discussions before Jesse entered the school, all I can see is a liability waiting to happen unless we are able to work this out.
In the school board district letter re the peanut free classroom that you sent out, you had indicated that it had been "your experience" that PA individuals reacted to coconut. I'm sorry, Mr. T. The child may very well have been PA but he/she was also allergic to coconut to have had a reaction.
The Nut Free Snacks List could easily have been sent home, without error, had someone simply called me and asked me to check it. Pretty simple stuff and something I don't mind doing.
I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.
Thank-you for your time and consideration.
Cindy Spowart Cook
And then I sit back and wonder why I get crucified. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img]
Thank-you everyone for your continuing support. I do believe that that is what has gotten me back on track, for to-day at least and I really appreciate it. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Mon, 09/15/2003 - 11:40pm
erik's picture
Joined: 05/15/2001 - 09:00

Quote:originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream
[b]In the school board district letter re the peanut free classroom that you sent out, you had indicated that it had been "your experience" that PA individuals reacted to coconut. [/b]
Hi Cindy,
I agree that this info is not valid. I don't even know anyone with a peanut allergy who can't eat coconut (I think coconut is a fruit anyway, and not a nut)... I eat Bounty coconut chocolate bars too.. no problems at all.
Besides being dangerous having kids in the school yard eating Reese peanut butter cups, aren't they concerned about all the litter? Or children choking on food when there is no teacher supervision? A weird school.

Posted on: Tue, 09/16/2003 - 12:56am
Kim M's picture
Joined: 06/09/2001 - 09:00

Excellent letter Cindy! I'm so sorry that you have to be going through this. The arrogance of the man to tell you that he knows more about peanut allergies than you do! You have kept your temper well in all of this, in my opinion. If this had been happening to me, I think I would be having my husband call his cousins named Rocco to take care of things, if you know what I mean. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Anyway, keep your spirits up, and keep up your good work on behalf of Jesse.

Posted on: Wed, 09/17/2003 - 4:40am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

The principal HAD to call me to-day on a matter not related to PA. After dealing with that matter, he said that he hadn't gotten back to me re my note that I had left him Monday because he has been busy. He said, why do you want to speak with me about how Jesse's transition into the school is? Have you not asked Jesse? What does Jesse have to say about it?
Well, I don't know if I worded the note *wrong* or not but I had said that I would like to have a meeting with the principal re Jesse's transition into the school.
And that was the response I got from him. Actually, I consider it a non-response. He simply turned the question back to me.
I asked him if he had received the e-mail from Monday and he said no, the vice principal had not sent it to him yet. I said that perhaps after he read that then he would want to set-up a meeting with me (likely not [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img] ).
I did say that I was concerned with the amount of litter on the playground and one part of the playground (a marshy area) that Jesse is playing in. He said that the litter came into the playground over the week-end (not true, I saw it building up all last week). He said that he was sure if something happened to Jesse in the marshy area (why they would have a marshy area in a playground is beyond me), he is sure that one of the kids would come and get help. Bloody lovely.
Apparently, the Parent Council raised the issue of litter on the playground the other night at their first meeting so student crews are now going to be working to clean up the trash.
The principal really likes his Parent Council (which is fine, but also means if you're not on Parent Council or don't agree with things Parent Council wants, like the eating on the playground, then you're SOL).
I received the district's school board policy re anaphylaxis and even though it is only a one-pager, I truly believe that Jesse's written school plan still adheres to it (heck, it has been considered as adhering to it for the past two years). The problem there is that the wording is so vague it is really open to interpretation.
I mentioned to the principal that the teacher had not been trained on the use of the Epi-pen yet and that that concerned me and he said that she had been trained previously when she had another student (meanwhile, the principal was given an Epi-pen trainer and said he would be doing it). He said that he would get both teachers trained with the trainer (when, I don't know).
He also said that he is going to call Shopper's Drug Mart to come in and speak with the staff. That was NOT what I had asked him to do with the resources of SDM. I had asked if he could have a community awareness night re anaphylaxis where SDM will come in and do the presentation (I had called them last year). But no, of course, he's not going with what I had asked for (educating the community - it does say the community *should* be educated in the board policy [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img] ) but just using SDM to educate the staff. What about the evening thing?
I have a meeting with Ember's teacher after school so I have to get some caffeine in me. I just came home this morning and listened to traffic all day as I tried to fend off yet another migraine.
I thought I was having a mid-life crisis/nervous breakdown last year. I was wrong. I am going to end up on the third floor of the hospital here (the psych ward) this year and possibly very soon).
He hasn't received the e-mail from Monday yet! B/S! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img]
Pardon all foul language. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Wed, 09/17/2003 - 9:19am
Codyman's picture
Joined: 08/14/2002 - 09:00

Hello Cindy,
I went to your School Board's web site and did not see any policy on anaphylaxis or administering oral medication!!!
I believe I sent you information regarding anaphylaxis and oral medication from my children's school board.
On a funny note, regarding migraines .... I read a magazine in the doctor's office today, while waiting for my son's peanut/nut skin test that if you have 20 minutes of sex just when a migraine is starting that it should help you rid the migraine!!! I think it also said that for a man that 20 minutes of sex will burn the same amount of calories as a round of golf!!
something to think of the next time you have a migraine!!

Posted on: Thu, 09/18/2003 - 12:37pm
solarflare's picture
Joined: 02/07/2002 - 09:00

We're having a problem with Jason's grade school about the food on the playground issue. The principal refuses to make the playground a food free area because there are sports teams that use the facility after school hours.
You might want to bring up the issue of eating on the playground as a choking hazard, not to mention it's downright unsanitary. The choking could be a biggie just because the playground isn't properly supervised.
Cheryl, mom to Jason (6 PA/TA/other FAs and EAs),Joey (4 NKA) and Allison (11/02 dairy sensitive)


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