The Challenges of Food Allergies in Elementary School – Part 2

This newsletter interview of my son, Morgan, occurred in January of 2006. I will be continuing to add these “old” interviews to this blog.

Morgan became 10 years old the end of that January. At the time, he was anaphylactic to peanuts, tree nuts, sesame and shellfish. He was severely allergic to dogs, cats and other furry animals. He got eczema from food dyes, had mild asthma and was allergic to grasses, weeds and trees.

If you were suddenly not allergic to peanuts, would you want to eat them? 
No actually. I would not. I don’t really know why, but it just seems that I don’t like them, even if some day I’m not allergic to them.

If someone comes up to you in the lunchroom with peanut butter and jelly and wants to sit next to you, what do you tell them?
I tell them, “Can you please move away, I’m severely allergic to peanut butter.” Usually, that doesn’t happen very often because my friends literally swarm upon me protecting me. If that doesn’t work, I go tell the lunchroom monitor, or my Vice Principal, who usually walks around the tables.

When you go to birthday parties, what do you do to keep yourself safe?
I bring my own snacks to birthday parties, actually. Just to be safe, I check the ingredients on everything they serve, but if really nothing’s safe, I just eat what I brought.

Do you ever go on sleepovers? What has to be done for you to be able to attend?
If I ever go to a sleepover, I only go to a dog and cat free house, and I make sure they’re not having peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner with sesame buns! I bring my own food for a sleep over, so really, I bring everything from home that is safe for me.

What do you fear most around your allergies?
I fear most that I will have an allergic reaction eating something that the label did not say something that I was allergic to was in it, and end up in the hospital.

Have you ever had to use your epinephrine kit?
No. I have not. I have had to go on Prednisone steroid a few times after a bad allergic reaction to something we never figured out. And I’ve taken Benedryl lots of times after a dog licked me and after eating eggs, which I used to be allergic to.

Do you think you could give yourself the epinephrine shot if you had to?
Yes. Only if it was right in the beginning of the shock, so I could still use my hands and not feel paralyzed.

What can you tell other children who have food allergies to give them help and hope?

I always tell them to stick up for them selves and always read labels. Those are what I mainly say, although I also give other advice. Also, besides reading labels and sticking up for your food allergies, just bring your own stuff everywhere if it’s out of your house just to be safe. If you go into anaphylaxis, have people know what to do if it ever happens. Have them know where your Epi Pen is and other medicine is. Don’t have them not know what is happening if you do go into anaphylaxis.

To read “Part 1”, please click here.