Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Peanut Allergy Happenings

The last week has been a big one for us and our foe the Peanut. Here's a run down of the peanut allergy happenings at our house.

David started preschool on Monday! This was exciting because as recent as last week we thought he might be delayed in starting. The preschool found out at the beginning of last week that there is a state law requiring state sponsered Epipen training. They were not aware of this and neither were we. (In so many ways, I feel bombarded by how much I have to learn.) The preschool director and teacher have been fantastic as they have worked with us. After working with the preschool board, they determined that David could start on-time (they are working to get the training). The stipulation is that I am bringing all of David's snacks. (I believe this may be the best option anyway.) The first day was another child's birthday so his mom brought brownies to celebrate. David's teacher let me know ahead of time and I made him his own brownie for class. David did talk about how his brownie was different (I guess the ones for the class had some kind of icing or candy on top) but he was totally fine with it. He is used to being required to have different food at times and he doesn't mind as long as he doesn't miss out all together on a sweet treat.
During preschool, his teacher read his peanut allergy story book to the class. David enjoyed that. I like the open approach with the class. I have to say that I was in tears on the way home from preschool. It wasn't those tears of disbelief that my little boy is old enough for preschool. It was tears from the emotional struggle that comes with letting him venture out to school and working to keep him safe.

Last night David got up because he had a bad dream. He said he dreamed he ate a peanut. When we asked him more about it in the morning, he told us that he thought he was eating sunbutter but that someone was tricking him and he was eating peanut butter. Then, he had to give himself his shot.
My throat gets this lump in it when I think about it. It is real to him. It scares him. That is not all together a bad thing. It just makes my heart sad.

Now for the BEST news! I am so excited about this and still in disbelief. This past Sunday we began talking to a fairly new friend at church about the required training for preschool. We wanted to talk to her because she is a nurse. Right away she mentioned that her 16 year old daughter has a severe peanut allergy (carries an Epipen, etc). It was just moments before I was asking if she babysits! She also has a 14 year old sister. They both came last night and babysat our kids. Wow- It is so refreshing and reassuring having a babysitter that knows and understands what "peanut allergy" means! More than that, it is amazing to have a teenage babysitter that is personally familiar with the Epipen. I am thanking God for this blessing!


Carmom said...

What a wonderful preschool it seems you have found along with caring teachers! And how great it is you found a babysitter who understands from being in the same "shoes". Though I am sad that David had that dream. You are doing a wonderful job with this trial. My thoughts and prayers will be with you, your family and especially David.

heather said...

How cool that you found a preschool that is accommodating to food allergies. I am not looking forward to having to do that next year. My son is 19 months old and allergic to soy,peanuts,eggs,wheat and dairy. I started a website I thought you might be interested in www.spewdfree.com
All of the recipes are free of soy,peanuts,eggs,wheat and dairy.

Jessica said...

I was just talking with a mom at our school about peanut allergies. Most people have no idea how deadly this can be. Thanks for the heads-up!

Anonymous said...

JA - That is great news on all accounts. The preschool sounds SUPER. I'm glad they are making this transition easier for you guys. I can't imagine how hard it is for you. As heartbreaking as David's dream was, at least it shows you that he totally gets it, because when you're not around, nobody can protect David from peanuts better than HE can. And, I am SO excited about your new babysitter. What a complete blessing.

I wanted to tell you that there is a little girl in Aaron's class for the last two years who has a peanut allergy. Colorado doesn't have laws against bringing peanuts to school. But, all of the kids know Aubrey has an allergy, and I feel like they're all really conscientious about it. For example, when I was buying cupcakes for Aaron's birthday, he said, "Mom? Do those have peanuts? Because Aubrey can't have peanuts." Or, one time the class was eating in their classroom last year, and I was watching the "cold lunch" kids, while the teacher took the kids down to get hot lunch. Aubrey is the princess of the classroom... she acts like a princess and all the boys LOVE her, including Aaron. So, she sat down with her cold lunch, and two of the boys said, "Can I sit with you, Aubrey??" scrambling to get the seat next to her. She said, "I choose you, Ashton." As they started opening their lunches, Ashton said, "Oh no, I have a peanut butter sandwich, Aubrey." So, she left the table, went and sit on the rug next to the other little boy, and said, "Then you can't sit by me." Ashton got up, through his sandwich in the trash, and said, "I threw the peanut butter away, can I sit by you now." Give me a break! HA! This girl is such a heart-breaker, kids throw their lunches away to sit next to her. We're talking a true princess. But, I've been meaning to share that story with you for some time, because it happened last year, and I was just so surprised to see how much these Kindergarteners all watch out for the girl with the peanut allergy, and how well she also keeps herself safe. And that at the end of the summer, after not seeing Aubrey for three months, Aaron remembered her allergy when we were food shopping. It won't be too much longer until David's at this age, too!


Bethany Baptist MOPS said...

Praise the Lord for that!! I can't even imagine the struggle you have in letting him go every day, but like you said, his "fear" is probably a healthy one as he will be constantly aware of what is around him.

Kimberly said...

Wow!!! This was a very, very emotional post and I found myself all teary myself. I'm so excited that David got to start pre-school on time with the rest of his class! That is truly a blessing from the Lord. How is he doing? Does he enjoy it?
I can't imagine how difficult it must have been for you when he came to you after that nightmare. Even though we know as christians that we will face trials of MANY kinds I would think there would be some sort of anger towards God and this situation He has allowed David to be in (and many, many other kids for that matter). But I can only imagine how He is going to use this to further His kingdom through David!

Dani said...

I so know how it feels to walk away from the school on the first day with so many emotions. I think I cried for the first hour.

It is hard to leave your child in the hands of others. Your school seems to be working with you. You don't find many that do that!