Raising a Kid with a Peanut Allergy

All it took was these words, “It could cause death”

I seriously wanted to punch the doctor in the face. My child was sitting right there, terror in his eyes. I did everything I could to stay calm for me, and for him. It wasn’t easy.

We talked about what it meant for us on the drive home. Later that night I chattered incessantly to my husband about all the life changes for our family, all because of

PEANUTS!

My son has a peanut allergy. And grass and trees, and almonds, mustard, peas, sesame, cats, and a partridge in a pear tree.

At first, I took it all with a grain of salt. He had peanut butter before, I was queen of peanut butter sandwiches. He would be fine. Then I started seeing all these stories in the news. This girl died after eating something she’s eaten before, after two Epi-pen inections, and a doctor for a dad. Then this other guy died. He had a peanut allergy his whole life. He ate a cookie! Bam! 22 years old, dead.

I decided it was time to take Zac’s peanut allergy seriously. He had to start carrying a small backpack with his Epi-pens, and he wears a medical bracelet. These are minor inconveniences. So is not being able to eat at Chik-Fil-A or Logan’s (yummm!). I have to read labels of every snack, food and drink. It has become a way of life.

The absolute hardest part of Zac having a peanut allergy is the constant state of fear that my child lives in. If you have ever met Zac, you can attest that he is a child who loves life. He is 5’4 at 9 years old, can slam dunk on an 8 foot goal. He loves to skateboard, and can consume his 120 lbs in chocolate if you would let him, if it’s not made in a factory where other products with peanuts are manufactured.

Every restaurant, every food, he wonders, “Is this going to hurt me?”

Every football game, he has to steer clear of anyone who eats peanuts, or throws shells on the floor.

Every celebration at school, when kids bring cupcakes for the class, Zac gets nothing. He sits and watches.

Every family gathering, he asks, “Are you sure mom?” “Did you check?”

Every day, my child wonders if he is going to die.

That may sound dramatic, but no, it’s just his reality.

We do our best to be cautious without over reacting.

But he’s nine.

And it’s heartbreaking to watch him, and to be so out of control, and to bury my own fears of what a small little peanut could do to my child.

Peanuts are what we call my son’s cryptonite. I pray daily that his Superman, supernatural spirit in Christ will sustain him all the days of his life.

Does your kid have a peanut allergy? What has it done to your life? Share with me!

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