Monday, July 26, 2010

Allergies and Asthma on My Mind

Allergy and Asthma Thoughts: A little of This and That

This past weekend I almost bought something for my son that had peanut warning. The allergens were written in bold letters. It said Contains: Milk and Wheat. The ingredients were above that. It looked wonderful. As I was checking out, the clerk offered that he thought he could find another non-peanut item for me. He pulled the item. It wasn't safe. It made me re-look. There in very, very small print, at the bottom of the package was a warning, "May contain peanuts". It was ridiculously small. When will we have standardized labeling? Will it ever happen?

My PA son is going to VBS this week. I couldn't help but laugh at myself this morning because my nerves were shot. I was nervous taking my son to vacation Bible school. Part of me felt like I should get a grip. Part of me felt extremely brave. All of me was thankful for a special friend that understands food allergies and made sure to work with the food, verify ingredients with me, and make sure my son was comfortable. Will new situations ever get easier on my nerves?

My oldest son is at Cub Scout camp this week. I packed him such a big lunch, I laughed to myself this morning. He ate it all. (How in the world does he bring home half his lunch during school and then eat a monster sized lunch today?) He could have eaten the lunch provided, even in addition to his lunch. He won't eat the provided lunch because it contains peanut butter sandwiches. I explained to him that he could still eat it and then come home and wash his hands. He isn't willing. PB&J was his favorite when he was 4. Now, I wonder, will he ever eat peanut butter again? I marvel at how my son's food allergy affects his siblings.

This morning I was reading Chicago Tribune article about kids with peanut allergies and asthma. My son walks up and asks if I am reading about his allergy. As he stands next to me, I hear him breathing. I notice him breathing. I ask him if his asthma is bothering him. He says yes. We get his inhaler. I ask him if his asthma bothered him yesterday. He says yes. I spent time explaining that he needs to treat his asthma when it is there or it will get worse. I wonder why he waits until his asthma gets bad before he wants to treat it. I wonder if others have trouble with this with their asthma kids. I wonder when and if he will change.

I experience times of stress and nervousness about my son's future. Sometimes it is just unreasonable. Why do I worry so much? I plan and do the best I can. I pray. Why worry? But still, I am afraid. I worry about future events (like day camps and sleep overs). I worry about school. Just today when my son said he didn't like a girl at school, I worried that it was because she made fun of him. (But, I got him to explain...turns out, she just doesn't talk and he talks all the time. He says they are opposites. Now that's funny.) I worry about him being in a new class in the fall with a different teacher and different kids. I am often afraid. I hate it. I wonder if I will ever be able to let go of the fear or if this is a fear that allergy moms carry forever. I also wonder, if you pray, will you pray for me?


RLR said...

I thought of you and your asthma worries this morning! My son is sick and was prescribed an inhaler to help ease some of his symptoms. This is new to us, and I wished that I could just pick up the phone and call you to talk with you about it! And of course, I said a little prayer that all was ok! Now that I have read your post, I'll keep you in my prayers.
VBS was very stressful for me last summer. I wrote this post ( about it - and you are the 'blog' friend that I mentioned in the post.
Thinking of you as the new school year approaches, too. M will still be in the nut-free classroom, so it's back to nut-free lunches very soon!

Brandi said...

I can't even imagine... none of mine have food allergies. I'm a worrier, though, so it would probably drive me insane if any of them did. I will pray for you and your son and that you guys have a safe, peanut free year when school starts. :)

Alicia said...

Well, we know that fear does not come from the Lord. Just keep praying for God's wisdom. Not only for you, but for your sons too. We had a girl in VBS that had a peanut allergy, and my friend was in charge of staying by her the entire time. They didn't want to take any chances!

Jeanne said...

I will pray for you. I'm in you shoes, Jane Anne. My Early Riser just finished his first VBS last week. I was so thankful to my SIL (whose church he attended the VBS at) who happens to be an attorney, set everything up for us. She is a long time member at the church and spoke to everyone involved about his life threatening allergies. When we arrived for check in on Monday morning, as soon as I said his name, the woman behind the table knew all about him and sent us right over to the group for the week. The leader of the group was another food allergy mama, familiar with an epi-pen, and her PA son was also in his class. What a tremendous blessing! I pray you are comforted during this week and you find peace. I will soon be navigating the public schools for my FA son, and I am a nervous wreck thinking about it.

Anonymous said...

done! pb

momstheword said...

Of course I'll pray! A couple of my friends have kids with asthma, and these kids usually wait until they're having trouble breathing (or their mom notices their lips are blue) before treating their asthma. They get better as their older.