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We were gifted this book in exchange for coverage. I’m the parent of a child who has FPIES so it is fair to say that I know allergies absolutely suck. When Daisy was first displaying symptoms of FPIES she was vomiting up to 6 times a day. Projectile sick – not nice! Still, we muddled through and a lot of the first year of her life was spent trying to get help for her, and just get someone to listen. I spent a lot of the time feeling sad and like I had failed Daisy, thinking that no-one was ever going to say more than I was an ‘anxious first time Mum’ or ‘all babies are sick’.
Gradually, in time I started learning more about the allergy blogging community and made friends with some wonderful women who really helped me. I joined a few Facebook groups and spent time speaking to others going through the same things. Now that Daisy is 3 those times are so memorable but also are so far in the past. Reading through ‘Living With Allergies’ has brought some of those feelings back to me, but in a positive way, and I want to share with you what I feel about this book.
Living with Allergies: Practical Tips for All the Family is billed as being an ‘excellent resource to help people understand and manage their allergies effectively’ and I couldn’t agree more.
When your child is first diagnosed with any type of allergy it can be scary. For me, I was filled with worry about what having FPIES meant for Daisy’s health in the future. Would she have a poor immune system? Would she be able to enjoy normal activities; like eating out, or attending a Birthday party? Some of my fears were quite small, such as sadness at her missing out on the joy of real ice cream or eating fish & chips, and some of them were much larger, such as one of her allergens becoming an IGE based one.
After Daisy was diagnosed I spent many hours searching for a website. I wanted a resource that would help me feel more calm and confident. I wanted to know why Daisy had FPIES. Also, I wanted to know why allergies happen. I wanted to know if she had much of a chance of outgrowing her allergy. Also, perhaps most importantly, I wanted a resource that would help to educate the people that we trust to look after Daisy. I now have it – this book!
What does Living with Allergies cover?
Within the book, you will find a variety of topics covered. These topics including information on getting diagnosed, what to expect when your child starts school and even how to cope with allergy anxiety. Living with Allergies has a variety of chapters, making it simple to find the ones that are more relevant to your allergy journey. For me personally, I was really surprised by the amount of new information that I learned from this book.
As I read through the chapters of this book it became so obvious to me that Emma Amoscato has truly lived the same journey that all of us allergy parents go through. Emma understands the worries about eating in a restaurant, or your child starting school, and that shows in the empathy and understanding that pours from each page of this book.
What did I love about Living with Allergies?
There were some fantastic tips throughout the book, designed to make the allergy journey easier. My daughter is already 3, so I have been living with FPIES for a few years, however, I had never thought to pack an emergency bag for when we are out. Daisy doesn’t suffer from anaphylaxis, which I’m very grateful for, however, part of the reason we don’t eat out is that I am worried about reactions happening. By packing a bag, with spare clothes, toiletries, a huge amount of tissues and wipes and a carrier bag I can feel prepared if a reaction happens while in a restaurant.
For me, one of my big anxiety triggers is that I don’t want Daisy to vomit in a restaurant, where people are eating. While I know an FPIES reaction is usually delayed anyway I still allow this fear to stop us eating out as a family. By packing an emergency bag, that we can grab from the car when we go out to eat, I feel much calmer and more prepared should something happen.
Throughout the book there is lots of expert advice, that is well presented. This information adds even further to the usefulness of this book. Also, this book does so much more than just explain what different types of allergies are. Instead, the book guides you through what allergies are, how to help certain situations be much more manageable and enjoyable, but it also delves deeper. Chapter 15, support and psychological effects, really sung to me when I was reading it. It helped me understand why I have had such high anxiety for the last couple of years and also helped me form a plan to cope with this better.
The main thing to take away from my review is this is THE perfect book for you. Whether you’re just starting on your allergy journey, for yourself or your child, or you’re looking to feel more empowered and confident you’ll find this book perfect. I have picked up so many practical tips and already feel more confident about taking Daisy out to eat and even eventually travelling somewhere more further afield than Centerparcs for a holiday!