That's how I felt reading Sloane Miller's new book, Allergic Girl: Adventures in Living Well With Food Allergies. Sloane is an adult who is living just fine with her food allergies.
For those of us who have food allergic children, once we get past the shock of the initial diagnosis, our brains turn to, "how do you live like this?". Then we kick it in gear. We find the recipes, we corral the medicines, eventually we interview preschools and then initiate 504 meetings for our food allergic school-age kids. Underneath all of that, though, I couldn't help but wonder how my child was going to navigate though all this as he got older (translation: when he didn't have his loving parents watching everything he put in his mouth).
Would he ever be able to go out for pizza with friends?
What about dating?
How could he go away to college?
Would he be able to take a trip without the meticulous planning I do before every family vacation?
Will he be safe when I am no longer responsible for his food allergies?
This book reveals a path. There is a way to live safely with food allergies. I like the concepts Sloane puts forth, like "having a safety person" and "team you". She takes us through the grief process that often accompanies a food allergy diagnosis. She tells us how she navigates things like going off to college, attending weddings, dining out and traveling.
If you are an adult struggling with your food allergies, or a parent anxious about your child's food allergies, I encourage you to pick up a copy of this book. It's a bowlful of information, blended with a spoonful of fun and then covered with a generous dollop of hope.