I celebrated my 43rd birthday on Thursday. There is no real significance in 43, it’s just like 42, but older. And to be honest, I didn’t really feel like celebrating.
Last week started with Adam’s diagnosis with a cashew and pistachio allergy (and a dust mite allergy). At first I wasn’t overly disturbed about the news. Okay, he won’t eat nuts. Not such a big deal. But when I took Adam to get a haircut the next day, I realized how life altering this diagnosis actually is.
On the way back from the haircut we stopped in one of the many bakeries to get some bread. They had little pieces of cake out for tasting and Adam wanted some. Without thinking, I picked up a piece of cake and started to give it to him. Suddenly I realized I needed to ask what was in it.
“Are there any nuts in this cake?” I asked the saleswoman.
“No,” she said. I wasn’t convinced.
“Are you sure? He’s allergic to…”
No nuts at all, just cake. Flour, sugar….”
I gave Adam the tiny wedge of cake and continued to The Stick House, a store that makes fancy popsicles. While I walked, still a little nervous, I thought about what would have happened had there been pistachio in that cake.
Would I remember to use the Epipen? Would I take a cab to the ER or would I need an ambulance? Would I keep my cool and do it right or would I loose it? I’ve been in tough situations before, fortunately, not with my kid.
When we got to the Stick House Adam was very excited. He loves popsicles. The store has rows of popsicles in beautiful colors. Adam new exactly what he wanted. He picked up his hand and pointed, “that one”. He was pointing directly at the green one, which, of course, was pistachio.
“Which one do you want?” I asked, hoping he would not say he wanted the green one.
“The orange one,” he said. The tangerine popsicles were sitting directly behind the pistachio. I tried to convince him to take something else, which looked the same, but was not next to the pistachio, but he wouldn’t change his mind.
Nervously, I bought him what he wanted. (Jess, I’m sure, would have carried him out kicking and screaming before allowing him to have the popsicle next to the pistachio one.) I relaxed as Adam ate and nothing more than a sticky mess came of it. But I realized life had changed.
Much like after my type 1 diabetes diagnosis, there was a new villain in our food. Much less common, but potentially deadly.