Then I heard Ben shout, "No, JF! No! You'll get sick!" L then called out, "Mom, JF was going to eat one of Ben's french fries!"
JF was just being silly, he was teasing Ben. He stole a fry and held it up to his wide open mouth with a grin on his face. But once Ben shouted that he would get sick, JF returned the fry. I went over to him and saw that he looked worried.
"Did you eat it?"
"No, he just held it near his mouth," the kids all told me. JF sat really still.
"JF, it'll be okay, we just need to wash your hands. You won't get sick; it was good you didn't eat it. We'll just wash your hands. You're okay."
JF whimpered and then looked at me with big, round eyes.
"JF, are you scared?"
"YES!" he cried out and started to sob, fat crocodile tears instantly rolling down his cheeks. I picked him up and walked to the living room. He was shaking with fear and crying with fear, and burying his face because he was so afraid. I sat and held him on the sofa, rubbing his back and trying to reassure him that he would be okay.
But I cried too. I cried because stupid McDonald's for some stupid reason puts stupid milk on their stupidly delicious french fries. I cried because my four-year-old boy was being a silly four-year-old boy - just like he should be! - and it could have sent him into anaphylactic shock. I cried because JF was brought back to life after being dead for an hour and now I spend every day worrying about him dying because of freaking milk.
The truth is, when JF was crying because he was scared - scared of the vomiting and the itchy hives, of another ride in an ambulance, of another EpiPen jab, of another IV with steroids, of another face mask-nebulizer treatment on another ER hospital bed - I was crying because I am scared.
I am scared of school cafeterias, filled with milk cartons and peanut butter sandwiches.
I am scared of your child's buttery fingers touching my son or a toy he is playing with.
I am scared of him being ostracized by his classmates because his allergies may "ruin their fun."
I am scared of play dates and potlucks and birthday parties.
I am scared that he'll equate someone's not considering him with that person not loving or caring about him.
But mostly I am scared of him dying. Again. And this time forever.
I don't really know what to do about this, and I don't even know why exactly I'm sharing it. Maybe I just need to get it out there; maybe if I talk about my fear it'll help. I guess I am still trying to learn how to live this life.
This is an old picture, but his is what happened when JF touched cheese and it's 5 minutes after medication.
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I can't imagine how hard this must be. I'm so sorry you all have to suffer with it. And you're sharing it to help people like me who don't have that daily stress to remember that not bringing the peanut butter sandwich to co-op is really REALLY not that big of a deal. Worrying that your kid might die because of said sandwich IS.ReplyDelete
Oh Bonnie this has to be so hard! I can't even imagine the terror!ReplyDelete
I am nervous when our friend come over who's son has a serious dairy and peanut allergy. On the bright side the table and chairs get a super scrub down to get rid of the milk and nut residue!
so tough, so real. good for you for posting.ReplyDelete
:( hugs and tears for you friend.ReplyDelete
I cried reading this. Poor little boy; I can't imagine how hard this is on your Mama-heart. :(ReplyDelete
I was just talking today to a woman whose 18-year-old nephew has a severe milk allergy. I never knew a milk allergy could be that severe. You need to talk about it! Especially in playgroups and at school. People need to be educated. I thought my son's peanut allergy was bad but to me this is worse because there could be milk hiding in so many things. And I know your fear. Every time my son goes to a sleepover or out to eat without me or on Boy Scout camping trip, I spend much of my time praying that he doesn't accidentally come in to contact with nuts. Prayers for peace for you and safety for your sweet son.ReplyDelete
I couldn't imagine what you deal with every minute of every day - yet I'm starting to glimpse a little bit of it. I'm so sorry about the fear for your little one. I will keep you and your little blessing in my prayers.ReplyDelete
Bonnie, thank you for this. I am so sad to know little James bears such a cross at such a young age and that as his parents, you carry it too. I had no idea his allergy was so severe. I think in my mind I was relating to his allergies as like, annoying seasonal allergies, you know what I mean? But no, it's way serious. Wow. Praying for your little soldier. What a brave, strong heart. Precious boy. Sending love.ReplyDelete
I can't imagine dealing with an allergy that intense. My 2 and a half year old son has peanut, egg, cat, and dog allergies, and it is so exhausting to have to monitor him - and anyone near him - at playdates and parties. I am so sorry that you all are going through this, because I know firsthand that it's not just the one with the allergies that suffers - Mom and Dad and siblings do, too!ReplyDelete
That really stinks, Bonnie. :(ReplyDelete
It is good that you share this information so people understand that food allergies are serious. Keeping you in prayer.
Wow Bonnie. I always knew about the peanut induced anaphylaxis but I never knew a milk allergy could be as severe as to cause anaphylaxis!!! WOW. Sorry to hear that...sounds like it is really really really hard to try to avoid dairy since it's present in so many things. I wonder if there is a chance that he'll eventually grow out of the allergy...as I heard happens for certain food allergies.ReplyDelete
Complete empathy with your fear of James dying. My son almost died from a respiratory infection 4 years ago and I don't think the picture of him coding and the doctors calling a code blue on him will EVER get out of my head. He also used to get febrile seizures so him spiking a fever of 104F this weekend put me into panic mode.ReplyDelete
Hugs, mama. I know it must be so hard to have to watch every morsel of food so carefully.ReplyDelete
Sending hugs and lots of prayers, Bonnie. I struggle with fear, too, though not nearly as concrete or justifiable as yours. God bless you and that sweet boy of yours.ReplyDelete
That is scary Bonnie. I am so very sorry you have this cross. I have always known that there are people who don't digest dairy well, but I had no idea that milk could be this serious. That you for this post.ReplyDelete
That is really tough stuff Bonnie. And I can't imagine the line between trust and vigilance you must walk. prayers for you today.ReplyDelete
So, so scary. We have two with dairy allergies and two with wheat. We already avoided McDonald's fries because of the wheat, but I had no idea they had dairy in them too... my six year old is actually the most vigilant in the entire house. Every time I pick something in the store she asks me if it has wheat or dairy in it...ReplyDelete
That is so scary and I’m so sorry. I have no advice, only prayers .ReplyDelete
I feel that to a lesser degree with my oldest. She's allergic to peanuts and cats, but also throws up if anything has any soy/other legumes in it. We can't visit friends and family with cats and the year she was in school, I was constantly afraid she would accidentally get touched by or eat something she shouldn't. As she's gotten older, she's talked about the isolation she feels sometimes being the only kid who has to be careful about food. It's definitely a cry-worthy burden. Prayers for his healing of allergies.ReplyDelete
Oh Bonnie...what a cross your momma heart carries and your little guy...so hard.ReplyDelete
So very scary, Bonnie. My heart hurt for you both for the moment and many moments you've had in his sweet young life. Thank you for sharing the realities of this struggle. Your grace and love keep this sweet boy in joy and fun. I have no doubt of that all the while fighting to keep him safe. You are such a gift to him and him to the world.ReplyDelete
Bonnie, when I saw this title I thought it was going to be funny. Obviously, it's not. In fact, it humbled me and made me feel real compassion for you and your son's unique plight with his dairy allergy. I'd never heard of one this bad.ReplyDelete
I struggle with trying to decide what food is good and what is not good.I think I better stop complaining about food and offer it up for you and James and your family instead.
P.S. It's ok be feel scared about this. But, like with anything else in parenting, the ultimate answer to it all is to Trust Jesus. I'll pray for that for you.
Thank you for sharing this, Bonnie. My two oldest kids have food sensitivities that are nowhere near as serious as your boy's, but we have to avoid lots of different things to keep them from unraveling behaviorally and emotionally (including phenols, artificial ANYTHING, household chemicals, dairy, gluten, et cetera). I know advice is not necessarily what you're looking for, but you might want to look into a DAN doctor or naturopath to help treat your son. We've had a lot of success straightening out our kids' various immunological issues using homeopathy and supplementation. We're hoping some chiropractic care might even eliminate some of their food sensitivities. Food for thought, but you know your kids best and will, I'm sure, figure out the right way to cope. Thanks again for sharing.ReplyDelete
Wow, that is really scary. I had no idea milk allergies could be that bad! You and your family are in my prayers, Bonnie.ReplyDelete
Totally understand! I have three kids and all have food allergies- dairy, egg, peanut, tree hut, soy. Funny how we have also had the McDonalds French fry talk with family and friends. What I do now...is ...I get them Wendy's fries!ReplyDelete