By: Cyndy Muchine
Growing up in a tropical country was fun! BUT, the beautiful trees and flowers did not help when it came to allergies. I mean, I sneezed 24/7. My trip to the doctor’s office was a constant. He knew me by my name and diagnosis–funny huh?No, it was not. All my friends participated in all the sports.
I did not just battle allergies due to pollen, but asthma was the other culprit. I could not run a short distance without panting and wheezing and landing at the doctor’s office for a steroid shot! I hated allergies and worse off, asthma. I had no idea how long this would last in my system. I began tracking down my family history. I watched my family members only to realize that the one that carried the asthma gene was my father. He totally denied it, amidst coughs himself–funny man! I had a two very fantastic doctors and “my asthma” was fully contained.
I moved countries and the doctors that finally attended to me gasped and said, “How did you survive all this while? Let’s get you treated.” FYI, I now run and swim.
Life happened and I brought forth two children. Did I worry about passing the asthma/allergy gene down to them? YES! Well, my fears were true. Both kids developed asthma, but their reactions were so different. One was a wheezer and the other a hacker! I was a wheezer and hacker, great!
The doctors were kind enough to let me know that steroids and treatments were going to be the order of our lives. Seriously? No, I did not like that statement. I began seeking out home remedies. I recalled my mother using Vicks for everything. I became that mom, rubbing Vicks VapoRub on their chest and lower back. It did wonders. I steered away from the steroids, but some days the wheezing required them. Don’t forget, allergies were part of us too. I had no idea what food allergies they had. They had none, so I thought.
One fine day, my dearest son decided to hide a snickers bar from a party we’ had (I found out much later after going to hospital). He walked over, sat on the computer, and began throwing up. I had no idea what had happened, but quickly realized he had eaten something bad, right? Well, my son had limited speech at the time (Autism) and had no way of telling me what he had ingested. I took him to the shower, gave him a quick shower and that’s when it all went down hill fast. He began swelling; I began freaking out! I sent for Benadryl and then rushed to the emergency room. Thankfully, the hospital is literally behind our home. Nurses gave me the look of death and announced that he’d had an allergic reaction to something….OH! I remembered finding a snicker wrapper under my bed! Oh, you little sneaky child!
Fast forward, we have no peanuts/nuts in our home. Both my children have allergies to all nuts, environments, everything, and some fruits. My wheezer child found out after having a peanut butter sandwich and broke out in hives. She is really bummed because she wants to enjoy some nutritional bars but some have nuts. The only chocolate she can enjoy is KitKat and some Lindt chocolate.
Whenever we travel, we have to announce our allergy story lest we run into issues. But the good thing is, I have educated both my kids on their conditions. My son is more dramatic, and he tells his peers and teachers that “oh, if I touch peanuts I will die!!” We laugh so hard but that’s the literal child that he is, thank you Autism!
It is important for us as parents and educators–and the community as a whole–to be aware of allergies and their triggers. We walk around with epi-pens in case of emergency, but we have also learned to keep our home nut free and those around us have done the same for our sake. Let’s be sensitive to those around us. We all need each other.
Much love! Oh, I do not have allergies to nuts, so I often joke with my kids telling them, are you sure ya’ll belong to me? LOL!!!