Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Pain of Food Allergies

Warning this long.
Heartbreak.  The moment when your child starts crying in the doctor's office as some of his favorite foods are on his allergy testing list.  You have to be strong and try not to cry with him so he can see that mom knows we can get thru this together.  Those who know me I am not a crier take me too a sad movie and its doubtful I will cry even my family calls me cold-blooded at times.  For me to want to cry and have to hold it back is rare. So you know I was heart broken for my child.  My youngest was diagnosed on Tuesday with more food allergies.  The old ones are dairy, red and yellow food coloring.  The new ones are Wheat, Almonds, Soy, Chicken Eggs, Walnuts, Bananas, Cantaloupe, and Pumpkin.  My son  loves his Almond milk, eggs, and Bananas (it did not even dawn on him at first what all has wheat and soy in it).  I am already used to the great hunt for dairy free items but the new ones of wheat, soy, and eggs are the hard ones.  I don't live in an area where it is common to find everything I need in one store or to find the items at all.  Now I realize the 6 or 7 restaurants (not including only 2 fast food type places) that we used to be able to take him to in our county (yes I said county not city) we will not be able too, thankfully we rarely go out since we are trying to get out of debt and we have a tight budget we are not rich people. 

I know God has a wonderful plan for this child but its been heartbreaking to see the struggles he has had to go thru as a child.  Food allergies are just the tip of the iceberg.  He has had whooping cough as 3 month old, hospitalized 3 or 4 times prior to age 5 for rota virus and the common one dehydration.  He did not start talking (he was in occupational therapy starting at 2 that ended around 5 and speech therapy thru 1st grade) until about 3 when we took him off of Dairy to see if that would help with his stomach issues as he was too young to do the allergy testing at the time and as an infant he had problems when I ate some dairy products since I breast fed him.  Then on Christmas day of 2009 started the big downward spiral we had to call the ambulance as he was having breathing problems, a breathing treatment was done and then he got to come home.  Then in February I think of 2010 (Age 5) he got walking pneumonia.  Then two days before Easter he was life-flighted to the only children's hospital in our state (4 hours away) as his right lung was trying to collapse. That was an amazing testimony of God in that as during the flight I was calm and had a peace about the situation that I could not understand.  Also the song "Jesus Loves Me" holds a special place in my heart since when he was awake during the flight and ambulance ride he would move his oxygen mask and start singing it.  It turns out he has had severe asthma since he was born but it is a type that does not wheeze just a cough and the throat sucking in we did not know that he had it until the doctors at that hospital were able diagnose it after lots of tests. After that he only had to go back into a hospital once.  But he has been a human pin cushion with all the needles and I.V.'s he has had.  We started homeschooling him in 2011 to help with his health and we realized it was also helping with his learning as his attention span is not that great at times. With diet changes and the school changes it took us a couple years but he no longer has to take inhaler steroids daily.   I know there is kids out there that have gone thru worse but it still pains me to see what my youngest has gone thru as it is still more than most kids.    No I am not looking for sympathy I am just need to vent so I don't cry in front of him. 
When people first meet him they never suspect that this highly energized, loving and very huggy boy has been thru all this. If you seen his medical file, before they changed it to digital, you would know it as it was bigger than his 17 almost 18 year old brother who has had his own problems (a cracked hip). It is just hard.

His friends are sweet as some of them worry about if he can eat things they give him or I have had some even check the ingredients list for him. Also they make sure he is breathing ok even his big brother's girlfriend has caught his asthma acting up when he thought it was ok. Its usually adults that can be rude and think I am just a mean mom or his dad is mean.  Even once on the Max train in Portland during rush hour (the train was packed) he had to sleep as his lungs were worn out from a zoo trip. I had a lady give me some nasty looks like why I am not making my son give up his seat to others.  I know it probable was not right but I decided I was tired of it as he almost could not go to the zoo as the couple days before hand he had so many asthma attacks he almost went to the hospital again. I spoke kinda of loudly to my MIL and said something of the point of he was such a trooper he had quite a few treatments from his emergency inhaler that day and he still was able to walk the entire zoo trip and so now he needs to rest as not to make his lungs worse.  The lady looked at me with a look of ugh I didn't know and never looked our way again.  So please adults don't judge that child or parents that you see that is not doing or eating what you think he/she should be as you don't know whats going on in their life.

He is now almost 10 and this is another change in his life but I know he is strong and knows God has a plan for him. He is looking forward to trying new things well that's a family rule anyway.  If you have read this entire thing thank you and know most of my posts are not this long I just needed to vent.

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