finding your allergy tribe
Being married with kids, as in many families, a great deal of the responsibilities with the kids fell on me. I didn't complain and was fine being primary parent. The thing about being fine with that is that it's all peaches and cream until something changes.
When my daughter was diagnosed with life threatening food allergies I suddenly felt alone. No one in our families had ever dealt with this and it was pretty scary. I had a pine nut allergy but to be honest was very naive about it as I'd only experiences a reaction one time and didn't even carry an auto injector myself. In fact, I had almost forgotten about my own allergy until my child was diagnosed. Her issues were much worse in that she has 13 allergies at first. This left me in kind of a weird place feeling like I was in some alter dimension and had no one there to catch me falling as I tried to hold on to my child.
Eventually I found a support group but it was small. I worked with the group for a while and they were great people but it really didn't suit my needs. Eventually I started my own group. From that group, I became a walk chair for a national non-profit and it was then that I found my tribe .I met people all over the country that were just like us. Over the years we watched our children grow up even with some of them developing or losing allergies. Some gained additional health issue along the way. We became Facebook friends, real life friends and even confidants for one another. We went through marriages, divorces, school problems and everything in between.
As the parent of a food allergic child or as a person living with food allergies you must find your tribe. What we live is a complex life and not everyone understands it. Don't feel like you are over reacting if those around you don't get it. They simply don't understand. In time you will find ways to help the at least sympathize with you. Until then, make sure to joining support groups virtually or in person to help you on the journey.
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