Shannon Miskimen, who describes herself as a single mom of two, an accountant by day, and a writer by night, wrote a story for TheMighty that told of how her son’s condition was handled by his Kindergarten teacher. She states that when she received an e-mail from the teacher regarding her son Cayden, who has 12 known food allergies, it made her cry.
Cayden, she said, is proficient at carrying his hefty lunch bag so he can eat “his acceptable food.” Due to FPIES, Shannon has gotten used to packing every dessert, snack, and meal he will eat throughout the course of the day.
Food Protein Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome (FPIES) involves a severe allergic response to food protein.
It can be extremely dangerous for those afflicted. Parents and family members must be on guard at all times, watching vigilantly for their loved one’s symptoms.
Others involved in the person’s life such as teachers, cafeteria workers, and bus drivers must also be familiar with the dangers associated with the syndrome.
One to four hours after trigger foods are ingested, the signs will appear. Nausea, vomiting, swelling, hives, and malaise are common symptoms.
If the reaction is severe, vomiting can lead to dehydration and eventually shock. The most common culprits are milk and soy proteins.
Other foods such as rice, oats, chicken, potato, fish, and eggs can cause reactions as well. In rare instances it can be passed via breast milk.
The allergic reaction from FPIES is similar to that of adults who suffer a crustacean or shellfish allergy. Reactions can lead to severe consequences if not treated quickly.
Not only are the physical dangers evident, but psychological factors are in play when combating the condition. Children (and their families) must learn to cope with the adjustments needed.
Young school children must deal with a feeling of “being different” when it comes to diet and enjoying snacks or meals with their classmates. This can be a difficult thing to deal with.
Shannon said her 5-year-old son’s school was going to have a holiday party so the teacher and her aide got a terrific idea to accommodate Cayden. For this special party all the food was going to be “Cayden approved.”
Here is the letter that Shannon received and posted in her article:
“I wanted a party for Cayden where everything is Cayden friendly. Mrs. Sheets and I are going to go out and buy Mott’s 100% apple juice original, Lucky Charms, Armour Vienna Sausage original, sugar free jello strawberry cups, and classic Lays potato chips (yellow bag). I would like for a day where Cayden won’t have to worry about what other people have and where he can have everything. If you see something that would not work please let me know!! I tried to go on by what you brought to class for him and what was on the list of approved foods. You are more than welcome to pop by tomorrow or Friday or both to ensure that everything we have is approved!!”
What a terrific thing for Cayden’s teacher to do! Shannon admits this teacher is setting a wonderfully high bar for future teachers to match.
The party was a huge success! Cayden must have felt ten feet tall, it was surely a holiday party to remember — for everyone.