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I am not over reacting, she has an allergy



Babygirl’s severe cow’s milk allergy has become such a part of our lives that I really had stopped thinking about it all that much.

Yes, I read ingredients very, very carefully.

Yes, I always pack a box of our own dairy free snacks when we go out.

Yes, I always make sure I have an alternate meal for her in my bag in case we decide to eat out.

But seriously its not a biggie.

We keep her away from dairy, I have very little in my diet and as a family we have reduced our intake of dairy except when we’re certain we won’t touch her or she can touch or eat it.

So being out and about with other people was a bit of a surprise.

I’d always assumed I’d have to watch her like a hawk.  Bottom line is she’s my daughter and its my job to  stop her eating anything off the floor with a dairy content and to keep her food segregated.

What I hadn’t expected was the sheer degree of eye rolling that accompanied us explaining the problem to other people.  The general attitude has been that we’re over reacting a touch and really need to take a chill pill.


So we’ve had people sticking a knife with butter on into the pot of jam I’d segregated for her.  Um thanks, we’ll get another pot now shall we?

We’ve had people wiping her face with a cloth used to mop up spilt cereal with milk on it off the table.  Um nice allergic rash on her face now, perhaps that’ll be why I have cloth bibs and use those to mop her off?

And if I’ve heard, “oh only a little bit won’t hurt” once, I’ve heard it a thousand times.

The thing is its not an intolerance, its not something mild or inoffensive.  Even a little bit of dairy causes her to start wheezing, to have horrid eczema, to have terrible tummy problems meaning she vomits everywhere, has terrible diarrhoea and potentially has a bleeding gut – its a BIG DEAL.

So at least now we’re home, can monitor her like usual and slip happily back into our dairy free life.

I really hadn’t realised how difficult this thing can be out there in the big wide world.

I guess I was being really terribly naive.

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15 comments to I am not over reacting, she has an allergy

  • Mummy

    >We aren't at ths same scale as you, but it does annoy me when people use a knife with bread crumbs on in my husbands butter or jam (or cheese or…) as like your daughter just a little bit will cause huge issues for him.

    Hopefully others will start to listen more!

  • Anderzoid

    >My family does thiswith our allergies, too. I had been brought up thinking as you mentioned that I was overreacting and allergies where for wussies. I do not know why peoplethink this. As soon as I grew up I grew out of that mentality. I'd assume others would too. Maybe I just did because it was a revelation when my allergies were diagnosed and then with a child w peanut, soy, milk allergies we had to be challenged in our previous notion. Sorry you go through same thing. How do you go about informing friends & family? Since it's all new to me as well I find I'm not relaying info clearly & wonder what I coulddo (if anything) to inform them of real allergies

  • TheMadHouse

    >I think it is down to the crowd of people for whom an intorerlance was fashionable. I often heard people say I am lactose intolerant etc and it really does very little to help the people who actually have real issues with allergies.

    In order to find out why I am so ill, I have had to remove foods from my diet and it is terrible.

    I would not wish an allergy on anyone, but as her mum it is down to you to empasise the issues before you do things with family and friends.

    You must make it clear what issues she has and what can and can not been done around her.

    I am sorry that it is such an issue for you

  • Heather

    >It must be a nightmare. My daughter is lactose intolerant, for her it's not the end of the world but she will get a rash and a poorly tummy, and that is hard enough to cope with when people just wont believe you or think you are over reacting. It must be really tough when it's a proper allergy.

  • Pass the Chablis...it's 5pm

    >Ugh, honestly some people!
    The Son had a dairy intolerance, we were strict dairy free. He can now have dairy, and so no way near at the allergy level that you are experiencing. I feel for you. People always thought we were over reacting. They also thought we were over reacting about not introducing nuts. One long visit to A&E seemed to dispel that.
    So sorry that you have to not only deal with the allergy, but also insensitive people.

  • Angel Armogida

    >I love you blog.. you've won an award:

    Angel x

  • naomi richards

    >I ran a workshop today and also did not realise how difficult intolerances can be. This child could not eat dairy, eggs, some grapes, bananas. I was worried I was going to give her something she was not allowed so I wrapped up the bananas I had and put them in another cupboard and sealed other foods in my fridge she was not allowed. I think it was a bit over the top but I did not know if it was the eating that was not good for her or touching the food as well.

  • Mwa

    >People can be so inconsiderate. I hate it when other people reckon they know what's best for a child better than its own parents.

    I'm sorry they were being a pain. I hope you can make them see sense.

  • Expat mum

    >Intolerances (like two of my kids had) and allergies are almost two different things, but both serious. With allergies, if it's an anaphylactic effect (like wheezing and swelling) it can get worse with every reaction so you really need to be careful and very strict. If you haven't yet talked to a doctor about it, you may want to as you might need to carry an Eppi pen with you. (Don't want to alarm, just forewarn)

    As for those who would ignore your precautions – don't even bother trying to explain. (That's when the Eppi pen comes in handy – you just wave it around.) Grab their hands when they're trying to wipe mouths, don't let them touch your child. And get them some literature on the problem.

  • Working Mum

    >I guess people don't realise until they have to cope with it themselves. My daughter has a friend who is dairy intolerant and I'm so careful when he comes round. I ask his mum to bring his spread and although I do check the ingredients of what I make them to eat, I ask the mum to double check them as well. The only time I fell down was at daughter's party when I specifically requested a dairy free meal for him, but didn't check that the waitress had given him the correct one. Luckily his mum was watching because she's used to this. As you say, other people are the biggest problem!

    On the other hand, a friend of mine whose daughter was severley intolerant was sent to a consultant at the age of about 10 and given a radical new therapy to help her body overcome it – she now eats normally. May be something to investigate when she's older?

  • drop4three

    >I never fail to be amazed by how little people understand food. "Oh, she's allergic to milk. Would she like a yoghurt, or how about a cheese sandwich instead?" I've lost count of the times this type of conversation has been played out.

    Keep reading those ingredients…..and good luck.

  • Rachael (Tales from the Village)

    >Husband is allergic to milk, so I sympathise. People find it very hard to get their heads round, don't they? Don't know how much luck you're having with the GP, but the Breakspear Hospital in Hemel was fantastic with us.

  • Livi

    >Sadly I think it's in response to all the people who say "I'm allergic to X,Y and Z" just because they don't like it or for other stupid reasons.
    You shouldn't need to, but it might be an idea to get a doctors note to carry with you stating how severe it is so you can shove it in people's faces when they roll their eyes.

  • Happiest Baking

    My daughters had a friend called Toby at nursery who had an equally violent reaction to dairy and as such when I asked Toby to a birthday party Toby’s mum was almost in tears. She explained that because people were so worried about having to be dairy free they simply excluded him. Poor Toby. Anyway his mum satyed for the party, brought dairy free smarties with her and supervised. The party went with a swing and all without any harm done. I think people are bl**dy miserable and also ignorant. Hoorah for you xx

    • Muddling Along

      We find it relatively easy to manage but it is a hassle for other people and we understand, we always have food for her with us just in case

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