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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Leaving My Safe Zone

Recently, our family took a weekend trip to Whistler. I thought travel planning and preparation with kids was a lot of work before I knew about my daughter’s allergy…I didn’t know what I was in for once the allergy was added to the mix.

As I prepared for the trip I found myself going over and over the list of things we needed to bring, desperately afraid I was going to forget something that could cost my daughter her life. It seems silly now but it was the first time I was leaving my ‘safe zone’. I hadn’t realized how much work we had done to make our home and daily activities ‘peanut free’ and allergy safe.

The night before we left my head was riddled with ‘what if’ scenarios. What if the condo we are staying in has peanut residue from a previous tenant? What if the other people in our group forget where the Epipens are? What if…

Of course the weekend was fine and we had a great time with the kids snowshoeing and playing in the snow. I relaxed. However, as we were leaving everyone wanted to stop for brunch before we hit the road. As soon as we walked into the diner my muscles tensed and my brain went into overdrive. My eyes kept scanning the restaurant for signs of peanut and it did not help that when we sat down there was a basket of peanut butter and jam packages right in the centre of the table.

Before we ordered my husband asked the kitchen our standard questions to determine what our daughter could eat and as usual we got the weird looks and rolling eyes. We concluded the pancakes should be safe and my daughter gobbled them down. As we were all getting our jackets on my fear was realized and our daughter had a few hives on her chin and hands.

We gave her a dose of Benadryl and waited about thirty minutes before the redness began to subside. The entire drive home I was on pins and needles. Everything was OK and thankfully the episode did not escalate. We never did figure out what specifically caused the reaction.

What this experience taught me (and the experiences of those that have posted on our blog) was that my fear is warranted. My daughter is going to come in to contact with peanuts and I am not going to be able to predict the time or place. I alone am not going to be able to make the world outside my ‘safe zone’ allergy safe and I could drive myself crazy trying to make it so. Some of the best advice I received via the blog was to simply be prepared for a reaction and not spend my days trying to prevent one.

1 comment:

NoPeanuts said...

'Leaving My Safe Zone' is the first post from Mrs NoPeanuts ... a stellar debut in my biased opinion.

It is officially a team effort!