Monday, May 16, 2011
Food Allergy Awareness Interview 2011
Last week was Food Allergy Awareness Week. As it was, I was submerged in the planning details for a school event. I was not able to do much in regards to educating others about food allergies during the FAAW. However, I did make a special effort to talk to my son about his food allergy. I'm convinced that his allergy education is of utmost importance.
For the 3rd year in a row, I interviewed him about his peanut allergy. For anyone with a child with food allergies, I highly recommend having a conversation like this. My son knows that I am doing it because of FAAW and he seems to like thinking I am going to share his answers. I like how the interview starts a conversation and how I can assess his understanding of his allergy.
Food Allergy Interview with my 7 year old
Question: Question: What are you allergic to?
Answer: Peanuts, for at least 7 years
Question: Do you like having a peanut allergy?
Answer: Because I get to eat lunch without people crowded around me.
Question: Is there anything else you like about having the allergy?
Answer: It makes me smarter because I know more about food.
Question: Is it hard being the kid with the peanut allergy at school?
Answer: It’s hard because I have to keep everything more in control. I have to be more in control of my body.
Question: Are there any good things about a peanut allergy?
Answer: Not that much
Question: What would happen if you ate a peanut?
Answer: I would call you to use my Epipen and then we would go to the hospital.
Question: What would happen to YOU?
Answer: I’d have itchy eyes. I’d start breathing really slow, well stop breathing. The real answer is, I’d take my Epipen.
Question: Do you know how to use an Epi-pen?
(Nope, I didn't like his matter-of-fact "no" but I kept going with the interview and decided to talk about his meds later.)
Question: What do Momma and Daddy do to keep you safe?
Answer: Give me a lunchbox at school. Keep my Epipen.
Question: How do you keep yourself safe?
Answer: I say "No" to most everything when people say, “Do you want this candy?”
Question: If someone offered you food, what would you do?
Answer: I’d say "No."
Question: What is the hardest part of a peanut allergy?
Answer: Having to check the label.
Question: What is the scariest part of a peanut allergy?
Answer: Practically nothing because I am brave.
Question: Is it scary that you would eat something and break out in hives or having trouble breathing?
(I asked this leading question because I could tell his previous answer was purely to sound good in the interview.)
Question: Do you worry about that?
Answer: Not that much because I think I know what to do.
Question: Do kids every tease you about having a peanut allergy?
Answer: No, but a kid teased me about something else. (He went on to tell me about a normal 1st grader teasing episode.)
Question: Do they ask you questions about it?
Answer: Ummmm, No
Question: Does it bother you to be different from other kids?
Answer: No, I don’t care about being different.
Question: Do you mind having to sit at the peanut free table?
Question: Do you mind not sometimes getting food that other people get?
Answer: No, I do not mind!
I just like what I eat.
(I let him go with this answer. I can tell you that sometimes it does bother him.)
Question: Does it ever make you sad?
Answer: No. Only when I try to think about it. I just usually don’t think about it.
Question: If you could tell our whole town something about having a peanut allergy what would it be?
Answer: It is not fun.
Question: What is not fun?
Answer: Not getting to eat peanut butter.
Some of my best friends bring peanut butter to school and they can’t sit with me.
It’s hard having to control what I eat.
At this point, I asked him about what we'd do if he had a reaction and then we went over his medicine. I will share all of that in an upcoming post.