‘Awareness is Key’

‘K#!@*?’ (Dutch), ‘You have got to be kidding me’, and ‘noooooooo’, were the first words that came out of my mouth in the hospital! Complete disbelief. I got the news that my son has an allergy that can cause death! A peanut allergy!

Oh… and an egg allergy, but he grew out of that one!

Of all the allergies out there… He has the two that he can not afford to have! We eat more eggs in a week in this family than anyone probably should and… he is Dutch. He needs to know how our famous Peanut Sauce (sate) taste! My poor son is gonna miss out on so many good foods in his life!

They say, ‘Ignorance is a bliss’! Well… that is true! My ignorance of “Dutch people” don’t do allergies was stupid and dumb. I was blissfully unaware of the dangers of “food allergies”.
The first time I ever heard of a peanut allergy was from the moment I stepped foot inside the USA. It seemed like every kid had it!

My mind had to reset from “this could never happen to my kid” to “my son has a peanut allergy, the most prevalent and dangerous of all food allergies that can cause anaphylaxis and death’. Great…

The doctor who gave me the news that day, didn’t give me any hope of a cure and this was something I had to accept. In his eyes I should focus on taking a whole new lifestyle to keep our son safe. (That is true btw…)!
The nurse in the room felt sorry for me, because I had to deal with such an inconsiderate doctor and she gave me a sweet hug.
I have to say that from the moment I met him something was just off. He totally reminded me of the doctor back in New York when my daughter was admitted!
While he was reading my son’s chart, he kept repeating negative stories about Russia and Germany and how many were killed by the Flu back in the day etc… I mentioned a few times that I am not from there, but he kept going on and on. Maybe this was the same doctor and just switched states and hospital?

While this doctor didn’t give me any hope for “growing out of it”, others did! After doing some research on the internet, there were a lot of different stories. The one I like to believe is the one that says that 25% of the children in the Netherlands will grow out of an allergy like that. Eventually you read what you want to believe!

For now I accepted the changes of lifestyle and I am dealing way better with this allergy than before.
The news genuinely gave me a hard time, only because I could imagine how this would affect his future.

Awareness is key

Now we have to read all the labels, ask questions if we are in a restaurant or at a game and talk to our friends and daughter about it. And what will happen when he goes to school in a couple of years!?
On the brighter side… with this generation he will not be alone. Every kid these days have some kind of allergy anyway.

*I understand wholeheartedly that this is a serious condition with potentially life-threatening consequences.

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