There is a list of 14 things proving you’re a peanut allergy mom floating around the Internet on Buzzfeed that was written by a member of the SunButter team (my favorite peanut butter alternative).
I relate to the article in most cases, but 1) I’m not a mom, and 2) I’ve more than a mere peanut allergy. This is a list from my point of view, let me know if I missed anything!
1. You have a pollen count app on your phone.
You pay attention to pollen counts almost religiously, because it helps you determine how sick you’re going to feel later, or even how bad your allergies will be.
2. You determine what to eat based on a rotation diet.
If you had a sandwich yesterday, you really shouldn’t eat bread, cheese, leftover/preserved meat, or anything inside mayo (milk/dairy, seasonings, etc.) for at least three days — but what else is there?
3. Going out to eat ruins everything.
Spontaneous or not, eating out messes up your usual routine of eating: Not only do you NOT know the exact possible contaminants of what’s on your plate, your waiter tells you they can “try their best, but can’t promise anything” — you’d have better luck eating non-allergy-free chocolate chips that “MAY CONTAIN” traces of nuts or tree nuts.
4. When you DO go out to eat, you take longer to find something.
Which is the lesser evil of everything else on this menu? What can I enjoy that I also like without making me regret ever having stepped foot in this restaurant? What item on here will not require me to ask the waiter a million questions and spend five minutes listing out the potential allergens I need to NOT show up on my plate, even if accidentally?
5. You know Pei Wei has a soft spot for those with allergies.
Somehow, they just understand (nut allergies, at least).
6. Chick-fil-A uses refined peanut oil, which, according to the FDA, is not allergenic, but you’re still cautious.
So you eat it with paranoia, and only sometimes, even though you’d like to eat it all the time.
7. You know the alternative names for basic ingredients by heart.
Lists? Those are for amateurs. You got this.
Speaking of, do you roll your eyes at the news when they discover so-and-so was this bad ingredient all along? They’re so late to the party. ;)
8. Speaking of labels, you can read those things quicker than you can text message.
(Because you’ve learned to scan them for things to look for, and somehow your brain has been trained to alert you of certain ingredients before you realize you’ve read it.)
9. You’d rather cook it at home yourself.
At least this way you know what ingredients are going into it, and you can make sure no cross-contamination occurs.
There’s also no ten-minute-menu-looking for you to go through.
10. Most days, you settle for something plain, like staying inside and watching movies, or eating a drained bowl of boiled noodles.
Er, I do, at least… I happen to like plain noodles!
Netflix subscription, anyone?
11. You have a love-hate relationship with your EpiPen.
Carry it, and chances of needing it are slim.
BUT IF YOU DON’T? OMG, THE FEAR OF DYING IS SO PRESENT AND CONSTANTLY ON YOUR MIND.
12. Doctors accuse you of refusing treatment.
You’re so allergic to certain things that they don’t believe you — sometimes they give you medications with allergens as inactive ingredients, think you’re exaggerating, and/or have outgrown them. When you insist on something else — and even suggest something else — they assume you’re part of some drug circle and/or just interested in a certain medication for an alternative reason.
I don’t know about YOU, but this is about 90% of my experience with doctors.
13. You know the annoyances food allergies bring.
14. You always have antihistamines in your possession.
And if you don’t, no fun for you.
Of course, there’s also the fact that others might worry more than you, or that you might not worry enough, etc… Are there any others?