Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Got Allergies? Get Support!

Do you remember when your child was first diagnosed with a food allergy? Do you remember how your brain just froze and the room became too bright and too warm and the doctor's voice seemed like it was a million miles away? And do you also remember the rush of feelings that happened all in just a few seconds: fear, anxiety, helplessness, sadness, anger and the need to protect your child. A food allergy diagnosis can be crippling and turn your world upside down..but, from the darkness, there will always be light.

Yes, light- it will start out as something dim, far off in the distance but over time it will become so bright that you won't know how you got there from where you came. You will meet people who will be a part of that light and others that will not. You will learn new coping skills and you will find out that you have a protective rage that you never knew was hiding inside. This is what being a food allergy parent feels like. The question is, how do you get to the brighter side of food allergies and how do you know what will work for you and your family?

I highly recommend that you consider attending the Food Allergy Bloggers Conference. This is not just for bloggers.This event continues to offer support every year. This will be my fifth time attending the conference and I continue to attend, but why? Because you can never learn too much, you can never over advocate and can always improve how you choose to handle your own health and allergy situations. I am proudly sponsored by Backpack Health this year because I make it a point to surround myself with companies and organizations that have a parallel path to mine. I may only be one person but what if all of those "just one person" people got together once a year to support each other and learn together?

Support Support for food allergies is a necessity! What is important to remember that what one person feels is their best support may not be your best support and that's ok. You can ask as many questions as you need to get that answer. Those questions may change over and over but you must keep asking until you feel you have the right answers. Never let anyone tell you that you are wrong for the way that you handle your choices because you will always be the first and best advocate for your allergic child, nobody else. If you are not sure how to share your voice, then just listen, meet other people who are speaking and see firsthand how many product sponsors are waiting to meet you.

Choices You DO have choices! So many choices and you will be amazed at how much they increase over time. From allergy-friendly products to the doctors that you see and even how to handle health information to stay up to speed. With food allergies, having everything when you need it in a moment's notice can sometimes be the difference between life and death. You will even have choices about how to share your child's food allergy journey to help others because once you get to the point that you are on the bright side of food allergies, your heart will grow and you will again, ask questions about how to share what you have learned along the way. Sharing within your food allergy network is what gives you answers but also gives others answers. Backpack Health is one of my favorite tools to both keep track of our family's health information and a way to contribute to what is normally difficult information to collect from people dealing with health issues. Backpack Health is more than just an app, it's a patient empowerment tool. We all know that patient empowerment is the key to progressing on so many levels. Your choices are literally the help that will be used for others to be given more opportunities and more choices.

Register now to attend the Food Allergy Bloggers Conference to become a part of your future food choices and to "come to learn and leave with an army of friends". Still not sure? This year's sponsors include Kaleo, DBV Technologies, Enjoy Life Foods, Aimmune Therapeutics, Belay, Gem City Fine Foods, FARE, Mabel's Labels, Flax4Life, OWYN, AllergyEats, Nima Sensor, MadeGood Foods, E.A.T. (End Allergies Together), FreeYumm, FAACT (Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Connection Team), Jones Dairy Farm, SnackSafely, Zego Foods, Allergy Alert, Allergy Force, Aterica Digital Health, Siitch, Allergic Living, Amanda's Own,  Deliciousness, Home Free, Allergy Superheroes, Latitude Food Allergy Care, Hungry Harrys, Chebe, Path of Life, Canyon Gluten Free Bakehouse, Natralia, Namaste FoodsReady, Set, Food!Gluten DetectiveAAFA (Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America)Kids With Food AllergiesModern TableFree2BFoodsRed Apple LipstickSunButterAmerican Gluten FreeAllergy & Asthma NetworkAllergy CookieSweet Elizabeth's OrganicsHolidaily Brewing CompanySouth Point CasinoSmashmallow, First Light Home Care, Schar Gluten Free, Follow Your Heart and Attendify.

Special thanks to Backpack Health for graciously sponsoring me for this event. I am amazed at the passion that they have for advocacy not only food allergies but for other health issues as well. They believe in our communities and embrace the power of patient engagement. If you haven't already visited them, you can find them on the web at BackpackHealth.com as well as on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube.

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