Tag Archives: EoE

How to Deal with Anger & EoE

PhotoHello! It’s me, Danielle, your favorite EoE girl, here again to talk about the journey of living with Eosinophilic Esophagitis and how to get through it. I know I can’t make the pain go completely away, but hopefully I’m able to shed a little bit of light each month and give you some new insights!

Today, I’d really like to talk about how your child deals with his/her symptoms of EoE. There are many different types of people in the world, so it makes sense that there are many different types of emotions. Some people choose to ignore the problem, and pretend that everything is perfect. Some people choose to dwell on the fact that they’ve been diagnosed with EoE and make life miserable for themselves and everyone around them. And some people try to make the best of what’s given to them. I like to think I’m in the last category, but I’ve definitely fallen all over the spectrum from time to time.  It’s encouraging to others to be happy and positive all the time, but in reality, it can be exhausting to be positive 100% of the time.

Sometimes, it’s okay to be angry. And more importantly, it’s okay for your child to be angry. I know this is a difficult topic to talk about, because there’s such a fine line. How angry is too angry? How long are they allowed to be angry before they need to snap out of it?

And let me clarify something, I believe that sad and angry are two different emotions. While sadness is an important component of this, I really want to talk about anger right now. I think that everyone experiences anger, in his or her own way and own time. What matters though, is how you let the anger out. That’s what will make or break you.

I really encourage everyone out there who’s reading this to go find something they’re passionate about, so when (not if) you become angry, you can express it in a way that won’t hurt anyone else.

For me, it is discus. Every time I was angry with the world, and angry with God, and angry with my body, I would go to the discus field. And I would throw, for hours and hours. I would take my anger, and push it out of me.  It was a healthy way to relieve my stress and it was also my way of dealing with my diagnosis.

EoE can make you feel powerless at times. Like, completely powerless. When I was out there, doing something that I loved, it gave me back my sense of worth. It made me feel strong in a time of weakness.

My point is, is that it’s okay to be angry. As long as you deal with your anger in a healthy way, it’s okay. And more importantly, it’s okay for your child to be angry. And, even more importantly, you need to let him be angry. It’s part of dealing with EoE.

I know most of y’all reading this are moms who have young kids with EoE. Your child probably isn’t old enough yet to experience anger. But when they do, encourage them to go find something they’re passionate about, and then tell them to put ALL of their anger into it. I promise you, great things will happen. Because I put all of my anger into something I was passionate about, I broke my school record. I got 3rd place at the state meet. And I competed in the SEC. And so when your child puts their anger into something that they love, and when (not if) they do amazing things with their passion, they will then be more at peace with EoE and understand God’s plan just a little bit more.

That’s all for now!


Hello from Columbia

PictureHello from Columbia

By: Danielle Travis

So, as I mentioned in my first post, I will be writing a monthly entry about EOE, and really try to shine some light on the whole issue.

Today, I’m sitting in my bed, trying to think about what to write about. I mean, there’s so much.

But I think that today I want to write about what it’s like dealing with food problems when you’re a teenager.

Now, I’m assuming that most of you moms out there reading this have babies that are diagnosed with EOE. But one day, believe it or not, they will grow up and still (sadly) be dealing with the same issues. The whole key to dealing with the issues is your attitude on handling them.

When I was diagnosed at age 14, my whole life got twice as complicated in a matter of seconds. That summer, I went on my first elimination diet. I did a skin prick test at the doctor’s office, and eliminated pretty much everything. I took away the 8 common food allergies (soy, tree nuts, shellfish, fish, wheat, egg, peanuts, and dairy.) I then also took away the foods that I had tested positive for on my skin testing, which included things such as rice, corn, pork, etc, etc.

For that entire summer, I went on a diet that consisted largely of beef, green beans, applesauce, and pea-butter. Yes, butter can be made out of peas. It was a rough time on my stomach, but it was an even rougher time on my social life.

Now, I know what you’re thinking- A 14 year old doesn’t have a social life! But alas, I’m not really talking about hitting up the dance floor at 12 midnight, but about when I was sitting at the lunch table with my friends and they always thought my lunch looked weird. They didn’t really understand the whole “elimination diet” and so they couldn’t see why I had eaten rice a few months ago, but now because of this diet, I couldn’t.

EOE is much more complicated than food allergies (Although I’m not trying to downplay any significance of food allergies.)  Adults have a hard enough time understanding what it is, so kids in middle and high school surely won’t understand everything about it.

It was really hard at first, dealing with people’s opinion of my food. It got even harder when I switched to all formula at age 16. The best way I can think of dealing with it (or helping your child deal with it when he gets older,) is to just basically, “ignore the haters.”

It sounds like simple, worn out advice; turn the other cheek, walk away, have a deaf ear, yada yada yada. But really, once I stopped letting people’s comments of my “baby food” get to me, then I was more at peace with myself.

Now, the comments didn’t stop. But what did stop was the comments way of hurting me. I recognized at a very early age that sometimes you just have to realize that kids (and sometimes adults) are mean and will never understand your hardships.

Going through the whole journey of EOE (which is a lifelong process,) is a difficult one. But I truly believe that you yourself can make it harder or easier, depending on your outlook of it.

Well, I took up a whole page on Microsoft Word, so I guess that’s it for today. Check back next month!

 

To read more about Eosinophilic Esophagitis, click here.