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Dealing with allergies is never easy. Whether you have a single allergy, non-IGE or IGE, it is always difficult to adjust to the lifestyle changes required to keep safe. Often people without allergies won’t understand the difficulties faced when you, or your child, have an allergy. My own daughter Daisy has an allergy syndrome, called FPIES, which has changed the way we run our home and our life. At present Daisy cannot eat dairy, soy or chicken without a severe vomiting reaction, and has other problems including reflux and asthma. In addition to this, she has intolerances to strawberries and a few other foods. This means that we have to be super vigilant about what foods we feed her, where we eat and even what foods we keep out at home. Almost everything seems to be a potential allergen for Daisy and the simplest of tasks, like giving the cats treats, can become fraught with worry and anxiety about accidental allergen exposure.
One thing that I have experienced quite regularly in the last couple of years is people making stupid comments. They started before Daisy was diagnosed with ‘all babies vomit – it is normal’ and then it slowly but surely progressed. Before I knew it people were making such stupid comments as ‘maybe it is because your house isn’t clean’ or ‘maybe it is because you vaccinate’. People, usually ones with no experience of FPIES, will suggest that I try a specialised diet that they’ve read about from some crazy person online.
Brushing the comments off…
Mostly I’m able to brush these comments off, however, why should I have to? Why should I have to listen to an ignorant family member telling me back in their day they didn’t have allergies? Why should I politely nod along as someone tells me that I need to expose my daughter to allergens to make her ‘better’.
Standing up for my daughter…
Initially when stupid or ignorant comments were made I just smiled and nodded and said nothing. Much like when people were dishing out unsolicited parenting advice in general. I tried to tell myself that everyone has different opinions. Then I realised that standing by, and saying nothing, could directly affect the health of my daughter, or perhaps her siblings in the future if we have more children. Initially, I would just have a snippy comment back but then I realised this was just making me feel rubbish and so I moved on to trying to educate people about FPIES. Hearing my child ask “Am I allowed this Mummy?” is heartbreaking but it is almost as frustrating hearing people making stupid comments around my daughter!
I’ve actually had a little rant about some of the stupid things people say when you have allergies… I hope you’ll enjoy giving it a watch! Also, if you want to be lovely please do subscribe to my YouTube channel!
Of all the stupid things people say when you have allergies my most hated is probably ‘we didn’t have allergies back in my day‘ or ‘allergies are fashionable now‘. NO! They are just more well researched and well known now. Allergies are more commonly diagnosed. They may be more common, I don’t know for sure, but in the old days snuffly, sick and fussy babies were just weaned at a really early age. Potentially ruining their digestive systems for their whole life! Now more is known, and we have specialist formulas and foods it is possible to live a much better, and more comfortable life with allergies. I’ve even got a second blog about Living With Allergies.
Now I’ve already had one snippy comment about my video… Someone telling me that perhaps people are just unsure of what to say. In which case I would say just ask about the allergies or the allergy syndrome. Educate yourself. Read up. Don’t make snippy comments about unclean houses, vaccinations or lifestyle. It doesn’t do anything but annoy parents and personally, I’ve got enough to deal with having an unwell child, without worrying about getting into a dispute with a distant relative or old friend because they can’t avoid making a stupid comment!
Why not try some of my favourite allergy recipes while you’re here?
Also, since first publishing this post my daughter has had a dairy food trial – and passed! Hopefully, her allergies will be gone for good soon!