FOR PARENTS, BY PARENTS 

Advice Column

Emily Nolan

My husband was the first person to notice Ollie was getting full body hives (anaphylaxis) when he started eating certain foods at 6 months. I was in denial about it because our child would never have food allergies—that life would be impossible! My girlfriend encouraged us to get Oliver tested at the allergist's office, and sure enough, he was allergic to a long list of foods. It was so confusing and scary to leave the allergist's office with a new diagnosis of life-threatening food allergies. I cried a lot and had overwhelming anxiety. With baby steps and reaching out to other mamas that had already navigated the same journey I was embarking on, I have been able to keep Oliver safe and healthy. If I could offer one piece of advice to you, it would be to find your breath in the scary moments and educate yourself on food allergies and how and when to use an epi-pen/Auvi Q.

Katie Greene

Hi, my name is Katie Greene food allergy mom to James age 2. We’ve gone through a lot in his short period of time when it came to his allergies. My food allergy advice is this ITS OK TO CHANGE DOCTORS. If anyone learns anything from our experience besides always call 911 after you Epi it’s THIS. I wasted 9 mths on a dr who wouldn’t listen to me! I have the BIGGEST GUILT over it until this day. Please learn from me and know it’s ok to speak up. It’s ok to walk away. It’s ok to disagree. So here are some red flags for when it’s time to break up : 
1.
They don’t listen to you. This can range from them not listening to your concerns and to them cutting you off mid-sentence or talking over you. 
 

2. You don’t feel comfortable or confident about talking to them. Are you constantly apologizing unnecessarily? Afraid to ask a question or “bug” them 
 

3. You don’t like how they talk to you. Are they condescending? Are they too blunt? This is a big one. My old dr actual rolled his eyes when he saw I was back again with my son. Not cool. 
 

4. They don’t explain things to you or keep you in the dark. We don’t have a medical license so we need a Dr. who will explain to us in a kind way and share results we need. 
 

5. They won’t work with other doctors or give you the referral you need. My old Dr. told me James couldn’t have a referral to a dermatologist bc he wasn’t old enough .. and said that I should just be happy with the allergist referral. Not cool. •

Those are my top 5 red flags for pulling the trigger and deciding to switch. I regret not changing sooner and I am over the moon for our new peds dr.

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