Thursday Night TV

March 26, 2008 at 12:44 am 3 comments

I admit it, I’ve been watching Celebrity Apprentice, on and off at least.

It’s not what you think. I’m really not a fan of Donald Trump. In fact, quite the opposite. However, one of the contestants on this show — celebrities playing to win big bucks for their favorite charity — is country singer Trace Adkins, who is playing for the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN).

Adkins, like us, has a daughter with life-threatening food allergies. Like us, he has had the experience of seeing his little girl go into anaphylactic shock, and like us his lifestyle has been changed by this terrifying result and risk from the previously ordinary activity of eating. (The link above to the show is actually to a clip of Adkins talking about his daughter and food allergies.)

Returning today from a week’s trip across the country to visit my family, we are acutely in tune with this fact of our daughter’s life and ours. We pre-board the planes so my husband can clean out every nook and cranny of the seats before we sit her down (we have found peanuts, one of her severe allergies, lodged between the seats on every flight we’ve taken her on). We have to cook and bring food to every house we visit (her other allergens — tree nuts, sesame seeds, and dairy — are hidden in so many foods) and ask that no one serve fish in her presence (the allergen that forced us to call 911 this fall after she ate just a few bites and went into full-blown anaphylactic shock).

Now, we are nothing but grateful for our daughter, that she survived the anaphylaxis and we have strategies to keep her safe. We know her, and our, fate could be much worse with any number of conditions, circumstances, etc. And we know this is just one part of her many wonderful facets. But, honestly, it’s stressful to deal with food, healthy, normal food, being a potentially lethal substance for your child. It’s everywhere, every social event focuses on it, every book and activity, everything almost, has something to do with eating.

And it is so disturbing to ponder why so many more kids are getting these kind of reactions from food — what has happened with our food supply, our immune systems, our environment? It’s a big issue in our family, and our daughter’s life literally depends on us, and doctors, finding answers to very tough questions.

So, we watch Celebrity Apprentice and root for Trace Adkins, for the big money to go to FAAN. We tear up when he does as he talks about how terrifying it was to see his daughter go into shock, and he will do anything to help her and kids (and adults) like her dealing with this serious condition (that many folks don’t understand is this serious for some people — as Trace says, this is not just allergies that itch, but allergies that can kill you).

We roll our eyes at the egos and consumer spin of the show. But we watch. For us, sometimes it’s just OK to pick our battles. And the battle to find a cure for anaphylactic food allergies is one we will fight, even if ole Trump is involved.

If you’re interested, the finale, with Adkins as one of the two celebrity finalists, is this Thursday night on NBC. His daughter will appear, and viewers will have a chance to donate to FAAN or the other finalist’s charity as well.

This isn’t something I write about too often, but it certainly is something that makes “Having Enough” such a powerful concept in my life. I’m so grateful for FAAN, and for the people who have helped us with our daughter’s condition. And we are literally thankful every day just to eat the simplest of foods and be healthy and OK and together.

(All right, yes, if you watch, you will have to stomach a zillion ads, melodrama, and Omorosa — but, hey, Marilu Henner is on there, too; she’s a peach!)

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Entry filed under: Health, Media, Parenting.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Shawn  |  March 29, 2008 at 12:36 am

    I can’t imagine! Another writer mama I took Christina’s class with has been dealing with this and wants to write about it … I’ll have to make sure she sees this.

    Reply
  • 2. bella  |  March 29, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    Wow.
    For those of us unfamiliar with sever allergies, it really is amazing to hear what it is like and the level of watchfulness required.
    However the money comes in, I hope FAAN gets the resources to continue supporting families like yours.

    Reply
  • 3. caroline  |  March 31, 2008 at 3:49 am

    I have to admit, I started watching this show one night when I was too tired to get off the couch and hunt for the remote, and have gotten hooked because of Adkins, too. Now that I know his win could help your family, even indirectly, I’ll root harder for him! We just made a big plane trip back east, and traveling with kids is hard enough without going through the extra-effort you do to keep your daughter safe. Of course you do this — you’re a parent, after all, any of us would — but I’m filled with awe and admiration.

    Reply

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You are visiting "Having Enough (In a Have-It-All World)"...

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To spark conversation about redefining success (as individuals, families and institutions) and to counter "never enough" messages currently circulating in our culture.

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Megan Pincus Kajitani: Writer, Editor, Former Academic Overachiever and Career Counselor, Mom, Wife, Feminist, Gen Xer, Californian who believes that change is possible View Megan Pincus Kajitani's profile on LinkedIn

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