Survived 1st day at new school! - Peanut Allergy Information

Survived 1st day at new school!

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We made it! Today was DD's first day of summer school for kindergarten. I have been sooo busy getting documentation together, meeting with the school, and getting all of her supplies that I didn't really get a chance to be nervous until this weekend. Boy was I a mess on the inside! This morning I knew I had done all I could and just hope all went well and DD had a good day. Of course it wasn't until I saw her face at the end of the day did I finally know it was all okay. Only the rest of you dealing with this understand the feeling of relief and happiness that I felt. I was able to keep the tears back then, but I'm not so sure right now.... :)

I tried to talk to a family member last night about everything I've had to do and my concerns. There was a comment to the effect that my anxiety was making DD more anxious as well. I blew up! Yes, I think about everything and research everything I can, but I am also VERY aware not to make DD know my anxieties!!! Of course I inform her of some of my concerns and educate her on what to expect/do - but only to the degree that is necessary to make her understand. This is her life we are talking about....and I shouldn't be anxious? ARGHHH!

My work did pay off, though. Her classroom is peanut free. The teachers spoke with the parents upon entering the room, and about 6 had to take their kids' sandwiches home. I wish the school would have communicated this before today, but as I said, I did everything I could. A no nonsense letter was sent home from the school nurse, as well as a letter developed by DD's teachers regarding the no peanut policy. I did provide a list of snack ideas, which I didn't really want to do, but I think it will help. All of this was sent home today. We are agreeing to the PN free table, although it's not my preference. At this point I just want to keep DD safe. I talked to the class today about PN allergies, and I think it went okay. DD said I did fine! :)

Thanks to all of you who have helped my other posts about getting ready for this change. We still have some work ahead for fall, and this summer will likely be a work in progress also. But at least one day is done without incident. Tonight I can relax and be at peace, and tomorrow doesn't seem so bad.

On Jun 17, 2008

I'm happy for you that the first day went well and it sounds like you have done a great job of making the situation as safe as possible.

I can relate to what you are saying about the family member's comment - I get that all the time. My family and friends still really don't understand. They comply with our requests usually (i.e., don't eat PB around my dd), but I know that they think I make a bigger deal of it than necessary. I get little cutting remarks sometimes, eye rolls, etc. They think I am over-reacting.

But they'll just all have to deal with it because this is the way it must be. As you said, we are talking about life and death here. I almost lost my daughter once to this thing, and there's no way I'm backing down. The world can scoff, but I'll protect her tooth and nail for the rest of my life.

I'm just glad that I have my cyber-allergy-friends that understand. ;-)

On Jun 17, 2008

Thanks poodles02! It's nice to get validation from others since most people IRL don't get it. Looking back, we've had 2 very serious reactions (pre epipen/official diagnosis), and looking back I feel we were so very lucky. Life and death...that is what it is all about.

I feel I should add something about the snack list since there is also a post about comfort zones. We don't have "may contains" or "made on equipment/in facility" as we know to the best of our knowledge. I felt my comfort zone was pretty tight before, but it's more so now after researching manufacturers. I checked major manufacturer websites and emailed them directly for their general and cross-contamination labeling procedures. I only provided suggestions for items from specific brands, rather than store labels since many don't label well for x-con. I also added some basic instructions for label reading and simple explanation of x-con. I wanted to try to help parents who don't understand all the restrictions and rationale. Now if another PA parent felt the restrictions should be tighter, I would be happy to work with that parent to understand why and make adjustments as necessary. Not so much if a PA parent wanted it loosened!

The only thing I'm nervous about is that many of the items that are actually "safe" we don't buy. We're not a big prepackaged cookie/snack family. Last time at the store I bought a few of the items so I could at least introduce them to DD before she gets them at school. She will likely decline foods she hasn't had and not feel safe eating them since I'm not there to okay in person. She even asks me if I've read the label! Because of this, I'm considering a stash of snacks for her that she is familiar with to alleviate her concerns. I imagine others here feel the same way about introducing new foods...I want to see them eaten and make sure there are no problems.