|More memories like this, please! OIT was for us!|
My husband and I sometimes disagree. There, I said it. Finally! We can quit hiding it from the world! And, to make matters worse, there are times when a good ol’ discussion turns into one of those good ol’ healthy arguments when one of us just can’t seem to see the others' side. Say what? Tell me we aren’t the only ones. That going to bed happy thing… good theory, not always highly executed – and never once have we run to write the divorce papers up! We are stronger today than ever – for these experiences, these arguments, they help us learn from and about one another.
In the world of food allergies, there are many strong personalities - resilient and smart people who are trying desperately to do the very best for their babies. As the incidence of food allergies has increased, affecting up to 15 million people in the United States, so many of those children - 1 in 13 of those children, in fact, (http://www.foodallergy.org), so too has the need, the want, the hope for a cure. Along with this spike in food allergy we have seen the options for networking – e-mail, Facebook, blogs, and texts making our world smaller, allowing those with similar afflictions to become closer; making us feel less and less alone – creating small communities from a world so big that it once felt too overwhelming to comprehend it all alone. Support groups do not hold the same meaning as they once did - we now are able to FB a group for advice & receive instantaneous responses - Benadryl, Epi, or emergency room for a child reacting to an allergen? Years ago, a support group would have been there - after the fact. A different world – full of immediacy and information - creates a different a world jam packed with personalities sharing their experiences, an opinions all at once.
|Stronger and smarter today and loving it!|
Those same strong personalities – the ones that are creating groups, blogging, spreading the word about food allergy news are also the ones that are ‘putting themselves out there’. They are taking risks by sharing their experiences with each other – with people they don’t even know until they set foot into cyberspace. I, for one, have greatly appreciated this, by hearing about their lives – their successes, their mistakes, and their heartaches. OIT is a journey not many have even started, let alone completed - Maddy was one of the few in this state to begin working with Dr. Mayer as a peanut desensitization patient when she began OIT! So these networks were not only important, but essential to us. As a blogger, I am one of those people, too – our story, my opinions, and my questions are out there and since I “can’t please all of the people all of the time,” I try desperately to be respectful to all of the people all of the time, even if I don’t agree with them! And if you don’t agree with me all of the time, that’s cool. As long as you understand I don’t agree with everything you write and you do. You & I - if you’ve accepted me into your multi-media circle - don't have to have to have the same opinion. And we can move on from that. Know what else is cool? We might actually learn from each other, if we can get past the hang-ups, break down the wall, and really try!
|My 'assertive' daughter.|
Peanut Oral Immunotherapy is slightly controversial. There are pages upon pages arguing that this therapy is safe and effective (www.oitcenter.com) and a few articles that claim it is not quite ready for private practice. As many of you have read in my blog, you know that for us, the decision did not come lightly, we did not jump into it – there was a progression for us that came with growth and finally a decision made together as a family. We educated ourselves, learned from others, and we found a board-certified allergist that we trust whole-heartedly, and we are certainly glad we did. We feel Maddy is safer and certainly see every day the benefits of our decision - her immune system has strengthened as well as her overall quality of life – she is simply healthier and happier. In her own words, “I am so glad they have OIT. Whoever invented it is awesome!”
|"OIT is awesome!"|
As I traverse the pages of Facebook, read articles shared, or comments made, things might “burn my butt” every now and again, but as the model citizen and parent that I am (eh, em… okay that I TRY to be), it has become important for me to recognize agreements and disagreements are perfectly acceptable, even encouraged, within this network of people - this world - and it can be done with dignity and respect. A lively discussion is good for the soul and promotes learning - just like good ol' Joseph Joubert, French essayist claimed “The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but progress (1842).” I think he was spot on – if we could just remember that on Facebook!