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Becki

I am sharing this with everyone I know, starting now.

db

Well spoken. I think, unfortunately because of mothers like you mentioned who had the child with a "Milk allergy" that food allergies are just chocked up to preferences. People who "prefer" not to eat one food, and go out of their way to make others go out of THEIR way just for them - are selfish fun suckers who make the real kids who suffer with allergies, suffer all the more.

Headless Mon

I'll hold your earrings AND your martini.

Jackie Parker

I have a Husband, a Son, and a Step-Son all who are diabetic. They can't eat all the cupcakes either. I didn't really understand all of this until those I Love started to have these problems. When you stay up most of the night for a few nights checking blood sugar you get a rude wake up call. Besides, most of those who eat the beautiful cakes and cupcakes find them on their behinds!

Wendy

I 100% agree. My kids do not have food allergies, but I have plenty of friends whose kids do. One is in my Girl Scout troop. I try very hard to make sure she is not left out. I do exactly what you said, I talk to her mother, see what she can eat and what she can't eat. We were asked to bring a pumpkin pie to school for Thanksgiving, I asked her mother where I could find a gluten free one. Small thing for me to do, and her Mother was sending one with her, but it was the right thing to do.

Cathy

It is easy to have the initial reaction of it being no fun to have to think about an allergy situation. However, it is no fun when one of your friends ends up in the hospital at the end of the party.

susan

Wonderful, terrific column, and so funny you should write this, I just dealt with almost the same thing this week.

I have a several sulfa allergy - with includes egg yolks - as in swell up and decide not to breathe.

I also have a non-working pancreas/liver, and am limited to 5 fat grams total per day - not a lot to be sure, but you get used to it. On top of the heart issue, I do have to be careful.

I'm a volunteer "reading grandma" to an autistic class - I love it. And our end of year Christmas party was this past Monday.

A luncheon, which means I usually bring my own goodies, lunch, etc. The hostess said to someone else - in front of me - why was I so picky - after all couldn't I just eat what she was fixing and deal with it later?

What was I trying to do, ruin her party? Or call attention to myself? I only wish I had gotten mad - instead I went home and cried.

I went to the luncheon, but did not eat - still too upset.

Food issues are not an attention getter, or a joke. I only wish people as a whole would realize that. Adults have them too.

Karen at A Glimpse Into My Reveries

I'm raising my glass in salute! Well said!

My oldest daughter shares my life threatening allergies and asthma. I had to teach my children from a very, very young age to not put anything in their mouth, including food, without checking with me first. And that included times spent with grandparents. I once had a fellow room mother compliment me on how amazing it was that my kids always brought things to me before biting in.

Not so amazing when you realize it could very well have saved their life!

Said daughter is now an adult. Twice in the past 6 months since had a severe allergic reaction to food. Food with hidden ingredients, such as at restaurants and at parties are the most fraught with danger!

I had so prayed she would outgrow it!

Stay strong, Sister! Rant on!

Jaelithe

I am glad you posted this Carmen. You DID do something constructive: you made me feel a little less alone in my fight today.

Now to correct an error I see here in the comments: excuse me, db, but how did you come under the misimpression that dairy allergies are fake? There are people with very serious, life-threatening allergies to dairy. People who have to check everything they eat for dairy and carry medicine everywhere they go just in case they eat dairy by mistake. This is a thing. Please do look it up so that you do not inadvertently endanger someone.

There are certainly hypochondriacs in this world, but unfortunately, one in every 13 children now has an honest-to-goodness food allergy, so chances are, if you meet two sets of parents in your kid's class who say their kid has a food allergy, both of them are telling the truth.

If you want to learn the real facts about about food allergies, visit www.foodallergy.org.

FAmama

This may be one of the best soapbox vents I have read! You completely captured what I feel! During our Halloween party, the kids rotate from class to class for the activities. My children have life threatening allergies to dairy and eggs ...we have needed 911 for milk just touching the lips. Well my daughter's classroom ended up being the snack room, which means that all the children (7 classes worth) were coming into her class, and someone was sitting in her desk, eating a food that could kill her.
I had posted the night before on my Facebook, how much I hated that we had to have food during a hour long party and how I wish I didn't have to stay up late making a safe treat. So needless to say, finding out about the snack rotation was horrible!
So I get home, and am an emotional anxiety filled wreck, and that is when I get a text from someone who didn't appreciate my FB post the day before. She told me that FA kids need to learn to live in society without special changes made for them all the time. That they can't make every child happy. My first reaction was to fwd her text back to her. She couldn't have realized how heartless that sounded right!? I then burst into tears. Did people really feel this way? do people really not care if my children live or die? I would give anything to be able to not care about food at a party. To not lose sleep over it. After Fwd her text back to her, and told her to reread it and wiped my tears...I told her that I wasn't asking her to make every child happy, I was asking to keep every child safe. Isn't that what community is all about?

Emily C

OH. HOLY HELL. Hell hath no fury.

Look, my husband firmly believes that food allergies are an invention of modern diet/society/our own stupid societal choices. But he also recognizes that a food allergy can kill a person and would never purposely expose them.

Oh, that makes me SO MAD. I don't even have any food allergies in my house.

But some people are SO CLUELESS. And the irony? They're the ones being selfish. Cue whiny voice, "Why can't I have it MY way to make ME happy?"

Some people.

Athanasia

Emily C. to a certain extent I agree with your husband. While I don't think food allergies are an invention, I do think they are a result of certain societal choices (hormones in food, chemicals on crops, etc.). Perhaps that is what he meant by "invention." It is a direct result of our care (or lack thereof) of our environment.

I struggle with FAs which include all soy products, peanuts, tree nuts, carrots, celery and worst of the bunch - all fruits & their juices (except grapes). I think they developed due to too much time spent under the house in the crawl space trying to clean white mold from floor joists when we were selling our house. Though I took precautions, I wonder if that mold exposure sent my already allergic system into hyper-overdrive. Nonetheless, here I am. Soy products are the most difficult to combat since it is in just about everything.

My symptoms are not severe like many who have posted here (Karen & FAMama specifically). I get flemmy congested throat when eating soy and nauseous with fruit and nuts. The allergic results often show at the "other end" of my body. Forget carrots and peanut butter altogether. They cause hot ears/red face, stuffy nose and itchy mouth.

Thanksgiving is not at home but at a family member's house who truly tries to be sensitive to my food allergies. I bring my own bread (which I need to remember to put my name on so everyone else doesn't eat it!). Unfortunately, I ate a vegetable casserole that had orange juice in it which cause nausea the remainder of the night and took 3 days to sort out "in the end."

I think next year, we're going to host Thanksgiving or I am going to offer to make a couple of side dishes that I know are safe for me to eat.

To all you moms out there who fight the good fight for your kids, God bless you. May He keep you strong.

Ophelia Keith

I deal with this every day with my son's peanut and tree nut allergies. My son's school is incredibly strict with regards to food allergy and a recent interaction I had with a mom went like this:

While waiting to pick up the kids one of the moms complained to me (not knowing who I was) that they wouldn't let her give her kids peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch and it was their favorite and asked what the difference was between discriminating against her kids who can eat peanut vs discriminating against kids who can't.

I said: Well the difference is if your kid doesn't have peanut butter on Friday he can have it on Saturday. If my kid gets peanut into his system he could die and if he dies on Friday I can't just go get him back on Saturday. Your problem can be solved in a day or in a few hours when your kids get home from school
She said: Oh well thanks for making me feel like a jerk.
I said: You're quite welcome.

Kyooty/Mary

My hubbie as I have mentioined int he past is allergic to Mushrooms. Potlucks are very hard. He's taken to not going. Pizza party? What is so hard about NOT putting the extra slices all in the same box?

Martha

Oh my, Ophelia Keith, that was great.

KG

My 16 year old just doesn't eat unless it is at home or a restaurant he is very familiar with.

He loves Coldstone for ice cream but hates the spectacle made when I request all clean equipment to make his bowl of ice cream. And it's hard sometimes watching your kid that loves ice cream never get to actually dive right in with that first spoonful- there are always those first bites of anything... where you watch & wait & wonder... is it really nut free?

Anytime we are out with friends and they want to go somewhere with peanuts out in the open he sits at the table, hands in pockets and refuses to eat. I can't say I blame him when the entire staff is handling items touched by people touching peanuts.

A trip to a cupcake bakery proved almost fatal when my husband ordered a cupcake that unknowingly had peanut butter frosting, and my son reached in the box to get his NUT FREE cupcake and the tiniest bit of peanut butter frosting got on his hand & then to his lips... which began to swell within seconds.

We don't let it rule our lives but I wish people would be a little more understanding. Some people are utterly clueless that these life threatening allergies are REAL, some people have never even heard of such a thing- so I am always educating. I never expect exceptions to be made or anything special be done and honestly he hates it when a big deal is made about it too. But it isn't easy always having to be vigilant, always cautious, always asking yourself... did I bring the Epi pen?

WebSavvyMom

-->I wanted to make cookies recently for Troy's first grade class for his birthday and he told me one of the kids was allergic to eggs in his class. I checked with the teacher and he was right so I asked what I could bring in as a treat. Turns out this child could have Oreos (surprise to me) and the teacher kept a stash for just this type of situation. I sat next to the child at lunch and he told me he was allergic to eggs but LOVED Oreos. Everyone was happy in the end.

Lia

Where did you get the 25% anaphylactic allergy statistic? i found this http://fooddrugallergy.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=31 which states that 25% of food ALLERGY REACTIONS can turn into anaphylaxis...kind of a different thing.


I do have sympathy foor food allergic kids, but misleading data does not help.

Skye

I've always thought it was just good hospitality not to poison your guests.

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  • Carmen Staicer is a whirlwind of energy and execution, who never sleeps and drinks way too much coffee. She works from home as the Programs Manager for BlogHer, and is the mom to six kids, most of whom play instruments, sing or dance and all of whom are much smarter than she will ever be. In other words, her house is never ever quiet or still. A concentration of food allergies, spectrum disorders and learning disabilities means that she spends an awful lot of time second guessing herself and Dr. Googling, as well as learning to cook everything the family might like to eat. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, boxing (she has her Black Belt in Muay Thai), sleeping, exploring coffee shops, photography, ballet class and cooking. She excels in being a smart mouth and has her major in sarcasm, with a minor in BS studies.