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by Sarah M. Boudreau-Romano, MD, FAAP
I was not wearing my white coat or pager and I didn’t have a stethoscope hanging from my neck. I wore jeans, a simple black sweater and had an overstuffed diaper bag slung over my shoulder. I was not the allergist that cool November day. I, instead, became the mother of children with life-threatening food allergies. As the diagnosis fell from my allergist’s lips, the same diagnosis that so often fell from mine, it struck me how it felt on the other side and the strike was powerful.
I went from handing out superhero stickers to my little patients after their skin prick testing to rewarding my own fiercely reluctant boys with superhero figures after the same prick test. I went from calling parents with their child’s lab results to waiting for that same single call for numbers that now somehow meant the world to me. I went from handing a patient’s parents a food avoidance sheet to standing in a grocery store with that same list and sobbing because I had no idea what I could buy or how I was going to cook for my family. I went from diagnosing anaphylaxis based on clinical history and lab results to jabbing an Epipen Jr® into the thigh of my own limp and dusky one-year-old cherub after he ate a single bite of cookie.
I was not expecting to be on this side of the table. This side of the table is top 8 allergen-free (cow’s milk, egg, wheat, soy, peanut, tree nuts, fish and shellfish), plus some. This side of the table often eats alone. It is worried but brave. It is hindered but disciplined. It is threatened but confident. Although I would have preferred to stay seated on the other side of this table, I am also blessed to sit in the company of other food allergy families. This side of the table would enable me to obtain an understanding that I could never have otherwise known completely. Now, my friends, I get it.
Let me introduce myself… I am Sarah M. Boudreau-Romano and I’m a board certified pediatrician. I also completed my Allergy/Immunology fellowship at Children’s Memorial Hospital/Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, in 2007. I have 4 children, 3 of whom have life-threatening food allergies. I am honored to be able to share stories with you about living well with food allergies, the basic science of allergic reactions and so much more! Please remember as you read these posts that they are for general informational purposes only and that although I am a physician, I am not your or your child’s physician. All medical questions should be directed to your personal doctor. For full disclaimer, please visit www.theallergistmom.com. Please let me know if there is something you would like to learn or hear about.
SARAH M. BOUDREAU-ROMANO
Sarah M. Boudreau-Romano holds a B.A. in Biochemistry from Knox College and received her M.D. from Rush Medical College. She became a board-certified pediatrician following her pediatric residency at Children’s Memorial Hospital. She then completed a fellowship in Allergy/Immunology at Children’s Memorial Hospital and Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Sarah has not yet pursued her board certification in Allergy/Immunology.
These Materials And Any Information Provided Verbally (Collectively, “The Materials”) Are For General Informational Purposes Only, And Are Not Medical Advice. None Of The Materials Shall Be Relied Upon, Construed As, Or Substituted For Professional Medical Advice, Diagnosis, Or Treatment. You Should Always Seek The Advice Of Your Personal Physician Or Other Health Care Provider For Any Medical Advice You Seek Or To Respond To Any Questions You May Have Regarding A Food Allergy Or Any Other Medical Condition; And You Should Never Disregard Professional Medical Advice, Or Delay Seeking It, Because Of Something You Have Read Or Heard In The Materials.
Any Reference In The Materials To Any Ingredient, Food, Recipe, Brand, Product, Medication, Or Treatment (Including But Not Limited To Any Dish Or Meal Or Any Skin Product) Is Provided As A Matter Of Convenience. Any Such Reference Does Not Imply Any Endorsement Of Such Ingredient, Food, Recipe, Brand, Product, Medication, Or Treatment, And Does Not Imply Such Incredient, Food, Recipe, Brand, Product, Medication, Or Treatment Is Safe For You Or Your Family. You Must Always Check All Labels For Identification Of Contents, Components, Materials, Ingredients, And Any Health Warnings (Including But Not Limited To Any Statements Regarding Allergens) And Consult Your Physician.
The Allergist Mom, Llc, Sarah M. Boudreau-romano, M.D., All Other Employees Or Agents Of The Allergist Mom, Llc, And All Other Authors, Contributors, And Presenters Of The Materials Hereby Disclaim All Responsibility For Any And All Errors Or Omissions In The Materials; And Disclaim All Liability For Any And All Damages Associated With Reliance On The Materials.