About Me

Name:
Sue

Location:
Southern New Jersey

I am a Mom to 2 amazing and fun daughters and wife to a great guy and a wonderful father!

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Kayla
Kayla, my oldest. She is 4 1/2 and is a sweet, loving and silly little girl. She took us 2 ½ years and 3 IVF’s to conceive. Kayla is allergic to dairy. We manage her allergy and work to balance her safety with giving her a normal childhood. Kayla loves to read books and play games - she amazes me every day.


Alysa
Alysa, my youngest. She is 3 years old and is a silly little spitfire. She’s our monkey and loves to climb on everything. She was a “natural” baby, but it was only b/c of my wonderful doctors that we were able to stop an impending miscarriage. Alysa suffers from Acid Reflux Disease and sleep apnea. She may be little, but she has a big personality. She adores her big sister and is so much fun to be around. She keeps me laughing every day.


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Saturday, May 19, 2007
What the Future Holds
This is going to be my last post for Food Allergy Awareness Week, although I could probably go on and on about it.

Kayla's chances of outgrowing her allergy are pretty high. I have gone through stages where I "knew" she'd never outgrow and others where I "knew" she would. We were originally waiting until August to retest her but since we changed Allergists recently, we decided to go ahead a few weeks ago with the blood test. Although it wasn't what I dreamed up, it was not what I expected either. While she has not outgrown her allergy, her levels dropped quite a bit. So she is heading in the right direction and that's all I can really ask for. Her doctor will retest her in about 6 months or so.

The reason I opted to do it now is because a negative blood test does not mean we can go home and feed her dairy. After a negative blood test comes a skin prick test (where they prick your skin with some dairy and interpret the reaction). If she passed that, we would do a food challenge in the doctor's office. I can't give details on it, b/c we've never done it. But basically she would be given dairy (most likely milk if she would drink it) and wait a while, then give a tiny bit more, wait, etc. It means hours spent at the doctor's office but it's the safest place to do a challenge. It's not something that should EVER be done at home. With preschool looming in September, I wanted the time to get through all the testing so I knew what we had to deal with then or not.

At least now I know that she's still allergic and will fight through the growing anxiety over preschool and buckle down to organize my thoughts/questions for her allergist (we'll see him next Saturday). I am enlisting him in organizing guidelines for the school and an emergency action plan. There are a lot of issues to address and lots of meetings to request with the school. But we've picked one that is not only what we wanted academically (it's a Montessori preschool) but they said all the right things with regard to her allergies. So I have hope.

The thought of sending her off into the care of someone else surrounded with preschoolers eating dairy snacks and drinking open cups of milk absolutely terrifies me. But I know it's unavoidable. I don't want her missing out on the experience of preschool and especially a Montessori preschool education. So we will deal and cope.

My hope is that she really does outgrow her allergy. And if not, then I hope we raise her with the awareness and the respect of what the risks are for her. I don't want her to be afraid of every situation even though I know those situations will come up. I hope I can be a good enough Mom to empower her to take care of herself as she gets older when I can't be with her. And J and I hope that she will understand her allergies and that we help her to be secure enough in the wonderful girl she is to stand up to the food allergy bullies that she is inevitably going to encounter (yes there are kids that threaten food allergic kids with the very food they are allergic to). We are taking this age by age and we don't hide her allergies from her but we talk to her in terms she, as an almost 3 year old (yikes) can understand. And I'm sure when I drop her off at preschool, I'll have to leave Alysa home b/c I won't want to endanger her by having her in a car with a hysterical Mom.

But most importantly I don't want anyone (including her) to pitty her or us. She is a wonderful, silly, beautiful little girl who is so full of life. I would not trade her for anyone. I won't say I am happy she is allergic or even that I enjoy all the changes (although some are not bad - the girls eat much healthier and less crappily processed foods), but she is worth every sacrifice and inconvenience. And she really has not "felt" her allergy at this point. She loves cakes and cupcakes ice cream and cookies - they are just more expensive than everyone else's. ;) And believe me - all our parties are dairy free and I never get anything but rave reviews for the food and the cakes. So believe me when I say this stuff tastes great! She has a normal life as a soon-to-be preschooler with lots of room for exploration and play, friends, parties, gymnastics and plenty of adventures - we just have to tweak a few things.

I hope I have been able to give a glimpse into our lives and give some of you a better understanding of food allergies. Food allergies are unknown to so many and education is the only way to help other understand. Even for us, I know how "easy" we have it at times as there are many children with multiple food allergies and we "only" have one food to avoid. I have enjoyed your comments and appreciate your thoughts and encouragement.


posted at 10:19 AM  
  3 comments



3 Comments:
At 11:14 PM, Blogger org junkie said...

I just found myself nodding all the way through reading this post. I was trying to think what I could add but you covered it all beautifully!

Laura

 
At 5:05 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

I'm sure if I were in your shoes I would also be having anxiety attacks about sending my kid off to preschool! Because we all know no one is going to be as adamant about things for our own kids then anyone else would be. Sounds like you're doing all the right things though and I bet she will just love preschool! I can't believe there are kids out there who threaten other kids w/the food they are allergic too! How crazy is that.

 
At 9:29 PM, Blogger Zany Mama said...

I was so freaked out about preschool that I cried the whole day before Zane went. It felt so "life or death" to me - because, well, it sort of is. But it also sort of isn't. You know?

I just think it's great that you're taking the risk to give Kayla a safe preschool experience. It's scary, but so worth it.

 

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