I feel like when you read about food allergies, it is always from the Mom’s perspective of having a kid with food allergies. Never from the person with the anaphylactic food allergies. It seems like there are far more children than adults. So today I am going to give you my perspective on living with food allergies.
First, I am lucky enough to have adult onset food allergies. And I was dumb enough to keep eating the food that I was allergic to.. thinking just an itchy mouth would always be just an itchy mouth. Not true. I know what everything tastes like that I can’t eat anymore, and I know how severely I react. I react huge anymore with full anaphylaxis. Basically I kept eating what I wasn’t supposed to, until my body couldn’t handle it anymore. So dumb. But this is where I am at.
Having an anaphylactic reaction is always scary. And using an epi-pen is scary too. I always second guess if it is that bad, and then it is all the sudden really bad. This happened on Saturday.. and thanks to a quick acting son, he hit me with my epi-pen as we were flying down the road to the hospital. But I lived.. obviously.. thanks to great doctors and my son being a rockstar, and Randy driving crazy fast.
But I will tell you the anxiety I have with food is back.. in full force. I am diligent, I read labels, I tell wait staff, I don’t eat things if I am not sure, I am careful. But I ate something that had always been safe, not knowing that it had been in the same marinade as something with almonds. Lesson learned… check more. So as I walked through Costco yesterday looking at food.. all I saw were things I couldn’t eat. And there is this weird fear, because everywhere I look, I am like if I eat that, my breathing ends. It isn’t an itchy mouth like I used to get, it is an airway swelling, lungs closing reaction. And so food and me.. we are on weird terms.
en think I am this health crazed eater.. when in fact I just don’t want to die. PS Did you know Costco, at least here isn’t carrying their Namaste Gluten Free Flour Mix? I almost cried, they have almond flour instead. Everywhere I looked yesterday I saw more of those stupid ALMONDS!! I was like get away from me. (PS it was almonds that caused my reaction on Saturday.) I sometimes hate telling people my food allergies.. because there are a lot of them. People have asked if it is diced up small and I can’t see it, if it’s okay to eat. Umm, no. Food allergies are there, regardless of the size.
I am always anxious when people make food for me to eat. Because, they don’t always know that powdered sugar has corn starch, so do some shredded cheese, along with baking powder. People don’t always read the ingredients, in the ingredient. Soy proteins are in some spice mixes, and soy is in almost all chocolate. A lot of sausage has corn syrup, or a soy protein. It just isn’t that simple. I have friends who make me food, and they will text pictures of every single ingredient to make sure it is safe. I sometimes question their desire to make me food.. and be my friend? High maintenance much?
Friends and family know, that when we are going out to dinner, they get a list of places I can eat.. and they can pick from there. Sorry. But I am so grateful that people are so accommodating, and still invite me. But sometimes I am super embarrassed, especially if someone is new and we are ordering with my long list of allergies. I am like, I am so sorry. But it is, what it is.
Today I picked up my new epi-pens, with a new trainer. Teaching my son how to use that trainer, and letting him play with it, saved my life. He was quick to use it, and knew exactly what to do. He deserve a shiny gold star. If you are ever interested in learning, I will happily show you. I think I could be the poster child for epi-pens.. don’t you think they should put me in an ad?! HAHA!