Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Today's post is one I have debated writing for well over a year. But this week I decided to expose my own vulnerability on this blog. My intent has never been to hide it from anyone but myself. I also never want to appear that I am blaming my precious Tyler for any of my own problems. All of my emotions bubble over from a deep love I have for my first born child.
But, the last few years have been tough. After Tyler was hospitalized in June 2008 for an anaphylactic reaction, I developed terrible migraines. Had they not started the week after his hospitalization, I might have never made the connection.
In the first year after his reaction, I would develop migraines for about a week at time. They were debilitating but life went on. I would usually have a good week or two before I would get another one. When my husband was diagnosed with tree nut allergies last May, I developed some form of a headache every single day. For 10 months.
I have no food allergies. Yet, my body developed a dramatic reaction to the fact they were (and are) a regular part of my life.
Once the daily headaches started, they became a vicious cycle. I saw a neurologist. He did an MRI and ran other tests and could find nothing clinically wrong. (They did determine there is a brain in my head which is a relief some days!)
I told my doctor all about Tyler and know food allergies were at least partly the cause. I really never expected them to find anything. Yet, life was terribly difficult with a chronic daily headache for 10 months.
I tell you this to say that having a child with life-threatening food allergies is hard. The stress is incredible. It takes a toll on your health.
The headaches are considerably better now. They did not leave without considerable drama, however. I will be back Friday to talk about why I was in the hospital for 4 days in March. As you might guess, I think stress had a thing or two to do with it.
Feel free to share your own experiences in the comments.
Monday, May 10, 2010
Do you ever wake up and think, "I don't want to be a food allergy mom today!" I feel this way more than I would like to admit.
As you might have noticed, I have been M.I.A. from this blog for the better part of the last few months. There are several reasons that go into this but one of them is the fact that some days I just don't want to be a food allergy mom!
I know some of you might think that since I blog about my son's peanut allergy that I have come to some sort of emotional ability to not get stressed and depressed about it all. But that just is not the case! My emotions come and go in intensity but some days I have a very difficult time with it.
I know most of you know what I'm talking about.
Now, imagine yourself writing a blog about the thing that has your stress level through the roof. Most days I work to make this blog an encouragement to peanut allergy parents. So it seems a bit ironic that I must sit down and write about it on days that I'm struggling with it. I just need a break from all that is involved with being a food allergy parent!
That is one reason I sometimes take a break. I need an emotional break. I need to have times where my mind is not revolving around the food allergies that can bring me to tears some days if I let them.
To combat what I am now terming "food allergy burnout" I plan to write some posts ahead of time so I have something to post when my brain cannot deal with food allergies. Hopefully this will help my absences that sometimes occur on this blog.
You may not blog about your child's peanut allergy but I am guessing you would like a break from food allergies some days, too. For myself, I refuse to feel guilty about this fact. You should not, either.
I have worked the last 4+ years setting up a system that keeps Tyler safe. I can't totally turn my brain off from his allergies but some days when I start to feel emotionally overwhelmed by it all, it is OK to just hit the "Off" button when it comes to worry and anxiety.
Anyone else ever encounter the "I need a day (or week!) off from food allergies" syndrome?
Friday, May 7, 2010
When I complete my upcoming ebook, I will offer my email subscribers a special discount that will not be available on the blog. I do not know yet if I can automatically transfer those who used FeedBlitz to subscribe over automatically. So, no matter how you read this blog (email, blog reader, or just typing in the address), I think you will be glad you sign up for this new service.
Another exciting feature of this will be a monthly newsletter of information that will not be on the blog.
The new box is on the blog in the upper right hand corner. I'm pretty sure you can't miss it!
So, what are you waiting for?? :) Sign up!!
P.S. Regular posts are coming next week!!
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
I need your help!! I am in the process of creating a series of ebooks for managing food allergies. The first one I am working on is written for those who will care for a child with life-threatening food allergies for 24 hours or less (i.e. babysitters, parents who host playdates or sleepovers, etc).
I would love to have your suggestions of what you think is important for these type of people to know. So far I have the following sections:
1. Life-Threatening Food Allergies 101
2. What to Do Before a Food Allergic Child Visits Your Home
3. The Food Allergy Action Plan to Prepare for an Emergency
4. Understanding the Epi-Pen
5. Feeding the Food Allergic Child
6. Cross-Contamination - What is It and Why is It Important?
7. Why You are Important in the Life of a Food Allergic Child
OK, food allergy moms and dads, is there something else you would like to see? Please leave me a comment to let me know your thoughts on this. Or, if you prefer, send me an email. I'm working on this right now so I'd love your input this week.
My hope for this book is it will be something you can forward via email (since it will be electronic) to anyone who you trust to care for your food allergic child but want to give them a little education to prep them for the event. It will be filled with pictures and other things that make it entertaining while also being educational.
ThThis is the first in a series of books like this I plan to offer. Although there will be a small fee associated with them, I plan to offer them at a special price to readers of this blog for the first week. (As a big THANK YOU for reading this blog and helping me grow as a food allergy parent.