What I Wish I Knew: Life with Food Allergies

Thank you to each of you for your kind words last week when I spoke out loud about the struggles I’ve been facing as the Willing Cook.  It was so good to have your input and your prayers to give me a little perspective.  Here is where I stand…

  • I’m not going to get stuck on the numbers.  If you’re here today reading this, you need to be here to read this.  If you share this post with others, that person needs to read this post today.  Numbers really shouldn’t mean a hill of beans when compared with substantive impact.
  • I have a heart’s desire to serve others.  I have been given a gift and the means whereby to use that gift.  I need to take it by the horns and capitalize on it.

So, today marks the debut of a new series that has been on my mind for several months.  I was originally going to do it as a video (and I still might), but for now, I’m sticking with the written word.  Several months back, FAAN (Food Allergy & Anaphylactic Network) posed a question on Facebook that really got me thinking (as well as many others because there were a lot of responses).  They asked:

What do you think is the hardest part of getting started with a diagnosis of food allergy?

With a number of the responses, I thought that I could really come along side that person and help them through this hard time because I’ve already been there.  Just as I could have used someone in the beginning myself.  This series; therefore, will focus on what I wish I knew when my son was first diagnosed with food allergies.  And, how that initial diagnosis has shaped our lives with food allergies.

I only want to introduce the series to you today with what you can expect on Mondays over the next several months.  I currently have 21 topics upon which I plan to touch.  I’d love to expand it further, though.  This is your chance to chime in.

Is there something that you wish you knew when you were first faced with food allergies?

If you’re new to food allergies, is there something that you’re struggling with right now?

Here are the 21 topics (order is still a little tentative) that will be covered, starting next Monday:

  1. New way of life, in general.
  2. Getting doctors to listen to your concerns.
  3. Cooking & Shopping
  4. Understand/appreciate severity & dangers.
  5. What to feed your child 3 meals/day x 7 days/week.
  6. Reading labels: knowing all ingredient names, shared equipment risks.
  7. Eating out – learning/accepting not to.
  8. Attitude from restaurants when bring in own food or question their food.
  9. Family/friends being offended by not eating their food.
  10. Educating others.
  11. Getting family, friends to understand severity of issue.
  12. Discovering new allergies along the way.
  13. Dealing with the fear/guilt of hurting your child.
  14. False hope of child growing out of allergy.
  15. Feeling alone.
  16. Going through painful tests & shots-for the better?
  17. Facing the fact that there is no cure.
  18. Worrying about child being left out in a world that revolves around food.
  19. School being unsupportive.
  20. Reader comment, “Still wishing it was me instead of him…”
  21. Having anaphylactic reaction without known allergies.

Are you ready? It is my prayer that this series will bring some peace of mind to a life with food allergies.

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for the Wholesome Comfort ebook.  It ends tonight and there is still plenty of room to enter.  It is a great resource for wholesome comfort food — who couldn’t use more recipes for comfort food?

Grace Laced Mondays

I am still linking up today at grace laced mondays, mainly so that you guys can have the link to the amazing signs of grace in everyone’s everyday.  I’m not sure that I will continue to link up through this series with Ruth (because it may not always fit with the grace theme), but I will always point you guys in that direction, as I believe strongly in its power.

Post also linked up at Fat Tuesday, Hearth and Soul Blog Hop, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, and Traditional Tuesdays.

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15 Responses to What I Wish I Knew: Life with Food Allergies

  1. Rogene says:

    I am so glad you left a comment on my blog because I was able to follow it back here to find the beginning of what I am sure will be a wonderful series. I subcribed so I won’t miss any of it.

    • Cook says:

      I’m so glad to have you! Please don’t hesitate to let me know if there is a topic you’d like covered. Have a great day!

  2. Jen says:

    Looking forward to this series! My two year old daughter is anaphylactic to peanuts and mustard so it has been a real adjustment in the last year (with a few trips to the ER just to keep things exciting.) Thanks for sharing your insight it is really appreciated especially since we are in the adjustment stage of living with food allergies.

    • Cook says:

      Jen,

      I’m glad to have you on board for this series! Don’t hesitate to let me know if there is anything that you’d like to see covered.

      Michelle

  3. Katherine says:

    I’m glad you’ll be doing this series – and especially glad for no. 12. Every time I feel like I might can move forward feeding my toddler (4 allergens of the big 8) and my family, up pops another allergy like cucumbers or millet. It can be very discouraging. Getting support might be a good issue to discuss. My family is very supportive but I’d really love to make friends with some other moms – so we can lift each other up when one of us falters – and also to keep pushing us to try again in the kitchen when we get overwhelmed. Blogs are wonderful but face-to-face people would really be nice. Maybe another issue would be whether to pursue non-medical treatments or even “in trial” medical treatments. (I’m glad to have found your blog by the way.)

    • Cook says:

      Katherine,

      I’m glad to have you here. Thank for you the additional suggestions, both are very good and I will do my best to include them. Don’t hesitate to let me know if there is anything that I can do to help you on your journey!

      Michelle

  4. Katherine says:

    Ooops – in my previous comment – on the 2nd line – I typed “big 8)” but it changed the 8 and ) to a smiley with glasses.

  5. I think that is a fantastic perspective about your blog, Michelle. I’m excited for you to develop this new series. We will miss you on the link-up, but will be happy to have your company whenever you are able to join us! As always, thank you for your faithful support and encouragement of my blog community all these years…

    • Cook says:

      Thank you for your support, Ruth! I won’t be going too far away. I’ll still be “stalking” the other link-ups, as Mondays have become one of my favorite days of the week. Enjoy your spring break!

  6. Nelle says:

    I’m glad you’ve got some direction now! All the best with the new series.

  7. Alea Milham says:

    I look forward to your series. I think my kids’ food needs are easier to handle, because I have many of the same issues and had eliminated the foods from my diet long before I realized I would need to do it for my children. One of the blessings of having children who can’t eat gluten, dairy and soy is that I now make fun foods that I can eat too. When it was just me, I didn’t make breads or cakes to fit my dietary needs – I just skipped them all together. But there was no way I would let allergies and intolerances prevent my children from enjoying treats, so now I get them too. 🙂

    • Cook says:

      I’m glad that you’re able to treat yourself these days. It’s an important part of our diet, right? 🙂

      Thank you for your support, Alea. It means so much!

  8. Aggie says:

    I just came upon your site tonight and have really enjoyed looking around. My daughter is 4 years old and currently has milk, egg, and peanut allergies. She has outgrown wheat. Our biggest struggles lately have been dealing with my daughter’s inability to completely understand her food allergies yet, but at the same time she is becoming so fiercely independent and wants control over everything in her life, including food. The big question now is how do you keep your child from having resentment and negativity toward their allergies (or the person in charge of their diet)

    • Cook says:

      Welcome Aggie! My son has the same allergies as your daughter and he also grew out of wheat (or it was a false positive). That is a really good question. I’m going to write it down on the list of topics to cover in this series. But, briefly, the best way that I have found to cut down on that resentment is to always try to have an adequate and as equal as possible substitute. For example, we promised our girls that we would buy some ice cream for them because it’s that kind of weather. I couldn’t just buy it for them and not my son too. So, I paid the extra $$$ (ouch!) for his dairy-free ice cream. Everyone was very happy and it’s worth the extra expense to treat them ALL from time to time. It doesn’t always happen that way. If I don’t plan ahead, there have been many times when my son has been left out. Although I’ve done it, it’s mean just to tell him “sorry, there’s nothing that I can do about it”. That’s why I always try to plan ahead to the best of my ability.

      Thank you for your input. I’d love to hear more feedback as the series goes along.
      Michelle

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