Living with Food Allergies is a continuous struggle and an emotional journey. Early on I had thought that with time it would become easier, but I was wrong. I did become more effective and practical in dealing with it, but it just didn’t get any easier. Some people get it, a lot of people don’t. It’s frustrating, but there are those friends and family who do get it, and they become the light in this journey.
Most people aren’t aware of the severity of Food Allergies. They’re missing the “life-threatening” part of it. It’s difficult to comprehend that food that most of us eat and enjoy may be harmful to others. Harmful extends from an upset stomach all the way to death. Let’s draw the line between Food Allergies and Food Intolerance are they should not be confused; in fact, they are completely different. Food Allergy is when the body’s immune system sees a certain food as a threat and causes a reaction whereas Food Intolerance is when the body has trouble digesting food and is non-fatal.
It’s frustrating when people take Food Allergies lightly. I can’t blame them for not knowing how serious it is – I had no idea what Food Allergy was before embarking on this journey. But it frustrates me even more when people don’t actively listen when I try to explain what Food Allergies are, and if they do listen, they think I am exaggerating. Why would I do that? Why would I bluntly tell you that my son’s life may come to an end if he accidentally eats the food that he is allergic to? Do you really think it’s easy for me to vocalize these words? This is a serious issue and I am seriously being honest about it. Yet, some still don’t get it!
I don’t want sympathy, I don’t want to be labelled as the “overprotective” mom, but I do want people to become more aware of Food Allergies. I want to create and cultivate a community to make our home a safe and fulfilling place for me and my child, and for those living with Food Allergies. The quality of life of my son may be seriously impaired and the impact also extends to his parents and family as we all have to be vigilant to protect him from the foods to which he is allergic to. No drama here; serious life-threatening condition.
Take a moment to actively listen, understand, empathize, spread the word, educate yourself and pay attention. You’ve already taken the first step by reading or sharing this piece.
The journey of living with Food Allergies is a tough one, but it can be made better with more awareness and communication.