Friday, November 19, 2010

When in doubt, go with fruit!

Seriously.  When in doubt, go with fruit.  I am the mother of a child with multiple food allergies and no one ever takes her restrictions into consideration.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect the world to revolve around our needs, it would be nice, but I’m not a fool.  What would help is the daily, routine activities we are involved in would be more flexible than they currently are.  I’m sure all parents of children with food allergies probably feel the same way; at least I hope they do.  The more allergies a person have the more restrictions. 
       We have dealt with health issues for my daughter, my youngest, since conception.  She didn’t even wait until she was born; it was very difficult from the beginning.  We have been faced with a lot of challenges, and it has made me into a force to be reckoned with.  I tend to just be “okay, just tell me what we need to do and I’ll get it done” type of person.  I’m not the wait and see person by any means.  I knew from very early in my pregnancy that we would be faced with some challenges, and I have not been disappointed.  I am a very lucky person, I have her here and she is a very happy, active little girl.  Even though we live in a rather small town, a lot of people have never realized any of the challenges that we have had as a family.  We’re not those people, never have been.  We live on a small farm and tend to keep everything close to home.  I, personally, wonder if that’s why things are more difficult since the food allergy diagnosis this year. 
       Before starting school this year, we spoke with the principal and school nurse regarding the new food allergy diagnosis.  We were, fortunately, able to place a microwave in her classroom to be used for her food only.  Even though, by law, her school is supposed to provide her lunch, I don’t trust them.  I make her lunch everyday.  Unfortunately, everything in our society is still revolved around food.  It’s something different every week.  A fractions project with a Hershey chocolate bar, which she can’t have.  A cookie dough project, with grocery store refrigerated cookie dough, which she can’t have.  A cooking club that she, her best friend, and brother really want to join and they call me the night before with the menu.  I’m left looking like a grump because I’m scrambling to find allergy-friendly options for her to have that are equal to what her friends will be having, so she doesn’t feel different.  I stay pretty tightly wound cooking, researching, and trying to educate. 
       I needed a support system so badly, but there wasn’t one available in my area.  Which was troubling, we have a rather large hospital and university, but there was nothing.  Therefore, I started one because I’m the “making lemons into lemonade” girl.  I have close to 40 members of gluten free KY group on facebook, and a steady number who attend the monthly food allergy support group meetings.  They have helped with support, but our area doesn’t provide very much for the allergy friendly.  There is only one restaurant we can eat at, and what they do have available at the grocery store is outrageous in price.  I just want to scream, when in doubt, go with fruit!  It’ll be much easier.