LOUISE JONES’S DIARY
Wednesday 1 January
EpiPens carried 2 (v.g), labels read 14, labels re-read 14, minutes spent finding glasses so can read labels 187, calories burned lugging around allergy kit 225 (excellent), calories burned chasing after 3-year-old to police potential nut consumption 572 (hooray, will soon be waif!)
I WILL NOT
- Rant to myself in supermarkets whilst reading “may contain” labels.
- Make like Road Runner at the sight of a child eating peanut butter cups across the room at playgroup. Will instead calmly assess the risk, most probably stay, but spend the rest of the morning bouncing on toes like tennis star awaiting opponent’s serve, poised to leap on D if he takes one step in snack eating child’s direction.
- Give myself indigestion in restaurants each time D coughs or clears his throat. Before considering allergies, I will first assess whether a piece of pasta has gone down the wrong way, or if indeed he is just clearing his throat.
- Automatically reach for the anti-histamine if we are in a park and he gets a nettle-sting rash on his hands. Will first look around for nettles.
- Procrastinate for days on receipt of a party invitation as to how best to let the host know that my son has a severe nut allergy. Instead I will simply say to the host that “my son has a severe nut allergy” and discuss the party food options in friendly and clear manner, exuding calm zen like vibes and whilst remembering the mantra “inclusion not exclusion”.
- Crave Indian takeaways, peanut M&Ms, Revels and similar but instead be thankful of the incentive to cook healthy food from scratch, each and every single day.
- Leave Easter Egg shopping until Good Friday and then tear around Sainsbury’s in search of Kinnerton eggs in manner of Tasmanian Devil.
- Give myself ample time to get to all hospital allergy appointments, so I can be the “bigger person” in battles for hospital car parking spaces thus avoiding excessive swearing, getting ulcer and/or pranging car.
- Get contact lenses/glasses chain/my eyes lasered, so I stop wasting half my life looking for my glasses so I can read a food label.
- Buy a large, stylish handbag from Zara or similar, to cart around emergency meds, wipes, safe foods and the like, in place of rucksack. Thereby channelling mum-about-town vibe as opposed to laden down hiker.
- Properly explain purpose of my orange wig wearing to the other mothers at playgroup on Orange Wig Day, so everyone knows we are raising money for the Anaphylaxis Campaign as opposed to me being an overkeen mother who joins in fancy dress games with children, in public.
- Keep plentiful supply of appetising but safe snacks in my bag, ready to whip out at a moment’s notice, thus avoiding having to say “no, you can’t have one of Ben’s cakes as they may contain nuts” and falling into trap of promising to buy safe cake. To then find no nut free options in supermarket.
- Remember that just because I have found nut free chocolate coins/Christmas biscuits/mincemeat, it does not mean I need 500 bags/packets/jars of each.
- Finally make a decision as to which is safer: a holiday in an English speaking country versus a short haul flight. Then book first post peanut allergy diagnosis abroad holiday. Will look on the bright side that worrying about peanuts for the duration of the flight will at least stop me stressing about the wings falling off.