Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Venting and Resentment

After last weeks post, two other Moms attending the same picnic contacted me to see if my kids could eat what they were planning on bringing. You know they probably could have and I appreciate the effort others make to help my kids be included and safe. I generally don't let my kids have food other people make because of cross-contamination but feel both these Moms would have been careful even in that respect. Thank you for trying.

It makes me feel terribly guilty when people go out of their way for us, which is just my mid-western nature I think. My resentment doesn't stem from believing other people should do something different. It stems from not wanting this to be my situation at all. Can I resent food allergies in general? Is that wasted energy? It is not something I can change, just something I can manage. That reminds me of something I saw on Oprah once (everyone groan). Someone's book had a quote something to the effect of "Life isn't fixed, life is something that is managed." Maybe it was Dr. Phil.

In any case, I need to get back to a place of acceptance regarding our situation. I think as with any loss there is a grieving process. Denial, anger, grief, acceptance. When Max was first diagnosed I went through this and came out pretty strong, feeling very capable of dealing with his food allergies. When he didn't outgrow milk last year I feel I fell back into that grieving process. I became really frustrated and the result was this blog. I need to work myself back to a place where I feel okay with our situation.

With that said the real reason I have a hard time letting kids eat off a pot luck is again, cross-contamination. A safe dish sitting next to a dish containing peanuts can easily be cross-contaminated if spoons are accidentally traded or a stray teaspoon of the dish falls into the other while being transferred to a plate. A dish with cashews ended up sitting right next to the bars I made. Maybe nothing would happen.

My husband is sometimes my own worst enemy; he chowed down on the cashew dish, scooping it up with tortilla chips fried in peanut oil. He did wash his hands afterwards. When I am at events like this, surrounded by allergens, my chest tightens and my breathing becomes quicker. It is the beginning of panic and I have learned to suppress it. Nothing has happened yet, I am learning all of our limits.


Ariel said...

I admit it, I'm a venter. Maybe it's a cultural thing, but I think it's healthy.

As for group events with food, I admit I still avoid them whenever I can. I just find them so stressful and exhausting. I hate being the mom who gets the dirty looks for making sure all the cheerios are off the floor, I hate having to bring full meals for 3 people to a potluck and then have to upset my kid because she can't eat what everyone else has. I hate not being able to take my eyes off my child for a second when there is food around. There's really not much anyone else can do- the whole thing just stinks.

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