Skip to main content

Where Are The Food-Allergy Dads?

It's Father's Day, a day I count my blessings.

When it first became apparent our son was allergic, my husband was (and is) a pillar of strength. He was the one who told me things would be o.k., that it looked worse than it was, that medicine was so much better now than when he was a kid.

My husband has asthma. Back in the   well, I won't "out" him age-wise   but a while ago, his parents had two choices:
  • Drive him around in the car, head hanging out the window like a dog, until his lips looked less blue
  • Take him to the hospital where they would put him in an oxygen tent
That was it. When my son was also diagnosed early on with asthma, my husband was amazed by the masks, nebulizers and meds that are now available and quickly developed the knowledge and awareness needed to keep our son out of the ER. 

When my son started school, it because apparent we were going to need someone there A LOT. My husband argued that he was the better choice. He knew what it meant to not be able to breathe, so he was less hyper than I was in a crisis. And, let's face it  being a male in a school of mostly women instructors and administrators is an advantage. So, he became the stay-at-home parent for many years while I worked.

Fast-forward 10 years. A decade of participation in support groups, chat boards, schools and camps, and he's the only dad I know who stayed home...and one of the few I've seen who is visibly active in his child's care.

Where are the rest of the food allergy dads?

I think one of the reasons food allergies is not taken as seriously by others as it should be is that it has become strongly associated with overprotective moms. (I noticed the other day on Slate that the article on food allergies was filed in the "Double X" section - women's issues.)

I get it, at least in part. Dads supposedly aren't good with illness. They don't want their kid focusing on illness (or, God forbid, veering into wimp territory). They don't like to talk about health issues. School and child-raising are traditionally more the mom's arena. 

But still...a little bit of Dad in the right place goes a long way. Shouldn't our husbands be attending the school meetings with us? Writing a letter to the editor now and then? Lobbying for better laws? 
Or is there really a sex divide where mothers see food allergies as life-threatening and dads mostly see them as a nuisance? 

I've always been thankful my marriage did not require negotiation when it came to allergies, but my perception is that many moms out there can't say the same.

I don't mean to rag on dads on Father's Day...but maybe the baseball diamond isn't the only plate husbands of FA kids need to be thinking about stepping up to.

Do you have thoughts on how food allergies affect marriages? Or why so few dads are visible in food allergy care, or advocacy? Leave me a comment!


Follow me on Facebook or Twitter  for updates!       

Popular posts from this blog

Turn Trash to Treasure: An Easy Way to Help SAGE and the Corvallis Environmental Center!

Clear clutter and unwanted items from your home and you can help raise funds for the Corvallis Environmental Center--all year long!  Just take your unwanted items to an ARC Thrift Store where they sell them and donate the proceeds to the CEC.  It easy!  Here's how:

1. Collect Items in Good Condition

Not all donate-able items are eligible, so check out the list of items that will raise money for the CEC:
www.corvallisenvironmentalcenter.org/turn-trash-to-treasure
2. Put a sticker on each eligible item Stickers are located in a big envelope on the window outside of the CEC office at 214 SW Monroe Ave., Corvallis

3. Drop-off Items at The ARC! Items can be dropped off anytime during store hours at either location.

The ARC Thrift Stores:
928 NW Beca Street, Corvallis (541) 754-9011
936 Main Street, Philomath (541) 929-3946

Hours:
Monday-Saturday: 10am-5:30pm
Sunday: 12pm-5:30pm
Thanks so much for helping support SAGE and the other programs of the Corvallis Environmental Center!!!

Beans, Beans and More (or Less) Allergenic Beans!

We have a little good news this week: my son passed a home bean challenge for both pinto and cannellini (white) beans last night. Hooray!

At our last allergist visit, they ran the numbers on a number of varieties of beans and many were Class 0, with values like 0.68. My son's doctor thought it was reasonable to try these at home.

Going to stop for a moment and interject: DON'T DO THIS WITHOUT YOUR DOCTOR'S DIRECTION. A lot of things go into whether home challenges are a good idea for your child: how serious the allergen typically is, how far the hospital, how experienced the parents are with recognizing reactions. Many doctors are not comfortable with this at all. But, in our case, it makes sense to do some challenges at home because my son tests slightly allergic to dozens of foods.

He has avoided all beans since around age five, when he started developing new allergies. First it was tuna. Then cashews. Then (to our great surprise), he suddenly became allergic to garbonzo be…

Best Food Allergy Tweets/Posts From 2013 ACAAI Meeting

Sorry, guys...I've been very busy the last couple of weeks, but just over a week ago one of the largest allergy and asthma conferences, the annual American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, was tweeting its brains out.

Here were the tweets and (virtual) presentations I thought were most interesting:

ACE inhibitors are often used to treat high blood pressure. I believe Lisinopril was the one specifically mentioned. This goes hand in hand with the idea that older patients, especially men, can see changes in the severity of their allergic reactions as they age.

Here's an answer on the question many of us asked about component testing. Just as with RAST, the number itself doesn't matter; just the positive result.

Gross! But yes, give your kids the bobber after the dog/ brother/ mailman licked it.

Conversely, tree-nut-allergic individuals have a 30% incidence of concurrent peanut allergy. 
So stop blaming yourselves, FA mommies! I've said this consistently - Mother Natur…