Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Constant Fear

Recently my daughter with severe food allergies to milk, eggs, peanuts, sesame, mustard, cats, dust and mold has expressed her emotions about her condition. She said she just needed a "break" from the stress of worrying all of the time. And she was angry that she can't have all of the other foods her friends have.

She also said, "I'm so tired of having to be careful all of the time and I'm tired of going to the hospital."

There is alot of emotional stress on a child with food allergies. I have read that some children can suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. This is very understandable when you consider the fear a child with food allergies deals with everyday.

An incident in school which occurred recently didn't help my daughters stress level unfortunately. After lunch, a girl from her class licked her whole hand and proceeded to push it towards my daughter and said, "I have the power."

My daughter was leaning against a wall and proceeded to just slide down the wall in fear. She knew the girl had hands pushed towards her that could really hurt her. This really had an impact on my daughter.

Some children have no understanding of what they are doing. I will be addressing this incident with the teacher and the principal.

How would you feel if you were in constant fear everytime you turned around because you knew there could be that one thing that could literally kill you?

She also expressed her sad memories of sitting alone in kindergarten and 1st grade. Food allergies can be very isolating for children. There should be more safe interaction in these grades so children don't feel so different and alone.

These isolating circumstances a child experiences can be very traumatic for children at any age. And trust me, those memories stay with them.

Please educate your children on the seriousness of food allergies. Maybe they won't be the child that licks their whole hand in jest and shoves it in someones face. Some children and even adults have no real understanding of how life threatening and emotionally stressful food allergies are.

It is not a joke! More people need to take action and educate their children to think about how it would feel to walk in one of these children's shoes for just one day.

It takes alot of courage to face their fears everday and I am so proud of my daughter for being brave today as she heads off to school. I know it was a tough day to face her fears, but she did it.

We just take one day at a time and so can you.

Stay well, stay safe and be brave!

Debra Denhart

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