Allergy Mom Anxiety

I haven’t written about Noah’s allergies for quite a while, mainly because nothing of significance has really occurred recently. No recent “epi-pen” moments, no weird rashes, nothing. Which is awesome. But, I know it’s only a matter of time. Because, as an allergy mom – I live in constant fear. Sure, right now I feel awesome that we’ve avoided any sort of recent episode, but, given that he is basically allergic to life (peanuts, tree nuts, soy, milk, wheat, and eggs), something is bound to happen sooner rather than later. And it’s terrifying.

As an allergy mom, I hold my breath every single time Noah eats a meal, or has a snack. I watch him like a hawk every time something goes to his mouth. If he’s tired and rubbing his eyes, I’m convinced he’s having a reaction to something. I am constantly worried, questioning and wondering if something is bothering him.  “Is he okay?” is uttered in our house probably 100 times a day.  “Did you double triple check the ingredients?” is asked before we give him anything.  

My list of fears is never ending, and it seems to grow by the day. 
-I fear the thought of actually having to administer an epi pen- what if I forget to hold it for 10 seconds? What if I don’t do it in the right place on this thigh? 
– I fear anyone else watching Noah  – what if they turn their back and he eats something he shouldn’t? Will they remember how to use an epi? 

-I fear having a second kid because of Noah’s allergies – will I be so distracted with a newborn that I accidentally miss something, or God forbid forget to carry an epi pen? Will a second child have the same allergies? 
-With so many kids starting back to school recently, I can’t help but picture that being Noah in a few years, and it’s terrifying. I obviously fear him eating something he shouldn’t, but I fear the emotional impact as well. I hate the thought of him being secluded at lunch or being labeled as the “allergy kid”
– I fear he’s allergic to things we don’t know about yet – what about bees? or sesame seeds? etc. 

Literally the list goes on, a mile long. Being an allergy mom is rough.  Not only do I have fears from his allergies, I have so much sadness. I’m sad he has to eat different snacks at school, sad we can’t go out for ice cream with him, or get donuts together as a family on Saturday mornings, and I’m sad he’ll never know the deliciousness that is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or a Reese’s peanut butter cup. There have been soo many times when I say “Noah won’t be able to do that” or “Noah will never know what that’s like” My list of sadness is also a mile long. And so is my guilt every time I enjoy something he can’t eat. 

Already, just months into our diagnosis, I’ve had so many instances of sadness. Shortly after our diagnosis, his daycare had “muffins with mom” and I remember Noah being so frustrated and upset that he couldn’t enjoy muffins with his friend. He didn’t understand which immediately made me tear up. So, for “donuts with dad”, I made damn sure to make allergy free donuts for him to participate – mom for the win! I’ve realized this whole world  of allergies is a learning experience. We’ve already learned so much, and will continue to do so for years to come. This is our life, and we have to make the most of it. 

Every time I get upset or stress about his allergies, I try to put things into perspective. So many parents have children who are in the hospital, or dying. I have a son who is alive, and well. Yes, his allergies are life threatening, and yes they are terrifying. But right now, in this moment, he is safely asleep in his room and was here to hug me “night night.” So, each day that we make it through without an incident is a win in my book. 

toddler food allergy
Allergies can’t stop this sweet boy
  

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