Working Through Childhood Allergies
By Guest Writer: Ann Ward
I am Ann. I have 4 children and a wonderful husband. I live a life full of happiness, fun and multiple food allergies. My daughter is allergic to all 17 foods that the allergist tests for: wheat, corn, soy, rice, tomatoes, chicken, eggs, yeast, milk, peanuts, chocolate, cod fish, oranges, beef, milk, potatoes, cashews, and oats.
When we received the results, I think I was in shock. I cried a lot and mourned the fact that I had to make everything from scratch for her and the fact that nothing would ever be normal for this child. As a society many things and social gatherings revolve around food. I was saddened by the fact that she would always feel different at social activities. After the initial shock of the whole thing I realized that it could be worse. Many mothers get a diagnosis of Cancer or autism. My child, although she would face different challenges, would be able to lead a full life. I was also grateful to finally know why she never had color in her skin, why she had anxiety that seemed to get worse when she ate certain things, and why her stomach always hurt.
I decided I had to get to work. I tried to read everything that I could. I reached out to my friends on Facebook for any resources that they had. I called people who I had heard had similar issues and tried to glean as much information as I could. The problem seemed overwhelming at times and I took up different hobbies. I taught water aerobics at the local pool and I painted a few rooms in the house, anything to take my mind off the huge problem that lay before me. Staying active helped me cope as I adjusted to our new way of life.
I tried to focus on what we could eat instead of what we could not eat. Whenever she complained I validated the fact that this was hard but that she could walk unlike some of the kids at her school. She gave a presentation in class about her allergies and the teacher helped the kids in the class understand that we all have challenges and this was just hers. The kids were so kind and brought fruit to her for their birthday treat. I tried to make her lunches as colorful as possible. I also knew that no matter how hard the problem was that eventually this would become our new normal and it would be okay.
We began to see wonderful changes for her. She got color in her face. Her anxiety went away, and she is a happier child than she ever has been. We found alternative therapy called NAET for food allergies. This has eliminated many of her allergies but we still deal with a few. I am grateful for the wonderful journey that this has been. I happy to know that I am stronger than I thought I was and that a mother’s love can overcome many challenges.
Special Thanks to Ann Ward for sharing her inspirational story. Photo Courtesy of RLT Photography
Top photo courtesy of www.kth.se (an allergy website)