I realize I've been a little quiet this week and it's not for lack of things to say. I just don't know how to put into words all of the emotions I've gone through this week.
If you don't already know, a little girl died last weekend from a severe allergic reaction. As the parent of a child with food allergies, the possibility of this outcome is a devastating reality. But when these situations happen to other people, a sort of panic ensues mixed with an overwhelming sadness for her family and what they are going through.
This story (as too many others have before) has rocked the food allergy community. This post entitled The Thing About Food Allergies by Mom to the Screaming Masses embodies the emotions I have felt this week.
The despair that comes from these stories makes me question everything. Have I talked about his allergy enough to explain how severe it can be? Have I provided the tools and resources to ensure my son's daycare providers can recognize a reaction and anaphylaxis, and when and how to use his EpiPen?
I spent a couple of days this week in a fog where these questions and more ran through my mind every second. I know that I may not have control over every environment my son is in. I can plan and prepare and it still may not be enough.
And so I pray like crazy.
I have faith in God who entrusted me as this beautiful, precious little boy's mommy. I pray for his safety and health. I pray for strength and peace in order to move forward. I pray for knowledge and understanding for others so that they may take food allergies seriously and learn what to do to make a safer environment for not only my child, but every child.
Soon after I prayed and hugged my boy so hard, and prayed some more, the fog finally started to lift. I have a renewed sense of responsibility to advocate and educate.
To brighten the end of this stressful week, I received a call from our local grade school to schedule an upcoming preschool screening. I'm excited to see how it goes and the doors that this may open for us!
But that's not even the best news!
One of my best friends is a Para at our grade school. It is very possible that she may be in the preschool this year. I am so excited about this because she knows Mason. She knows food allergies. And I trust her. This would be a huge relief knowing that at least one person really gets it.
In addition to all of that...we have discussed going to the school principal and school nurse to discuss food allergy awareness and EpiPen training for the staff.
This has been on my agenda to prepare for next year when Mason heads off to Kindergarten, but I will jump at the chance to do this a year early!!
So this is my motivation for this possible opportunity.
I am praying that this all works out in a way that benefits not only my son (and my anxiety sending him into this new environment) but that provides useful, potentially life-saving tools and education for the teachers. If it doesn't happen exactly as I hope, I will still grasp the opportunity to pave the way.