Thursday, April 5, 2012

It's Zealot To Deal With

Jesus, praying his disciples
will just mellow out already
It's Holy Week for much of the country. Perhaps that's why Jesus' name is so often on my tongue these days.

Or maybe it was my run-in with a food allergy zealot on Facebook.

Jesus had his issues with zealots. (He still does, if my Facebook newsfeed is any indication.) The term "zealot" was coined from the group of Jews in Jesus' time who supported overthrowing the Romans through military means. How did the Big Guy handle it? He made (at least two of) them disciples.

Once again, Jesus is a better person than me. The minute I get a whiff of even verbal violence from someone, I hit the "defriend" button.  (WWJD = Who Would Jesus Defriend? Or would Jesus just have 6 billion Facebook friends? But I digress...)

This week's Faceslapbook quote was: You're endangering your child's life just so you'll have an easier time managing his food allergy. It was in response to my post about total avoidance and how little sense total avoidance probably makes in light of all the oral tolerance and baked protein studies.

The poster in question was having none of it. There were multiple posts with ! and CAPS and every other manner of keyboard emphasis that could be applied. The message was clear - not only was I wrong, I was lazy, neglectful, even abusive. I was poisoning my child. All presumably because we are introducing baked milk, and therefore questioning whether it's still necessary to avoid things like medical-grade lactose.

But irony is fine.
I understand fear can make us zealots. There are times for all of us when the anxiety is all-consuming and it's seductively reassuring to believe our path is the only path. But that's still no excuse to EVER accuse each other of endangering our child's lives with our choices. I've seen too much of this over the years and it's where I draw the line. I do kick people out of my life at the point they accuse me of willfully trying to harm my child.

I'm hearing the little voice in my head saying judge not lest ye be judged. (I'm going to assume it's Jesus and not schizophrenia.) But it's very hard to listen when people are really crappy.

So here's my public appeal: if you're the parent of a child with allergies, or are allergic yourself, commit to dropping "you're lucky your kid hasn't died" from your arsenal of ways to win an internet argument. Consider it a food allergy Godwin's Law - if you go there, you've lost.

Don't make me resort to comparing you to a Nazi.

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  1. Sorry that you are dealing with crazy people. I wonder how these people feel about taking allergy shots for environmental allergies?

  2. Funny I mentioned in another comment that I felt some of your posts came straight from my head. The strict avoidance post was one of them! I wonder if I screwed up by going to a strict avoidance with my son. Initially his dairy allergy only caused a reaction if he ate it straight up (yogurt & cheese - never tried straight milk). He was able to eat it baked in without issue. But our 2nd allergist (first encouraged baked in) said NO! strict avoidance is the only way. Well low and behold now his allergy is worse, a lot worse. Then studies came out saying "if they can eat it baked in they might outgrow it sooner." Well we can't go back now, so I live with the all consuming guilt that maybe I made things worse. That maybe, just maybe, he's have already outgrown things if I hadn't changed allergists and listened to the new one (FWIW we are now at a 3rd allergist whom I LOVE and adore!). My husband assures me we don't know what would have happened. He could have gotten worse and had a reaction to something baked in that we weren't expecting. But I just can't help it. Mommy guilt is awful. Sorry that was a long ramble!! I needed to get that out apparently.

  3. Haley, I truly believe it doesn't matter what we do...we're destined to feel the mommy guilt. I just had a crazy conversation with my own mother about how she's still guilty. (And all her things are very silly.) I do think it's important to just acknowledge we're going to feel guilty no matter what and move on. If the doctors can't agree, what hope do we moms have?!

    I do think (finally) the cure for all this is close. Hopefully we'll be able to look back in a few years and say to each other "remember when we felt so guilty? Isn't it great that it doesn't matter now?"

  4. And thanks, Ali! But honestly...I'm grateful for the crazy people because they give me ideas for columns. ;)

  5. I long for the day there is a cure! I hope it is soon. My allergist is optimistic about a few of the newest trials going on. Someday...


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