Dear Diary (where the truth comes out),
I’m sure you know by now that I have decided to put my son back in school. We tried this once before, during preschool, and I kinda freaked out and let my anxiety take control over the situation.
Maybe that’s just my guilt talking. Who knows….
Anyways, I have officially registered my son (who has food allergies to dairy, egg, peanut, tree nut, and garlic and has had two previous anaphylactic reactions) for second grade. He’s super excited, and I’m trying so very hard to NOT allow my anxiety to take control over the situation.
|Part of the registration process is determining how many
books you can carry at once. 😉
Man is it hard. Whenever I think of him being away from me, I picture the worst. I think of his lips swelling, gasping for breath, mucous flowing from his nose and mouth, surrounded by people who just don’t “get it”. I think of how I felt during his previous reactions and can’t help but wonder and worry about how someone else may react. I ask myself, “Is this a chance I’m willing to take?”
Well, I’m sick of living in fear! I’m not going to let it rule my life, or my child’s life anymore!
I attended a seminar by Lynn Lyons a while back, through our public school, discussing how to break the worry cycle. She described how a part of our brain, the amygdala, is responsible for determining our response to fear. This very brief video easily describes how your body can become “stuck” in a fear response, which increases your anxiety level as new normal. (Boy do I hate that word, normal. What is normal anyways???)
After viewing the video, it’s pretty easy to see how an allergy parent can become stuck in a higher than normal fear response. It is also much more clear to me that my amydala (which is responsible for the fight or flight response) chose to “flight” when my anxiety level increased during my son’s first preschool experience.
Phew, the human body really is amazing!!!!
I learned that my anxiety about my son being around food, is a learned response of fear because of his two anaphylactic reactions. It is a “normal” response because of our previous experiences. However, it doesn’t mean that it is a healthy response!
So what am I gonna do about it??? I have already educated myself and others on how to keep him safe! What is left to do?
I have to retrain my brain. I have to learn to trust others.
UGH!!!! That sounds horrible!!! I feel sick just thinking about it!!!!
I have to trust that my son can keep himself safe.
I have to trust that the school can keep him safe.
I have to trust that my son will TELL SOMEONE if he doesn’t feel safe.
I have to trust that the school will respond correctly.
I have to trust myself to not give up and “rescue” him if my anxiety increases.
I have to recognize that my amygdala is easily triggered.
I have to analyze my fears and categorize them into two categories: realistic and unrealistic.
Okay, I really do feel sick now. Bleh!
This is when I remind myself how great his life can be if we can overcome this fear. It’s one of those hurdles that we have to jump in this rollercoaster of living with food allergies. Once successful, my amygdala will hopefully have a new threshold. Right? This whole thing will get easier, won’t it? I mean, I certainly don’t expect it to go off without any issues, but eventually I will learn to trust others without feeling so anxious, right? Right???? Please, someone tell me I’m right?
I feel like I’ve done my homework. I have trained my little person to care for himself, to avoid allergens, to speak up when not feeling well, to self-carry, to do all of the things we do in our day-to-day life to keep him safe. Sure, he’s only seven, but he can do it! The school can do it! Damn it, I can do it!!!! I want this for him, for us.
How did you overcome your fear? your trust?? Did you have similar feelings as what I’m going through? Did it ever get better??? I’m not so sure I can handle it if it gets worse. You may want to keep those stories to yourself, for now anyways.
What are your words of encouragement?
EBL Food Allergies