Planning and organizing are both tasks that I have always been adept at and thoroughly enjoy. In fact, once the parent of one of my student’s asked me if I would consider organizing her entire house and life. Ha! I declined although the request intrigued me.
However, motherhood and my experience so far with my son’s food allergies have taught me that beyond planning, there are four Ps far more crucial to our lives right now than my written lists.
Disclaimer: This blog is a personal blog and used as a way of sharing and connecting with other readers. The posts, articles, and stories shared on the site are meant as a source of encouragement. In this challenging world of food allergies, I have found reaching out to other parents and people in my shoes to be extremely resourceful and inspiring. Therefore, I want to give back and do the same. The information on my blog is not intended as medical advice so as always, please consult with your doctor.
Now here are our 4 Ps….
Last winter, when I first started reaching out to allergists, nutritionists, and other moms with children with multiple food allergies, the amount of conflicting information and guidance was overwhelming. While I know that was my own fault in seeking too many opinions, it was what I felt was right in those early months. In doing this, it did allow me to find some common denominators. One of the recommendations that most people made was starting TJ on a dairy-free, gluten-free probiotic once a day.
Although it is not proven, the theory behind probiotics and food allergies is that they help to build up a person’s digestive and immune systems, restoring good bacteria in the gut. While gut health is important for many reasons, it is my understanding that this is also the area of the body that needs to be restored to help outgrow and prevent food allergies. Around 12 months, we increased my son’s daily intake from 1 to 2 Culturelle (dairy-free, gluten-free) probiotic packets a day. (Of course only after TJ’s doctors recommended it.)
See my Culturelle post here: Favorite Finds Friday – Culturelle Probiotics
Now, that I have shifted some of my focus also to my own gut health. I too take probiotics. Therefore, probiotics have become quite an important P in our lives. While most other aspects of this world of food allergies still confuse me, for some reason probiotics bring me comfort and hope in our future and health.
(Once again I am not a doctor and these are my own personal opinions and experiences. Please consult with your doctor before trying anything.)
2) Proactive Patience
I have been through many phases already since my son’s anaphylactic reaction.
From a phase of guilt & self-blame…
To one of intense fear…
Then to some depression and anxiety…
To another phase of overwhelming fear…
Then to a season of false hope (Although putting all of my energy in believing he would outgrow his allergies by 12 months was irrational, it was what I needed to do at that time to get out of my crazy funk.) …
To frustration again…
Then back to anxiety and fear again until….I knew I needed to stop this…
That is when the summer came and I started to really work on controlling my thinking. Like I have previously written about a couple times, I worked on retraining my brain. Gradually, it started to work and I entered a new phase of being proactively patient. When my son’s wheat oral food challenge was cancelled the day before due to his ear infection and could not be rescheduled for another five months, I had a realization. I finally accepted that it is and has never been about my timing, but instead it’s all about God’s. Therefore, while remaining TJ’s biggest advocate, I must have patience and savor these days even though it is not according to my own plans.
Like I posted in Worry-Free Wednesdays: Perseverance Defines Strength,
“I am far from the smartest…far from the strongest…far from the most talented….far from the most successful …far from the absolute best at anything…However, the driving force that has always been present in my life throughout all the ups and downs is my perseverance. If I teach my son one lesson in this world, I hope it is the will to persevere no matter what because with that anything is possible.”
Don’t get me wrong, the days are quite challenging sometimes and we are always on guard. The reality is that we cannot control everything that happens to us and the cards we have been dealt. However, what we can control is our reaction to those cards and the choice we have to truly live with them. Therefore, we persevere and smile on because perseverance moves mountains and defines strength…
Last but certainly not the least, prayer has been greatly renewed in me throughout this experience. Not only do I pray with my son on the way to work/day care each morning and at night together as a family, I also stop and thank God first after anything remarkable. On the other hand, on the tough days and in the most difficult moments, I stop and praise Him for all that He has done for us and ask him for guidance because I cannot do this alone.
For example, when TJ ate his first waffle (allergy-free of course) I teared up and knelt down, praising God for this. I now see our life through different lenses of faith. We are beyond blessed and lucky for reasons that no allergy….or ten…can take away from us.
With that being said, I feel a different sense of inspiration at times that I have ever felt before. Often, it comes as I am writing, driving, listening to music, or first thing in the morning. I know that it is during those moments that God is working through me and answering my prayers. It’s almost impossible to describe through words…I just feel it…
As I conclude this week’s TIPSy TUESDAY, I realize that my tips were a bit different than usual. I believe that everyone needs to find their own personal Ps of life and what works for them.
Search for those moments when you feel inspired and act on them right then and there. During those other times when you hear your intuition speaking to you, don’t talk yourself out of it. Instead, act boldly. I truly believe we all experience those moments, but how many of us act on them. Drop your daily agendas and embrace the present. I am far from perfect with this but learning it step by step…moment by moment. Proactively patient, we pray and persevere with probiotics in our diets and smiles on our faces enjoying today but believing in tomorrow’s possibilities…
“…Hope is what we crave,
And that will never change
So I stand and wait
I need a drop of grace
To carry me today,
A simple song to say
Hope is what we crave
I need a drop of grace
It’s written on my soul:
Hope’s what we crave…”
– “Crave” by For King & Country