Thursday, April 25, 2013

Food Allergies and Fear of Traveling

Our home is our little safe place.  Here we have allergy safe food, we have medicine, we have Epi-pens, we have local health food stores that carry our specialty foods, and we have a few fall-back restaurants where we know we can eat.  This is our little bubble.  I don't like to go too far from our allergy-free home.

So, how do you travel with a food allergic child?  Very carefully with extensive planning!  And with a lot of fear and worry!

We've never flown with Bee and I don't plan to step on an airplane with her anytime soon.  Did you know some airlines still serve peanuts on their flights?  And the gluten-filled pretzels that other flights serve aren't any better.  I can't imagine being trapped in a tightly-packed airplane with passengers munching on peanuts.  There's no doctor, no hospital, and no way out of that place.  I'm terrified to fly with Bee.

Instead, we take road trips.  But those still pose all kinds of problems for us.  When we plan little vacations, I spend just as much time worrying as I do actually planning.

I fear that I'll forget an important medicine.
I fear that there won't be a local health food store that carries her food.
I fear that I'll forget to pack enough food for us while we're on our trip.
I fear that we won't be able to find a safe place to stop or pull over.
I fear that our vacation spot won't have a medical facility equipped for Bee or a staff trained in how to treat anaphylactic shock.
I fear that our hotel will somehow be contaminated and that Bee will react to something in the room.
I fear having any type of problem and being far away from friends, family, and our little safety net of home.
I just fear the unknown that comes with traveling to a new place.

Traveling with our food allergies causes me so much anxiety and fear.  It's also a massive headache to plan for every meal, research every restaurant, call local grocery stores and health food stores, carefully select our hotel, and thoughtfully plan each activity.

The minute the car is loaded and we back away from the driveway I feel fear try to creep in to ruin our time.  Then I have to push that aside and focus on having a wonderful time as a family and trying to enjoy the memories we can make. 

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