If I had known that you could look adorable on the outside, but be very sick on the inside, I would have known how much you needed me to help you.
If I had known that your newborn tears were from pain, I would have complained less about being up all night.
If I had known that feeding you baby food would put your life at risk, I wouldn't have spent all day trying to get you to eat it.
If I had known that you were desperately trying to tell me it hurt your body to eat noodles, I wouldn't have made you finish them before I got you out of your highchair.
If I had known that you had no other way to tell me that you were suffering, I wouldn't have punished you for hitting me.
If I would have known that you didn't just "get the flu" more than other kids, I would have questioned the doctors more.
If I would have known that your tantrums were a cry for help, I wouldn't have let people label you with a "behavior problem".
If I would have known how close we were to losing you, I wouldn't have wasted time brushing my teeth before taking you to the hospital.
If I would have known that the cookie I gave you at lunchtime could make you throw up 4 hours later, I wouldn't have gave it to you.
If I would have known that food allergies don't always show up on allergy test, I would have tried an elimination diet earlier.
If I would have known that anaphylaxis is not the only kind of life threatening allergy out there, I would have demanded faster treatment at the E.R.
If I would have known that your vomiting, bloody diarrhea, screaming, constipation, hair loss, pale color and passing out was from food, I would have eased your pain sooner.
If I would have known the juice I was mixing your medication into was the reason you were constipated, bleeding rectally, malnourished, vomiting, and bloated in first place, I would wouldn't have force fed it to you.
If I would have known that pediatricians, children's hospitals, specialist, and feeding clinics could all be wrong, I would have sought help elsewhere.
If I would have known that there were other kids like you out there, I would have tracked down their families and compared stories sooner.
If I would have known that the scopes weren't going to show much because the prep for the scope is to stop all FOOD days before the test, I wouldn't have put you through it.
If I would have known that not all kids with FPIES outgrow it, I would have prepared better for the long haul.
If I would have known that some kids have NO safe foods, I would have been less freaked out about only having 27 safe foods.
If I would have known that not all ingredients are listed on labels, since you can never be sure how each ingredient is derived, I would have called food companies earlier.
If I would have known, if the doctors would have known, if anyone I rambled on to would have known, it wouldn't have taken 6 years to diagnose you.
If I would have known that at 7 years old you would be in so much pain and feel so "not normal" that I would overhear you pray to go to heaven early, I would have explained sooner that there is no such thing as normal and reassured you that it will get better someday.
If I would have known how embarrassed you are about a medical need to wear pull-ups at 8 years old, I wouldn't have waited to tell you that I was a bed wetter until 5th grade.
If I would have known how isolating, scary, confusing, frustrating, and financially debilitating it is for families living with fpies, I would have reached out to give and receive help sooner.
If I would have known how many well-meaning people would offer you treats, I would have stopped them before you realized you were missing out.
If I would have known how many good people we have in our community, I would have asked for help sooner.
If I would have known there was a place we could get information, support and understanding, I would have contacted thefpiesfoundation.org sooner.
If I would have known you were suffering from food multiple food allergies, I would have found you help sooner, saw you smile more, and kept you safer. Because I love you, because you are my child, because we are in this together, we will be okay.
Please spread the word. It is Food Allergy Awareness Week and these kids and their families don't need to suffer. This is a rare type of reaction to food, and most of the medical community are not aware of it, or don't clearly understand all the symptoms.
If you ever asked how you could help or if you know and love Sarah, please repost this, like this or whatever....after all, I did just tell you that I peed my bed until fifth grade. :)