Would we have given up nuts if our family wasn\'t allergic???

Posted on: Wed, 06/06/2001 - 5:32am
Claire's picture
Joined: 04/19/2000 - 09:00

Hi,so many of us seem to have the same problem with people "not Getting it". What I am concerned about is this. How many of us would have given up a certain food because someone in our area has an allergy? This is not a question directed to any certain person nor is it meant it an bad way. I am jsut wondering because I know that I had heard about milk allergies,egg allergies and shellfish allergies all my life,but enjoyed some of those foods without a care about those people that have or had the allergy. I certainly did not wish death upon any of those people,but I had no reason to listen nor care about what food we ate. My own brother is shellfish allergy,and My husband and son love lobster and most seafood. Sometimes I think that because we know about the allergy to nuts we expect the whole world to get it and they are really in the same boat that we were in at one time. I certainly can not hate a child eating peanuts in the shopping plaza because of innocense can I?? How many people go into a restaurant and are not even aware of our childrens allergy. Probably no one there. I just wish we could educate without so much anger. Christopher actually gets mad at me when I will make a deal out of someone eating nuts. I love chocolate and I bet there are kids in the mall very allergic to that and I am not aware.I guess what I am wondering is how to educate without anger in us?? There is so much anger in our world today and I just wish I could peacefully tell people,but I am like many of you I get angry also. I saw a gentleman eating a snickers bar at the park last week and got all tense. Christopher wasn't even with me. Now I think boy what a jerk I was he didn't even know me or Christopher. There were many days I would buy a delicious snicker bar and enjoy. Maybe it is a fear factor,but I wish I was a little better with understanding people as well. good day claire

Posted on: Wed, 06/06/2001 - 6:02am
mom2two's picture
Joined: 06/09/2000 - 09:00

I don't expect people to give up eating nuts because of my daughter's allergies. I DO expect them to respect her health and her life by not eating them around her, when they are made aware of the situation. I get angry when people refuse to do this. I don't get angry when people on the street or in restaurants eat nut products. I do get angry if they tell me there is no nuts when there are or they seem bothered to even check.
Maybe I misunderstood your post?
I am extremely allergic to sulfa drugs but of course would not expect it to be pulled off the market due to my allergies. (not really a good example)

Posted on: Wed, 06/06/2001 - 6:37am
DMB's picture
Joined: 02/22/2001 - 09:00

Hi Claire,
I don't know if I would say that I get angry as much as I get annoyed with people who eat these things in public places and then leave a mess.
An example, a couple of days ago, I was shopping at Wal-Mart with both of my sons (since preschool is done I have to once again take both of them with me--I had forgotten how fun that was.) [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img] Anyway, it seemed that everywhere we went we kept running into this lady with her very grumpy toddler who was eating something different in the cart every time we saw them. Obviously, the mother was trying to get the little girl to behave by distracting her with all these different foods. I just knew that one of the foods was eventually going to contain peanut butter.
Needless to say, when we went to check-out guess who we got in line behind?? This time the little girl was eating those little pre-packaged crackers and pb. She was just smearing it everywhere. And then I wonder why my son has gotten hives from shopping trips. I'm so glad that he's older now and I don't have to make him stay in the cart.
So what I'm getting at is that it annoys me that food has to be everywhere. I know that everyone has the right to eat when and where they want, but please have the courtesy to not make such a big mess and/or clean up the mess when they're done. I know we've all talked about candybar wrappers laying on the ground and I have found them numerous times in shopping carts. Why is it so hard to just throw them in a garbage can?
And to answer your original question, I would give up peanuts/nuts if someone in my extended family had a life-threatening allergy to them and they spent a great deal of time in my home. Also, if one of my children had a good friend who was severely allergic and spent a lot of time at our house, then I would probably give them up. But if it was just someone at school or in our neighborhood who we really didn't associate with, then no we wouldn't give them up--but I would adhere to special rules put in place if they went to the same school as my children.

Posted on: Wed, 06/06/2001 - 6:48am
Claire's picture
Joined: 04/19/2000 - 09:00

DMB, perfect post for you and the others. That is exactly what i was wondering about. Yes I would give it up in the same situations as you. Of course my family completly got rid of all food Christopher was allergic to,but why do I get mad at people that don't even know is what I think I just can not get over. When I see a child in a shopping cart eating I also start getting a bit nervous because what if my son touched it. then I need to realize they don't even know my son. Thank you for all of the posts and understanding what I was asking because I am not always good with words coming out the way I wish. claire

Posted on: Wed, 06/06/2001 - 11:57am
mom2two's picture
Joined: 06/09/2000 - 09:00

you know claire, now that i think about it, i can see what you mean by "anger". Anger for me usually stems from fear, and of course what is our biggest fear? Our children's safety. So I think its quite natural to get fearful when we see others who are unaware of our child's allergy eating/using peanut products. Maybe its not anger that you are feeling, just fear, I know I get the two emotions mixed up at times. Either way, you seem to have a good understanding of your emotions and that is 99% of the game, I think!

Posted on: Wed, 06/06/2001 - 9:55pm
KatiesMom's picture
Joined: 03/01/2000 - 09:00

Before we knew about my daughter's allergy, my son's preschool had to become peanut free to accomodate someone else. At the time I knew nothing about the allergy and how serious it was. Even though I didn't know how serious it was I still respected it and never felt 'angry' that my child was being denied nuts at school (my son loves peanut butter). So I've been on both sides, having a ban put on by someone else, and requesting a ban for my daughter.
I also get the irrational anger when I'm walking in a mall and see someone with a nut type candy bar. I know they have every right to eat it but I still get a moment of anger when I see it.

Posted on: Wed, 06/06/2001 - 11:55pm
Claire's picture
Joined: 04/19/2000 - 09:00

Thank you for all of this input. I am realizing that I am within the norm with this anger I get. I guess it is fear. My brother that has the shellfish allergy is not married so obviously no children to deal with. He has banned nuts at his home out of fear. He said this to me one day"I can not even eat peanut butter because i think of Christopher not breathing as soon as I look at it". I consider him a wonderful Uncle in the fact that he thinks of him and does so out of love. We call him the Uncle from He** because he teaches the kids everything parents don't want the kids to learn. Well I am so glad to meet you people that get the same anger as I. Thank you Claire

Posted on: Thu, 06/07/2001 - 2:39am
Kim M's picture
Joined: 06/09/2001 - 09:00

It's interesting that Mom2Two keyed in on anger coming from fear. I remember a guest speaker in a negotiation class in law school saying exactly that -- that most anger was the result of fear, and to keep that in mind when people got angry during negotiations. I also would give up nuts if a close family member or friend spent a lot of time at my house, but I think that one of the sources of our fear, and a difference between nut allergies and other food allergies (this is a generalization, of course), is that most other food allergies are ingestion allergies. Although I'm sure there are exceptions, you could eat shellfish in front of someone who was allergic without endangering their life. That is not the case in a large percentage of peanut allergies, which is why we are so fearful of(and angry about) other people eating them. I think the fact that peanut products are so ubiquitous with children, who are not known for being neat, makes it worse.

Posted on: Thu, 06/07/2001 - 11:39am
Yonit's picture
Joined: 06/24/2002 - 09:00

I think the anger-fear connection is valid. I also wonder, though, if the anger (which I, too, feel when faced with nut-eaters) is also anger about our situation. At times I feel angry that I have to deal with this allergy at all. I feel angry that my son has to be faced with this. I feel angry that we can't ever feel CARE-FREE about any social situation or daily event (like going to the mall or park) that may put us into contact with food. I feel angry that those people eating the food with nuts don't have to worry about a life-threatening reaction to something enjoyable. And so on and so on.
Then I have to remind myself that some of those people may have other problems or medical conditions which can't be "seen" which may make them just as angry or fearful or envious. I remind myself that despite all my worries about my son's PA, I have so much to be thankful for, too.
Just some food for thought - no pun intended.

Posted on: Thu, 06/07/2001 - 8:02pm
Claire's picture
Joined: 04/19/2000 - 09:00

yonit, I get really angry when I try and teach a person about the allergy and they act as if I have not said one word. Sometimes I will be telling a person about it and they will say something that has nothing to do with what I was talking about. For instance"I have a headache today". It just starts to get so annoying and I start to feel very angry. I know that because of this allergy I feel I am a stronger person than I may have been if not faced with any problems. I really feel that I am a better mother than I may have been. I think i learned the importance of a childs good diet and tended to lean on a healthier menu with Christopher because there are not as many vegitables,and fruits to stay away from as there is candy and junk food. Well I better get going. Have a good day. claire

Posted on: Fri, 06/22/2001 - 8:41am
momomom's picture
Joined: 06/22/2001 - 09:00

A little over a month ago, my 13 month old son was declared to be severly allergic to peanuts! This is, of course, a life threatening allergy! In addition to peanuts, he has to avoid all vegetables except potatoes and cucumbers. He has to avoid dairy, beans, pork, turkey, eggs, and fish, soy and all other grains except BUCKWHEAT! He is part Japanese and can't even have RICE. All meals create much stress for me as my 2 1/2 yr old daughter also has severe food allergies but none so severe as my baby son's allergies.
I stay in a constant panic! I can't even relax unless we are at home and only if I am in charge of feeding him do I feel safe. I have been trying to educate myself as much as possible. Even the nursery won't take him unless I will be in the building at all times during church. I fear when he should have to go to school or i.e. "family get-togethers." He is one of 24 grandchildren and all of the relatives are aware of his situation. I think some of them think I am being way too protective! One person even said "I would never do that to my kids (meaning having their allergies tested) because I want them to enjoy life!"
Tell me, if I had never discovered his peanut allergy....would he be enjoying life or not alive because of someday ingesting a peanut or coming into contact with traces of peanuts?"
I am doing what I am doing to protect him so that he can "enjoy life!" I had another person tell me that they could smear peanut butter all in my son's face and he wouldn't die! No one knows that but how threatened and angry I felt for someone to even think of such a malicious statement. I am not saying that they would smear it in his face but they just don't believe this is serious! That scares me!
I see others eating peanuts and no I can't feel mad at them for eating peanuts or peanut containing foods but I do get very frustrated and high strung to see someone who knows about his peanut allergy and be so careless around him and eat peanut foods around him. Why would anyone even want to take that chance knowing how serious his allergy is to peanuts? I had a nephew of mine who is a teenager who didn't even think the other day while eating a Reeses peanut butter candy bar and was on his way to bend down and give my baby son a kiss on the face. I had to discreetly and lovingly remind him of his allergy. Of course, apologetically he stood up and said, "Oh, that's right!" Two minutes later another kid came by and was eating the same kind of candy bar and was getting ready to give my son a high five. I know the residue of the candy bar was on his hand because I had just seen him licking his fingers. I had to say something (feeling really terrible to have to say something) when I shouldn't feel terrible." This kid didn't even know my about my son's allergy and was just being friendly.
At a birthday party, someone who knew about my son's allergy and is a relative brought a dessert with peanuts sprinkled all over the top. I politely asked her if she could display the dessert out of children's reach (personally, I really would have liked if she'd not put the peanuts on at all) but I was trying to be "cool" and not freak out. She argued with me and said it would be fine and then she went on an moved the dessert to a table only 3-4 inches taller. Every kid there could still reach the peanut dessert if they'd wanted to and so could have my baby son. Without mentioning anything else to her so that I wouldn't stir anything else up...I quietly moved the dessert to the back of the table in the center so only adults could reach it. She pouted about this for the rest of the party and still is pouting about it and is mad!
I understand your frustration! I suffer more stress than anyone about my son's allergy because I am with him all day long everyday. I just feel your frustration and just don't feel like there is enough awareness about the severity of the peanut allergy and other allergies. "I" wasn't even aware of the severity UNTIL my children were diagnosed as being HIGHLY allergic to so many foods. So, I can understand how people are just unaware of it's severity! I don't believe that the majority of people become aware until they know someone they care about who has specific food allergies. Then they make the choice to "help" or "live life as they want to regardless of how it affects-life or death--another." Although we wish that all others RESPECTED our concern and joined with us to help us keep our loved ones "safe and protected", I am learning to realize that unless others are educated (more than just by word of mouth or just by what they assume or think), we have a huge battle to fight! I only pray that God will help us to persevere and find more effective ways of bringing food allergies to others awareness in a loving, "won't you please help us" way! In my humaness, I do fear! I do stress about "the unknown, hidden or those who aren't aware or are aware and careless!" ...however, I know that God tells me not to fear! He will be my protector! My son's and daughter's protector! Your protector! God bless all of you! Until there is a cure.....God will help us to ENDURE!......momomom
God is greater than anything
we face! Including

Peanut Free Store

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