Food Allergies Impacting Me As a Caregiver
I recently took part in Kids with Food Allergies’ invitation to participate in a survey about the impact a child’s allergy has on the caregiver. I was interested to see that most of my answers showed that I wasn’t very affected in the areas they asked about. Part of this is due to the fact that he’s not old enough for me to worry about school/parties/outings without me, and part is due to the fact that Joseph’s reactions have never been life threatening. Also, my husband is the only person I have to convince of the reality of his allergies. Everybody else I’ve talked to has been willing to at least go along with me providing Joseph something else while everyone else eats the allergenic food.
However, if I had taken this survey when I was first learning of Joseph’s allergies, I’m sure the answers would be much different. A lot of the reason I’m not troubled is the fact that I’ve grown confident in my abilities to handle Joseph’s allergies. I’ve learned which foods are safe and tasty. I’ve learned how to adapt recipes. He’s no longer leaving blood everywhere from scratching his eczema. He’s happy, and healthy, and that allows me to be less anxious. In the first year of dealing with Joseph’s allergies, I felt like I was in survival mode, just keeping my head above water as I adjusted to the new reality.
His allergies do give us restrictions when we consider what to do on vacation, or where to eat out. It’s certainly raised our grocery bill. But I’ve accepted these things. I don’t mind not eating out as often. And we tend to have more stay-cations than vacations anyway. As for Joseph going to school, I’ll worry about that when we get to it. Who knows? He might grow out of some allergies by then.
How have allergies affected you as a caregiver?