Strength In Numbers and Finding a Food Allergy Support Group

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It’s so nice to know I’m not navigating this food allergy thing alone. I hate that others are going through this as well, but having others to talk to is such a relief. I just got home from our local food allergy support group, and I always feel encouraged after a meeting. It’s a group of moms and dads that get together and share experiences, challenges, and triumphs. There are veteran allergy parents as well as newbies just starting to navigate the scary and uncertain world of food allergies.

Tonight on the agenda we discussed food allergies and school. It was interesting to hear the different points of view on allergies and how they are dealt with in the school setting. Some of the parents had great school procedures in dealing with their allergies, but another family has started homeschooling because of their schools poor management of her sons allergies. Homeschooling is one of our unsettled dilemmas, but that’s a whole new post for the future.

I feel it’s so important to get involved in a support group whether online or a local group that meets regularly, although there’s something to sitting down and chatting face-to-face that has a strong impact in building camaraderie. It has given me a bit of confidence that I can continue to tackle this food allergy thing and remain victorious. It’s helped keep me calm, knowing there’s a group of friends that completely understand my concerns as well as my craving for a “normal” life. Comparing stories of traveling long distances with coolers full of food gave us a chuckle and also relief that we’re not the only family avoiding restaurants. Gaining new information about anything food allergy related gives me just a little bit more knowledge in how to keep my son safe. All those “little bits” add up to so much and every bit counts!

Maybe you’re feeling alone on this curvy food allergy road. I know at times I feel extremely isolated, but support groups remind me that I’m surrounded by others like me, even in my own town. Maybe you’re feeling overwhelmed, and need a listening ear. Maybe you just need some new recipes, questions answered, or tips on sending your food allergic child to school. Support groups do just that-offer support and build strength in numbers. I encourage you to find a support group if you haven’t already-you won’t be disappointed!

Our allergist directed us to the support group that we currently attend. It’s been a great resource and I definitely don’t regret joining-in fact, it’s been one of the best things I’ve done. Another resource is your local hospital, especially if it’s a children’s hospital. FARE’s website also has a support group locator page that you can also check out. If an online support group is more your style, check out the No Nuts Moms Group website and blog and Facebook page (a great resource!). Either way, get involved in the food allergy support group world and I know you’ll be encouraged!

 

How many of you are involved in a food allergy support group? Do you prefer a local group or an online setting? Leave a comment on how a support group has helped you in your food allergy journey.

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