From even my earliest memories of myself, I have always been a worrier at heart. As a young girl, I can remember lining up all of my stuffed animals and dolls along side me at night to protect me from anything and everything that could get me as I slept. Before falling asleep, I would kiss and pray for each one of these protectors because I feared if I didn’t, something would happen to one of them and then, they would become angry with me. While it may sound strange, that pact was what gave me comfort and allowed me to sleep, knowing all of us would be okay.
Now as an adult, I am still that overly cautious, overthinking, empathetic, (may seem crazy) person. Only now, my worries are much different. My main one being protecting my son from his food allergies and eczema. After I stopped breastfeeding, I was able to stop the elimination diet and eat normally again. Six months of no wheat, dairy, eggs, peanuts, nuts, sesame, oat, barley, soy, peas, and limited coconut was enough to get me excited for foods like pizza again. It’s funny that while I was breastfeeding on the diet, I feared that somehow this diet would mess up my metabolism and cause food sensitivities. Yet, I continued it because it was the right, and safest choice for TJ. However, it has been two months since I started to eat “normally” again and I haven’t been able to eat a single product with nuts or peanuts. In addition, I will only drink soy milk because I know that TJ has outgrown this.Since TJ had an anaphylactic reaction to dairy and his numbers are still very high, I am super cautious the times I eat dairy. Some days the only bit of dairy that I have is my “dairy-free” creamer (which is not completely dairy free as it contains a milk derivative).
How do I take my coffee? I take this first cup of coffee when I first wake up before TJ is up, before I even go on my daily run. I drink it as I write, drinking it over a paper towel and then wiping down the area of the table in case any dripped. Then, I brush my teeth, ensuring that I am able to kiss my son as soon as he wakes up. If I drink another cup in the day, I don’t use creamer. I drink it black and will not go into a place like Starbucks with him that steams milk. It is the safest option for TJ and although there are times where people including myself may think I am crazy, yesterday’s checkup with my son’s pediatrician confirmed that I have every right to be this way. It is a necessity.
At his 15 month appointment yesterday, there were so many positives. He is gaining and developing so well despite the very limited diet. While he has always been in the 20-40 percentiles, he is now in the 60s for both height and weight. His iron levels are no longer an issue because of this and the last round of blood work. Then, daycare came up since it is just a couple weeks away.
After explaining that I had several ideas and plans for TJ’s best interest and safety, I asked our doctor, “Before I explain what I have planned, how ‘crazy’ do we need to be with daycare now being that TJ is in the toddler room?“
Her response, although I do not remember word for word, was along the lines of this: The reality is that dairy and wheat are everywhere especially with young children and toddlers. He will ingest something this year at daycare and need them to give the EpiPen because of it. They can’t wait and call you first. They cannot give Benadryl first to see if that does the trick. They must act with the injection, call 911, then contact you.
Well, for starters, I LOVE our pediatrician. However, although it is so easy to fall into that trap, I can’t think like that. I cannot spend every day worrying if today will be that day that she predicted would happen. Of course, I will worry every single second that I am with him and when I am not. Yesterday, her words repeated over and over again in my head so much that I could not focus on much of anything else. Therefore, today, I pray that God guides my focus to do whatever it takes to ensure his safety this year, everything possible to set up the safest environment and scenarios that the reality discussed yesterdsy is not our reality.
It’s not that I don’t trust day care or anyone watching TJ. I don’t trust food allergies, I don’t trust the world, and sometimes with all of this, I don’t even trust myself. That why I cannot do this alone but instead I put all of my trust in God. God gave us TJ with all of his food allergies and skin sensitivities for a reason.
So, how do I take my coffee? Regardless of the type of creamer I use or don’t use, the time I chose to drink it, I take it like everyone else. One sip at a time…one smile at a time..