Thursday, March 14, 2013

An Open Letter

To the Mom of the healthy child,

Hello. My son has food allergies. And by allergies I mean allergies. Life threatening. Shock inducing. Anaphylaxis. Wherever my son is, his epi-pen is near by.

I know that other spastic moms misrepresent their children's intolerances as allergies.  It makes me want to roll my eyes, too. You're right, an upset tummy does not an allergy make.  Though nasty diapers are not fun, they are not allergies.  I might be a spaz, but I am not making an intolerance out to be an allergy.

I have sat in the back of a zooming car, wedged between carseats, fighting to help my baby maintain consciousness.  I have dashed into emergency rooms holding a limp child in my arms. I still remember the look on my son's face as the tourniquet slipped and squeezed his eyes as the nurses frantically tried to gain IV access through his head.

I don't say this because I want pity. I want you to believe me and try to understand me.

I know your kid can't make it through the morning without their goldfish. But my kid can't sustain life if he eats that goldfish.

Imagine if you walked in the nursery and saw my baby playing with his epi-pen. It is more dangerous for my son to eat your child's snack than it is for your child to be injected with mine's medication. One of your crackers is more threatening than a whole vial of epinephrine.

You just want your sweet thing to stay happy, I want mine to stay alive.

There's a solid chance you think I should just stay home if it's that scary. Could you? Would you? If your kid is out with mine there's a good chance that one of you needs a break.

Do you remember how annoying it was when dudes gave you advice when you were pregnant? Or when the mom who was in pre-pregnancy clothes at her six week check up said that breastfeeding was her weight loss plan? Please don't tell me that chicken broth will fix this. Or that if I had only taken probiotics while pregnant I could have avoided everything.  It's not true, and it's not helpful.

I don't expect you to accomodate our medical restrictions. Please understand, though, that seeing your child with their milk is the same as seeing a cobra coiled in the corner. Yes, we will work on teaching my son self control. He will know to never try anyone else's food or drink. But for right now, we're working on walking.


Mom of the child with food allergies

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