Each year, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) declares May to be “National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.” It’s peak season for asthma and allergy sufferers, and a perfect time to educate about these diseases, as well as those that are non-seasonal related.
My daughter was suspected to have allergies around 5 months old and officially diagnosed with life-threatening allergies when she was 9 months old. After a very rough 5 months and many doctor visits we knew “something was bothering her,” and “things just weren’t right,” and after seeing a few specialists we were on our way to getting her help and making appropriate changes in our life.
It feels like it has been a much longer road for us really. She’s just about 13 months old and we are grateful for some answers. Our daughter is highly allergic to soy, eggs, peanuts, and kiwi. She also has a rare condition called FPIES (Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome) and she cannot digest the proteins in dairy (milk.) Everyday my husband and I try to educate ourselves more and more on the subject by learning how to read labels, learning what other foods could cause a reaction in her, and how to be safe at home, on the go, and in a restaurant (which we haven’t been to since her diagnosis.)
We recently attended our first food allergy conference led by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and we were educated about things to look for in products, how to read labels, what nutrients our daughter may be lacking and how to replace them. We also learned about what to look for in a school (we have a bit of time for that,) new research that is taking place, and support groups that are available.
Throughout the month of May I’ll be sharing our story and some information about food allergies and FPIES. I know my husband and I felt “helpless” for those first 5+ months and we hope to educate other families and the public about these diseases.
Hope you will join me this month to raise awareness.