Tag Archives: food allergies

Good News! I am to be published again…

first day of school

Well, I got GREAT news again today.  I have a second article picked up by The Mighty that will be published in the future.  When it is published, they will send me the email with the link, which I will then pass along to you.

In the meantime, my ALLERGY BOY is officially in the 5/6 year old class at our local school, and the school is scared.  I am scared.  Max’s dad is scared.  I think we are ALL scared.  In a small village, Max is the first to arrive carrying EpiPens and life-threatening allergies.  But it has been hashed out: he will only ever consume or touch his food.

This may not seem like a big deal in your country where food allergies are well known, discussed and people are pro-active on the fight-BUT in the country which we reside, it is still a very big unknown, under discussed, and, therefore, very scary for all of us in the game.

Emphasizing how scary this life we walk in this world we walk is, I bring you an absolutely tragic story of a woman that, after being repeatedly assured at a restaurant in Hungary her food was nut free in all ways, suffered anaphylactic shock that has left her in a state of suffering from life-altering brain injuries.

I have already watched my son receive CPR treatment while he was in a full-coma in the ICU.  The nurses kicked us out and bagged our son while waiting for the doctor to arrive.  It is because of their life-saving treatments, he appears okay.  Eventually they were able to intubate him and get a steady flow of oxygen going.

But, the thing is, every single day that I walk my son outside and purchase a food item for him, I risk this exact thing happening.  Because, no matter how many guarantees of safety we are given, my son walks a very unforgiving road.

Fear makes me want to hide him away.  But that is not living.

And so we walk.  Hoping for life.

***

Please click here to watch the video and read the link:

Heartbreaking scenes on This Morning as ex-producer left paralysed by nut allergy is comforted by Ruth Langsford on show

The Worst Part About Parenting a Child With Food Allergies…

Do you honestly want to know one of the FIRST things I did when I left all 3 of my children with my hubs and went to visit my family in Arizona????

I BOUGHT, ATE, AND ENJOYED PEANUTS!!!!

And I felt guilty the ENTIRE time.

I ate them thinking that I shouldn’t.  After all, we have been a SERIOUSLY peanut-free home for at least 2 years.

And, second of all, I felt as if I was cheating on my kid Maxwell (that I could kill with my peanuts)…AND ESPECIALLY my daughter Adelyne (age 10—no allergies) because she was suppose to be on the trip with me—eating peanuts right alongside of me.  Snacking.  On peanuts.  No worries.  Carefree…

At home, if she EVER eats a peanut at a friend’s home or touches one—she has to immediately wash her hands and brush her teeth—and then MAKE SURE that her toothbrush is not touching her brother’s (just in case there is cross-contamination in toothbrush remnants???!!!).

Friends…you should seriously know that it is not just the allergy kid—NOR the allergy parents—that live every single moment of their days on edge…It’s the siblings, too.

And it is just as tough for them—especially because they are kids.  WE MAKE MISTAKES as parents in regards to our kids and their allergies.  Which means, kids make mistakes, too.  After all, they are kids.

Here is one mom’s honest look on raising her now 9-year-old who lives with egg and peanut allergies, featured on Huffington Post.

As a mom of a bubble boy (pretty much he ONLY will touch or eat food I hand him personally)…

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I hear her.

Notice each of my kids have their own bubble blowers???  BECAUSE MAX DOESN’T SHARE ANYTHING that goes in his mouth.  After all, Josephine ate yogurt for lunch.  He welts at the touch of milk…he vomits at the ingestion of beef…he breaks out to the peanut kiss.

Did I say, I hear her????  Because I do.

Enjoy the read found on Huffington Post:  The Worst Part About Parenting a Child With Food Allergies

xo b

Dear Maxwell, My apology letter to you…

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I am suppose to talk about my allergy kid today.

But what is there really to say?

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that I am not sending you to preschool in Poland because I don’t trust your life in the hands of the school. I don’t trust that they won’t remember that nuts means Nutella and walnuts and that no dairy means you also can’t eat butter or sour cream. And that beef makes you vomit.

I’m sorry that you may have to sit at your own table at the elementary school you may attend in the United States, waving to your classmates that are positioned tables away.

I’m sorry because you may have children chase you with peanut butter to see if you really are allergic.

I’m sorry that you can’t just go to certain burger joints and order fries since they are also fried in peanut oil.

I am sorry that you will basically have to avoid steakhouses that serve nuts…

I am sorry that you will have to fly with trepidation because the airline staff would rather kick you off than inconvenience someone that would like to eat peanuts inflight.

I am sorry that you can’t just eat gelato in Italy…

I am sorry that you will probably have to avoid nearly all Chinese restaurants because the menu is loaded with lots and lots of owie foods.

I am sorry that dating will be hard.

I am sorry now that I will drive you insane when you begin to date. I will INSIST you emphasize to any girl you want to kiss that THEY CANNOT eat peanuts and kiss. It can turn into kiss and death. I will embarrass you one day with this — but I will do it. Because I want you to live.

I am sorry that you will probably not go to a professional baseball game in comfort—or even at all.

I am sorry that you can’t even just grab a Sunday donut.

I am sorry that on boys’ nights—you will have to probably pack your own stash of food or censor restaurant joints of choice.

I am sorry that you won’t just be able to eat a sandwich at Subway without first reading the ingredients in the meats and breads.

I am sorry that I have already made you a paranoid young man.
But there is one thing, without a doubt, that I am not sorry about…

You.

You are perfect.

Perfectly made.

Perfectly grown.

And perfectly my son.

What doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger.

Well, my Maxwell, I am sure this will definitely make you stronger.

Perhaps a professional chef is in the works…One that learns to make divine cuisine because he always wanted something more to eat!
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Remember, My Maxwell, there are many reasons I am sorry—but, as one remarkable young man shows the world, nothing is impossible!

Live your life!

Live your dreams!

And soar!

Click here to see a phenomenal video of one young Polish artist without limbs and limits:  Artist Mariusz Kedzierski
https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FHuffPostGoodNews%2Fvideos%2Fvb.202163013203224%2F1022980691121448%2F%3Ftype%3D3&show_text=0&width=560

 

Turn it Teal and Sarah Jessica Parker

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Today is Turn it Teal and Allergy Awareness!

My friends, I live in a country that eats a LOT of nuts and uses dairy for everything.  It is virtually impossible to even take my son to a restaurant to eat.

At one restaurant recently, every single thing on the menu had either nuts or dairy in it.

SERIOUSLY.

Except the salad—and what 3 year old runs around eating a salad???  Not mine.  And, truthfully, nearly every salad had nuts.

So what did I do?  I asked for a fresh bowl of fruit so that he could eat at the table with the rest of us (No, I was not prepared with a full meal.  Sorry, folks.  Real mom sometimes = unprepared).

It was a bit of a fight, but eventually the waiter said he could bring a bowl of fresh fruit for my son.

When he brought it, you would NEVER believe what he brought.

JAM.

Strawberry jam.

Raspberry jam.

Blueberry jam.

And then bananas that the chef smashed up into a puree.

My son took one look at the bowl of jam and played with it.  But did not eat it.

Listen, I know it’s my fault for being ill-prepared at a restaurant.  But, to be fair, I did not expect to see a menu without a SINGLE item outside of salad on it for my allergy kid.  And I thought asking for fresh fruit could tide him over until we had to go.

Except the fresh fruit was jam.

And jam is not something most of us will eat by the spoonful.

I understand that I am the one that lives in a country that eats nuts (especially walnuts) on everything and uses milk or butter in nearly everything, but I also know that my son lives here, and I know that I am not the only mom in Poland with a kid that has these allergies.

Poland is GREAT at labeling their items.  Better than other countries that I have seen.  So, I am so grateful for that when I go to grocery stores for shopping.

But, public outings are still so hard with my kid.

And, so, Poland, I ask that as this week approaches—the Turn it Teal and Allergy Awareness Week, that we all understand that allergies aren’t just a nuisance—they are life or death issues.

My son has them.

And he is not alone.

Here are some videos and articles and information that I am VERY happy is out there…and I am VERY happy a public face is behind one of them, Sarah Jessica Parker, whose son has a peanut/nut allergy…

It’s when faces are seen and voices are heard that our struggle becomes more widely recognized and real to the many out there that don’t have to fear, day in and out, for their loved ones’ lives.

So, I hope you have a couple clicks and watch as we begin to address the world with our Allergy Awareness Voice!

My son’s very life depends on it.

xo b

Turn it Teal!

Sarah Jessica Parker on “The View” (her son has peanut/nut allergies and had an anaphylactic episode—that’s how they found out)

Anaphylaxis for Reel 

How you learn to live without peanut butter


Listen.  It is seriously one of the things I miss the MOST about being this allergy mom—peanuts.

Like—my daughter, husband, and I really went through peanut withdrawals once we realized a peanut kiss was nearly the 9-1-1 fate of our son.

I love the salty oils and goodness of snacking on a handful of peanuts.

My daughter’s favorite sandwich is PB&J.

My husband lives for peanutbutter cups.

We, collectively, lived a VERY peanut existence until Little Allergy to the Max came along.

Deciding to put his health and safety above our personal cravings was super hard.

Sorry, folks—real talk here.

We cleared out our home and went 100% peanut free.

And then we missed our sandwiches, apples and celery with PB, and our trail mixes with the perfect salty nut to compliment the flavors inside.

But then we were introduced to Cookie Butter.  I want to say a Dutch invention—but you can Google that yourself.

It’s sweet.  Not salty.  And does not squelch your protein tastebuds for snacking goodness…but it is a phenomenal substitute on many items that we once used with peanut butter.

Instead of PB&J sandwiches, we eat CB&J sandwiches.  And they are delicious!

Instead of apples and PB, we use apples and CB.

Instead of morning toast with peanut butter—we eat toast and cookie butter.

Peanut butter called for in baking recipes?  Cookie Butter substitute.

See where I am going with this?

It’s possible to give up the peanut—but it doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite snacks!

Well—perhaps your peanut M&M’s.

If you have not given CB a chance, I suggest you try it today!

Of course, after reading the ingredients 😉

Now the question is:  Where do you find it?

When we are in the States, we have noticed that Trader Joe’s has crunchy or smooth.

Here in Europe—the Dutch grocery stores sell it by the tubful.  Perhaps even online.

Happy hunting and smacznego!

It just tickles…

  

My son came to me yesterday with swollen lips, refusing to eat any more of the once deemed safe bread roll I always bought him. I looked carefully at his face to see what else may be reacting.  Nose? Eyes?  Breathing? 

Just his lips.

So I said, Max, do you have owies?

No, Mom. It just tickles.

And just like that the once store bought bread roll that was my fast food go-to for my allergy kid is now out the window.

Why?

Because “It just tickles” means so much more…

It means it bothers him so much that he won’t even be able to finish it even though he is so hungry.

“It just tickles” means he is probably tired of saying it’s itchy or hurts.

“It just tickles” means he’s trying to still be a kid but letting me know something is wrong.

Allergies suck.  And I suck at this allergy-parenting thing. 

I am sure many of you out there feel the same.  

Now I need to go grocery shopping because I am out of food for this kid.  

But first up—coffee for mom.  

Xo b

Train Your Allergy Toddler Well…

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My two-year-old Josephine just unwrapped a Christmas chocolate that is in our lovely (still out) Christmas bowl (because all of our Christmas decorations are STILL OUT…I’m loving it, in case you are curious).  She was so proud.  And then she did a VERY kind thing…

She handed it to her 3-year-old brother and said, “For you, Ma!”  (Which means, For you, Max).

It was so sweet…And yet I froze.  What would he do?  After all, he has just been proffered a chocolate treat from his sister that thinks he hangs the moon.

The very next moment, he shook his hand at her, without touching the chocolate, and said, “No, no, GoGo (which stands for JoJo which stands for Josephine), that candy owie for me.”  And he backed away.

Where I then took over.

I gently took the candy from Maxwell’s sister, and said, “Thank you, GoGo, but this is owie candy for Max.”

My friends…

From about 6 months of his life forward (ever since we noticed the first reaction to dairy-related items…later we also noticed nut allergies), we have worked with our little buddy on not touching or eating ANYTHING that we are not 100% sure is safe.

And it is paying off…

Because at 3 years of age, he didn’t touch the chocolate or take the chocolate.

WIN!

I can’t emphasize enough how much you much you must train, train, train your allergic toddler in the word NO.

It is not a fool-proof method…but it is a step in the right direction.