While at the doctor enjoying all that, I also have to review all my food allergy paperwork for kindergarten: action plans, medicine release forms, etc. Lots to do!
Then we are off to his new school to meet the nurse, drop off all the meds (Benadryl and epi-pen) and discuss how to deal with the food allergy. Does the epi-pen have to be in the kindergarten room? I guess it should be in there, why not?
THEN Big Guy gets to meet his teacher, Mrs. C. THIS IS THE BENEFIT OF FOOD ALLERGIES. He gets to meet his teacher and see his new room BEFORE anyone else. Hurrah!
I've already talked to her on the phone twice (and she sounds very nice and friendly, I think I want her to be my teacher) to set up this meeting and then she called me back to clarify the snack "procedure" at kindergarten.
By the way, the snack procedure is that each parent picks a day in the month to bring in snacks for the class. But the good news is that there are 5 snacks to bring in ... pretzels, goldfish, teddy grahams, graham crackers and chex. She said they will send home a letter to tell parents that there is a child with peanut allergies in the class, so no Chex mix, etc. I'd like to point out that he is fortunate in that he can be around peanuts and even eat things that were manufactured on a line that also manufactures peanuts ... but he can't actually eat peanuts.
Okay, Big Guy can eat all of these things. I know there is some dairy in the goldfish and possibly the teddy grahams (though I have to check the label, that might be safe too), but he can tolerate that little bit of dairy. He has eaten ALL of those things a lot with NO problems.
I think that he should be able to eat with all the other kids. I know the nurse is going to suggest I have a box of snacks just for Big Guy, but I don't know why he should do that. YES, I do know why ... she wants to be VERY sure that NOTHING he eats could have a stray allergen in it.
I am VERY conflicted on this. I want him to be safe, of course! I also want things to be as normal they can. The bottomline is that they're not normal for him. There are lots of things he can't eat. But knowing that and dealing with that (pretty well, I might add), why can't he eat the things he can eat? Does this make sense?
I have to talk to the teacher and the nurse today to get a better sense of their issues and desires. But I am leaning towards this approach:
- letting him eat the snacks (if they send out the peanut letter)
- leaving treats for him at the school for days when kids bring b-day treats and NOT letting him eat those things (basically he can only eat the 5 snack foods)
Well, we'll see how the meeting goes. The nurse and teacher are VERY nice and so I see this meeting as a chance to just figure all this out, not a combative thing at all.
And the benefit, we get the early sneak peek into kindergarten. The rest of the class waits until Meet the Teacher day on Wednesday ... then school starts Thursday, the 24th!!!