My Son With A Peanut/Tree Nut Allergy’s Words Ease My Aching Heart

My youngest son, Matthew is in Grade 9…he has a peanut/tree nut allergy, eczema and asthma.

As a mother with two children with food allergies, eczema and asthma, I have always worried about how their challenges would affect their growth and development both physically and emotionally.

Many old feelings of guilt and thoughts of my boys’ living with food allergies resurfaced after Michael’s allergic reaction to lamb last Tuesday…I was not feeling like ‘mother of the year’! Click here for the link to the post.

Amazing how my ‘back pack of guilt’ can so easily be ‘brought back to life’.

Every now and then, a glimmer of hope shines through…eradicating any doubt I may have had regarding my boys sense of self….my ‘back pack of guilt’  is removed and gets placed back on the shelf.

I wanted to share one of those times with you. On Friday, Matthew brought home some of his work for me to review. I was blown away with one of his poems and writing. With Matthew’s blessing…I give you a poem he wrote titled, Reflection.

Reflection

I asked for height
I was surrounded by tall kids
Thank you God for the opportunity
To rise to the challenge.

I asked God for no allergies
Asthma, and eczema
Peanuts and sports appear everywhere
Thank you for the chance to become
aware of my surroundings.

I asked for better skills in sports
I was given tougher opponents
Thank you for the drive to practice harder.

I asked for all the things I wanted
God gave me the things I needed
Things that would make me a better person.

You have no idea how much this poem means to me…I was literally brought to tears!

Barely recovering from the poem, Matthew handed me another piece of his work…more tears ensued.

The following is a sentence and closing statement taken from a paragraph he wrote:

“I was diagnosed with allergies in grade 3 and was disappointed but I had faith in my friends and family that they would understand and they did. My friends have always been supportive and understanding and I am grateful.”

“Dark times appear in everybodies life and you can hope that faith and trust are there to get you through those times.”

Life is full of challenges. In retrospect, I am ever so grateful for the challenges that have been presented to our family. For all the hardship that my boys have endured living with food allergies, eczema and asthma…they have survived.  I believe their journey has given them the opportunity to acquire the skills to become young men ready to tackle more of life’s challenges.

Another silver lining.

The journey will continue for my boys whether I am around or not…my job continues to prepare them to live independently with a ‘side order’ of food allergies. Not an easy task…but then who said motherhood would be easy!. I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

Have you experienced a silver lining moment in your life with food allergies, eczema and/or asthma?

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21 thoughts on “My Son With A Peanut/Tree Nut Allergy’s Words Ease My Aching Heart

    • Thank you Carla!:) I am ever so thankful for the support system that has followed my boys throughout the years…their friends, school and family networks have all played a part. As the African proverb states…”It takes a village to raise a child.” 🙂

  1. That brought more than just one tear to my eye!!! Apparently I will be going to work with raccoon eyes this afternoon. Thank you very much!
    Being a part of the your boys’ allergy world has been a priviledge… I, along with my family, have learned so much being a part of the village and we are glad to continue on the journey with you, especially when grace, dignity and faith are fostered, along with awareness and management of food allergies.
    And then there’s those dimples…..That handsome smiling face is all I need to see for me to help out in any way I can.

  2. Very sweet! I shed a tear before I had to leave for work too yesterday morning… I wanted to tell you, my son keeps reminding me to ask his new (old) allergist–he’s back in our area and I’m thrilled–about that new injector– thanks for the tip!

  3. Hi Susan,
    I just read Michael Penney’s blog and thought I would comment.
    Firstly as a nurse/midwife for 33 years I commend you for the role you have played in keeping your children safe.
    Do not blame yourself for the allergy/asthma your children developed.
    Many of my clients babies developed allergies that were not part of their mother’s diet during pregnancy. We also look at where they live, the air quality, and the water quality. The home construction materials, paint, carpet and underpad, toys, clothing, soaps and lotions, shampoos ect.
    all of the above can and do play a part in the development of our immune system.
    Yes all foods can and do in some people cause sensitivities, and some do go on to develop life threatening allergy.
    Your intelligence and kindness are the greatest gifts your family receives daily. They in turn mirror the gifts they have been given.
    I have lived with multiple food allergies, as well as drug allergies, and, environmental allergies that do require me to carry an epi-pen.
    And yes I have had life threatening reactions… BUT I have also lived a full and happy life.
    I achieved ALL the goals both personal, and professional that I set. Yes it has not been as easy to live and work on 3 different continents of our world, with very different levels of awareness regarding the realities of life for a highly allergic individual. But it is possible!

    The world is much more aware than it was 30 years ago. I enjoy a high quality of life, and the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine has been a real help. Their clinic has helped so many of my clients, as has the shop at Sick Kids that has many highly specialized foods and dietary aids.
    I’ve had over 30 years to think about what my allergies have taught both me, and the many people in my life. They have taught me to be aware, to be creative, to be thankful, to be understanding and kind towards myself, and to others. To share my knowledge, and was one of my primary motivators to become a health care professional.
    I also now understand I am indeed healthier as a result of NOT eating processed foods, or GMO’s.
    So yes Susan there really is a silver lining. 🙂

    • Your words brought both a smile and a tear to my eye! 🙂 I am so pleased to have read how your journey has provided you with many ‘silver lining’ moments…thank you for sharing! 🙂

      • Thanks!
        Just A thought Susan,
        Here is the contact info for Specialty Food Shop @ Sick Kid’s 1-800-737-7976
        They have been a wonderful resource for 30 years. They are located on the main floor of the hospital along Main Street. I have a wonderful PDF on diet during pregnancy, and introduction of foods for infants if you want it.
        Warmly,
        Alexandra McKee-Bennett B.A. R.N. MSc. RM.

      • Thank you Alexandra! It has been a few years since I last visited Sick Kids Specialty Food Shop in Toronto…it’s a bit of a drive. Does the PDF on diet during pregnancy and the intro of foods for infants in relationship to food allergies? Does the guideline assist those who have a higher chance of having a child with food allergies? Thanks again for all your insight! 🙂

      • Hi Susan,
        There are two documents, and both are excellent tools for understanding the current thinking regarding rec’s for both the pregnant mum, and introduction of solids for families where there is a history of allergy in either or both parents. If you have a e-mail address I will forward both.
        Alex 🙂

      • Hi Susan,
        I attempted to email the PDF’s but WordPress stated this was unsuccessful… I don’t know how to forward PFD files to a Blog as you need a email address. So when I have time this evening I will forward links where the two documents can be found to the comment section of your Blog.
        Best,
        Alex

      • Susan,
        You have not sent me your e-mail address. Your blog has my e-mail address, thus you can reply to me. WordPress will not allow anything more, than me to comment on your blog when I reply to you. I have shown this to my I.T. director and there is nothing more I can do from my end.If you wish to receive our research we need a operating actual e-mail address. When you think you are e-mailing me, this does not allow that person to reply to an e-mail address only your Blog.
        Sorry I can’t assist further.
        Best wishes,
        Alexandra

      • That’s odd…I tried sending you an email but it rejected it…then I clicked on your email address in my mailbox and it sent. Will try again, sorry for all the inconvenience. 🙂

      • Hi Susan, I have attached both links for the 3rd time. Hopefully this is received.

  4. I totally had a silver lining when I had asthma (I don’t have it anymore) because having asthma meant I had a totally legit excuse for not participating in gym class and other physical activities, which, as you know, is not my idea of fun. :S

    • I must admit, when I was your age…I felt the same way. 🙂 I still have asthma, however, I am older and wiser and realize the importance of physical activity in my life. With my asthma under control…I have achieved many accomplishments I never thought possible…running a 1/2 Marathon in May 2012 would be at the top of the list! 🙂 Give it a few more years…not having asthma just may turn out to be another ‘silver lining’ moment for you! 🙂

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