i hate to complain, because i’m not the one with the illness,
just the mom trying to help and protect her. but the truth is
i spend so much time worrying.
i’m terrified of letting my phone battery die
or turning the volume on silent, because I might miss a call
from her school or her dad about a reaction.
it is so insane to know that food can kill my child.
that the reaction time needs to be so quick, and
that even if you do everything right – avoid the foods
she’s allergic to, or give the epi-pen,
she could still die.
she could die.
i absolutely hate having to take her to so many
doctor appointments and labs
to get poked and prodded,
holding her down despite her screams
and trying to explain, in kid terms, what is
going to happen. that yes, it’s going to hurt,
but it will be over soon.
I’m usually crying, too. hell, today I hugged the lab tech
after it was over. I acted like it was a thank you hug,
but I’m the one who needed a hug.
and then I let my kid pick out anything she wanted from the
gift shop. And yes, i mean anything.
because the truth is I feel fear, every day,
that my child will die.
imagine that for a minute.
i wonder if she will live to be a teenager.
and then i wonder if some idiot boyfriend
will kiss her after eating shrimp or peanutbutter
and then she’ll die.
when i drop her off at school and kiss her goodbye
I look at her and hug her and realize to my core
that this could be the last time i see her alive. and
pray that she makes it through the day.
i point out to the teachers at her school any single drop
of milk i see on a table or counter or floor
and remind the director NOT to hesitate with the
epi pen if she’s wondering what to do.
and i try to make today normal for her and
focus on having fun and teaching her
how to keep herself safe.
like what it means to read labels,
when she doesn’t even know how to read.
i spend so much time and money on food,
and then cooking the food from scratch.
for almost every meal, every family gathering.
always making a safe version so she
doesn’t feel left out.
and yet my daughter still hasn’t eaten
donuts and keeps asking for them.
for some reason i haven’t been able to dig
deep enough to fucking make donuts.
and so i feel like an awful parent.
food allergies impact her relationships – with her brother and friends.
play dates and birthday parties.
and it impacts my relationships – the marriage i had
and the dating relationships i have now.
family members and friends.
teachers and other parents at school.
we really can’t leave the house – or welcome people into our
house – without having a conversation about it.
this is not an easy road.
and it is no one’s fault. not hers. not mine.
it breaks my heart nearly every day.
But as a mother, as her mom,
i breathe in and out
and smile and pray,
work hard to be positive
and give her strength and confidence.
i want to give her everything possible to succeed in this life.
no matter how hard. no matter how much it costs.
she deserves the happiest of childhoods
and strongest of mothers.
don’t we all?
You can find more of my food allergy posts, tips & recipes on my Food Allergy page. I’d also love to connect with you on my Marketing Mama facebook page and twitter. This post, and all posts on this blog, are written from my experiences as a parent of a child with food allergies. I am not a medical expert and encourage you to consult with a doctor on your personal medical situation.
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