It is very rare that I get stressed or anxious – but I am. Generally, I am a pretty calm being. We are coming to the end of a weeks school holiday here in the UK, so I should definitely be calm and mellow; instead I am stressed!
I know why: they say blogging can be a form of therapy so here goes… After the disaster of our holiday at Easter, where everything I wanted to convey to Aars about travel, independence and not being held back by anaphylaxis, was countered by the awful attitude of Captain Geoff; we are approaching another step backward.
On Monday 8th June, Aars’ year are all off on a school trip to France. Brilliant! Except I have to go with him :(. He really doesn’t want me to go. I don’t want to go. It is especially frustrating from his point of view as he went on a residential trip with school last year without me; he cooked all his own food, was totally independent and fine. So to him it feels regressive, when he should be progressing and enjoying more independence.
The residential trip last year was an hours drive down the road, whereas this one’s about 11 hours away in a foreign country and since the last trip he has experienced very swift and severe anaphylaxis due to cross-sensitisation with silver-birch pollen – it’s extremely unpredictable and thus he is deemed too high a risk for the school/governors to take responsibility. To be fair to the Head and teachers involved they have been very sensible and supportive, subtle in their communications and not drawing attention to the fact I will be “helping” on the trip. We have spent hours writing risk assessment forms and working out the logistics of every part of the journey and trip so that Aars’ experience can be as normal as possible. I have been really impressed by their sensitivity and awareness.
However, in spite of all of this I am stressed. I have been preparing like an overanxious mother – so that I can be as efficient and organised as possible when we are there. I have new lists of old lists, and lists of the lists in different list groupings, lists of things packed and lists of what’s in the freezer and fridge ready to go in the cool bag the morning we leave. We are only going for 5 days but this is a serious operation – lists-wise! (I am cooking in the staff-room so have to take all the equipment with me.) The new portable hob arrived today (I wrecked my old one by using it to melt wax for my art) so today we have been making pancakes and quesadillas to make sure it’s gonna be ok.
Hopefully as more and more of the boxes on my lists get struck off I will begin to relax a little…possibly maybe, probably not…
Maybe in the coming days I’ll share some of my lists with you incase they’re useful for you and your child on a self-catering school trip. The French vocab sheet on allergy and anaphylaxis I have created will be I am sure…
The big difference to the last “holiday” is:
- I am taking all the food for Aars with me.
- I will prepare it in a safe environment with uncontaminated equipment.
- I’m not reliant on anyone else.
- I am surrounded by people who understand the severity of anaphylaxis.
- We will not be trapped on a boat 😀
- We have systematically gone through every hour of every day and the risks involved, with detailed plans should anaphylaxis strike.
I think it will be ok – however, I reckon I will need a holiday by the time it’s all over!!