This week is Food Allergy Awareness Week. I spent more time online reading food allergies news and reading other food allergy blogs than normal. I learned, laughed and even teared up a bit. It was good for me. I posted about food allergies and emailed friends in hopes they would gain a better understanding of my son's allergies.
Today I jumped at the chance to talk to my son about his peanut allergy. (My youngest son has a play date today, my oldest son is still in school, and my daughter is taking a nap.) Talking to my son about his peanut allergy was the most significant thing I did all week. I got out his medicine bag and we talked about each item. I realized that I had not done this in a while. I interviewed him (Thanks, Jenn, for this idea.) We talked more about some questions - beyond what I recorded.
Here's what my 5 year-old had to say about his peanut allergy:
Momma: Do you like having a peanut allergy?
David: No! Since if I see something really yummy I want to eat it. We wouldn't know if it has peanuts.
Momma: Are there any good things about a peanut allergy?
David: Not that I know but there might be...
Momma: What would happen if you ate a peanut?
David: I might have an itchy nose. Well, my mouth would swell up and I wouldn't be able to breathe - like in outer space- there's no air out there.
Momma: What would we do if you ate a peanut?
David: You would have to do my shot really quick. Then, I would have to go to the hospital.
Momma: What do Momma and Daddy do to keep you safe?
David: Tell me that I cannot eat things with peanuts and I cannot eat things that we don't know (if they have peanuts).
Momma: How do you keep yourself safe?
David: I don't eat things unless Momma and Daddy say I can.
Momma: Where do you see peanuts?
David: In a bag at the store. But, peanuts are also in food when I can't see them.
Momma: What is the hardest part of a peanut allergy?
David: Not knowing if something has peanuts and another thing, it might be something I would like but it might have peanuts.
Momma: What is the scariest part of a peanut allergy?
David: The scariest thing is not being able to breathe. That would always be the scariest. Dying is not the scariest. If I die, well, I believe in Jesus, so if I die I will go to heaven. I'd still be alive there.
But, I want to have my shot because I don't want to go to heaven yet... because I would miss my family.
Momma: Does it bother you to have a different snack at preschool?
David: No. One time my class had cupcakes and I got a piece of cake from home. The piece of cake was way bigger than the cupcakes.
Momma: How does your peanut allergy make you feel?
David: It feels sad to not eat a cup cake when it looks really yummy. That's hard.
Momma: Does it bother you to be different from the other kids?
David: No. I am not different from other kids with a peanut allergy. I am not different from Lindsay. (Lindsay is our babysitter and she also has a peanut allergy.)
Momma: If you could tell our whole town something about having a peanut allergy what would it be?
David: If I eat peanuts, I can't breathe.