A Father's Story
The day our little man had his allergic reaction, terribly swollen eyes as a result of contact with peanut butter, our lives changed instantly. Diane called me while I was studying at the library, in a panic, and I rushed home to find Cormac with puffed up eyes, and a sad expression on his face. My first reaction, after learning his breathing was normal, was to pick him up and hug him, and try to make him feel like everything was OK. I didn't want Cormac to see the fear and panic in our eyes, so I just hugged him and talked to him like I always do. We had seen diaper rashes, teething, sleepless nights and other childhood events, but never anything like this. On top of all of the everyday worries of any parents, we now had to be concerned with food allergies.
Since that day, we have both learned about food allergies in our own ways. I have asked friends about their experiences, checked out Internet articles and, thanks to Diane, read some very informative blogs about the issue. Diane, on the other hand, jumped head first into a campaign of research, networking and blogging. As she will readily admit, we tend to react in very different ways to events in our life and Cormac's peanut allergy has been no exception. However, as I hope she understands, that doesn't mean we disagree on the importance of caring for our little guy. We just have different ways of making sense of life's challenges.
I have to thank Diane for introducing me to the world of blogging. I know it's not something I will ever do on a daily basis, but I understand why people do it, and I appreciate the way blogs and websites bring people together to talk about common issues. It's really amazing how many people from so many parts of the country, and the world, have shown interest in Diane's blog. It makes us feel like we aren't the only ones out there who are dealing with peanut allergies.
I guess I still have the same reaction when I think about Cormac's peanut allergy as I did that day I saw him with his puffy eyes. I just want him to feel as normal as any other kid. Reading about other people with food allergies and other parents coping with their kid's allergies has helped give me perspective and hope.
I hope this blog helps make another father or mother realize that they are not alone in dealing with food allergies. I hope that it helps them feel like everything is going to be OK.
Jim (the Dad)