Friday, February 17, 2012

Forgetful

Sometimes I just forget....no, not about the allergies, but about what life was like before the allergies. 

Once upon a time I was blissfully unaware of allergies.  I had heard of food allergies-who hasn't heard of peanut allergies-but I had never met anyone who was a diagnosed allergy-sufferer.  I simply thought that if you avoided peanut butter you would be fine.

Enter Baby Bee.  My whole perspective has changed and I live with daily reminders of allergies and the effects of food.  At our house we use words like contraband and toxic waste to apply to something containing dairy or nuts or eggs. 

We live in a constant state of heightened awareness in order to keep Bee safe.  I read labels; I inspect other kids' hands and clothes; I have been known to stand in a room sniffing the air for a whiff of peanut butter. 

I do not have the luxury of forgetting about the allergies.  I barely have the brain cells to remember what life was like when we could head to the park with a picnic and (gasp!) sit by other children who were snacking on sandwiches and goldfish. 

But, I've learned that it's easy for others to forget.  They don't live with the food allergies and forgetfulness happens.

For me, it's difficult to fathom forgetting.  Isn't that insensitive?  Rude? 

It's really not about being calloused and uncaring.  It's about simply forgetting.  Food allergies are not on their radar.  They are blissfully unaware of the effects one small food can have on another child.

I have to remind myself not to take it personally.  Yes, it's my child's life at stake, but it's often unintentional.  In the moment, it's difficult to think that rationally. 

But, it's my job to be that advocate and constant reminder.  I have to be the one to work the allergies into every conversation, to inspect every snack, and to remove ourselves when a situation is unsafe. 

Sometimes you think that it can't be that difficult to remember.  But I try to think back, before the allergies, and wonder if I would be forgetful sometimes too. 

I guess it's all in perspective.

But it is so nice when others make that concentrated effort never to forget and to always include.  Those people do exist too, but that's for another post....

2 comments:

Cindy in GA said...

Hi ~ I'm Cindy in GA from the kidswithfoodallergies forums. I just wanted to say howdy from another homeschooling mom-of-many! :) I have 4 older kids ages 12-19 and a 2-year-old with peanut & tree nut allergies. I enjoyed your blog and feel for you as you navigate day-to-day life and activities while managing Bee's many food allergies. Two resources I've really found helpful are theallergistmom.com blog and Scott Sicherer's book Understanding and Managing Your Child's Food Allergies.

Lexi said...

Thanks for the suggestions! I'm going to check into that book. I had not heard of it before :)

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