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Posted on: Tue, 07/24/2007 - 8:00am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

The water bottle thing is making me chuckle a bit. This may have much less to do with food allergy than you think!
I am just plain [i]grossed out[/i] by sharing drinks with ANYONE. Even my DH or DD. I carry my own water bottle around with me constantly.... and even when DH asks (because [i]HE[/i] of course, sees nothing wrong with it, as you don't...) I hesitate. I mean-- EW. It's just how I feel. I'd be more tactful about it and use FA as my 'reasoning'.... heck, I probably HAVE. But for me, it is just that it grosses me out.
And I think you can rest assured that you didn't "cause" this 'paranoia' in your child by being careful. I think maybe she is exerting control over something that she probably (and rightly) sees as being a thing that 'controls her'-- she's just turning the tables a bit.
I mean, if she's afraid of things like fruits and vegetables from a known source like your usual grocery store.... hmm. THAT might be concerning. But the things you've described don't seem that 'out there' to me. She's trying them out with [i]you[/i] before she has to use them with friends, maybe.
Does she know that it is possible to [i]become[/i] contact sensitive? Or is this mostly in the realm of the imagination for her? Does she have any recollection of reactions, or was she too young to really recall those? (Just thinking that this could be fear of the unknown.)
Is she losing weight? I didn't notice if you said-- just that she was at a healthy weight, maybe a little on the thin side.

Posted on: Tue, 07/24/2007 - 8:17am
McCobbre's picture
Joined: 04/16/2005 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Carefulmom:
[b] Restaurants ARE risky even if only pa. There are so many fatalaties occuring in restaurants where people previously ate safely. Didn`t McCobbre have a reaction requiring epi in a restaurant where she had eaten the same item many times? I think it was a shellfish reaction, but the same thing can happen with pa. Even if dd were only pa, she would be doing the same things as Gwen 5`s dd is doing.[/b]
Affirming. It's a restaurant I've had to freqent alot for work. I had the same thing, using the same language on Thursday (while eating with folks who worked for that restaurant, BTW) that I did two days prior. But on Thursday, the chef just happened to use contaminated tongs even though cooking in a clean pan (every blessed special at this place has shrimp on it--just difficult to dodge where I live).
I'm still scared to eat there. What do I get? The fruit plate (comes with mango sherbet--dang I have to eat that first for lunch).
Point is--there is no restaurant w/o risk IMO.
That said, and I've said it often, I do think it's easier to eat out with PA than other allergies (like shellfish or egg or especially milk). And we haven't stopped eating out.
I've got to say, too, I'm glad my DS shies away from drinking after folks. And he won't eat anything that someone other than DH or me touches or if they've touched his utensil, thank goodness (drives other folks crazy--don't care).

Posted on: Tue, 07/24/2007 - 8:41am
booandbrimom's picture
Joined: 08/23/2000 - 09:00

Knowledge is power.
I think you talk her through each instance as it comes up, and you share with her the reasoning you use as an adult to feel safe about each situation you consider safe.
For example, you say "when we go to a restaurant, I use a chef card and I ask for the manager. I pick dishes for you that have a reasonable certainty of not containing peanuts. I visually check them. We eat at the same places to help ensure consistency..." etc. etc. And, most important, "if a reaction happens, we know what to do and you will be safe."
That way, she both learns how to do all this herself and she feels some control over the fear. If she still can't bring herself to eat the food at a restaurant, maybe you do give her some time to adjust to the idea of eating out as others have suggested.
If she's not eating enough or losing weight, I do think you need a therapist. My mother's partner specializes in fears related to food allergies, but we're in Chicago. Try calling your local hospital or mental health clinic and see if they can recommend someone in your area who has some experience with food allergies.
I don't think you need Lisa C. Collins. I personally was very unimpressed with her when I saw her speak at a food allergy conference. There was a Q&A session with the audience, and she really didn't seem able to answer any of the questions that were being asked. I got the impression that she wrote a book 15 years ago when this was all new to capitalize on the profits.

Posted on: Tue, 07/24/2007 - 5:06pm
PinkPoodle's picture
Joined: 06/12/2007 - 09:00

My DD is almost 6. She is very rigid when it comes to anyone eating off her utensils, cups, sharing water bottles, etc. This applies to family members. I've never thought it was strange. I wouldn't be comfortable drinking from her water bottle just in case I did have something (maybe from makeup, lotion, lipstick, food earlier etc.)--I read labels of all of the above, but I'm not as "tight" with myself as I am with her. At a very early age we teach our food allergic children not share food/drinks. I was thrilled to see my daughter even apply it to her father. She insisted on a new fork after he took a bite off hers.
Restaurants can be tricky. Has she heard any stories of fatalities related to food allergies/restaurants? I'm always more cautious after hearing about reactions. My daughter is still so young that I don't share those stories with her, but at some point, she'll be old enough and hear them (and hopefully learn from them).
If she's maintaining her weight and not starting ritualistic behaviors, then I wouldn't worry too much about it. You could check with her pediatrician if you are really concerned about the direction this is going.
I've read a lot of posts on this board about 9 & 10 yr olds starting to show increasing anxiety regarding their food allergies. 9 & 10 yr olds without food allergies also show increased anxiety around this age.
Keep us updated of how things are going!

Posted on: Wed, 07/25/2007 - 12:59am
Carefulmom's picture
Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

I think you should ask your allergist about the water bottle. To me it is "universal precautions" to not share a water bottle with dd. Since I don`t read the ingredients of everything I eat, to me there is a risk to dd if we share. I don`t eat obvious peanuts, but how do I know that Lean Cuisine I ate for lunch wasn`t a may contain. I didn`t read the ingredients. I`d ask the allergist about the water bottle and go from there.

Posted on: Wed, 07/25/2007 - 1:39am
Naturemom's picture
Joined: 09/30/2004 - 09:00

I have to say that those situations are just normal life for us. DS (10 1/2) has mfa, but if he was just pa I think that most would remain the same. But, there is no anxiety regarding it; he does most everything else (just some things a bit differently). I think that if she is anxious or not eating safe foods, then I would try to do something to help with that.
DS doesn't drink from any water bottle but his own and nobody may drink from his, but neither does his 13 year old brother (his choice - he just thinks that it is disgusting). Anyway, we just put an initial on the cap or name on the bottle with a permanent marker.

Posted on: Thu, 07/26/2007 - 1:53pm
SFMom's picture
Joined: 11/27/2006 - 09:00

I can empathize with you. My youngest DD, who is now 11, did the same thing when she was that age. For about 4 months, she was terrified to eat anywhere but home. Even when we went to restaurants we had gone to many times and ordered food she had eaten before. She would shake and cry -- it was awful.
I think it's a developmental thing. I've read about other kids who go through something similar at around ages 9 or 10. At that age, perhaps they suddenly develop the ability to really fully understand about their own mortality and unfortunately an allergy like this can be scarier than any horror movie they've ever seen, or any monster they think is hiding in their closet. They realize how little control they have as children. As parents, it's our job to try to empower them as best we can.
We were very patient with her and worked with her to get her over her fear. She took control of her Epi-pens, always making sure they were attached to her belt (previously I just had them in my purse for her when we went out as a family). I talked with her teachers and explained what was going on so they could also help her through it at school. SHE began to speak out at restaurants, asking waiters about what was in the food. She began reading food labels all the time. We taught her to take as much control as she felt she needed to take.
It took a few months, but then she began to relax. Now she looks back on that time and says, "Yeah, I was really scared about eating for a while." She is a very responsible girl and an avid food label reader and NEVER forgets to ask the right questions at restaurants.
It's really awful that kids this young have to go through this type of stress. But with a lot of understanding and a LOT of talking it through, they can feel better and more in-control of things.
If you feel that the situation is getting too out-of-hand, you may want to consider taking your child to a therapist for a few sessions. Or just try your best to have a bunch of heart-to-heart talks with her yourself about her feelings and fears.
[This message has been edited by SFMom (edited July 27, 2007).]

Posted on: Mon, 07/30/2007 - 5:45am
Melrose Mum's picture
Joined: 01/23/2002 - 09:00

I hope everything is going okay for you all right now. My DD went kinda off the deep end last fall and almost had to go into hospital. She dropped about 10% of her body weight, we had to tranquilize and force/spoon feed her orzo for a while.....it was a nightmare.
McCobbre posted a link above to my old post ... anyway, we got her into a therapist, she got some medication, and the good news is that things are almost normal now. It breaks my heart that you might be heading down the same path but you must know...THIS IS NOT UNHEARD OF, in fact, developmentally it's just about right - some kids just 'get it' a bit harder than others.
You are not alone. Things will be alright. You can contact me off boards if you think I can help.

Posted on: Sun, 08/12/2007 - 1:15am
booandbrimom's picture
Joined: 08/23/2000 - 09:00

Reraising for Mama.

Posted on: Sun, 08/12/2007 - 12:42pm
Mama's picture
Joined: 05/12/2004 - 09:00

Thank you booandbrimom. I must have missed this thread when it was started, or thought it did not apply to DS.
I sure can relate.


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