I was telling Bernard last night when I was cooking dinner that it seems like the older she gets I feel like we’re being faced with people who are either just uneducated about food allergies and the seriousness of what can happen to a child or adult if they come in contact with the allergy that they are allergic to, or the attitude that it’s not fair that the school is going nut free because 5% of the students have a allergy, so the other 95% can’t bring nut products to school. Don’t get me wrong, prior to Peyton almost dying in front of me because I gave her a cashew and me not knowing she was allergic to it, and people when I say almost dying I’m not over exaggerating....she almost died.....I use to be one of those type of people. I didn’t know anything about Anaphylactic Shock, I didn’t know what a Epi Pen was, nor did I care to find out....because it wasn’t something that was important to me and didn’t affect me directly at the time. Until that day, I gave her that cashew and she almost died in front of me....or until that day Wesley got bit by that fire ant and went into anaphylactic shock.
I told Bernard last night that I find myself engaged in conversations with people regardless to if it is family members or friends....but they tend to have this nonchalant attitude about the seriousness of food allergies and no matter how much I try to advocate my reasoning's, advocate why if my daughter comes in contact with the foods she is allergic to can mean DEATH...they still don’t get it. I’m so passionate about my feelings, I have to be because that’s her life...her precious innocent life that I have to advocate for. I have to say that I will advocate for her till the day I die, and I’m sure this wont be the first time that I will be offended by friends or family....or people in general. But, I have to be that voice for her......because if her voice is ever silenced because of someone else’s ignorance.....and I just sat there and not used my voice....that makes me just as wrong as the next.
Again, this goes back to not being educated when it comes to food allergies. People seem to think that if you go into anaphylactic shock and you have your Epi Pen and you use it, then you will be okay...that’s so far from the truth. Peyton was administered two dosages of the Epi Pen Jr. when she went into anaphylactic shock and given 4 times the normal amount of Benadryl, she was put on oxygen because her blood pressure started to drop and she began to have a asthma attack.....not to mention her eyes and lips were swollen, while her her body was covered with blood blisters. This is why I’m all for a nut free school, this is why I’m all for a nut free classroom...If she even smells or is touched by someone who has eaten nuts but hasn’t washed their hands, she can go into anaphylactic shock. This is why I will advocate for Peyton, and the 5.9 million children in this country who are living with food allergies. To inconvenience your child by not eating peanuts/nut products in school just to spare a life of another....is that peanut/nut product really more important then a life...ask yourself that question?
I’ve had to learn to give Peyton a little more credit the older she’s getting....lol. The 5th graders at her elementary school goes to Camp Champion (it’s a outdoor learning school), this is when the entire 5th grade goes to this camp for 3 days and 2 nights. Okay so my food allergy mama guard went up, and it went up really fast....at first I was like “heck no” she can’t go....”I don’t know what they will feed her”, no she can’t go. I’ve had my mind set since kindergarten that she couldn’t go to Camp Champions. So, the closer we got to the day to make our payment for the camp, I was still unsure on if I wanted her to go...finally Peyton just came out and said, “Mommy....you let Jayden and Dub go, that’s not fair if I can’t go!!!’ I prayed about it, I really did....my heart was so conflicted, I’ve read so many stories where kids with food allergies have went off to camp and didn’t make it back home because they ate something that they may have been allergic to. I prayed long and hard, finally I said okay, we will let you go...we bought her some “safe” snacks, and I talked to her and told her “Peyton please don’t share any food with anyone, if you are not sure what you may be eating, please don’t eat it...ask someone for the ingredients, and please read your labels. I can’t stress that enough to read your labels, I told her...and I prayed some more...I just wanted my baby to come back the way that I sent her off
from home. Like I said before...I have to give Peyton more credit than I do, because she did exactly as I asked of her. I also want to thank her teacher, she was a big help calming my fears, and just watching over her for me....but Thank You Jesus for bring her back to me unharmed. I feel like we’re navigating into a new phase of this world of food allergies the older she gets and this is just the beginning.