I finally have a better understanding of my daughter’s dilemma

What I learned from failing at the lesson I was supposed to teach my child

Danita LaShelle Jones avatar

by Danita LaShelle Jones |

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To promote better health, the organization I work for is releasing a series of fitness and cooking shows to help people restart or jump-start their healthy life journeys. During a staff meeting, I was excited to receive the assignment of taking over logistics for the cooking portion of the online show. I was elated when I found out I had to appear on camera to help the designated chefs explain healthy recipes quickly!

As a self-proclaimed foodie and a fan of the chefs scheduled to appear on the show, I couldn’t believe I was getting paid to do what I loved: organizing logistics, cooking, and eating.

On the first day of shooting, my excitement bubbled over at “kid in a candy store” levels. We were taping seven segments of cooking demonstrations, and the studio already smelled delicious.

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After each amazing segment, while we reset for the following recipe, the crew and I would finish an entire serving of whatever the chef had demonstrated.

At the end of our tapings, I had finished the equivalent of a seven-course meal in less than two hours.

Was it delicious? Yes.

Was I miserable? Also, yes.

There was way too much food in a short amount of time. By the time I arrived home, I didn’t want dinner. I just wanted to curl up in bed. Even while we were taping, I kept telling myself not to continue eating after the cut, no matter how healthy the dish was. Unfortunately, my willpower to do so was nonexistent.

As I stared at the ceiling, not wanting to see another piece of food, I suddenly realized the lesson I was learning.

Finding a way to relate to my daughter

Our daughter, whom we lovingly refer to as Ladybug, was diagnosed with hereditary angioedema (HAE) in 2021, and we grappled with managing the disease. By the middle of last year, we had a good handle on administering her preventive and emergency medications and navigating doctor appointments and occasional hospital visits.

However, when Ladybug was cast in two school productions with vigorous rehearsal and performance schedules last autumn, it led to multiple flare-ups and trips to the hospital. Her doctor gave us a great suggestion: Our daughter needed to pick and choose which performances and rehearsals to participate in. It was OK to refrain from engaging in every single rehearsal and performance.

In a previous column, I mentioned that this suggestion didn’t go over well with Ladybug, and we’re still figuring out how to find the best of both worlds. We still haven’t succeeded. Most recently, she had a series of flares that occurred because she was overdoing it at school.

Dancing makes her feel amazing. She loves the rehearsals, the preparation, the costumes, and the makeup. Although I kept explaining that overexerting herself leads to how bad she’ll feel later, she didn’t understand. And when my husband and I would talk with her teacher and pull her from a rehearsal, her tears were heartbreaking. Our 14-year-old couldn’t comprehend that what felt good now would make her feel bad later if she did too much of it.

And up until this week, I had no idea how she actually felt.

At 43 years old, I knew full well that I didn’t need to eat a whole serving of food after every segment, but I did. I failed at the very lesson we were supposed to be teaching our daughter.

I still have no idea how to navigate this predicament without Ladybug feeling left out or isolated. And honestly, with cooking segment tapings scheduled for every day next week, I can’t confidently say that I’ve learned my lesson, either. As hilarious as that may sound, it gives me a better understanding of how our daughter feels. And no matter how brief or drastically different, she and I are on this weird little journey together.


Note: Angioedema News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Angioedema News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to angioedema.

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