Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Growing Up With Anaphylaxis

I am severely allergic to dairy (not just lactose), eggs, nuts and shellfish. This has caused various problems throughout my life, the obvious being strong allergic reactions to these foods, most commonly in foreign countries where
I’ve had no choice but to try new foods because there certainly isn’t a Tesco round the corner. However I can’t complain because my allergies have provided countless humorous conversations between friends on the various ways they could smuggle milk into my food to kill me or get me out of a particularly taxing class and I’m more sure than I am of the Earth being round that I would be clinically obese by now if I were able to eat products like Cadbury’s chocolate or Domino’s pizza (I’d probably be as round as the Earth in fact).

Luckily for me the vegan fad as I like to call it, serves its purpose well for me, with more food products than ever filling our supermarket shelves, because if they do not contain nuts I don’t have to worry about being allergic to them, as dairy, egg and shellfish are the forbidden fruits of veganism you might say. Although I can in no way claim to be vegan, black pudding, the most vulgar and arguably the most humanisticly wrong food existent being my favourite. Let’s not forget bacon either.

I have to say, my mum has faced most of the difficulties alone, managing my diet with scrutiny, explaining to worried parents of playdates when I was young that there was to be no biscuits given or meals cooked (except my best friend’s mum who she trusted with my life). They have always been a route cause of anxiety for her, organisational skills being tested in order to eat out or go on holiday without incident.

The main challenges I face with allergies is needing to carry two epipens on my person at all times (two in case one doesn’t work) and feeling uncomfortable sitting without food with a group of friends in a restaurant because I can’t eat there, or even worse, having brought my own meal with me and needing to explain to the waiter why I would like a plate even though I’m not eating their food. This can bring the beetroot out in my cheeks faster than falling face first on a pile of dog sh*t in front of Zac Efron. You sometimes have to be very adamant with strangers wanting you to taste things that there is no way on hell I’m putting that in my mouth, risking a hospital visit, just to satisfy your need for praise on your cooking.
Image result for epipens
The contents of my handbag, along with an asthmatic inhaler. Yep....I'm a sorry excuse for a human being

 But why is this the case? It’s not my fault I can’t digest dairy. Nor is it my fault that other people may feel uncomfortable cutting chocolate cake and accidentally offering me a piece. Is it possibly the fact this detail about myself singles me out from majority and I’m scared people might think I’m weird? I mean I am weird but for completely different reasons. Possibly it's the idea that my allergies will immediately become my identifiable character among groups, forever labelled. So if you find yourself in the same situation, let me know by dropping me an email and we can be weirdos together.

Belles xx

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