Feeding Eden, Susan Weissman
The first time I had dinner with Susan and her husband Andy they told me about their kids and that one of them had severe allergies. My response, I believe, was that sucks. I know how hard it is because I had seen with two families that we knew live with severe food allergy kids.
The constant fear of something terrible happening looms over head at all times. Something terrible could mean death. I learned how to administer an eppi pen so that I could walk one of the kids to Hebrew school on occasion. I watched as they packed a special meal for their child everyday including a special snack. Most of their food was baked with loving hands at home. I heard the stories of going to the hospital every year to get tested again and again to see if they had grown out of their allergies.
One of the kids actually did grow out of most of their allergies, the other did not. Along with those allergies come other things such a eczema and for this particular kid ocular issues. What was fascinating to me is how so many people disregard their fears as if having life threatening allergies wasn't real. Like serving salty nuts at a party where kids are running around with that on their skin or handing a slice of pizza to their kid at a party. So not ok and so disrespectful not having any regard for what that family goes through. Just plain stupid and perhaps uninformed.
Susan writes about the trials and triumphs of having a food allergy family. It is not a deck you want to be dealt. She is honest and transparent about the difficulties and the frustrations that she encountered. As kids with allergies has become less rare and more prevelant in our society, this is a book that every parent should read. It really helps you understand exactly the dynamics of living with life threatening allergies. Every teacher should read it too. It is a book that needed to be written…and should be read.
(Feeding Eden can pre-order the book on Amazon – it comes out on March 6).