Colette Romero on the Strategies Her Family Uses to Cope With EoE

Colette Romero, whose child has eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), describes some of the coping strategies her family uses to encourage her son to keep healthy.

Colette Romero, whose child has eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), describes some of the coping strategies her family uses to encourage her son, who is on a restricted diet, to keep healthy.

Transcript

Are there any particular coping mechanisms that help your family with eosinophilic esophagitis?

As a social worker, I really understand that the goals have to be intrinsic, and so I just try to motivate my son to make sure he's meeting his own goals. One of his major goals was to avoid the feeding tube and to be healthy and strong and just feel, you know, normal like all of his other friends. So a lot of his coping skills involve, one time he made—this was before we went into the feeding program—he actually made a vision board, which was really, really cool, and it was his own idea. Basically what it said was, “I have to eat this many calories and do this many shakes,” and it was to avoid the feeding tube. And so that was kind of like a daily reminder that he posted up in the house, and we would all just provide a lot of support and encouragement for that.

In terms of other coping skills, distraction while eating is a big one that helps kind of reduce the anxiety and reduce focusing on any discomfort. So we read a lot of books while eating. That's a daily thing. We also, every single meal, we still prompt and encourage, and so that's kind of a family thing. We also try to have meals that are not different than him. So basically, whenever I cook, I cook meals that we can all eat that are adherent to the elimination diet.