Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Enough is Enough...How Much More Can We Take?!?

I am no longer just the mom of a type 1 Diabetic and two Asthma kids. Nope. Someone, somewhere decided I needed to expand my horizons and be more involved in  health centered issues. I  feel as though I am being gravely misrepresented to whomever is in charge up there. I have heard the old saying, "God only gives you what you can handle", well I have had my fill thank you very much. I am way past my saturation limit. You can just hold onto whatever else you are thinking of throwing my way. I am in no mood to cooperate, enough is enough!

My 2 year old son and I went to the allergist this morning. The doctor did a few tests and confirmed what I had already known in my heart to be true, my son is allergic to peanuts. I was really hoping that I was wrong and that it would be just a contact issue. Nope. He had a substantial reaction to the controlled test.

My husband, in his very hopeful way, asked me if he will grow out of it. Most likely not. Research  indicates that 20% of children do grow out of their allergy to peanuts. However, if your child has Eczema he is most likely going to have the allergy for his entire life and it will most likely get more severe as time goes on. Wonderful. While we were at the allergist he checked Ethan's Eczema and gave us some new ways to manage it. So I guess we won't be growing out of this one.

So on our way home we stopped at the pharmacy, filled the prescription for 2 Epi Jr pens, and bought 2 mini Mr Potato heads and a Buzz Lightyear zapper (because my son was very well behaved and I felt terrible he had to have his back poked and prodded to confirm his allergy).

Recently in the news a school in Florida had parents protesting the "extreme" measures staff was going through to protect a child with a severe peanut allergy. Since I am very familiar with federal requirements of publicly funded schools (and such) I have to say that parents who have been demanding the child with the allergy be removed from the school to be home schooled, went a bit too far. Not only does the school have no say in any such matter, neither do they (parents). I understand that rumors and false information was being reported and many people were just plain misinformed. That probably accounted for a lot of the protesting. For example they were not disinfecting children's faces and/or hands with Clorox wipes. (Which as a parent I would have had a huge problem with and protested as well). I wonder though, if the parents who were protesting and demanding this student be home schooled, if they had a child with a similar situation, how would they feel? How would their child feel? Did they stop and think of that? It is highly possible that this child's parents could not and do not have the resources to home school or provide private school. Which is why there are laws protecting students in the first place. These parents pay the same taxes the protesting parents pay.

Anyway, since this situation I fear children with peanut allergies will be even more segregated than they already are. As a child it is hard enough to fit in and get along with everyone else. When you have another factor that singles you out more so than the rest of the kids, its that much harder on you.

I also understand that children can be horrible to each other, however children don't just pick up this stuff on their own, they get it from their parents. Children hear what their parents are saying and discussing. They pick up on their parents opinions and make them their own. Parents who are racist pass racism on to their children, parents who are snobs pass snobbish behavior onto their children, and parents who are intolerant of people with disabilities and the accommodations made for those with disabilities pass on that intolerance to their children. (of course there are exceptions but in general kids learn this stuff from their parents).

Let me give you an example that is easily understood by everyone. When my twins were in kindergarten (so many years ago) we lived in a very nice neighborhood. I worked very hard as a single mother who went to school full time and worked full time. We rented a very nice 3 bedroom apartment in this lovely neighborhood of single family homes. I loved our apartment. We had a pool, a gardener, a playground, and a safe area for the children to be. Well I was in their class one day and the girls were sharing with the class something (I can't remember what). A child near me leaned over to her friend and whispered (not so quietly), "they rent".  What the holy hell do kindergartners care whether someone owns a home or rents? They don't, but their parents have all kinds of opinions that their kids picked up on quite easily.

We had an older station wagon my father had bought for me when I left my ex-husband. It worked well for a mother of three babies. It wasn't fancy and it wasn't glamorous, but it ran well and had power everything! So we loved it. Well I finally got a new car. On the way to school the first day in our new car I heard one twin tell the other, "Now Danny can't give us a hard time for having an old car".  What the holy hell do kindergartners care about how old someones car is? They don't, but their parents have quite a few opinions about them. 

So those are two very easy to understand examples of how we as parents can pass our opinions down to our children. Honestly, those were harmless compared to most of what happens in the world today.

So, anyway, I am just very concerned that my poor baby who is now officially allergic to peanuts is destined to sit at the "peanut free" lunch table instead of with classmates and friends. He will be that student other kids roll their eyes about because any snacks that come into their classroom will have to be "peanut free" (of course they will have practiced that eye roll after watching mom and/or dad do it). And my worst fear is his peanut allergy may someday be used against him in a bullying, hazing, or just plain assaulting situation. I know, I know...I have this gift of seeing worst case scenarios. Believe it or not I am actually a very positive person. I think that being able to see the worst case easily in my mind helps prepare me for bad outcomes and helps me handle them in a positive manner should they happen.

Our next hurdle is the appointment for one of my twins with the Pediatric Rhematologist later this month. We know she is suffering with Raynauds Syndrome (another auto immune disorder where your body randomly shuts off circulation to fingers and /or toes. They turn white, then blue, and then flush red when circulation is restored.). What we don't know is if it is just Raynauds or a precursor to another much more serious auto immune disorder such as Lupus. So I will report later this month on that one.

So for now, I am putting in my formal request of ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!


  1. I wish I could give you a break and take it all on for you (hugs)

  2. Sorry to hear that you are facing another medical problem with your children, but glad that you have found out now in controlled enviroment and can be prepared.

    I have 3 children all eczaema, asthma sufferers and the middle one has just been diagnosed with IBS.

    I have had 2 weeks of hosp appoints and like you am fed up with it.

    You are doing a grand job of caring for your children's needs.
    Hoping that the school will deal sensibly with your child's allergy.


  3. I have no idea what it is to feel worried about medical concerns with my children and I'm grateful everyday. I'm so sorry to hear that your plate is more than full with all of these kid worries. Some people's reaction to classroom restrictions fires me up too. As a teacher when I have to decline to aprticipate in birthday cake treats, etc... and parents get upset I always think to myself - if it were YOUR kid you'd want to personally inspect the other children's ahnds as they walked through the door for Christ's sake. grrrrr...
    Not because I feel the need to preach or "fix" how you're feeling but because your post was so earnest and passionate I am sitting here feeling moved to say SOMETHING... All the years I spent in Al-Anon trying to free myself of how I let others make me feel has afforded me the gift of relying on one life strategy that never fails me: when I am overwhelmed by thoughts of things I have no control over (like how other people will resond to your child's allergy), I focus on what I can control - my reactions and actions. Perhaps making a plan to help him feel good inside and in control of his health as he gets bigger and can understand more and more will make you feel like you are giving him the emotional armour to not even allow everyone else's opinions about the peanut-free table to penetrate... Prayers for your kiddos and the best health they can have, Heather :-)

  4. I know what you mean about what kids learn from their parents. We live in a simular community and if you don't live in the right section... well...

    Lots of craziness going on around the doc in the last few days with the extra dx's. I just wrote a post about having "enough".

  5. I am so sorry to hear about your son's allergy on top of all your other medical concerns. Seeing the worse case scenario sometimes DOES make us be prepared, but then maybe it won't be as bad as you think it will be, well, that's what I hope anyway.