Managing a year, and a life, of allergies can be trying to say the least. It can be agonizing to worry every day when your child goes to school or a friend’s house, or college or summer camp to be left wondering and praying that he will be safe. It can be frustrating to not have others give the credibility that allergies are due, and not take them seriously enough. The campaigning and advocating can be exhausting, the note writing, the extra snacks, the daily medication, the pet hair, the personalized meals, the epipens….no one wants an allergy whether it’s food or environmental.
However, there are much worse things in life and now is a time to be grateful for all of the things we are blessed with throughout the year despite the allergies. So here is what I think we should all have on our thankful list:
1. Knowledge – We should be thankful that we know about allergies, what ourselves and our children are allergic to, how to deal with them and how to avoid them. We know what to stay away from and what to do if we can’t.
2. Medical Treatment – Whether it’s alternative or traditional we are lucky to have access to medical treatment. Between acupuncture, daily allergy meds, epipens and emergency rooms, we have good access to emergency and daily treatment.
3. Teachers and schools – though many teachers are still unsure of allergy protocol, they are becoming more and more understanding and used to the world of allergies. Schools try to keep classrooms allergy free and nurses are often very on top of things. We had a school nurse who would call until the medication was brought in. I am very thankful for her!
4. Family and Friends – We probably drive our family and friends crazy with our allergy demands, but they continue to stand up for us and watch out for our kids. I remember one time my mother in law snatched up a tray of nuts at a function and told the host these could not be near her granddaughter. Other friends have gone above and beyond with food so we feel completely safe.
5. Alternative foods and other options – Not only do we have more and more selections of allergy free foods (like gluten free) but we also have wide selections of lotions and soaps for skin allergies.
So instead of being frustrated and worried, we should be grateful. Allergies are something we can live with, we can go “beyond allergy” and live healthy lives. Allergies take work, but they usually are not debilitating. So when you are around your Thanksgiving table this week, remember to say some thanks for all those who make it easier for us. Happy Thanksgiving to all!