Posts tagged ‘food allergies’

A Lesson on Perspective

Today was decorate-the-gingerbread-houses-at-school-day. I volunteered to help with this because my girl was just a bit nervous about knowing which ingredients she could/could not have and after I went to the classroom and the mess of icing and candy pieces began to escalate, I was so glad I had gone. My girl was so excited to be elbow deep in bright colored candies and I was glad I could be there to monitor the situation. Thankfully, the decorating went off without a hitch and all the kiddos had a blast. I enjoyed being there with those kids who are all so very different from each other, but wonderful and special in their own ways. (Even though, I might have been dreading the mess!!) When I picked up my girls from school this afternoon, C had her gingerbread house in tow and she was greatly looking forward to getting home and eating some of that house. It seemed she had forgotten all about our little discussion about how it was not something she could eat because of the icing that contains egg whites. So, when I gently reminded her of that, there was a major emotional breakdown. This is really the first time she’s ever gotten so upset (outwardly) about her allergies. Mega tears were flowing in the backseat from the sheer disappointment of not being able to eat such a beautiful and visually appealing treat that she worked so hard on. I let her vent her frustration for a second and then asked her, “Does God make mistakes?” Of course, her answer was NO. And then I asked her, “Did he make a mistake by allowing you to have food allergies?” Her answer, at first, was yes and then we talked about how God cannot make a mistake – never has and never will. He allows everything in our lives for a reason….even things we don’t think are right for us. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that ALL THINGS work together for good to them that love God…according to His purpose.” Even a 6 year old can begin to understand that God knows what’s best for us and always has our best interest at heart. And while the tears were pouring and the sobbing was in full force, I sat there in the driver’s seat praying she will one day outgrow these allergies, but also wondering what else I could say to help her put this in perspective. Then, I pulled off my exit and sat at a red light where homeless people are almost always standing begging for money or food and I could see just enough under the bridge to see others taking shelter there. I pointed them out to my children and showed them what they had never noticed before. There are real people all around us who have no food or home. When put in perspective, food allergies seem so much less of a burden. The fact is, the focus doesn’t need to be on what we can’t have, but what we already have that, quite frankly, we don’t deserve. God has blessed us exceeding abundantly above all that we could ask for or imagine {Eph 3:20} and THAT is what we can be thankful for.

December 13, 2011 at 5:25 pm 1 comment

On the surface…

When I first found out about my daughter’s food allergies, I automatically assumed that those allergens would only affect her if she ingested them.  In some cases, that may be true for some people with food allergies, but not with others.   When my daughter was 18 months old (6 months after we found out about all of her allergies), my oldest daughter was having chocolate milk for breakfast.  We have taught her not to leave anything on the table when she is finished eating, but that day she forgot and left her cup on the table where my allergic daughter could reach it.  I was at the mall, my husband was home with my two girls and I remember the phone call vividly.  My husband called and said that my youngest had gotten ahold of the cup, which apparently still had some chocolate milk in it, and because she was shorter than the table she dumped the entire thing on herself – head to toe.  Immediately, hives broke out all over her body.  She was wearing layers of clothes and overalls, to beat!  It was winter.  So, the milk soaked into her clothing and since overalls are hard to take off quickly, her skin was exposed to it for several minutes.  While I was on the phone with my husband, he stripped her down, put her in the tub, gave her liquid Benadryl and was trying to help her calm down.  She was covered in hives – even to the bottom of her feet!  And anyone who has ever had hives knows how itchy they are.  She was scratching herself to pieces.  To our knowledge, she did not ingest any of the milk, but her throat did start swelling and she was coughing and choking, as well.  I immediately left the mall, stopped by Walgreen’s on the way home and bought some Benadryl cream.  As soon as I got home, I rubbed her entire body down with the creme and the hives started to disappear.  I had never seen such a sight!  It was very scary to me and alerted me to the fact that even her skin was allergic to these allergens.  Later that night, the hives returned to a lesser degree, but it’s just a reminder that allergic reactions can reappear even though you think the worst may be over.  Ever since that day, we only give my oldest daughter milk to drink when we are at the table with her, even though my other daughter is now old enough to know that she cannot touch anyone else’s cup or food at anytime.  Always be cautious!  (And as a side note, even when my daughter is kissed on the cheek after I’ve had a dairy product, she breaks out in a hive in that spot.  That is how sensitive her body is.)

So, I shared this with you in order to either remind you or make you aware of the effect allergens can have on those who are affected by them.  It’s not just eating allergens that causes serious problems…sometimes it is on the surface.  Whether you have allergies or not, please be aware of those around you who DO have them.  Take it seriously.  It could mean life or death to them.

March 5, 2009 at 3:50 pm 1 comment

How I Became a Part of the Allergic Lifestyle

I had always heard about food allergies and some people having them, but never knew exactly what all that entailed. That is, until my second child was a year old. I knew that giving a baby milk was not encouraged until a year old, but seeing how she was almost there and how when I tried to give her a bottle of formula for the first time, she wouldn’t drink it, I decided to go against the ‘rules’ and give her milk. Turns out there was a reason she wouldn’t drink the formula! Her body was telling her not to. It only took two sips of milk to realize she was choking and hives were breaking out all around her mouth and down her chest to her stomach. She was coughing terribly and it was then that I knew she was having a severe reaction. My husband and I got her in the van as quick as we could, along with our firstborn, and began our journey to the ER. Along the way, she seemed to calm down and having a Mom who was a nurse, I knew to keep an eye on her fingernails/toenails. For if they were turning pink immediately after touching them, the oxygen was able to move through her body the way it is suppose to. Thankfully, she recovered quickly from that reaction and we did not end up having to go to the ER afterall. But the reality that our daughter has a food allergy was beginning to dawn on us. Little did I know the change in lifestyle that was going to bring for her and for the rest of our family. I called her pedatrician and was told to keep an eye on her, but that she should be okay, and of course, not to give her any milk products for awhile. So, that’s what we did.  Then, came her first birthday.  We were out in California visiting grandparents and I knew I needed to find a cake that had no milk in it.  So, I was very happy to find that Angel Food Cake did not.  After eating a few bites of the cake, I noticed hives around her mouth.  Alarm ran through my body and it was then that I knew she needed to see an allergist.  She had an allergy to more than milk.  I had a suspicion that it might be an egg allergy because I had read about people having that and afterall, angel food cake is made with egg whites.  So, upon returning home from our trip, I took her to the allergist where she had the 40 prick test done on her back.  Needless to say, that was slightly traumatic for a one year old…and her mom.  The results were that she indeed had an egg white allergy, as well as, a peanut allergy and, of course, the milk allergy.  The nurse couldn’t even measure the milk hive because it was spreading out like wildfire into little pods of hives.  She called another nurse in to try and measure it, but they said they’d never seen one so bad.  That was NOT encouraging.  So, we left there with the reality that there was absolutely nothing we could do to get rid of these allergies, except hope she will outgrow them.  She will be getting tested again next Summer (before her 5th birthday) so that we know what her allergies are when she starts Kindergarten.  We’ve learned a multitude of lessons over the past 2 1/2 years and that is what I hope to share with you.  Tips, What Not to Do, Food Alternatives, etc.  And I hope that you will share yours as we journey through this lifestyle together in hopes of living this life to its FULLEST!

February 24, 2009 at 7:29 pm 3 comments


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