Does it get easier? — The Bump
Food Allergy

Does it get easier?

I need to vent to people who understand. DS has a sesame allergy. When we're home, we're good. We're used to it, we know how to shop for foods, home is our comfort zone. 

People around us don't seem to "get" it so eating elsewhere is so stressful. I have even been told by my BFF that DH and I are ridiculous for changing out lifestyle and not eating out very often anymore and "That's why we have an EpiPen."

We were invited to a neighbourhood family party tonight, where everyone was asked to bring an appetizer. I let the host know of his allergy and she informed others, but there was still a dish of hummus and all sorts of crackers (no boxes to check labels for those). With kids running around and eating informally, plates everywhere, we were watching DS like hawks. He freaked out us at one point by telling me his mouth itched, but nothing else seemed off. I told DH we should've stayed home and that next time we could do it at our place and provide all food. Now I am a wreck and am checking in on him every few minutes while he sleeps.

We've been lucky to not have any accidental exposure since the Dx, but I feel like it's inevitable and it's going to happen one day. I am absolutely terrified of ever having to use his EpiPen. He's only 2 and his allergist told us last month that the latest literature shows that sesame allergies are persistent, so she doesn't expect him to grow out of it or it get better.

So, moms of older children, does it ever get easier? 
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Re: Does it get easier?

  • My DD wasn't diagnosed until she was 3.5 (she's 5.5 now), but I think it does get easier as your child becomes aware of the allergy and the need to be careful with food.  We try really hard to teach DD how to protect herself.  We don't eat out very often either, but we do go to parties at friends' houses/school.  DD won't eat something without asking if it's safe, and she always checks with us before eating food that someone else offers her.  I've heard that it gets harder again as they get to be teenagers because they don't want to be different from their friends, and it's not "cool" to carry an epipen around everywhere.
  • I hope so. I'm like you. It's hard to blame others as it's difficult for them to understand unless they have a child with an allergy, but it can be so frustrating when others don't take it seriously and very stressful when you feel like you can't relax at gatherings.

    We go out to eat (I wouldn't say a lot but if we avoid it it's because we have kids not because DS has an allergy). We always try to call ahead to make sure they can accommodate the allergy. It also helps us determine how much they know about avoiding the allergen (peanuts/tree nuts in our case) before we commit to going there. When places are unsure or can't explain their process for handling the allergy we avoid it. Many times we also bring foods DS can eat and then just order food for us. No one has ever given us a hard time about that.

    I hope things get easier for you.
    Baby Q born on 7/20/2017
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