xmas anxiety

Posted on: Wed, 12/22/1999 - 2:54am
rscollo2's picture
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Joined: 11/11/1999 - 09:00

I am the pa mom of a two year old, I ordered the book reccommended How to care for a child with severe food allergies, and the more I read the more anxious I seem to get. I am dreading xmas and having to visit family members houses (tis the season for everything to be baked with nuts) and having my son put something in his mouth from the floor (Ive told him not to a million times). I find this site very helpful to gather information but I can't seem to get rid of this ever increasing dread I feel whenever I leave my "safe house". Does anyone feel this way? and how can I get my life back in order?!

Posted on: Wed, 12/22/1999 - 3:45am
Christine's picture
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Joined: 02/03/1999 - 09:00

When we first discovered that my son had the PA, I felt very much the same as you--frustrated, worried. Especially with a very young child, it is so hard to go to a family gathering, enjoy yourself, and keep your eye on your child. You feel like you can't let the relatives go off with him/her and enjoy the child because you never know when one of them might try to stuff a cookie in the child's mouth. Then you end of feeling like some ogre all the time because your constantly saying "he can't eat this, don't give him that" etc., etc. And I have gotten the LOOKS from people like "geez, will she shut up already." For people that I was REALLY close with, I asked them to please not have any nuts out and about on the tables, etc. Most young children don't eat too much variety anyway so it was easy enough to find some plain food, just had to stay away from the goodies. Now that my son is older (he just turned 5 yesterday), I don't feel so stressed. He knows now that he is to question everything he eats (and he does to the point of driving me crazy sometimes)!! I also know that he won't pick up stuff off the floor like a toddler will. You WILL get to that point soon. The next year or two will be tough until your child's maturity level grows. Hang in there and realize that it does get better!
Christine

Posted on: Wed, 12/22/1999 - 4:24pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Hang in there, it does get better.
My son is now 9 but back when he was a baby to age 3 he had a very restricted diet because we knew he is allergic to several foods but really didn't know the scope of his allergies. Be Thankful that you have that info. I had my son bring anything that he thought might go in his mouth to me first to check- once I had him spit a candy out that could have had nut in it. If he couldn't have at I gave more of what he could have. He is now a hard "negotator".
At a early age I had him "help" me shop. He soon learned that certain foods were OK and others looking much the same are not. What else is he allergic to? I hope not very many foods.
My son has been restricted at one time or another from milk, PEANUT,TREE NUTS, EGGS, wheat, soy protein,SESAME SEEDS,
oranges, PEACHES, STRAWBERRIES, white potato, chicken and SHELLFISH. The ones all cap are still restricted and hopefully he may outgrow the fruits and the eggs. Teaching responsiblility in small steps is important. One friend actually safety pinned a "DO NOT FEED" on back of her toddler with allergies so it would remind friends and family of the allergies. It's important to educate extended family as some likely don't believe the life- threatening seriousness of this- My Mom didn't at first and now wants to attend the next foood allergy conference I attend.
For now you may have to be firm that you give appproval for son's food. I usually prepare much of my son's foods while visiting my folks- I bring my son's waffle iron for egg-free, nut free waffles and his ice cream machine. Of course I pack stash of foods he likes and are safe foods.
I hope this helps calm you and give you ideas of how it is "do-able".
Have a wonderful Christmas.
JanB.

Posted on: Wed, 12/22/1999 - 11:56pm
rilira's picture
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Joined: 11/11/1999 - 09:00

We are preparing for our holiday trip to my in laws. First event to tackle- the plane ride.Our flight is doing a pretzel promotion so I feel fairly secure. My in laws are big big nut eaters. We laid down the law this year that there could be absolutely no nut products in their home if they wanted us to come.I am baking all munchies like cookies, snacks etc... so I know they are safe. We are arriving late Christmas Eve so we can put our daughter straight to bed and I can check the kitchen, bathroom soaps and lotions. They are also big pet people so i must check the animal food. I find if i make a list of areas to check it is really a simple process. I over and over emphasis to everyone that it is my daughters life we are talking about. The one line that seems to work is " I am sure you won't want to eat that cookie(or whatever) when you realize it could kill my daughter." It takes the pleasure right out of it for them and makes them stop and think. It might not be a nice thing to say but I don't care when it comes to protecting my daughters life.
i think the initial impact of a lot of information is scary(like the book).I think we need to give our minds time to digest the material and realize ok now what can I do with all this information. The best way to protect ourselves and our children is with education.We are in a unique position that with education and vigilance we are really in charge of the allergy. We need to control the allergy and not let it control us.

Posted on: Thu, 12/23/1999 - 11:30pm
Hope's picture
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Joined: 07/29/1999 - 09:00

Seasons Greetings Everyone!
My PA daughter is 3 and with two exceptions my relatives think I am overreacting to 'this peanut thing'!
My answer to the Christmas holidays?...until she is older and able to better defend herself from well meaning relatives who want to feed her, we host the party, have lots of peanut free goodies and don't have to leave our safe house.
It has worked well for us because my non PA daughters birthday is Christmas eve (today!!!) and we have a kind of combinded Christmas and birthday big celebration.
Of course we can't avoid going out altogether during the holidays, but this is my subtle way of getting together with my family in a way I can enjoy too, without having to constantly worry.
(by the way I gratefully decline any offers to 'bring something'...It is more work, but I make it all myself, then I can be sure it is safe)
I hope you all have safe and happy holidays and all the best to you in the New Year....
Hope

Posted on: Fri, 12/24/1999 - 1:32pm
Chris PeanutAllergy Com's picture
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Joined: 04/25/2001 - 09:00

Happy Birthday!
We just had all of our immediate family over for a Christmas Eve party also! Many of us find this is a good answer to help bring more enjoyment and less stress to such celebrations. Yes, We do end up doing a lot more work preparing the food and the house etc., but it is worth it to make the event much more enjoyable (and safe). We do go to parties held by others also, but it is a much more relaxing feeling when we hold the party and know what is in the food, so we do not have to worry as much.
The good thing is that more and more relatives and friends learn how serious this allergy is as time goes by and they are exposed to it, be sure to keep educating them and sending them materials and information. Seeing and hearing what we (all) have to do to keep our children and ourselves safe brings them awareness and helps to educate them as well. At your parties you can bring up in conversations some of the experiences you have had or heard about which you have learned from. You can explain what you have to do on a daily basis to stay safe or what you needed to do to be sure the food was safe for your party etc.
Many opportunities present themselves which you can use to educate others, use them wisely and carefully!
Have a great holiday season!
Talk to you soon.
------------------
Stay Safe,
[email]"Chris@PeanutAllergy.Com"[/email]

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