Unstuffing My Food Allergy Baggage

Some days are more difficult than others … especially when you live with food allergies. I don’t have food allergies myself, but my 4 year old son has multiple food allergies to dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts and chicken. It’s not my own physical allergy, but every hive, itch, epinephrine shot and ER visit that my son has is mine as well.

We lived through another food allergy milestone. My son had a scheduled baked egg challenge at his allergists office. I made the gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free chocolate muffins with 2 eggs that were baked for at least 30 minutes at 350F. We brought them in to the office, he ate a full muffin which was equivalent to 1/6th of an egg. It was going well. I was in disbelief, and even started to feel hopeful. The hope only lasted about 20 minutes or so. 20 minutes after he finished the muffin he started to sneeze. A few minutes after that there was a hive on his back, then there were many. His heart rate started to rise. Epinephrine was given. Baked egg challenge failed. This confirms the likelihood that he will outgrow his egg allergy is very slim. Milestone complete.

Lily Roth wrote a thought provoking piece called Food allergies suck on her blog, the Food Allergy Survival Guide. I completely agree that “It is important to unstuff our emotional baggage from time to time.”

Today is one of those days I just want to scream into a pillow. But instead, I will join Lily Roth and unstuff my food allergy baggage.

Lily’s top 20 reasons that food allergies suck are:

  1. They make my grocery bill 5x more expensive than it needs to be.
  2. They take away my freedom to eat out at restaurants and other people’s houses.
  3. They took away my chance to have a normal freshman year in a college dorm.
  4. They make dating and kissing tricky and potentially dangerous.
  5. They make handshakes super awkward and potentially dangerous.
  6. They make going on family vacations hard and super stressful on my parents.
  7. They make holding down a typical starter job like a waitress or food store clerk near impossible.
  8. I can’t just go to a party and drink from the vat of mystery punch. In fact, they make it so I can’t drink at all.
  9. They turn me from provider to patient–which I hate.
  10. I have to carry around my auvi-qs where ever I go–even if they don’t conveniently fit anywhere.
  11. Any place more than 25 minutes away from the hospital is off limits for travel.
  12. I have to get allergy shots…weekly.
  13. I feel like they make me a burden on my friends.
  14. They make it so I have to go to three different grocery stores just so I can get all the food I need.
  15. The medications they give me to combat anaphylaxis make me feel almost as crappy as the anaphylaxis itself…namely IV benadryl and epinephrine.
  16. They make it so any bite could be my last.
  17. They make me worry that one day my family will get the call that something happened to me.
  18. Because of my multiple life threatening food allergies, multiple people have told me that when I am ready to go, all I should do is go out to eat and order whatever I want and not give myself my auvi-q once I start reacting. (Let it be known that food allergies are NOT going to be what puts me 6 feet under)
  19. Because of them, I am currently in mile high debt to everyone who has ever helped/saved me during an anaphylactic reactions.
  20. The have caused my parents, friends and teachers to have to stab me.

My list of reasons that food allergies suck:

  1. All of the above.
  2. The fact that my son will likely feel any of the above at some point in his life.
  3. I am a powerless bystander when my child is having an allergic reaction.

With that, my food allergy baggage is officially unstuffed.

My son will likely have his egg allergy for the rest of his life, and I am okay with that. I have to be.

Onwards and upwards. Stay tuned for more HypeFoodie egg-free recipes.