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Food Allergy Chronicles: Don’t Be a Negative Nut

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What kind of allergy sufferer are you? Are you a negative nut? A shellfish crab? A dairy drama queen? Or just an overall allergic alarmist! My biggest issue with a large portion of the allergy community is that they ARE extremely negative. I’m not sure if people are purposely so negative, or if they think their dramatics are helping with recognition and awareness in some way.

I should preface all of this by saying my medical issues are much deeper than allergies so I have a different outlook on what “bad” looks like. Let’s ask ourselves some questions:

  • Do you always put “life threatening” in front of allergies?
  • Have you ever started an argument with family, friends or coworkers over their lunch?
  • Are you trying to remove peanuts from the planet?
  • Do you make such a fuss every time you go out to dinner that the entire restaurant knows you have a food allergy?

If you answered yes to just one of these questions, I’m sorry to be the one to tell you, you’re negative. You don’t have to always point out that allergies can kill you because the truth is – if you do your due diligence – your allergy won’t kill you. I’m a “the glass is refillabe or almost full type of person. I like to assume I’m going to live. Cancer is life threatening.

The entire world does not need to stop because you can’t eat things. I can’t eat wheat. My family and friends shouldn’t be banished into a doughnut free existence. I don’t argue and tell people that I work with that they can’t bring nuts to work. I work in a small gym with a mini fridge … we manage and so can you.

The peanuts, always with the peanuts! I agree, peanuts shouldn’t be on planes but myself, and the AAAA (American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology) as well as 90% of school nurses polled, say removing them from school is a bad idea. The real world is a place and you need to learn to live in it. Stop suggesting every other kid switch to Sunbutter. Would you switch to Welch’s grape juice because someone was allergic to the sulfites in wine …. probably not.

If you are nice to servers and treat them with respect, they will help you. If you talk down to them, and treat them poorly, they are less likely to do so. I’ve worked in restaurants for 10 years. You aren’t dealing with ignorant people. Speak calmly, be kind, everyone will benefit in the long run.

Do allergies suck? Yes. Can we all benefit from being more positive? Yes. I want kids to be ok with their allergies, to live long happy lives, to keep themselves safe. They will never be able to do that if all the adults around them are angry and bitter. Your glass is half full and if the water runs out it’s refillable.

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