Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wednesday :)

I have a lot on my mind, mostly peanut related.  I am an allergy mom, I did not choose this, my son definitely did not choose this.  Sometimes, I just have to step away from the computer after reading the comments about the Teal Pumpkin Project.  Listen, it is completely optional.  It is by no means trying to change Halloween, what so ever.  It is just a little added bonus, to let children know, that the house that has a teal pumpkin, that there is something for them, too.  That they are thought of.  A little toy, a sticker, a glow stick, a pencil, something safe for the allergy child.  Trust me, I have been doing this a long time.  I am teaching my child how to navigate in this nut filled world.  I would never ask anyone to alter their life to accommodate my child.  This is a very exhausting and challenging allergy, and one I do not wish upon anyone, ever.  All I do ask is for a little compassion and understanding for this life threatening allergy.  It is on the rise, 1 in 13 children are being diagnosed with a food allergy, a life threatening food allergy.  So, there will be a day someone you know may have it.  I have been told I am lazy, that I want to put the responsibility on other parents for my son to have a happy Halloween.  I have been told to keep my son home.  I have been told to keep my son out of school. I have been told a lot of things.  I am NOT lazy, I have been doing Halloween a LONG time, I go through all my kids' bags to make sure they are safe.  The teal pumpkin is optional, it is to show that ALL children are thought of.  Do it, don't do it.  I will make sure my son has a Happy Halloween.  It is just to show a little support and awareness for this life threatening allergy.  I am not lazy, it takes me hours to go grocery shopping..I read every label, every time.  If Kevin comes with me, I have to wipe the entire cart down in case it had come in contact with nuts...I do my shopping most of the time while he is in school, so it doesn't happen as much as it used to.  When there is a spontaneous birthday, I race down to the school to make sure he has something fun to eat in case his treat box had run out.  When the teacher does grafting with M&M's I make sure she has a supply of skittles to graph, so he can do the assignment too :)  Every product at one time or another must be researched and I call the the 800 numbers you see on the products, because they don't always post the "may contain" label.  I make most things from scratch and stay away from processed as much as I can.  I nursed all my babies, formula had never touched there lips.  I juice, I eat healthy, I serve healthy snacks.  I spend hours upon hours, baking and washing and cutting and cooking so my entire family will have lots of safe food to eat.  My home is Peanut and Treenut free and that is a hard feat to accomplish, because nuts are in everything, not only food items but non food items.
My little boy must wear a medical bracelet and can never go anywhere with out his Epi Pen.  He has to be aware of his surroundings at all times.  He knows how to educate you on his allergy, when some kind person tries to give him a cookie or something, he has learned to politely say, "No, thank you, I have a nut allergy and it might not be safe".  He can read labels.  He can read better than most, he has surpassed his level and has been given his own list of spelling words, because he has surpassed all the words his class is learning.  My son is smart, my son is kind, my son is loving and caring and compassionate.  He thinks of others even when they don't think of him.  He doesn't ask me anymore why he has this allergy, he, at his young age has accepted it..he knows his limits.  I pray for a cure, and at night I sometimes cry.  I worry, I worry a lot.  My son is a bright, beautiful, smart child.  He wants to run and play and celebrate holidays just like all children do.  He wants to go to school and make friends, and he loves PE....He is my joy, and it just breaks my heart when people say he needs to be in a limited environment away from society...and I am the one being lazy.  Moms' are complaining because they are asked by the school not to send in peanut butter sandwiches, and they are complaining that they now have to think of something else for their child to eat, and I am the lazy one??  We navigate a peanut free life every minute of every day and the school asking you to wait until your child gets home to have their peanut butter, is ruining your child's life?  You are mad at the allergy child because he is ruining things for you? People are complaining that these allergy kids are messing things up at school....well, I am going to ask it again, and really think about this question.....really think about it:  When did a peanut butter sandwich become more important than a child's life?


Anonymous said...


Hugs to you, Julieann.


Anonymous said...

This is wonderful. It really is a shame that not much has changed since I was in school and my mother had to make sure I wasn't given peanuts or pumpkin - and a host of other foods that I was allergic to. Fortunately she worked in the office at my school and was able to handle things as they came up. To this day, I still get the "Oh but one little bite won't hurt you." I've stopped being nice - my usual response now is, "Yes, it can hurt me. In fact it can and probably will kill me."


as always starzie said...

Julieann I'm so sorry you have to encounter such insensitive cruel people. Neither you or your little boy asked for a peanut allergy! Do these moms realize a child can die from a peanut allergy? It's not just a little rash or hives. My kids are all grown & I'm a grandma now. But if my children were little and in school I would have no problem keeping peanuts out of their lunch boxes! And to label you lazy, that is ridiculous! You are an awesome mother just trying to keep your child safe. What goes around comes around! The people that aren't understanding and compassionate towards you may need this some day in some form and may not receive it from people!
Take care and give your sweet little boy a hug from this grandma!

Anonymous said... is so very difficult to navigate this world when you have a child with anything other than the "norm" (whatever norm is). I'm sure what you are doing everyday for your little guy is exhausting. Our calling as moms with children who need more or different than other children can be so trying especially when support from other moms is minimal.Try to surround yourself with like minded moms. I always feel better when I have friends who have loved ones with Down Syndrome like my Sarah. Someone who truly understands because they live it everyday. I pray God's continued strength for you and your family. You are a wonderful mom....just ask your kids, they'll tell you!! Lisa from Ohio

Julieann said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for ALL for your kind words...they really touched my heart and made me feel better...truly, they did!!!!

Somedays I just really need to let it out...and the day I posted this was one of those days, and I thank you for listening! XO XO


Sanjiv said...

The teal pumpkin is a great idea. Every little one should have something fun for Halloween. I am really surprised at people's cruelty to you over this subject. A food allergy is a life threatening condition! It's not an invitation to be judged and made fun of. Hope you have the happiest Halloween!