Monday, January 21, 2008

Guest Blogger: Try a Support Group

Today is a school holiday, so my son the whirlwind is home. He’s bored. I’m buried in magazine editing. My blog isn’t writing itself. Hey! Inspiration!

“Oh, Sweetie!” I call out. “Want to write my blog today?”

“Yeah!” he yells, switches off the TV, and comes running.

Bless his heart. If I’d said, “Your homework assignment is to write my blog today,” he’d have sulked and vanished into the couch cushions. But since it’s not homework, but a relished opportunity to have his words published online, he’s all over it.

So, please welcome my guest blogger today. His topic? Why parents and their kids might enjoy coming to a UFAN support group meeting. Once again, his flair for the dramatic is obvious. But as a proponent of free speech, I promise not to edit.

As you may already know, my mom leads the UFAN Davis County chapter. ATTENTION PARENTS!!! If you have any children with food allergies, this will be a very important meeting that you go see with your children. If you are worried about one of your children having an allergy reaction, I would suggest coming. Allergists sometimes do not give much information when you wind up with a child with food allergies. Stay away from one that when it is confirmed you have a food allergenic child says, “ Oh, your child has a food allergy to such-and-such. Stay away from this food.” Because that’s the quote that almost killed me.

HEY KIDS!!! It’s really fun going to the meetings—hey, I’m 9 and I like it!! It’s really not the kind of meeting that your mom goes to that practically puts you to sleep. It’s actually sort of fun!
Your friend,

There you go. I promised not to edit, but that doesn’t mean I can’t comment. I need to explain “the quote that almost killed me.” He doesn’t mean that, of course. What he does mean is that the only advice the first allergist we saw said was, “Stay away from peanut butter.” He didn’t tell us about epi-pens, cross-contamination, reading ingredients labels, or even what a reaction would be like. I walked out of the office oblivious to the dangers of food allergies. If I hadn’t researched it on my own, we could have had some life-threatening situations, based on the lack of information we got from that doctor.

But now we have a board-certified doctor who is far more interested in making sure his patients are armed with the resources they need to survive. But even he doesn’t have the time to hand-hold us through all our questions, obstacles, and worries.

And that’s where a support group comes in. When my son was first diagnosed, there was no support group. Now UFAN exists, and we have support groups in Salt Lake, Davis County, and Tooele to draw on for suggestions, help, advice, commiseration, and even recipes. So, if you’re in the Davis County area (or even if you’re not), and you’d like to join us, we meet on the second Wednesday of every month. Watch our website ( for details on our chapter as well as the other chapters. Hope to see you soon.

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