Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A Published Book and a Funny Story

So, I have some exciting news to share with you! I have a published book about our food allergy journey with Bee. You can find the book, Hives in the Kitchen, on Amazon. Within a few weeks you can purchase the book to read on Kindle.

But before I tell you more about the book I have to tell you the story behind the book.

Did you know I was writing a book?

Neither did I.

Feel free to be as surprised as I was when I found out.

Last week, my hubby quietly slipped a cute book into my hand. It looked quite a bit like my blog design and even had the same title. Just before I angrily asked him who was stealing my ideas, my eyes glanced at the bottom of the cover. My name was printed across the bottom. I quickly flipped through the book and recognized the typed words from my journal. This was my book.

You see, my blog, Hives in the Kitchen, had an unpublished side of it. I had written about our journey when Bee was a baby, yet I never published it for anyone to read. It was personal and written mainly so I would never forget about the challenges we had overcome. One day I wanted to be able to read through it with Bee so she could know her own story. I hoped it would help her take her food allergies seriously and also take ownership of her diagnosis as she learns to advocate for herself. But mostly I prayed it would provide hope for her as she faced the future. I wanted to communicate how we had advocated for her as an infant with the hope that she would tirelessly advocate for herself and others with allergies.

So, to sort through my thoughts and my emotions on days when I felt especially discouraged about the allergies, I wrote about the past. I cried out tears of frustration as I typed every word and somehow my heart felt more settled and I was once again ready to step into my role as advocate and care taker.

My husband had seen these pages detailing our journey and we often read them together to rekindle our hope and to encourage us in our prayers for a cure and for healing.

I never planned to do anything with those pages, really. They were so close to my heart and I couldn't imagine anyone else wanting to read the details of our journey to find a diagnosis for Bee.

My husband always felt differently. He wanted me to publish the little journal as a book for others who were also dealing with food allergies, believing that others could benefit from reading about the misdiagnoses, challenges, and emotions that filled the first years of Bee's life. I never believed the writings to be good enough for anyone to care to read. Whenever he mentioned publication I just nodded and said, "Maybe someday..." However, I never thought that "someday" would ever arrive.

Well it is that "someday" now. As an early Christmas present my husband had the story about Bee published into a small book that we can share with our friends and family and with others who are walking their own food allergy journey. I will always believe that the story is not "good enough." However, despite any imperfections I pray that it will be an encouragement to others who face the same diagnosis.

The book details Bee's early symptoms as a baby as well as the multiple misdiagnoses given us by the various doctors that we visited. It includes the stories of Bee's first allergic reactions and our quest to find a doctor to support us as we worked toward healing her little body. The book is also filled with my thoughts and how the allergies impacted me as a mother - the fear, frustration, anger, discouragement, and loneliness that followed me through those early years. However, the book ends with hope in finding support through friends, family, and doctors as well as peace in discovering a new normal in our family - a normal that is now our life while managing the multiple life-threatening food allergies of our daughter Bee.

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Bethany said...

I can't wait to read it. I think it will help me with my journey of two kids with multiple food allergies and homeschooling. Thanks!

Kathryn @ Mamacado said...

Wow, what a wonderful husband! Give him some extra kisses for such a thoughtful idea! Congrats on your book!

Lexi Henegar said...

I hope it does help you Bethany! It is a lot about my feelings in dealing with the allergies. I hope you find it encouraging.
And yes, Kathryn, that was so sweet of him. I was so very surprised. I would never have been brave enough to publish anything.

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