Monday, July 23, 2012

Newly diagnosed

I just heard from a young mom whose 11 month old has been diagnosed with food allergies-- multiple food allergies.

Remember how overwhelming that felt?  The list of DON"Ts so long you couldn't even finish it in one sitting.  The pages of  AKAs for common foods--like casein is milk or watch out for marzipan...

I know it's better today than nearly 20 years ago when I first heard this diagnosis, but it doesn't change the heart pounding fear that YOU will make a mistake and your child will get sick, or worse.

All those feelings, including helplessness, came rushing back as I sat talking with this young mom.  I told her that this certainly can be done, that there are lots of resources-- and sent her immediately to FAAN site to print those "How to Read a Lablel" lists!
And I told her the truth-- it can be tough.  But doable.

Suggestions I had:

  • Dedicate one shelf in the refrigerator to food allergic child.  Label it.  NOTHING goes on that she can't eat.
  • Breathe
  • Make a list of all the foods she CAN eat
  • Ask your doctor and nutritionist lots of questions
  • Find a support group
  • Keep a packet of baby wipes in your purse to wipe other kids' hands, tables, etc
  • When in doubt--DON"T

We're going to have coffee, so I can hand over my list of go-to brands and easy foods to throw in the diaper bag-- it's been a while, but the concept of "transportable" never goes away.

We can do this together-- one sharing to another-- and learning from each other's experiences-- plus I get to hold the baby!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Now Here This and July 4th

I went to the musical Now. Here. This.   It's a small show with a big emotional punch-- Thomas Merton the religious philosopher of the early 20th century had a theory that we should try to center ourselves in the Now. And be Here. and focus on This.  -- (and yes four crazy funny smart folks made a musical about this concept)
 It's a wonderfully big idea for three words.  Enjoy the moment, the present company, the now.
Not a new idea, but one that was packaged in a way I understood.
  I spent the week trying to slow down, breathe and see what was in front of me. It helped my perspective-- of different we all are, and that we can share the moment, but in our own ways of being and visions--which brings more to the table.
What --you didn't think I'd forget about food did you? Of course there's a table, preferably a dining table where all of us, with our different worlds and our different desires can come to the fore.

And sometimes we have to see that present-- the world where we are helping and sharing and being there for each other-- and see the world from the varied perspectives of those around our tables...

Happy July 4th--be it fireworks and friends or the beach and family or Uncle Vanya and a peaceful city (like me)