Thursday, May 14, 2015

Thursday Thanks Tank #207: FAAW

I am thankful that my son has not had a reaction to peanuts during elementary school.
I am thankful for the teachers that have worked with me over the years to provide safe options for my son when food was part of a school event.
I am thankful for my son's extremely careful attitude.
I am thankful for a new discovery of Barney's Almond Butter. It's peanut free!
I am also thankful for Blue Diamond Almonds. Also peanut free!
I am thankful for friends who listen to me rant about allergy frustrations.
I am thankful for modern medicine.
I am thankful for understanding from others.
I am thankful that my son knows other students with food allergies.
I am thankful that my husband and I agree on how to manage my son's allergy (including any risks we take).
I am thankful for the companies that take food allergy labeling seriously.
I am thankful our healthy attitude about my son's severe peanut allergy.
I am thankful for FAAN (Food Allergy and Awareness Network) and FARE (Food Allergy and Research Education).
I am thankful for Twitter and being able to do searches on "#foodallergy" or "#peanutallergy"  That took has been invaluable.
I am thankful for FAAW (Food Allergy Awareness Week) and the focus if gives me for the week.
I am thankful that my son has been kept safe.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

My PA Son is Almost Done with Elementary School

It's hard to believe my peanut allergic son is finishing up elementary school. I remember vividly my fear the night before he started Kindergarten. There were tears. After he was in bed, I shed big sobbing tears. I was afraid of what he would be up against in school. Where did the time go? It didn't go fast, necessarily. There were many food allergy challenges along the way. Still, in less than a month, he will be done with 5th grade, headed to middle school and I can hardly believe it.

My son is unique in that he attended four elementary schools from Kindergarten through 5th grade. We were in Oregon when he was in Kindergarten and 1st grade. We were in Nevada from 2nd grade through 4th grade. After 2nd grade, we selected to send him to a new school based on his academic needs. Then, we moved to Florida for 5th grade. It was very interesting to see how different schools approach food allergies. No two schools handled it the same, even the two in the same district. And, naturally, no two teachers handled his food allergy the same.

I've learned a lot.

Much of it can be wrapped up in this: Be proactive. Be proactive all the time. It doesn't matter if the teacher's kid has a food allergy (which we've experienced). Always work ahead and do what you need to do. Chances are great that the teacher or school will not cover the basis the way you will.

Well, I've gotten tired. I had a couple more paragraphs written and then I figured out that I had quite a lot more I could say. I'd like to write more about his elementary school food allergy experiences and what I have learned. So, I am going to save that for another time (hopefully soon).

Monday, May 11, 2015

Food Allergy Awareness Week: Monday

It's Food Allergy Awareness Week 2015.

A few thoughts about this week~

I always wished this awareness week took place in the Fall, toward the beginning of a school year, instead of May, near the end of school.

I do like that Food Allergy Awareness Week starts on Mother's Day. Mothers are ultra aware, constantly providing and doing what's necessary for a Food Allergy kid. I saw several food allergy Mother's Day posts online yesterday and they were wonderful.

I like Food Allergy Awareness week because #1, I take time out of my busy schedule to read what's being said and posted. It seems lame and it is to a certain degree, but being the mom of 4 busy kids, I don't stay up on the latest articles, helpful tips, and food allergy news. I do well just to ensure that my son is safe. So, while I hope to make others pause and think about food allergies this week, the week serves me well because I am more aware of what is going on in the allergy world.

I do not know how I will make others more aware of food allergies. I do not have a plan for that. Maybe it will happen, maybe it won't. But, I know that I am going to sit down with my peanut allergy son this week and talk about his allergy- the good, bad and the ugly.
I am sure that effort will be meaningful.