I want to talk about food allergies...
But every time I sit down to write about food allergies I find myself with too many thoughts and emotions making it hard to make sense or make a point. So I'm just going to go back to what I wanted to do initially express myself, relate to whoever you are out there without trying to make a point.
Almost four years ago our journey with food allergies started when my son was six months old when he had an anaphylactic reaction after being fed a little homemade soup with wheat flour. Since then we have met many with food allergies, but not one that has the same food allergies as my son. That's one thing about food allergies, even when you've found others that can relate, you're still alone. I guess that can be said about anything though, it's always your experience with it.
Our first year with food allergies I used to look forward to relating with someone, hoping to meet someone, wanting so much to spread awareness, getting excited to meet someone that can relate with us somehow... But now I don't want to run into anyone, I don't want to talk about it at all really. After the ignorant responses, the know-it-all answers/suggestions, and the one too many "I have allergies too" responses I'm all drained. My frustration isn't all with these people that I've come across, it all goes back to my love for food allergies.
Food allergies makes me upset, makes me sad, scared, mad..the emotions are endless. Anyone with food allergies understands that, no matter how severe or subtle your food allergies are, you get it.
Not a day goes by without all these emotions and more making any little moment challenging.
As I type, I sense a vent coming along so I'll focus on that...
I understand there are many different kind of allergies, different level of sensitivities but I've heard far too many say they have allergies to x, y, and z and then eat it right infront of me. When asked, or reminded of what they had just told me, they say "oh I just itch a little sometimes." Then there's the moms that really seem to want to relate to me having a son with severe food allergies. "Oh yeah my son can't eat aNyThInG either..." then bring out all the junk they bought from the store to give to their child walking around covered in cake. Really?!? At moments like this I just want to take my family and live under a rock, it's probably safer there. 0_o
I rather meet someone that knows nothing about food allergies than to meet these people, or the ones that have met/talked to these people. They're the reasons why people don't take my sons food allergies seriously. His is life threatening, no he can't just taste some, and no when I say life threatening I mean it.
Oh and there are those lovely people that try to tell you that you are sheltering your child by not letting them live their life, like allowing them to go to daycare/school. "He should learn to protect himself and learn what he is allergic to early in life, besides most schools have peanut free tables" they say! Note the "peanut free" part of that sentence. Most people seem to think food allergies=peanut/nut allergies. That may be the most common allergen or most known but it isn't the only.
I respect every one of you that has food allergies, I do, even if you just get a little rash or itch or tingle, but state that to anyone you may talk to about food allergies. You saying "I'm allergic to dairy" and then drinking it or even have it baked into foods, makes it seem like that's the way it is for everyone with a dairy allergy. You might think who cares, but please educate those around us so we spread awareness of food allergies and help everyone with food allergies safe. My son has a dairy allergy amongst many others, and can't even touch a drop without getting a serious reaction. See what I'm saying?
It's unpleasant no matter the severity. But people need to know/learn that they are different kinds of foods people are allergic to as well as different level of sensitivities. Everyone reacts differently to different foods. Treat every person you meet with a food allergy different from the last. Know that every case is different from the last.