Mother knows best: one mum’s top secrets on keeping her allergic son alive 

Ah Ah Ah Ah… Keeping him alive, keeping him alive

Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m director of a company called Omnes Healing and the mother of Rory Mason (the second most allergic boy in Leeds). Thank you, Rory, for the vote of confidence in your blog: The key to staying alive for my first 18 years… Mum’s the word. But I do not think I can take full credit for your continued presence in this world as you have a lovely wife now who has come up with some amazing recipes to provide a safe and varied diet for you. (Frankly, much better than the boring food I used to serve).

I have to say, it was rather scary having a child as allergic as Rory (I would hate to have been the mother of the most allergic person in Leeds!). His allergies had a major effect on the whole family – where we could go was always dictated by what and where Rory could eat without dying. Nobody wanted to babysit him either, unless it was during a time that did not involve eating. This limited our social life considerably, as you can imagine.

I thought it might be a good idea for me to write about the strategies I used to to keep Rory alive, seeing as they apparently seemed to work.

They included:
  • Bulk cooking of meals and freezing portions so that Rory always had a meal available even if the rest of the family ate something he was unable to.
  • When Rory was invited to children’s parties, where food that would kill him abounded, I put a badge on him saying, ‘Serious Notice. Do not Feed’. (This was the second version, as the first, which stated, ‘Do not Feed’ was considered as being just a ‘funny’ badge and people tried to give him food! You learn fast when trying to protect your child).
  • McDonald’s. Seriously?!, I hear you say. However, when Rory was a child, McDonald’s was one of the very few places that uniformly had the same ingredients for meals in all their outlets. So, poor Rory ate a lot of plain burgers and fries and we, as parents, ate many more McDonald’s meals than we expected to in life. There was usually a McDonald’s to be found in most countries we visited and that meant we could travel more. (I feel it is important to note that I am not an employee of this chain, nor have I benefitted financially or otherwise from this blog. It was just an outlet at the time that freely published the contents of their meals.)
  • When eating out we found it was crucial to arrive at a restaurant early, before the chef became too busy. Approximately 11:50am was the best time. This is when the prep has been done and only a few customers had arrived. We could then talk directly to the chef about all Rory’s allergies instead of the very dangerous practice of relaying information via the waiter/waitress (believe me, with a very allergic child this is to be avoided if you wish to leave the restaurant with a breathing one!)
  • A bum bag. This was our solution to Rory always having his EpiPen with him – Needless to say, he did not think this was cool.
  • Teaching his friends how to use the EpiPen –  a potential life saver if he were to collapse unconscious whilst out with them. Although there was a slight problem when Rory, whilst waiting with friends at a bus stop on a night out, accidently injected himself when demonstrating the auto-injector.

By Su Mason (Mother of the second most allergic boy in Leeds)

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