Sunday, May 9, 2010

Here's to Moms of Children with Life-Threatening Allergies!

Happy Mother's Day to my mom, mother-in-law, aunts, cousins, friends and faithful readers!  What a wonderful honor it is to be a mother. At the same time, is it not one of the most difficult jobs there is?

Today I want to recognize a special group of moms...moms of children with life-threatening allergies.  A mom with an allergic child has a lot on her plate making sure certain foods stay off their kids' plates!  So, here's to the moms that make sure that the Epi Pens and antihistamines are always on hand and in date, that read every label on every food, that call ahead to restaurants to see if the food is safe, that know every party/special occasion that takes place in their child's class in order to provide a comparable safe treat, that have meeting after meeting with school officials and teachers to discuss the special requirements of their child's allergy, that fill out multiple health forms and action plans with in case of emergency details, that receive the grumbling from a few that feel put out for having to accommodate their child's allergy, that hate knowing their child will be labeled as disabled, that search cookbooks looking for allergy friendly recipes and websites looking for alternative ingredients, that break the bad news to their child that they can't attend a function because it's not safe, that help their child sort through Halloween candy bags and Valentine card boxes to remove offending treats only to find that the throw out pile is larger than the keep pile, that keep up-to-date with all food recall information to make sure there isn't a mislabeled food violation in their pantry, that write their political leaders asking for more support for food allergy issues, that get angry with food manufacturers for worrying more about the bottom line then the safety of their child, that go to battle with acquaintances maybe even family members that don't believe the seriousness of their child's allergy, that hold their child's hand tightly while they have blood drawn or their skin pricked during a food allergy test, that explain to their child one more time that they're not weird and that yes it is unfair that they have this allergy, that pray regularly that there will someday be a cure for or even just a better understanding of food allergies, that wait year after year thinking this will be the one when their child outgrows their allergy only to realize that it's probably not going to happen, that watch their child go off to school by himself and worry all day that he isn't exposed to that one or more foods that can make him deathly ill, that soothe a child upset by an insensitive comment made by a peer, that spend hours researching the latest food allergy treatments, that drive miles out of the way to shop at grocery stores that stock safe foods, that spend hundreds of dollars more a year for those safe foods, that frequent their child's school at lunchtime so that their child doesn't have to sit alone, that shelter their young child from the true consequences of their food allergy and later watches as their older child accepts those consequences for themselves, that teach their child how to inject a life-saving device into their thigh, that hope their teenager isn't too cool or too forgetful to carry their Epi Pen when they're out with their friends, that rush to the hospital because one of their greatest fears did occur and their child is having difficulty breathing, that remove an offending food from their own diet so as to not put their child at risk, that privately battle their anxiety, that paste a smile on their face and assure their child that everything is going to be okay and that pray they can keep it together, be strong for their child and family and protect their child from the dangers they face on a daily basis. To you fellow moms, a very special Happy Mother's Day!

Many Blessings,


persephone said...

Wow, Melanie. I didn't realize how much I needed to hear this until I started sniffling halfway through.

A special Happy Mother's Day to you, too!

Horning's said...

I agree with the above reader... I, too, was holding back tears thinking about how special it is to be a mommy to a child with a life-threatening allergy. Part of me has felt alone because there are very few people in our life that I feel like really try and understand. So to hear and know that there are so many families out there going through the same battles... comfort. You seem like an amazing mom and I know your kiddos appreciate everything you do to keep them safe. It is hard, but in the end I know our kids will understand we love them and are only trying to do what is best for them. Thanks again for your words of encouragement. Happy Mother's Day!!!! -Jenna

Julie Redfern said...

WOW! I was holding back tears too and I don't have to do all that! What a wonderful mom you are Melanie! Love Julie

Mom with a Mission said...

Thanks for the wonderful comments and Mother's Day wishes! As I was writing this last night, I was feeling very blessed that I haven't had to personally experience some of these (like the emergency trip to the hospital), but sad because I know moms that have. I'm still adding to the list today.


momof2inNY said...

Wow, so true! I think you should publish this in a parenting magazine. I have several friends who just don't 'get it' and they just can't seem to grasp how overwhelming this all is. It's nice to know that I'm not in this boat alone, although I wish none of you or your families had to experience these things.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your wonderful post... I literally started tearing midway through. I wish people would appreciate what we go through but that doesn't matter, so long as we do the best we can to protect our children. Thank you and Happy 'Belated' Mother's Day to you too!

Brenda said...

Thank you for your comment that had me in tears by the end of it. Each sentence rang true to home and captured my inner feelings. I will be forwarding it to my family since you were able to put into words what I could not express to them.

Mom with a Mission said...

Brenda, thanks so much for leaving your comment. I hope your family will take note. It's not easy being a mom of a food allergic child. Hang in there!