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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:59 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:05 am
Posts: 636
Location: AB, Canada
I've read quite a few threads where people mention that family is the least understanding with regards to food allergies (also experienced it first hand). Why on earth is this? You'd think that relatives would be second only to parents with concern for a child's safety. Is the 'tradition' of having a bowl of mixed nuts on the table really more important that a child? A friend's daughter was told 'just pick the nuts out of the cookie' by her own grandmother! It also seems that if you reinforce your point, then you're being hostile & difficult.

I just don't get it.

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DSs 7,7,9 all PA


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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 1:07 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:00 am
Posts: 1115
One family member thinks it is unreasonable that the rest of us abide by our daughter's allergies since 'they won't hurt' us. She is the one who brought carrot cake to my daughter's birthday when carrots caused her first serious reaction :?

Perhaps it comes down to, we choose our friends but not our family... To be honest, I don't think we would ever invite a friend over again who intentionally brought one of her allergens...

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me: allergic to crustaceans plus environmental
teenager: allergic to hazelnuts, some other foods and environmental


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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 1:18 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6429
Location: Ottawa
Those who live it take sometime to fully appreciate/understand and amongst us there are many differing comfort levels.

Those who do not live it 24/7 take longer to understand and some just simply choose not to.

While we can choose to tolerate/ignore family members different political/religious beliefs, when it comes to the safety of ourselves or loved ones, it cuts too deep.

How did the Serenity Prayer go?

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2009 12:47 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:00 am
Posts: 1115
Family again... birthday party today with extended family who live minutes from our safe bakery but the birthday boy chose cake from an unsafe bakery so parents can't possibly say no. They offered to pick something else up but there is not one safe thing at the bakery they chose. And birthday boy is a teenager who would understand!!!

My daughter has never been crazy about food but definitely likes it even less since the nut allergies... I felt for her when she asked what she could possibly eat at the party today :( She did not know that I had already bought alternatives and made fresh bread for her this morning but sometimes I just hate that she has to even worry about it. You would think family would be the ones that would make sure it was safe :cry:

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me: allergic to crustaceans plus environmental
teenager: allergic to hazelnuts, some other foods and environmental


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 12:53 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:52 am
Posts: 214
I really think that for a long time, my step-mother thought I complained about the dog just to annoy her. I would be on three medications every time I visited, and it would take me days to recover! I have multiple allergies (more than others in my already allergy-rich family) and I honestly think that if you have not lived with it yourself, you won't truly understand it. It was not me being a hypochondriac, or me being annoying, or me just trying to be difficult. It made me actually sick! And then her own kids got allergies later in childhood and suddenly she gets it---although she is still defensive about the dog, and does not understand how my father continuing to buy dog after dog for her is one of the great betrayals of his limited life with me...

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Asthma and eczema
Drug allergy (succinylcholine)
Food (corn, raw apples, green beans, tree nuts, flax)
Misc (pollen, grass, mold, dogs, cats)


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:43 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2007 9:22 pm
Posts: 173
I don't think anyone truly understands unless they live it. I always bring along safe food for my family. It just isn't worth the risk otherwise. Plus I know what my family can and cannot eat and it's hard enough for me who deals with it on a regular basis.

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Married mom of 4 living children and a baby girl in Heaven.
Between myself, my husband, and our children we have way too many allergies to list.


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 Post subject: When you have a reaction
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:55 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 10:26 am
Posts: 2
Location: Toronto
When people see you have a reaction they seem to finally understand how serious it is. I have friends that I've grown up with that still don't seem to grasp it because they have never seen me get sick. Every year we have a cookie exchange party at Christmas time and the rule is always 'no nuts'. A few years ago several people brought cookies with nuts in them to share or they brought friends who do not know me and didn't share the rule with them. I love food so was jealous that I couldn't really participate and also upset that some of my long time friends would do this. My close friend lost it and informed everyone that we will no longer be doing this party since some people can't follow the no nuts rule. People that haven't seen me react just don't get it. We have to educate people, sometimes especially our own friends and family!

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I am a young adult allergic to tree nuts, peanuts, fish and seafood but am in love with everything food. I write a blog about my food adventures and challenges. foodallergyfoodie.typepad.com


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 4:10 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2007 9:22 pm
Posts: 173
I think it's because most people think of allergies as being runny noses, sneezing, and watery eyes. They don't think about how deadly allergies can be, unless they themselves have experienced it or witnessed someone having a serious reaction.

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Married mom of 4 living children and a baby girl in Heaven.
Between myself, my husband, and our children we have way too many allergies to list.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 9:43 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:00 am
Posts: 1115
Unintentionally found a different way to deal with family who don't get it. We vacationed with family this summer and shared a place and because I found it we set the rules --- no nuts! Home is the one place she should not have to worry.

One couple just didn't get it and said we were over-reacting. Including the day with 40 degree weather at the lake trying to keep the epis cool but not cold --- especially after seeing someone else had brought a JAR of peanut butter for the kids! We were also over an hour from medical help.

Most everyone else understood our request for no nuts but this person's attitude really irked me but I essentially gave up on the education and hoped that the fear in his niece's eyes when she saw a jar of peanut butter so far from a hospital helped him understand. (the person who brought the p.b. apologized and put it in the car without opening it)

:lol: After our trip I dreamt that I was talking with him about FA and saying "You" punch him "Just" punch him "Don't" punch him "Get" punch him "it"!!! phew --- those dream punches really helped :wink:

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me: allergic to crustaceans plus environmental
teenager: allergic to hazelnuts, some other foods and environmental


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 9:49 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:00 am
Posts: 1115
On the other side, I have to give credit to some of my family who I honestly thought would not get it but really, really did!

The person who is typically the most self-absorbed was incredible after some education --- which was about a birthday cake for my husband:

Her: "Why can't we bring a birthday cake that she can't eat?"

Me: "Because he won't eat a cake that can kill his daughter!" (subtle eh?)


Two nights later dinner was at her place and she kept my child's meat separate and used BBQ sauce we supplied, different utensils, on foil and even supervised the grill to make sure no one messed it up! When they realized the dessert had traces they put it away. (luckily my place was nearby and I brought something over)


While there are many that don't get it our reunion educated a lot more people about food allergies!

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me: allergic to crustaceans plus environmental
teenager: allergic to hazelnuts, some other foods and environmental


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 11:26 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:40 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: ottawa
I have given up on some family getting it. I was recently asked by a grandparent "so which nuts can we feed him'. I said NONE, (many many many times we've gone over cross contamination, trace etc.) their reply was there must be some they could feed him. I said if they feed him nuts they will kill him. The reply "nooooooow, what an awful thing for you to say".
Another grandparent has asked our daughter for every single family birthday which has come up "so, why don't you get and ice cream cake". Our daughter gives the same answer ever time explaining ice cream cakes have nut trace and her brother couldn't eat one. So what do they ask our daughter regarding our son's 2nd birthday next month, "why don't you get your brother an ice cream cake" AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

The article Dodging The Doubter in this past Summer's allergic living was dead on. It really explained perfectly the difference and stresses associated with strangers vs family regarding food allergies. Having a relationship to keep in tact with family also adds to the exasperation as you don't want to hurt feelings but you need to be blunt etc.. Strangers can be as ignorant as they please, they will never be in a situation where they might feed my son. But family, when they disbelieve the chances of a tragedy is so great. I never could quite pinpoint until reading that article why I felt so much more anger towards family than uneducated, ignorant comments or actions from strangers.

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DD 12 yrs -no allergies
4 yr old DS - asthma/eczema Anaphylactic to Peanuts, all tree nuts, sesame , all pea/lentil legumes, gelatin.
Allergic to trees, grass,ragweed, feathers, dander, mold and dust.
Outgrew eggs, fish, shellfish


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 3:50 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:00 am
Posts: 1115
It is tough to have to keep educating over and over. I'm not sure why as parents we get it instantly that any of the allergen could hurt them yet other relatives just don't grasp that.

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me: allergic to crustaceans plus environmental
teenager: allergic to hazelnuts, some other foods and environmental


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 2:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2005 6:31 pm
Posts: 61
Location: Ontario
Hi all,

I've posted this in a couple of other threads but didn't want to miss this one.

I'm writing a story for Allergic Living on close relatives who don't "get it" and this thread certainly reminds me why we need to spotlight troubling stories about families and severe food allergy every few years.

If anyone would like to contact me through email with an anecdote about a certain family misstep or two, you can reach me at mcarolynblack@rogers.com

Please provide as much detail about the situation as possible, how you felt, whether things have improved or worsened, or you can email me with your phone number so we can discuss it at your convenience. The stories can be about a child's or an adult's allergy and the problems trying to trigger that 'light bulb moment' with extended (or even immediate) family.

Looking forward to reading your stories, thank you!

Carolyn Black


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 8:05 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:05 am
Posts: 636
Location: AB, Canada
Another experience that has me tearing my hair out! A relative was trying to get DS to have some 'safe' chocolate. DH had to show her that it had a MAY CONTAING warning, this is someone in health care.

Food is constantly being pushed, and not getting why he can't have certain foods or homebaked goods etc..DH bought some safe ice cream (Chapmans), and when he offered it to others they said 'we can only have sugar free due to blood sugar issues'. Period. So WHY is the nut allergy so hard for them to grasp???

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DSs 7,7,9 all PA


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 6:36 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:40 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: ottawa
That is the question that will baffle most of us forever?

I think somehow since family has known us since birth they relate anything do with when we were children. If we are adamant about NOT feeding foods to our children that might hurt them it is seen as the same senario as when we stomped our feet when not getting a puppy (at 3 years old).
Or if we over reacted at 13 when told we couldn't do something ...that same 'Suzie does tend to over react...remember when she ..... ! In a way they see us just as foot stomping now. So I think family attributes our adult ambitions (such as trying to get people NOT to feed our kids) with situations such as how serious we took our first lemonade stand at 8 yrs old. It's all just cute and viewed as a passing phase or something.
Don't know, just rambling...... :freak trying to find some logic to so many of our relations attitudes towards allergies.



On a side note from my trying to decipher the human mind....(a great feat to take on considering I am just starting my first cup of coffee for the day :lol:) I wanted to say to you Becky that I really am sorry. I find it ironic that most people nowadays can by memory list off how many calories or trans fat are in any given food, or that people can tsk tsk us feeding our kid (the only) safe iced cookie there is on the dangers of food colouring ...but those same people can't get the one small thing we tell them about food.....Just Don't Feed It To our Kids!!!!

_________________
DD 12 yrs -no allergies
4 yr old DS - asthma/eczema Anaphylactic to Peanuts, all tree nuts, sesame , all pea/lentil legumes, gelatin.
Allergic to trees, grass,ragweed, feathers, dander, mold and dust.
Outgrew eggs, fish, shellfish


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