Life without vitamin P
PEANUT BUTTER or vitamin P as my husband likes to call it. It is The Staple in our house that we thought we could never live without. It was the one stipulation my husband had when I started the home daycare: that we could never be a peanut free or even peanut safe household. We probably have a layer of it on everything my son touches. If my son were to cut himself he would probably bleed strait peanut butter. My husband and I used to joke about what would ever happen if we had a child who was allergic to peanut butter. Before we had kids we would joke that we would give them up for adoption, and then when we had our children and we realized how ridiculous that would be (we love them right). The joke turned into PB would become the dark mistress in our family, and my husband would have to get an apartment strictly so that he could eat endless amounts of peanut butter.
My husband eats peanut butter at least twice a day, if not more. His go to food is always peanut butter. He even starts to panic if we get low on peanut butter. We probably go through a 2 kg tub in two weeks or less. I contribute to our large amount of consumption since I probably eat it at least every other day. Also my son has been limited to only two servings a day, or else he would eat it endlessly. Even those two words, peanut butter, are uttered at least fifty times a day in our house.
However my daughter was identified today as having a peanut and possibly tree nut allergy. So now what do I do? How do I keep my children alive now?! I am worried my daughter will break out into hives just by touching my son. What about all those people she might come into contact with that eat peanut butter without vigilantly washing their hands afterwards. Two days ago I was one of those people, so naturally I am terrified about how that will affect my daughter’s future. What about my son?! I swear the child is the world’s pickiest eater! Now I am afraid he is going to starve to death … well maybe it is not that bad but it is going to be a huge problem. My husband will probably starve for a little. I think the poor man is in mourning right now too. It’s like telling someone they can never drink water again.
Yet I think I need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Yesterday my daughter had an allergic reaction to something she ate. But she could still breathe. All that happened was she got red blotchy marks on her face and had a few hives. She did not go into an anaphylactic reaction, she did not need to go to the hospital and she is alive and healthy. So maybe instead of seeing this as my family’s doomsday, I need to find the positive to this situation. For one it will force all of us to make some changes to our diet, and hopefully it will force my son to eat other things. I know it will definitely make my husband broaden his horizon and maybe that will be the positive role model my son needs to see. I am such a mindless eater also, so I am looking forward to the fact that I will have to be more conscious of what I eat. Since I am still nursing I have been advised to stay away from nuts, which makes sense. This diagnosis also seemed to come at the ideal time. We planned that today I would put paint stripper on our cabinets, and tomorrow my husband, my father and I are going to remove all the old ugly paint. Therefore that film of peanut butter will be stripped away and I will be forced to completely disinfect our entire kitchen tomorrow. So it really is the perfect timing!
I also feel so thankful that my daughter is healthy, despite the allergy. Things at the doctor’s office could have gone much worse today, and I am grateful it is only a peanut allergy. With some careful consideration and a little extra hand washing I am sure she can continue to live a healthy, safe and fulfilling life, despite not being able to eat peanut butter. And while my son and my husband might sulk around the house for a few days they too will get over this because they are healthy and they love our little allergic baby more than they love peanut butter.
How about you? Have you had to make any great sacrifices for your child or children? How about the people with peanut allergies out there: do you have any advice, words of wisdom or suggestions? I would love to hear from you since I am still a little stunned by the whole thing.