I’m not the bubble girl….I just have allergies

nofoodforme

When I was growing up, allergies especially food allergies were not as common as they are today. There weren’t any fancy t-shirts to tell others that I was allergic to nuts, nor were there allergy cards that I could hand over to my server at a restaurant to alert them to my food allergies.

At my elementary school I was the girl with the allergies. I remember people asking me if I needed to live in a bubble like the bubble boy. Ummm, no I don’t. But the awareness and the education that is available today was not readily available like this 30 years ago.

I was diagnosed with my allergies starting at age two. First it was to all nuts. Tree nuts seemed to prove the most deadly, but all nuts including peanuts were off my radar. I was then diagnosed with a seed allergy which included all sesame seeds, poppy seeds, flax seeds etc. Fruit and vegetable seeds and mustard seeds were fine for me to eat. Then it was all fish and pickles. To date, I have outgrown my pickle allergy at age 11. Then my peanut allergy around age 27.

As long as I can remember I wore some sort of baggage carrying either my Epi Pen(s) and Benedryl and my health card. In the 90′s I wore the ever so awesome fluorescent fanny pack, which then morphed into the mini-backpack, then to be carried in a little zippered clutch and now in my diaper bag. At all times I will have these things on me as my “lifesaver”. There has only been one occasion where I should have used my Epi Pen but I was at camp and the doctor administered some IV medication into me so I was ok. Usually I just end up taking Benedryl immediately when I first feel the onset on my allergies, the medicine knocks me out for a few hours and when I wake up I’m lucky to say I feel back to normal.

In grade 7 I entered the French Speech contest. I decided to do my speech on Mort par les noix….or death by nuts. I guess it’s a little morbid of a topic for a 12 year old but when you have deathly allergies, death isn’t all that far away. I have always found it so bizarre that to survive I need food to eat, yet eating some food is what can ultimately (hopefully not) kill me.

I’ve been asked before what it’s like to grow up with allergies. To be honest, I don’t’ know differently. I can’t remember what my life was like without being allergic to foods. This is just my normal. I am use to telling people my allergies before I go to their homes for dinner, checking with a server at a restaurant when I order a meal and always checking the ingredients on the packages of foods I buy.

There have been times when I have become lax about asking and in the end it is me who has suffered the consequence of an allergic reaction. At a large food chain I ordered food with Sweet Onion dressing. Why would I think that is would be loaded with POPPY SEEDS?! So in the end I had allergic reaction and freaked The Hubster out! It was his first experience with me having an allergic reaction and he was petrified.

During my entire pregnancy with Princess Peach I was so worried that she too would have horrible food allergies. Not that it’s something horrible to deal with now, it’s just that life for her would be a little more complicated. I know as her mother I would find it easier to deal with as I understand how to deal with food allergies. We did visit an allergist as she was breaking out in random rashes on her face while eating. Luckily, as of now she is food allergy free!

If you are a parent with allergies how do you deal with it? If you are a parent of a child with allergies what has your experience been like?

 

Comments

  1. Lindy says:

    It’s about time that your fluorescent fanny pack made a comeback. You’d look so fashion forward/retro. I’ll wear one if you wear one. Also, I wonder if we competed against eachother in the French speaking contest. My topic was my father’s mid-life crises. xoxo to you and Princess Peach

    • mscmommylife says:

      Lindy, I just competed internally at my school. Didn’t win to go to the area competition! I should dig up some pics of me wearing my fluorescent fanny pack while I’m dressed head to do in fluorescent clothes- pretty stylish :)

  2. shaina says:

    My son is severely allergic to dairy. The impact of this continues to hit me like a ton of bricks every now and then. Things like Daycare and family dinners at Nana’s are out. What about birthday parties, Halloween, kindergarten!? It’s been very difficult. I am hoping he grows out of it but I’m not holding my breath. He’s also allergic to wheat and we’re not even going to try eggs, nuts, or fish until he’s much older. I may need a support group in two weeks when I go back to work as I don’t know how I will feel OK when I’m not the one with him, keeping him safe all day.

    • mscmommylife says:

      Shaina, I know as a mom my mother still to this day worries about my food allergies and is much more cautious than I am! Like me, E won’t know any different and grow up happy and healthy and his allergies will just be a part of him! I can’t imagine how freaked out you must be to start back at work in 2 weeks. Will he be going to daycare? You can buy him some awesome clothes and paraphernalia that alert people to his allergies without drawing tons of unwanted attention.

  3. My eldest daughter (24) is allergic to loads of things outside, plus a variety of animals, but thankfully no food allergies. This past Thanksgiving she took one for the team and went horseback riding with the family since her brother and sister had never been. Well the poor girl, many allergy meds later, rash on the neck, half her face numb, was still happy she was able to go with the family, but next time she will wave from afar and I will support her fully.

    • mscmommylife says:

      Wow!Poor girl. I’m also allergic to things outside and shedding animals! Does she take any medication? I was taking a daily prescription which helped a lot!

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