The Start to Understanding Food Allergies and Their Impact...
The road diverged and we were pushed to take the one less traveled…
What I didn’t realize at the time was how often this road was actually traveled and how incredible of a community was out there already, willing to assist.
This is a story of awareness, empathy, education and resilience. We quickly realized our daughter’s skin was being directly impacted by the environment in which she lived. Home. The place as a new parent you spend hours and days and months getting ready to welcome a newborn into. To be safe, comfortable, and happy. Here we were unintentionally subjecting her to the very things that were making her uncomfortable, miserable and sick.
As someone who identifies as being a baker, our house was full of wheat, yeast spores, dairy – the pure, raw kind that we picked up at local farms and markets – we spent endlessly on good ‘whole’ food to fuel our bodies with nutritionally dense, local, seasonal items. All the wheat was given away, the kitchen was cleaned top to bottom – over and over again. Dairy left the fridge and peanut-butter left the cabinet. Local fresh eggs were no longer used by the dozen and I was left clueless on how to bake and cook.
But what I did know was El’s skin started to improve overnight, her sleeping went from maybe an hour or two, to multiple hours and her demeanor quickly relaxed.
I also started to understand we were not alone on this journey. Our unfamiliar territory became our life and we weaved everything we did around it. We were exposed to new information, new food and a wonderful (virtual) world of people who were also learning (or had learned) how to manage a life of food allergies and skin issues.
As we were starting to understand the severity of all of this we also realized the significance of awareness for all of those around us … Food Allergies and severe skin issues were not present on either side of our family. Thus began another path on our journey we were trying to understand and navigate.
How to keep our daughter safe would solely revolve around food, the importance of awareness, the severity her reactions and where she could and could not go.