Friday, July 9, 2010

Vacation Part I: Secrets

I have been neglecting this blog lately. Reasons...
1. Adam has almost gone into Anaphlactic shock 3 times in the last 6 months. (Definitely not fun times to write about.)
2. I have too many posts to write about how much fun we've been having despite the food allergies. (Guilt and feeling overwhelmed.)
3. I'm dealing with the not so nice side of having a child with food allergies and want to make sure I control my tongue. (I really wish people could just get it!)
4. My computer crashed. (My children adore the power button.)

So there you have it.

I think it's time to get started again though.

Oh, I forgot one more reason for not blogging-
5. We have had a foster child in our home, Baby A, for the past 5 months. She has just been diagnosed with a milk allergy. (Why do these children come to me?)

What to blog about first...


Our family took our first real vacation since the diagnoses of Adam's allergies. It was fantastic! Adam didn't have a single allergic reaction. We were gone for 8 days.

How did we do it?

LOTS of planning!

But now I finally feel like I can share our secrets to having fun with food allergies, while still enjoying vacation.

Secret 1: Stay in a location where you can prepare all of your meals. We stayed at a beach house.

Secret 2: Create a meal plan and grocery list before leaving home. The meal plan must include all meals, snacks, and even the unplanned. Make the grocery list as specific as possible.

Secret 3: Purchase specialty allergy friendly foods before you leave and pack them with you. This will not only keep you sane but will ensure you have what you need when you need it.

Secret 4: Bring plenty of reusable snack and lunch containers to use as you are on the go. We brought food with us everywhere. Restaurants were out of the question.

Secret 5: Make a detailed itinerary for your vacation. Any unexpected stops, visits, etc... can lead to reactions. Once at the beach house we made a plan for the week. It ensured we'd know how much food to have with us at all times.

Secret 6: ALWAYS carry Epi-pens and Benadryl with you. Hopefully this one is a given.

Secret 7: Call ahead to all major attractions to ensure they can accommodate your allergy needs. Ask as many questions as you can to ensure your safety.

Secret 8: Plan places to stop while traveling that will be safe. Food courts aren't recommended. We found the most dangerous places we encountered were the deluxe gas/food/restroom stops. One we weren't even able to enter because of the dangers.

Secret 9: Inform everyone that will be with you about your child's allergy needs and rules of the house while you are there. We could have never had such success if it weren't for such supportive Grandparents.

Secret 10: Allow yourself to have fun!

Where did we go? What did we do? Stay tuned for Vacation Part II!

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