Talk it Out

By Heather Legg

Food allergies and skin allergies, environmental allergies and pollen allergies, they are ally confusing. They have erratic symptoms, mysterious culprits, you just never know what is around the corner, I’ve said that a million times. Symptoms seem to disappear, then reoccur; you try one thing, it works one day, the next it doesn’t. You think your doctor knows everything, often times, he doesn’t. So how do you know what to do? How do you know what treatment to follow, what precautions to take and what preventative measures to take? I’ve found one of my best sources is other parents.

No matter what it is, talking to someone who has been through a similar situation is helpful. Some communities have allergy support groups, just like cancer or divorce support groups. This, I think, is a great idea and I remember looking into this when my daughter was first diagnosed. You can bat around ideas as well as support each other.  You can learn of alternative or new treatments, things that work and things that don’t.

I have personally found that just talking with other parents from the neighborhood or school is a great help for me. Just like we discussed naps or car seats when our kids were little, it’s helpful to ask if anyone has experienced what you and your kids are going through with allergies. Again, you can hear about what works and doesn’t. Of course, your doctor is a great resource (usually) but a parent who has first hand successful experience is pretty darn good, too. I like to do what I can besides medicate, and I have learned a lot from other parents.

I also like discussing communication with parents. We all need to know the best way to get our needs and expectations across and none of us wants to sound like the crazy mom who is crying wolf all the time. I’ve gained good ideas from other parents, as well as seen things I don’t want to emulate. We can talk about things that have worked in our particular school and what needs to be changed and updated and come together to possibly enforce what we thing is necessary.

Other parents are a great resource; don’t be afraid to use them. Everyone needs to share ideas, worries, and strategies. It’s simple human nature. Maybe somebody will be very happy and relieved to put to use the things you recommend, too!

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