The Gluten Dude shared a touching letter he received from a 12 year old with Celiac Disease. You can read it here... http://glutendude.com/celiac/celiac-attitude-is-everything/
The letter made me think about our family, and I wanted to share this...
I love this quote from Shauna James Ahern's book Gluten Free Girl...
"I have a confession to make. I used to suspect that people who claimed they had food allergies were making it up--or, at the very least exaggerating.
How could anyone get so sick from a little wheat? Or some milk? A handful of walnuts? It seemed to me that people who ate wheat-free bread were just looking for attention. Granola heads. Pale people with no real vitality.
Watch out for what you doubt. It might just become you."
Before my oldest son was diagnosed with a nut allergy 6 years ago, I might have said the same thing.
But food allergies are real.
Our younger son was diagnosed with the same allergy 4 years ago, and our daughter was diagnosed 2 years ago. Then I was diagnosed over three years ago with Celiac Disease.
For our family, food allergies are real.
My husband and I have said many times, unless you have a food allergy or a child with a food allergy, you just aren't going to think very much about ingredients and labels. We meticulously check labels on everything, and for us it's just become a part of life. And thankfully there are lots of safe foods my kids can enjoy.
Last year, my son brought home a treat bag from his Valentine's Day party, and before I could check the candy inside, my daughter had eaten one of the chocolates from the bag. She became very ill; I had to administer an EpiPen and we spent the rest of the day at the hospital. That day, food allergies were very real.
It sometimes makes me sad that my kids have to take their own snacks to friends' birthday parties or miss out on things because of their allergy. And, yes, their nut allergy scares me... Earlier this year, on a school field trip, we were all eating lunch when one of the kids pulled out and started eating a bag of nuts. My 7 year old son commented that he couldn't eat nuts. The child started asking me about my son's allergy; what would happen if he ate nuts or touched nuts...I explained that it could make him very sick. The child then got up, ran over and rubbed his hands all over my son's shirt. I was horrified! It broke my heart that someone could do something like this to my child!
Now, with Celiac Disease, it's different. No, for me it's not immediately life threatening, as the peanut allergy could be for my kids. But still, it's something I have to watch extremely carefully in order to stay healthy now and to avoid more serious health problems in the future.
Yes, food allergies are real...and sometimes even overwhelming. I suppose until you or someone you love has an allergy, you don't fully understand how serious it can be. But food allergies are no joke. They are a part of everyday life for our family and for so many others too.