Thursday, April 29, 2010

Food Allergies Can Bite My Ass

Children and food allergy don’t mix. What the heck is going on with all this allergy nowadays anyway?! I don’t remember growing up worrying about a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup in the next classroom or friends that had to avoid food-dye-number-whatever. But, nowadays, it seems to be so common place. It’s scary stuff.

Parker has struggled with allergy since birth – breast milk, milk, pears, apricots, strawberries, grapes, tomato, salicylates, eczema. This is what we know of for now. Now that my son is two years old, we have been able to figure some of it out, and we haven’t had a big problem in a while. Now we are wondering about a food dye allergy.

It is amazing to me how much it affects the family when a flare-up of some kind occurs. It is a ripple effect.

The last few days, Parker had a rash around his mouth and hairline and has been grabbing at his bottom. But the worst part is the screaming, yelling, crying, and tantrums that occur when he is not feeling well. He is a downright grumpy boy when dealing with the discomfort of a food allergy.

So, not only do you feel bad that he feels so bad, but you also get a little (ok, A LOT) annoyed with him because his behavior just crumbles into this awful where-the-hell-did-our-child-go intensity that causes me to daydream about nights alone in a hotel room.

Then what happens, is you and your spouse start bickering with each other because of the general irritation in the air. You start to question your reactions to the behavior, whether or not it is food allergy related, when it will stop, when your child will feel better, and whether or not you will murder your spouse in the meantime.

Today, thank you Lord Jesus, God, Allah, the Universe, and Buddha, Parker has got enough of the offending item out of his system to act like our sweet boy (most of the time). And, it is just amazing to me the relief that floods the air. The happiness and comfort permeates the air, and I am instantly back to an all-is-well-attitude, and I love my spouse.

So now we say, “Fuck red food dye, and yellow just in case, and no more gummy bears to boot because God knows what is used for the flavoring, and it may contain natural strawberry and...” you get the picture.

Ugh. Food allergies suck. It is a roller coaster ride that I’d rather not be on, but we are also grateful that is the most serious thing that we are dealing with right now.

Now I get to go watch Survivor in a fair amount of peace while Parker is able to contentedly play for a bit. When you have had a couple days of whining hell, this is as close to heaven as you can get. I gotta go enjoy my reality TV fix!


Cheryl said...

You know I feel your pain. I've got my oldest w/severe peanut/treenut allergy and my youngest with sensitivities to wheat, soy and possibly milk - and an egg allergy. It sucks. It really does. It's incredibly frustrating and stressful - but you are not alone! Hang in there - and glad your little man is feeling better!

Lucy said...

Ick. We don't have too many food allergy issues here in the land of the fab five, but we do have skin conditions which I suspect are food related. It shits me to tears. xx

WarsawMommy said...

It's amazing, isn't it, how many kids seem to have food allergies. Here in Poland they say that 80% of kids under 5 suffer from SOMETHING food-allergy-related. This is staggering to me, 'cause, like you, I do not recall any of my friends having food allergies. None of us. What is being put into food now that wasn't 30 years ago? Or what has happened to the human organism that makes us less toleraant of things? That's what I want to know!

Lulu said...

My 4 month old already has eczema and it sucks! I have been given LOADS of stuff to use from the doctor- even something that I take in the hope that it will go into the breastmilk and stop him from been so itchy.

I can only imagine what will follow when we start him on solids. I am already stressing.

Can I ask if asthma, eczema or hayfever (or allergies) run in the family. I guess you said you don`t remember allergy problems when you were younger but I am just curious as the doctor I am taking my son to here in Japan says that it is hereditary and because my hub and I both have asthma (his is gone now, mine still flares up), either my hub or his brother had eczema (their mum can`t remember which one) and hayfever also runs in the family. I feel so bad for my little one as he scratches at his eyes, ears and legs all the time.

I really hope your little one grows out of it. The poor thing! I do feel you pain but I imagine it is so much worse with your little boy since he is probably so active too.

Happy FYBF!

kathryn said...

Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. Connor (13) has a level 5 allergy to...(wait for it)....
sesame seeds. One bite sent us to the emergency room. I do believe he'll never know the joys of Chinese food.

It's definitely better once you figure it out...and many kids outgrow these childhood allergies. Fingers crossed.

Mommy's Sippy Cup said...

I am so right there with you. It's like trial and error in our house and I usually end up losing. I had to call poison control after the hospital call the other night b/c in a matter of seconds, Davis' mouth was swollen, red and super puffy. Great! And he is for sure NO FUN! Please shoot me!

chele said...

I really feel for you. My kids never had allergies. Except when I made something for dinner that they didn't like. "Mom, I think I'm allergic to baked beans."

Have a great weekend.

katepickle said...

yep.. allergies suck!
Our girls are allergic to nuts, cats and paddock grasses.... and we live on 10 acres of paddock surrounded on all sides by more paddock. Sometimes it feels like these bloody allergies are just the universe being a real pain in the bum!

Oddyoddyo13 said...

Ugh, that sounds awful on both sides.

Wanderlust said...

Ack! I wish they wouldn't put all this crap in our food. Make you wonder. Poor little guy, glad he's feeling better.

Brenda said...

Yes, food allergies can go to where the sun don't ever shine. My youngest child is allergic to prawns (shrimp) and I love love prawns.=(

Rachel Cotterill said...

That sounds horrid :( And you're right, it certainly seems to be becoming more prevalent.

Lori said...

Coming over from Sits. I dont understand the allergy thing either. I am firm believer that no one is actually allergic to wheat. I was extremely allergic to eggs and milk as a baby, but I outgrew that. I live in Colorado too btw : )

I am Harriet said...

Hi there.
Enjoyed your post.

Stopping by from Saturday SITS fest to say hello.
Have a great weekend!

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