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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 11:53 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 1:42 am
Posts: 222
Location: Victoria, British Columbia
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D04EFD7153FF933A25755C0A9679C8B63&sec=health&spon=&pagewanted=1

This article is a few years old, but I think it is very well written and covers a number of important points. (I did check for it in this section of the forum but did not see it -- apologies if I missed it somewhere. I must say there are some really good articles listed here -- I lost an evening just combing through them all and learned a lot!) Anyway, in this article, I was particularly struck by an interview with Dean Palin, a restaurateur.

Quote:
Palin presents his situation with a certain amount of humor and self-mocking bravado, but it's clear that he experiences the anxiety profoundly and on a daily basis. ''I'm still nervous all the time,'' he says. ''I think about it every time I sit down to eat. I feel a lack of confidence. Food is essential to making you feel good. You know, it's a sense that . . . you like yourself when you eat. The things that people reach for to comfort themselves -- I don't have that.''


It just somehow gave the words to what I feel when I see my son eat: he would be a great candidate for someone who wants all his nutrition in a pill form. . . but then I took solace in what 17 year old Eric said:

Quote:
He hasn't forgotten about his allergies -- thinking about avoiding certain foods ''is like breathing,'' he says. But he doesn't seem anxious, and he doesn't seem to consider himself particularly deprived. If anything, an obsession with food safety has relieved him of a much more common preoccupation: an obsession with food itself, its reassurances, its reward. ''I need food to get energy, so I eat it,'' he says. ''I don't really care about food. If I can't eat a bag of potato chips, I'm not going to lose sleep over it.''

At this point in his life Eric seems faintly bored by the subject of his allergies; he's much more interested in talking about an upcoming all-state competition and his favorite instrument, the trumpet.


And this is where I think my son gets so into his passion for hockey -- he has found his comfort food for his mind, body, and soul, and it is so very much ok that this 'dinner' doesn't come out of the fridge. :)

Caroline

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son anaphylactic to peanuts


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 10:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Caroline, this is one of my all-time favourite allergy articles. I found it a few years ago (several years after it was first published) and I sooooo identified with it at the time.

It's the kind of article that you need to just get out and read once in awhile because it is so validating.

I'm glad you found it and posted about it!

K.

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Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 12:38 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2948
Location: Toronto
I know this article and love it, too.

Caroline, funny enough though, I would say that most people with allergies still like - even love - food. (Maybe not in the first months after a big reaction, but usually.)

It would be a whole lot less risky if we could just get all our required nutrients in a pill, but it woulldn't be the same. Taste is a great sense, and there is still joy in safe dining.

By the way, Palin's quote made me pull out a bag of potato chilps. :lol:

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 1:38 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 1:42 am
Posts: 222
Location: Victoria, British Columbia
My little guy just does not like to eat. Not only does this pain me somewhat because I am a 'foodie' who loves different tastes, this has also made me re-evaluate all the times we celebrate with food (birthdays, holidays, good report cards) because this is just not a reward/happy thing for my boy.

Both my husband and I come from families where food = love, whether it be praising the cook or slaving over a hot stove all day. Family meals are also our main together time, where we all sit down and chat, let the phone ring and talk about our day. There is no tv and we move dinner time around if the kids have sports or other activities -- it is that important to my husband and I as a family 'ritual'. A lot of our focus goes into this eating time. . . and our son can only squirm, just wanting to bolt from the necessary (but boring) fuel for his body. He doesn't even dare to try new things, and it is really obvious that he just wants it over with.

So. . . I have learned that playing a board game, reading a book together and / or putting me in net while we play street hockey (OH NO!) just makes him beam, perhaps in the same way I do with a nice Sunday roast and a glass of wine. Of course his non-food time it is absolutely together time -- and as it is his preferred together time, I make sure to honour it more times than to say "hon, I am swamped right now". But, for some reason, it took me a long time to understand this because I didn't 'get' that he wasn't really enjoying our mealtimes together. As he grows older, he might get a little less squirmy, but I don't think he will find joy in food or in the 'dining experience'. I gotta say, this still makes me a little sad. . .

Caroline2


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 12:26 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 932
Location: Oakville, Ontario
Hi Caroline, Part of the lack of enjoyment of meals could be your energetic son's way of communicating that he would rather be "on the move", and wants to eat his meal, and get playing again. I also love the ritual of family meal time, and it is a top priority for us as well, despite our busy calendar (sports, piano, social, etc). Our kids enjoy eating, but once they've finished eating, they are ready to play again. My 5 year old son, in particular, as much as he enjoys food, has a very difficult time staying seated during mealtime - it's like holding down a jumping bean!! We only ask that they remain at the table until we've all finished eating and had our fruit for dessert. We have a very large extended family with young children, and most of our friends have children of varying ages, and I see this with most of their kids as well! A leisurely dinner is not something the young have yet grown to appreciate (at least, I've not witnessed this!!) Our kids happen to enjoy food, but I see other kids (without allergies) who are also not that interested in the food they eat (except when it's some sort of treat!), and seem to view it as simply fuel. It's difficult to separate when food allergies have a direct impact on our views, or whether it's the way that individual's mind and body are wired.

_________________
15 yr old daughter: no health issues
12 yr old son: allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, sesame, sunflower, mustard, poppy seeds, peas, carrots, some fruits, instructed to avoid all other legumes (except soy & green beans), pollen, cats, horses


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 12:36 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2948
Location: Toronto
I agree. Caroline, your son may come around to food/dining when the need to 'move' settles down.

I think you're also smart to identify that the family supper is a ritual that's as much about busy families having time to communicate and relate as it is about food. If you're doing that with qualtiy board game and netminding time - sounds like you've found a more comfortable way for him to relate. Makes perfect sense. (I think you get bonus points when he reaches his 20s and recalls Mom in Net.)

I only hope some of your positive 'foodie' attitude will rub off on him over time.

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 9:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
I agree with Julie. My sons have a very hard time sitting still - although the older one (now 8 years) is getting better. The younger one (6) really does have ants in his pants, and is almost pathologically unable to sit on his chair!! LOL.

I have found that we have a lot more fun connecting over a game of cards than we do at the dinner table, and I don't really think it's because of the food. I think it all just depends on the situation and the dynamic... we just seem to laugh more when we're playing Go Fish or Uno!

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


Last edited by KarenOASG on Sat Mar 24, 2007 9:57 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 12:12 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 10:02 am
Posts: 116
Location: Gatineau
Wow this article was great! I know what you mean Karen - I can see myself coming back and reading this again! Dean's story about panicking months after his major reaction is completely my story - just like him, for a while I just felt sick every time I ate and couldn't even trust my own cooking, sometimes even a sealed water bottle. I know I'm not crazy, but it's nice to have confirmation from the medical/psychological side of things, particularly on the issue of panic symptoms mimicking allergic reactions.

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ana to peanuts, nuts, eggs, shellfish, bananas
mild asthma and eczema, seasonal allergies


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