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Emotions and a New Diagnosis

Posted Mar 15 2009 4:28pm
{If you missed my post yesterday on Tyler's newest diagnosis of tree nut allergy, click here. }

When Tyler was first diagnosed with his peanut allergy at 13 months, I was very newly pregnant with Dylan and I took the news very hard. I think part of the problem was the I googled "peanut allergy" and quickly discovered it is the most deadly food allergy. Nothing prepares you for news like that.

I have told myself in the last 3 years since we discovered PA that a tree nut allergy was a very real possibility but I hoped and prayed we just had PA. I was scared I would take the news with any new allergies with tears and grieving.

When I noticed the big reaction emerging on his back, I tried to tell myself maybe it was one of the environmental things the allergist was testing for. But I have learned enough about food allergies in the last 3 years to know what a life-threatening reaction looks like. Deep down I knew it was not good.

When the diagnosis was confirmed I felt a little numb. I knew I needed to be strong in front of Tyler. Tyler is a perceptive kid. As I kept looking at his back, he said, "Are you sad Mommy?"

I told him I was sad but everything would be fine. Because it truly will. The last 3 years have taught me Tyler can inspire strength in me when dealing with his food allergies that I never knew I had. This time proved that fact.

I'm an emotional girl. I'm a crier. So as I drove home right after the diagnosis I wasn't sure how to feel. I had to remind myself that not much would change in our home. Not much would change with what he ate.

The biggest disappointment was the fact I have a lot of faith in the possibility that is coming for the peanut desensitization treatment. While I would still do it in a heartbeat, we will still need to be ultra vigilant with other nuts.

The morning after the diagnosis I woke up a little before 5am with the new diagnosis on my mind. I realized that I am so much stronger about this stuff than I ever dreamed. The biggest help is realizing I must accept it and not allow my mind to dwell on it too much.

No tears this time. No anger. No imagining what it would like to not have this diagnosis. Just acceptance and realizing this is part of my child. If I love all of him, I must be strong and accept him, even with a few genetic flaws. Plus, it could be much, much worse. (Ever seen a child go through chemo?)

In the end, this diagnosis has made me much, much stronger. It has also relieved a lot of the "Mommy guilt" that goes along with having a child with life-threatening food allergies. I'll be back tomorrow to discuss that...
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