Sunday, November 27, 2011

Now to Apologize

Thank you so much for inviting us!  In order for us to be able to participate we must wipe down the tables, clean the chairs, wipe the other children's hands, allow no food or drink, bring our own snacks, and ask that no pets be allowed near us.  

I realize that it's more trouble than it's worth to invite us to participate in anything-whether it be a birthday party or a Sunday school class or a simple playdate.  If we want to go, I have to lay the ground rules for our participation.  If our parameters aren't met, then we can't participate.  Everyone has to bend over backward to be able to include us.  I step on toes.  I offend people (usually unintentionally....).  I come with lists, medicines, requirements, and with a lot of worry and fear.

Sometimes I think people cringe when they see us coming or know that we're also invited.

I walk around with the stigma of the allergy mom.  We have allergies and everyone knows it.  I find myself having at least one allergy discussion every. single. day.  I'm either explaining our allergies, talking about resources, or answering someone else's questions about their symptoms.  I absolutely cannot escape from it.  And if you're anywhere near me, you can't escape from it either.

So, this is to apologize.  I'm sorry for being the never-ending food allergy network.  I'm sorry for all the seemingly ridiculous precautions and safety measures.  I'm sorry for all the hoops you must jump through if you are crazy enough to invite us to something.  I'm sorry that we make things that much more complicated.

But I so appreciate those that take the time to understand and to help.  We appreciate being included and we try to make it as simple as possible.  I hope you're able to put yourself in our shoes and ask yourself how you would cope in our situation.  And, I'll try to put myself in your shoes and know that it is really difficult and frustrating.

I get tired of the allergy life.  You get tired of hearing about it.  But I hope that our story and what we've learned along the way can help others.  Now, that's something I don't have to apologize for!


DaLynn said...

Oh sweetie, hugs to you! We aren't in your situation by any means, but I can relate to being the one everyone has to make accommodations for. I think by this blog you are doing others - and yourself! - a great service, both in making people aware and also in relieving some of that stress from yourself. For those of us who deal with "oddities" no one else does, we sometimes forget how out-of-the-ordinary our lives really are. Cut yourself some slack, and revel in the knowledge that the Lord has taken you where He has for a reason, and He has a plan for you all. Love and prayers as you celebrate the season! And, I'd totally invite you over! <3

Lexi said...

Thanks! I do hope it's helpful to someone. Food allergies are overwhelming and I still remember how I felt when we were first diagnosed. I was thankful for others who had walked before me with the allergy stuff! And we'd love to come over......if only we were closer : )

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