This whole issue has reminded me how important it is that we train those around us to care for our PA kids if we are unable to do so. Obviously our spouse (if you have one) should be someone we trust for the welfare of our PA kid. (If you are newly diagnosed, it will come in time.) In my case today, my husband will be with me. So what do I do with Tyler? Oh yes, I have another child, too! He will need care, too, although not as vigilant with foods.
I am lucky enough to have a mother-in-law that I trust completely. She has two other grandchildren with life-threatening tree nut allergies. She's familiar with the Epi and only feeds Tyler what I tell her. She totally understands the severity of his allergy. He's in excellent hands. However, this came on us so quickly and she is a busy lady, I worried the first few hours she would not be able to do it. Then what would I do?
There are several people at church that watch him on a regular basis. Yet, I'm always very close if a problem ever arose. I got very anxious initially about the kids' care for today. I did not realize how much comfort I find in being so close at church. I know if anything happened, I could be there within minutes. (That is still too long not to teach others how to use the Epi, so his caregivers are trained.)
Are these people capable? Yes! Do they understand the severity of his allergy? Yes! Are they careful in what they feed him? Yes! So, what's the problem? Me.
As PA parents, it's important to train several people (if possible) to care for our PA kid. We need to get to a point where it doesn't cause us a great deal of anxiety. Then, we need to trust those we have trained.
We never know when an unexpected surgery might come up. Or a terrible car accident. I'm sure I don't need to list all of the possibilities for you. There may be a day when you can't care for your PA kid, at least for a day or two. Your spouse may be with you if you are in the hospital. There needs to be a backup plan!
For the newly diagnosed, don't beat yourself up too much if this scares you to death. But, there needs to be day when you eventually trust a few others in the unpredictable event you can't care for your child. Think how much more anxiety I would have had if no one else was trained to care for Tyler! I would be ten times more nervous about surgery than I already am!
**************For those of you that e-mailed me recently and I have not responded: I am so sorry! I had a crazy weekend. Then the surgery came up and I'm running around like a madwoman trying to get things done around the house. My surgery is outpatient and I will be retuning e-mails soon. In fact, sitting at the computer may be all I will be able to do!!