Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Counting Blessings

As I was sitting in church this week listening to a message on thankfulness, my pastor said something I found intriguing . He said, "complainers will always find something to complain about".

I suddenly realized how true this is! We all know someone like this: a Negative Nancy or a Debbie Downer. That person in your life who is always miserable, always grumbling. The one who, when you see her coming near your cubicle causes you dive under the desk because you are afraid to get trapped in her endless tales of woe.

This revelation has caused me to wonder: am I a Debbie Downer? How about as an allergy parent; do I focus on the negative and ignore the positive? If you are like me, you read more than one blog and follow more than one allergy related Facebook page. You have witnessed parents (and been the parent) complaining about friends, family or teachers who have been less than accommodating or helpful.

Of course it's understandable that we should want to vent a little. When we find a support group of allergy parents, we have found our people! Other parents who actually completely understand our struggles, worries, fears, and frustrations. People who get it.

It's easy to get stuck in a negative rut.

I know I find myself in this rut once in a while. Not just about my kids' allergies, but about everything! Case in point, right after this sermon about being grateful, I went to wash my hands in the bathroom and said, "Ugh. I wish this water was warm!" And then, after I realized the irony of my statement I joked, "I meant to say, I'm so thankful I have this icy cold water to wash my hands with!"

Therefore, in an effort to be more positive and appreciative, here are a few things I am thankful for today, despite all of the frustrations that come along with food allergies.
  1. My son is okay right now. He is not terminally ill or physically disabled. At this moment he is healthy, happy and playing video games as usual.
  2. We have food allergies in an age when there is knowledge, media and support. Twenty years ago, people with food allergies were on their own. Today we have research and advocacy. 
  3. I am lucky that I am a nurse and feel reasonably comfortable administering Epinephrine and handling emergencies. That said, when Matthew had his last severe reaction, I practically hyperventilated. 
  4. I feel fortunate to be in a school where our teachers and administrators have taken food allergies seriously. 
  5. We are lucky and blessed to have our son in a clinical trial where his peanut allergy could possibly be cured within the next few years.

Finally, I am thankful for you: my community of food allergy friends, family and supporters! Have a happy, healthy and blessed Thanksgiving.

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