so frustrated


I was at a birthday party over the weekend for my first grader, non pa. While there, one of the moms in the class casually mentioned that her son, who has been in my sons class all year, has a peanut allergy. Hello..... how come no one ever mentioned it? Upon questioning her, she said that they don't really like to make a big deal about it and that her son knows what he can and can't eat. This is soooo frustrating to me because then people will say to me " Oh, so and so has a peanut allergy and it is no big deal. Why do you make such a fuss about it?" There was also a mother there who says," I can't eat nuts either. My throat gets all closed off and my chest gets tight." Do you carry an epipen I ask? No, I don't feel like I need one is the reply.

The next day, my husband tells me that a friend of ours 9 year old son has just been diognosed with PA. I call her to offer my support. Oh, it's no big deal she says. He's had it for a long time. We just never took him to the doctor.If he eats something with a nut in it, he just says "yuck" and spits it out.

What is wrong with these people? They make it very difficult for someone like me with a 5 year old dd who has PA, TNA and Sesame allergy to get people to take us seriously.I have run across many of these situation in the past five years since my dd was diognosed. It make me furious. Does anyone else find this to be infuriating? Denise

On May 19, 2003

Yep, it drives me nuts. Let me know if you ever figure out how to get through to these people.

On May 19, 2003

It makes me a little nervous for other people, but it doesn't make me mad. I'm aware of others who don't take the allergy as seriously as I do, but it doesn't bother me. I've often noticed that I do everything right and other people are all screwed up!!!

Although I do believe peanut allergy is serious and can be deadly, I also know there are many people who take it pretty lightly and never seem to have problems. My husband works with a guy who is PA and he eats Chinese and Thai food. My husband was on a flight with him and the guy was eating mixed nuts! On a plane! He is in his 50s and he's obviously not going to change now.

Nobody has ever asked me why my son has a 504 and a peanut-free lunch table while the other PA kids in the school eat "may contains" and don't even have epipens. If someone asked me, I'd say I don't know why.

But if I'm brutally honest, I'd have to say any teacher or administrator at the school could take one look at the families involved and know instantly who is handling it responsibly. I am absolutely confident about how I'm handling my son's allergy and I would never be drawn into a debate about what another family is doing. The fact that other families may be less knowledgeable doesn't affect me at all.

Also, I'm kind of a middle-of-the-road type myself. If another family came to our school and had one of those mile-long 504s and tried to get me to sign on to all their restrictions, I wouldn't be interested. Maybe they'd see me as too lax. Even on this board, among people who are all educated about the allergy, there are some big differences of opinion.

I just think nobody should be overly concerned about how others are (or are not) managing their food allergies, because it's irrelevant. The important thing is for each of us to be firm in standing up for what our own child needs.

On May 19, 2003

I agree that it should not matter what other people are doing. We are not making their decisions or responsible for their kids. It does kinda make your jaw drop when having such a conversation. I just had one the other day.

And, in a way, it does make it harder because people who are around them get the idea that nut allergies (or other food allergies) are no big deal. Don't eat the nuts, and nothing else is a big deal. Then you come along and a lot more stuff is important, and it is harder for them to "get it".

On May 20, 2003

Sandra Y, I loved your quote, " I've often noticed that I do everything right and other people are all screwed up!!!" It made me chuckle.

Seriously, people all have their own way of doing everything. Many times, and not pa related at all, their children are permitted to do things that I would consider dangerous (crossing busy streets alone at a young age, walking to school alone in Kindergarten, sitting in the front seat of a car, jumping off rooves, toddlers running around with mouths stuffed with food, etc., etc.) Even within our group here, many different ways of raising children (relating to pa).

Just do what you know is best for your child and your family.

Take care, Andrea

On May 20, 2003

The problem is education. And, this issue does bother me because I have had my dd's preschool teacher comment to me about another family in her afternoon class who is less vigilant. She does honor my rules, but continuously pushes the edge, with all her food crafts and such. It was just last Friday, I found what I feel are acceptable gummy worms for a craft. She *had* to comment that she would use the other ones she got for the afternoon classe where the other PA child is allowed more foods. She went on to say they allow the local store brand cupcakes, most candies, basically anything without peanuts on the label. I made a bit of a concerned look and said I hope that child does not end up reacting to something, and perhaps they are not aware of the risks. She went on to say they do know, but it is not a sensetive an allergy as my dd's and *even the doctor* said it was hardly anything, or some such comment.

This does trouble me. Either the child has PA or she does not. I feel concerned that there is a mixed message in the educational community who has our children and may pass their own judgement based on anecdotal cases where some kids do eat more stuff.

At the same time, on a personal level, in my own head, I honestly take some comfort in hearing of these kids/adults who have loose comfort zones and do not react. Perhaps there are truly some people who will never suffer anaphylaxis, but as far as I know, there is currently no way to know who will or won't and the incidence is relatively high, compared with other anaphylactic risks.


[This message has been edited by becca (edited May 20, 2003).]

On May 20, 2003

I think it's frustrating also! The principal at my dd's school has a wife that is lactose intolerance, so he really doesn't get it, he just thinks maybe some gas, diarreah.....P*sses me off! Especially frustrating with people that say they are allergic, yet aren't careful at all. My mil just the other day said she can't eat peanut butter anymore, but I've seen her eat many products with peanut in it.....makes no sense. I was talking with her about the little boy on the field trip that died, my sil was there also, my sil got up to go get some lunch and came back with a p.b. and fluff sandwich, it's all I could smell and I had my pa daughter with me so we immediately left! I thought, how RUDE, but I was lucky my dd didn't react to it. Tamie

On May 20, 2003

I agree with Sandra W, that we can not really expect others to have the same comfort zones as ourselves. I sometimes see people with PA doing/eating stuff I

On May 20, 2003

Count me in amongst those who are annoyed when people don't seem to take their own kids' pa seriously. I do fear for the kids and I also agree that it sends a very unfortunate message to teachers, other parents, etc. I've had the same experience of trying to offer my support when a child is newly diagnosed and then basically being brushed off by the parents. My comfort zone is pretty middle of the road, as is Sandra Y's. Our 504 accomodations are fairly mild - IMHO - too. Yet, this is an issue that really gets under my skin. Miriam

On May 20, 2003

Did you all see the film "Jaws" at least once?

We've seen it hundreds of times and there is one line from Richard Dreyfuss that goes something like this....

"These people are going to ignore this particular problem (Big shark) until it comes up and bites them in the a**."

Unfortunately a big peanut reaction will be more than a shark bite on the a**.

As long as your child understands his/her rules are different and they come from your education and love you'll be fine. Sounds to me like you are doing exactly the right thing.


On May 20, 2003

Everyone deals with situations like this differently. It comforts some people to have a positive outlook on their child's PA, other people are comforted by downplaying it and then others are comforted by telling people how bad it is. It's really doesn't bother me one way or another how other people handle their children's PA~whatever brings them peace of mind. I have my own unique way of dealing with it too.

I also know that everyone isn't going to truly "get it" when it comes to PA, how can I expect that though? It's a very complex issue. I am learning new things every day myself and I definately didn't "get it" until my son was diagnosed.

A friend of mine works at a school and knows several parents with PA children that have totally unique and different ways of dealing with their childs PA and from her observation she says it's the more easy going parents that are taken seriously and they are the ones that the staff are more willing to listen to and work with. I thought that was a very interesting observation. She also added that there are a few parents that the entire staff want to hide from when they see them walk through the door. I personally don't want to be one of those parents that people want to hide from. How am I going to get anything done for Carson if everyone is hiding from me? [img][/img]

Take Care, Amy

On May 20, 2003

Amy great point about not being one of those parents that the school admin hides from. We have to stay involved w/o being annoying.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the severity of PA differs from person to person and that is why we all had a RAST test done. Only after finding out that my 22 mo old dd is a 5 on RAST, did I learn that my older sister is allergic to peanuts also. I'm 32 and never knew that. She was a 2 or 3 on her RAST and has the leisure of going through life and just picking out peanuts with no problems. If someone wants to argue that we're over-reacting when compared to another PA parent, I'd inquire about the severity of their child's allergy. Not to mention that reactions get worse with each one.

How do we educate even our close friends and family though that 'don't get it'? My parents and in-laws are the hardest b/c this is something new to our kids generation that they never had to deal with

On May 20, 2003

Thanks to all for your replies. I think that we have a moderate comfort level with her allergies. However, when there are 6 kids in the school with PA, and five of them don't care if there is a peanut free table, it makes it difficult for me to make the school administration listen to me say that my dd needs one. They think I'm overreacting. Certainly everone deals with this allergy differently. I have no problem with that. I just wish that the PA parents all stood together so that we could help to educate the general public. I for one am sick of people asking me if my daughters PA is the "bad kind?" Can someone tell me what the good kind is? I have always been told that PA is PA, no matter the rast number.