Friday, January 13, 2012

My Anxious Heart

I've always been somewhat of a worrier.

Not enough where it consumes me, but where I would lay awake at night worrying about an assignment due when I was in high school.  Or juggling work and school while I was in college.  Or if that was a regular cough, a whopping cough, or a croupy cough now that I have kids.

Several years ago, I decided to trust God with my worries.  And trust that what happens is His plan.  And I've done that...mostly. 

Grayson and I both had surgery last year and Layne has to have surgery next month.  And I'm not anxious about it at all.

Money gets tight.  But I know God will provide for us.

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There's just one things that I can't let go of.  And sometimes the fear just consumes me to the point of panic.  I KNOW that I should trust that God will take care of this, but it's so hard to let go and trust.

You see, Layne has a peanut allergy.  One that we've found is what I would consider moderately severe. 

Up to this point, she has only been cared for by close friends and family.  When she's not with us, she's with one of her grandparents or aunts or uncles.  She's taken dance classes and soccer classes, but one of us has been there with her.  I check the church snacks every single week when she goes to class. And we monitor every things she puts in her mouth.  We don't even have peanuts or peanut butter in our home.  Occasionally we'll buy something that was made around peanuts, but its stored in a high cabinet that she can't reach.  And Matt or I will eat it when we're at work.  Away from her.

And if when we do eat something containing peanuts, we do the whole "scrub down" procedure.  Where we brush our teeth and thoroughly rinse our toothbrushes, wash our mouth and face, scrub our hands.  And even then, I won't kiss her.

But in August, she'll be starting Kindergarden.  Where I'll have to go and drop her off.  Trusting her in the care of a stranger for 7 or 8 hours every day.  A stranger who may or may not take her condition as seriously as we do.  Who may think, "This birthday cupcake from her friend doesn't have peanuts in it." and lets her eat something she shouldn't.  Or where her friend on the playground may share a gummy bear with her that this one kind was made around peanuts.

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I'm not exaggerating.  My heart beats faster thinking about it.  I have to concentrate to breathe.  These thoughts send me into a full blown panic attack.  Enough where I really.  really.  really. want to homeschool her.  But is that fair to Layne?  Not to mention that I work 4 days a week right now.

I used to think how unfair it was to her not to be able to eat that cookie or that birthday cake, but she's great about her allergy.  I've learned to check ahead of time what kind of cake, etc. will be at a party and bring our own cupcake if it won't be okay for her.  She's stopped getting dissappointed and upset when I tell her she can't have something because it has peanuts. 

And Layne is awesome about asking before she eats anything.  The scary part is, the person she asks may or may not be educated on peanut allergies.  "No, that pretzel doesn't have any peanuts in it."  When that pretzel was made in a factory that also processes peanuts.  They are everywhere.  So next week, I'm going to talk about peanut allergies.  And if you have any children, regardless of if they have allergies or not, I ask you to read please.  Because if nothing else, you may save one child from a severe reaction or death.  Just by being educated.

4 comments:

  1. I share your concern, especially in light of the passing of an innocent child recently, that happened to. You have every right to be concerned about these things. Yet, you do need to commit this into God's hands and trust Him to take care of her no matter who's care she's in. I believe He will keep her safe! Blessings from Bama!

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  2. You have every right to be worried!!! I'd be the exact same way!!! But every single experience I've had with Lexie's teachers, they are SUPER specific about what kinds of foods get brought to classroom parties, etc if there's a kid in the class with an allergy. They do a REALLY good job of making sure that stuff stays out. And if someone does bring something in that the child can't eat, no one gets it. I think that's a msart way to handle the situation. She will be okay. And I know you'll still worry, but that's because you're a momma. It's what we do. :o)

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  3. I think that you are an amazing mom for being so vigilant and concerned. By being so proactive about it, you are helping to prevent bad situations. I am sorry that you have stress and anxiety. I hope that you are guided in the right direction for you to take as far as her schooling goes.

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  4. I am a quilter and that is how I found your blog, but I am also a mother of a peanut allergic 4th grader. His asthma makes him a high risk for anaphylaxis. The guidelines that you follow are similar to us...we do not have any products that contain peanut/tree nuts or ever manufactered in the same facility even in our house. We have done this for over 8 years. We do not kiss on the very rare occasion we eat something unsafe ourselves - a UCDavis study showed food proteins remain in your mouth over 6 hours despite brushing your teeth. My son is in a peanut free room and the guidelines I have set do not allow the above mentioned products in the room or ANY bakery products of any kind. Parents are advised ahead of time not to send those things. If they do, it is sent home if can be OR eaten in the cluster outside the room and all the kids wash before re-entering the room. When he was younger I did have alternate treats available at school, now he's old enough he doesn't care. He sits at a peanut free table at lunch. There are epipens in his room, the nurses office & the cafeteria which is also near the playground. The busdriver wipes down the railings with clorox wipes before he gets on the bus each morning and he sits in a specified seat where he can be seen. I am sharing this to perhaps help you sleep at night...It can be done, I know that there is not much more reasonable action I can take and pray everyday that it is enough. My son is also VERY informed. He has always been cautious and knows what the rules are and would never eat anything he is not sure about. My advice to you is to start this spring with the school nurse and school. Iron out all the general guideline info now and find out what you need to do to meet with your daughters teacher a week or two before school starts so you are comfortable and by open house there will be peanut free signs in your daughters room and a letter of explanation of what can be in the room foodwise & also a list of acceptable snacks ready to pass out at open house. Best Wishes, Karen

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