One night when my son, Zachary was two years old, he had a tiny taste of peanut butter. After tasting it, he vomited. My husband and I didn’t think too much of it because its not uncommon for toddlers to vomit. Two weeks later, Zachary took a taste of my Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup (my all time favorite candy at the time – my least favorite now) and right away started hitting the sides of his face saying his mouth hurt. Subsequently, he threw up. RIGHT AWAY, I KNEW……Zachary was allergic to peanuts!
We went to the pediatrician the very next day. His blood test confirmed what I already knew, except worse – He was off the charts, highly allergic! We were referred to an allergist who we went to see right away. The allergist reviewed his results and told me to ALWAYS have an Epipen with me. That day I walked out of the allergist’s office with an Epipen prescription and a hand written illegible messy action plan. I felt emotionally overloaded. I was overwhelmed, upset and mad. The action plan was difficult to read and follow. It had arrows pointing to different places. I couldn’t even understand it – all I could think was how was a preschool teacher or babysitter who might have to react to my child in an emergency supposed to find that useful and be able to react properly and timely?
My primary thought after leaving the allergist’s office that day was that my son’s life literally and totally depended on me and I had no idea how to make the world safe for him. Since my son’s first diagnosis, he has developed additional food allergies. Through awareness, education and personal experiences, (stumbling blocks and all) I have mastered how to manage a “normal”, safe and full life with food allergies for my son and my family.
I never want anyone to feel as overwhelmed, lost and alone as I did walking out of the doctor’s office on that devastating day.
I will help you navigate life with food allergies and achieve FOOD ALLERGY CONFIDENCE. I have been there and I am HERE FOR YOU and YOUR FAMILY.
Zachary, 17 years old now, is a typical teenager who is completely responsible and vigilant about his allergies and his safety. He has successfully gone to sleep-away camp, played high level sports and traveled in and out of the country. So far, he has lived a “normal” life – a fun, happy, safe and full life. His allergies have never been a roadblock!