One of my biggest nightmares is calling 911 for anaphylaxis right after the EMT's lunch break of cheeseburgers and milkshakes. Having "the experts" come and breathe airborne milk proteins all over my daughter for the main reason we called them to begin with! We've learned the hard way that the little blue surgical masks are great for germs, but food proteins are much smaller and travel easily in and out of those little precautionary measures. This does NOT give me a sense of safety and security, instead, it reiterates that with a bare support system the weight of managing our children's safety is always on us. There are no lunch breaks, or nights off from that. So, where and when do we get to feel that safety? Nowhere (for now), but I'm optimistic and I believe in change. We get to feel safety through strict avoidance of the food allergen, and the very few people we have established the trust of our daughters lives with. We can count on one hand who, in the event that we would need them on a moments notice, we could maybe turn to. So, in light of our reality, zombie apocalypses don't seem very terrifying after all because that story of fear has an end.
This is why we created our non-profit, Food Allergy Resources & Mentoring to advocate, educate, and create inclusivity for kids with food allergies. It's so much more than the 1 in 13 kids with food allergies, because this food allergy epidemic affects everyone. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, teachers, nurses, the grocer, the pastor, the entire community! We're all many moving parts of a bigger picture that I see, but can you? If you're one who thinks this doesn't pertain to you--I'm sorry, but your unjustifiably wrong. Compassion for others leads to the spread of compassion for others! Whether it's food allergies or something else, compassion and inclusivity are at the crust of the solution. We're just doing our part to affect more than our own household to have compassion. My husband and I followed our hearts to help others find their way through the familiar obstacles that food allergies can present. Our children have witnessed our drive to do this, and the seed of community compassion has already been planted in their hearts. Now can you see the bigger picture more clearly?
My daughter without the severe food allergy is thriving so much in our personally crafted lifestyle that has had so much thought and effort put into it. She's so aware of her surroundings, what she's eating, knows more about how the body works than the average child her age. I can see how our lifestyle benefits everyone under our roof. This is how I know that our circumstances have presented us with huge blessings. I know that if we hadn't had to find our way with a food allergy, we'd be those people who just do as others do- never questioning the system. That was never supposed to be our family journey.