This summer, we had a lot of relaxing time at home. We had time to find all new foods for Bubble Boy to enjoy and naively, I started to think this allergy thing wasn't going to be so bad.
Oh, you silly mommy.
Since preschool has started back, Bubble Boy has gone to school 7 days. 2 of those days have included food activities--food activities that he could not participate in. For now, he isn't showing that he minds this at all. I let him decide what to take as a substitute and he is fine with that. But I know that as he gets older, this isn't going to be so easy.
Yesterday, the boys were home with me, and we went out to run a bunch of errands. I packed 2 snacks, but when we were only halfway done, the snacks were gone and Bubble Boy was complaining that his tummy was rumbling. So there we were, surrounded by restaurants, and there was nowhere to go to get him some food. (Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.) So I had an idea--we were going to our library and they have a small cafe inside. Knowing the kinds of food that are normally offered, I was pretty sure there would be fruit there.
And there was fruit! Score! I was so proud that I had figured out a great snack for him on the go. I ordered both boys a bowl of fruit salad (which was pre-made and sitting in a cooler case). The fruit salad contained honeydew, grapes, cantaloupe, and strawberries. Bubble Boy doesn't like strawberries, so I transferred them all over to the Carnivore's bowl and he devoured them immediately. After only a few bites, Bubble Boy started telling me that the fruit was burning his tongue and he didn't want any more. I was surprised because fresh fruit is his absolute favorite.
Within 15 minutes, he was having sharp stomach pains and by the time we got home, his lower GI system was going haywire. We know he's allergic to oranges, but there weren't oranges in the salad. The only thing I can think of is that maybe he is also allergic to strawberries and just having them touch the other fruit bothered him??
This experience was so discouraging to me (and certainly no fun for Bubble Boy) as it was a reminder of just how limited our options are for eating away from home. If I can't even feed my kid fresh fruit from a restaurant, that is just sad....and frankly a bit scary.
I have to admit that I've been pretty angry ever since then. I think it is finally hitting me that this is for real. While it is true that Bubble Boy could outgrow some of this, it is also true that this could be our reality for the rest of his life. And that ticks me off. For the inconvenience that it causes our family, but especially for Bubble Boy, who (because of the fact that I'm in charge of his diet) doesn't even know how hard this is going to be yet.
And even though being mad isn't going to help anything, I'm going to allow it.
And then I'm going to pack a cooler of food in our car to keep on hand for days like that.