I want to tell you a story….
A few weeks ago, we went on vacation. Packing with kids is always a challenge. Packing with kids with health issues is a whole different level. We have to pack medicine, mixing-shaker bottles (for formula), various medicated creams (so… many… creams…..)…. fortunately we are on a hiatus from the NG tube, so we didn’t have to worry about that. Nevertheless, our little dude essentially has his own suitcase. Why is that the smaller a kid is, the more luggage they need?
As we are heading out of town, it dawns on us…. no one packed the formula. We packed all of Megaman’s medications and all of his formula equipment, but we didn’t pack a single scoop of the formula. Now we are faced with a dilemma. We have been on the road for almost an hour. And are following my sister and her family in the car, as we had no idea where we were going. So do we turn around? That would put us almost two hours behind. Do we continue on our way? That would mean being on a week-long vacation without the primary source of nutrition for our kid who won’t eat. We’re not talking Enfamil, here… we can’t just run to Meijer to pick up a can.
Michelle was checking out Amazon (and somehow accidentally signed up for Amazon prime… not sure how), and had a thought. She got on Facebook and went to our Eosinophilic Family Support Network page. She told the group what was going on and where we were headed. Literally within minutes, we had connected with a family who lives about 45 minutes north of where we were staying. We drove up to meet, and they gave us formula for Reese. They didn’t sell us formula. They gave us formula. They didn’t give us a can. They gave us four cans. That is about $150 worth. Her daughter also has EOE and a feeding tube. She told us that she has been there before, and only asked that we pay it forward for someone else.
César Chavez said, “You are never strong enough that you don’t need help.” Navigating the world of food allergies and chronic illness is hard. It is so easy to feel alone. It’s easy to feel like no one around you really understands. Even if you have supportive friends and family, if they haven’t gone through it themselves, they still really don’t “get it.” Please find support somewhere. You are never so strong that you don’t need some sort of support. You are not alone. If you need help finding support, check out apfed.org, foodallergy.org, or foodallergyawareness.org. They are good places to start.
We are so grateful for the support we have gotten through our group, and hope that we have been able to provide support for others. I hope you are able to find the support that you need.