Here I am, sitting in the middle of a crowded restaurant with my family, with tears streaming down my face. Our allergy child (who was four at the time) looks up at me with those big brown eyes and a look of concern written all over his face. He walks over to me, puts his little hand on the side of my face and says “What’s wrong Mommy? What is it?”
Rewind ten minutes earlier.
We’re all enjoying a nice meal in a restaurant. We just received our food and started to eat. Within two minutes our allergy child starts coughing. I look up at him to see what’s going on. Instantly I tense up and have flash backs of what his two previous severe reactions were like: swollen mouth, drooling, hives, coughing, difficulty breathing, EpiPen®, 911, ambulance, fire truck, police. I think to myself “please don’t have a reaction, please, I really don’t want to administer an EpiPen® here in front of all of these people (this should be the least of my concerns…but honestly, that is what popped into my head at the time). please be okay, please be okay, please be okay”.
He was fine. He just happened to be an ordinary kid that swallowed something the wrong way and was coughing. I was happy that he was fine. Unfortunately, that one little incident was enough to set off so many emotions in me that I just sat there and cried. I cried because he was okay. I cried because of the memories of previous reactions. I cried because I knew our lives really never would be the way they used to be. I cried because I knew that I would never stop worrying. I cried because at some point when he gets older it wouldn’t be my responsibility to keep him safe, it would be his. I cried because he will more than likely have to deal with this for the rest of his life.
I try very hard, every day, to stay positive. I focus on the foods that my son CAN eat. I look on the bright side of how healthy my family has become because of allergies. I have become a much better cook over the last four years then I ever thought I was capable of (and it’s rubbing off on my children! WOO HOO!). Allergies have taught my older son (without allergies) to be compassionate, responsible, and understanding. My family has a much better awareness of the foods we decide to put into our bodies thanks to label reading. These are all very positive things have happened to our family because of food allergies. So when I have one of those self pity days I force myself to remember just how lucky we truly are and to be grateful…even for food allergies.
Easy Breezy Life
with food allergies and EoE