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Gabby’s Holiday Story

This was Gabby’s 3rd year celebrating Halloween after her EoE diagnosis. Year 1 was extremely difficult for her despite all our efforts to make it enjoyable. Therefore, year 2 she decided that she wanted to start a new tradition of going to the movies instead of trick-or-treating and that worked out pretty well. This year things didn’t start out as smoothly. Gabby is now 11 1/2 years old and there weren’t any movies out in the theatre that she wanted to see. My husband decided that we should go to the Great Jack-o-Lantern Blaze event. The days leading up to Halloween Gabby was excited about the idea but started thinking that she wanted to go trick-or-treating as well. She was conflicted. She knew she wanted to walk around and see other people in costume, she knew she wanted to go get candy, but she also knew that she couldn’t eat most of what she would get.

I left the decision to her. I bought her many of her favorite treats to switch with the ones she would get while trick-or-treating. She was emotional all day, trying to decide what she wanted to do. Eventually, while eating dinner she decided she wanted to go out and trick-or-treat. She was excited! I, on the other hand, was nervous.

We went to 2 houses, both of which gave her chocolate (her favorite). Her smile disappeared and she softly said, “let’s go home.” She cried and went down to the basement to be by herself. We let her watch tv, her older sister shared a stuffed animal with her and I gave her Enjoy Life chocolate and her mood slowly changed.

Around 7:45 PM we went to the “Blaze”event. This is an outdoor trail with thousands of beautifully carved pumpkins and music to set the mood. We saw dragons and dinosaurs, spiders and wedding cakes (where people actually propose to one another) and even the Statue of Liberty. The event was amazing and Gabby was delighted. She forgot about the candy and just enjoyed having fun with her family.

Although it was a school night and now 11PM, I let her watch The Nightmare Before Christmas with her sister and she ended her evening with a smile on her face. This disease has forever changed our lives but we fight everyday to change our traditions so that Gabby can be a “normal” child with a normal life. Some days it’s harder than others, especially during the holidays.

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