Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Food Allergy Awareness Week: Morgan's Interview

Okay, so yesterday we had Ryan's interview and now here's Morgan talking about food allergies. In case you weren't aware, Morgan has no food allergies whatsoever. Still, living in a house with a food allergic person impacts her life, too. We have not tried Sean on fish, shellfish, peanuts or tree nuts--except almonds by accident, and he's fine with almonds. Sometime within the next year we'll either try Sean on those foods or have him tested to get a baseline estimate of his likelihood of an allergy.

And here's Morgan's take on Life with Food Allergies! Note how laconic she is, sweet little to-the-point thing that she is. Again, my comments will be in italics.

Do you have any food allergies?


Does anyone in our family have food allergies?

Yes, Ryan.

What is he allergic to?


What is something that you do to help keep Ryan safe?

Not bring peanuts in the house and make sure not to eat peanuts near him.

Do you ever eat peanuts or not peanut-safe food?

Yes, when I'm at Livy's house.

Do you do anything special before you come home from Livy's house?

I wash my hands after I eat peanuts.

Why do you do that?

So my brother doesn't get allergic.

What might happen to Ryan if he ate a peanut?

He might sick.

[I was sort of hoping she'd be more specific here, since we've talked about possible symptoms of a reaction, but she couldn't think of any.]

Does Sean have any allergies?


Can Sean eat peanuts yet?

No. Because Ryan's allergic, and Sean might be allergic.

What would you like people who read this to know about food allergies?

Don't get any peanuts, or anyone who will eat peanuts in the house, unless they wash their hands.

What is something you would wish about food allergies?

I wish that there was no one who had peanut allergies or any allergies because I don't want to have allergies any time.

I wanted to see if she'd talk about some of the particular differences/struggles with living in a house with someone with an allergy as severe as Ryan's, but I couldn't think of a way to ask such questions without planting a possibly negative or scary idea into her head about it. In other words, I want to acknowledge that there is an inherent unfairness to her in this situation, but I don't want this to become a Big Thing in her mind if it wasn't already, you know? They have enough to fight about as it is. :o) I think perhaps she's too young to really be so concerned with what she might be missing out on, and maybe temperamentally she's not so inclined to care about that aspect of it.

Also, based on some recent comments and events, I think she and her friend Livy are somewhat afraid of peanuts, and while I certainly applaud their caution and concern, it pains me that they feel some of the fear that Ryan feels. Although, as the mom, I look at a peanut and feel fear, too. I suspect that's common, that those who live with people who have severe allergies share some of the stress, fear, concern . . . call it what you want. What do you think about that?

Peanuts are poison, not just to Ryan, but to me, too. Even the few times I've eaten something with peanuts in it, far away from Ryan, maybe once or twice a year at the most, I can't enjoy it the way I used to. I can't eat satay sauce without thinking "This could kill my kid." There is no joy in Reese's, if you will. (Although now that I understand more about legumes, I think a legume-filled diet isn't healthy anyway, but that's neither here nor there.)

So, that's Morgan's perspective on the allergy. I hope next year's interviews will include a little something from Mr. Sean. :o)

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