Today Nathalie Newman (The Intolerant Gourmand) joins The Adventures Of An Allergy Mummy to discuss her experience with allergies and the joy she has found from connecting with parent’s in a similar situation.
I love this guest post for many reasons – but mainly because what Nathalie writes is 100% true. I don’t know where I’d be without my virtual allergy blogging family, and I’m so pleased to have someone like Nathalie just a message away!
Allergies – A Whole New World.
It’s fair to say that allergies bring a whole new perspective on life. It’s a truly life changing experience, that you can’t fully appreciate until you’re living it.
We’ve been living with multiple severe allergies for 5 years now, and it shook our family unit to the core.
Our first child was born 6 weeks early, and spent the first month of her life in hospital, battling to beat jaundice whilst in SCBU. She was also born with a chest infection, having popped her waters at just 32 weeks, and then spending a further 2 weeks being pumped with steroids to mature her little lungs before being born at 34 weeks.
Add to this, the fact it happened over the Christmas period (she was born on Christmas Eve!) and we thought we were going through a fairly tough time.
But nothing could have prepared us for when our little dude was born.
His was a fairly standard pregnancy, and he finally made an appearance at 8 days late after a quick, simple and relatively pain free natural water birth.
All was well for the first few weeks, until eczema reared its ugly head. It quickly progressed to severe eczema, and then infected eczema which saw emergency admittance after emergency admittance to try to figure out what was going on. A couple of times it was touch and go as to whether we would lose him, but his guardian angel worked overtime to make sure this didn’t happen.
Eventually I realised that it could be CMPA, amongst other allergies, and despite fighting with HCPs and getting nowhere, decided to remove dairy from my diet to see if it would improve the situation as I was breastfeeding.
It didn’t make any difference!
Finally, at 16 months, little dude was allergy tested, and we subsequently found out he had 28 severe allergies, a number of which are life threatening anaphylaxis inducing.
A long journey followed to get him better, with a strict elimination diet which he still follows to this day to keep him well!
Why I am I sharing this?
Well, it led me to start blogging, which was the best decision I ever made.
It became an outlet initially of all of my frustrations, fear and anger towards how little dude had been treated (or rather not treated), and soon it progressed to become an area of trust, a place for people to find recipes and tips and tricks. It’s still running now, on a self hosted and much bigger format.
But, it also did more than this.
It showed me a whole new world, a second family if you will.
You see, being a blogger makes you part of something very special. You become part of an incredible community. One that will support you through the ups and downs, help guide you when you need it, cheer on with you with your successes and quietly watch your back even when you don’t realise you need it.
It’s an incredible unit to be included in, and I’m sure most bloggers will agree with me how special it is.
People often ask me if I find the allergy journey we’re on hard, and yes, of course, it’s ridiculously hard. Every day I have to squash the fear I have of something happening to little dude whilst I’m not with him, and pray that the people looking after him will know what to do if a reaction occurs.
But, I also see the silver lining. Even in the darkest of times, there is always a silver lining. Mine was the blog, and now business.
It’s given me such immense support, from the very people who truly know what we’re going through, and if they don’t, they are there without judgement, giving us strength, and helping us through the tough days when you feel like giving up.
So, for anyone starting out on the allergy journey, it may seem really rubbish at the moment, and I’m not going to lie, the first days/ weeks are tough, but it does get better! I promise!
And, it will introduce you to a whole new and wonderful world of support, friendship and help, and it’s fabulous!
So, I ask you, what’s your silver lining?