Saturday, August 1, 2009

Food Allergies Suck, or, Why I Think 'The Secret' is (mainly) Bullshit

Bridger seems to be increasingly sensitive to eggs. On Wednesday my dear friend C came over with Nora for breakfast. I made waffles, which involved seperating egg whites and yolks. I let the white drain through my hands, but as always, washed my hands well in hot soapy water before touching anything. Fast forward about an hour... Bridger, who was shirtless (flashing those little man-boobs) because it was hot, developed what looked like a cluster of mosquito bites on his back, which in about five minutes has spread to his stomach. Now, with all this rain, there have been a few buzzers in the house, but not enough to do that. B had shared a new brand of rice puffs with Nora, so while C called the company to inquire if they share their processing facilities with any egg products, I re-read the information I have on egg allergy, and then began to think that it may have been contact. The hives were only where my hands go to pick him up. Call to the doc confirmed that that is the only possibility that makes sense.

This makes me pretty nervous, to be truthful. Each reaction has required less egg. The last time he reacted from consumption he had a TEASPOON of a large (12 inch diameter) pan full of gratin that had a SINGLE egg in it. Result? Covered in hives, and puking. Now this time I touch eggs, I touch him, and that contact point is covered in hives, and oh yeah, he ended up puking. I keep repeating in my head, 'he'll grow out of it, he'll grow out of it'. But until then, eggs are EVERYWHERE. Even the flu shot is grown in eggs, so that's off the table this winter. Thank goodness it looks like he has no plans to stop nursing, so I can at least give him any immunity I have. But yeah, this food allergy thing? It sucks. It never was on my radar, we have no family history of food allergies, I followed all the new 'rules' given to me by the doc regarding solids. And yet, here we are. Which brings me to the second part of the post title...

In YTT last weekend we watch the movie 'The Secret'. The book was endorsed by Oprah a while ago. I had heard some buzz, but really didn't know what the premise was, and thus tried to watch the insuing woo-fest with an open mind. What a mistake. The first third of the movie was dedicated to telling you, dear viewer, that anything that has gone 'wrong' in your life you have created with your negative thoughts. Now, as a survivor of sexual assault, I can tell you categorically that I did not THINK my way into being raped. And that Bridger is NOT allergic to eggs for any other reason than his immune system rejecting a protein. That whole section I was really kibbing out - it's been a long time since I sat through a trigger like that. Here are some notes that I took: 'OFFENSIVE', 'where does free will come into play?', 'sometimes shit just happens', 'I BELIEVE one cannot control what happens to us, but one can control how we react to our circumstances', 'skeptical because they are claiming to have THE ANSWER'. There are things in life we just can't control, and this thinking totally ignores that, but at the same time lets you off the hook for the things in life you have control of, the things that you can do to mitigate your circumstances. And wow, talk about blaming the victim in the incidence of violence and tragedy!

Now, in fairness, the movie wasn't a total loss. Once they got past claiming that you can think your way into a 4 million dollar house (how is that the measure of happiness and success, anyway?), there were some good points about gratitude. And I do think that positive thinking is important - we used Hypnobirthing for Bridger, and that labor preparation involved affirmations and 'visualizing' the birth that I wanted. I've used visualization in riding. But all the affirmations in the world sometimes don't play out. Shit still happens, and not because we didn't manifest our intentions well enough.

I think the real measure of success is how one deals with the shit in life, because all life is with some hardship, some pain. I think it's necessary; the heat, pressure and stress all mold us into stronger beings, if we let it. Our bones require stress to lay down new tissue to grow and strengthen. Carbon requires high heat and terrible pressure to become a diamond. My aim is to survive and thrive, regardless of the hand I am dealt.

Time to get packed up to head north - think if I wish hard enough the car won't need any gas?


  1. It does really suck to hear about B's alleric reaction to Eggs. I hope he does grow out of it soon! My friends son Larson was allergic to many foods as a baby and this is part has led to his low weight. He has grown out of most and the allergist he goes to sayd that eggs are the only allergy left and that his reactions are becoming less and less, he is now three! As for the book.. looks like I will be passing on it as well!

  2. Re: The Secret, I found the article I mentioned to you! It's a serious criticism of how Oprah promotes so much junk, including The Secret. That's where I had heard about it--from this article:

    I do hope little B grows out of that egg allergy. See you guys soon!