Friday, April 14, 2006

Allergies are Family Fun

It is a therapy truism that "Like seeks like" in relationships. People tend to mate with others who are similar to them in educational status, level of attractiveness, and emotional health. I know we can all list numerous examples of relationships where this is not true – Donald Trump always has a beautiful wife, but of course there are mitigating factors for that particular one– but as a general rule it applies.

Take SRH and I for example. We both have graduate degrees. To go out on a limb here, since the glasses are so new, we are both sexy intellectuals. We both needed years of therapy before we could figure out how to do the relationship thing well. We have similar views on politics and religion. And most importantly, we both have a genetic predisposition toward allergies.

Well, it’s the most important for us, anyway. Because, you see, our genetic predispositions came together to create a severely asthmatic child who also has multiple food allergies. I shared this in my profile, but I have not, so far, spent much time on what this all means to Zane and our family.


Zane has four food allergies (dairy, eggs, peanuts, and tree nuts), three sensitivities (soy, potatoes, and tomatoes), and a strong aversion to wearing new shoes. No, really, it’s true. Try to put new shoes on the child, and he screams like we’ve dipped him in hot lava and are forcing him to walk over broken glass.

Zane also has SEVERE asthma. The last time we were in the ER, his allergist – who came to the ER to visit him and manage his care, love that doc - told SRH that Zane’s asthma puts him in the worst 3% of his patients. While in some ways this is validating (i.e. I am a stressed out basket case of a mama for a good reason – I have a kid with a life threatening illness), it’s also a little scary (i.e. who wants their kid to be in the worst 3% of anything unless it’s lying and stealing?)


Did you see the stressed-out-basket-case-of-a-mama quote above? That’s what it basically means to our life. That, and also that our child has to be on multiple medications daily to manage his illnesses, and we’re perpetually perched on the edge of a possible medical crisis.

I quit my last job which involved a lot of travel because I got tired of calling home to say, “How’s his breathing?” Now I work three days a week at a job which requires no travel but is also not my passion. There are trade-offs in life. Some days I feel good about the trade, some days it kind of honks me off.

I will share more about Zane and his health as we go along, but I just wanted to get the basics out there. I could share A LOT more, but really it’s only interesting to others if their children have food allergies and asthma. And then it’s really like trading war (or labor) stories. Only engaging for those folks who have been through it.

Also, I kind of get tired of hearing myself talk about this chronic stress in my life. I’d just like to move on already, but then there’s another birthday party that I need to make a whole bunch of food for so that Zane can eat like the other kids or I have to wrestle him to the ground to get crazy steroids in him, and I’m reminded that the stress is chronic because the conditions are chronic. Then I go do something to de-stress, which should involve yoga but often involves looking at celebrity gossip magazines.

Anyone got an opinion on whether Brad and Angelina will last?


Anonymous said...

When you ask "Will Brad and Angelina last?" do you mean thru the summer? They possibly might make it that long.

Zany Mama said...

anon -
I meant will they last "forever" in Hollywood terms - you know, 5 years. I understand that my query is naive and unduly hopeful, but I find myself hoping that those crazy kids might have a chance. I'd like to think that he had an affair, left his wife, and shortly thereafter impregnated a hollywood starlet because it was fate, kismet, true love. If not, he's just a big old jerk, and in my heart, I think he's too pretty to just be a big old jerk.