The Honest Truth

**disclaimer** This post is not written to be negative about my allergies. I am simply expressing my emotions for what I am feeling!

After 2 weeks of putting off writing a blog post, here I am! First off, I am so sorry for disappearing from my blog, my twitter and everything in between. I’ve had a pretty rough past 2 weeks and have had a pretty bad case of writers block. I like to think of myself as a fairly positive person. Through all my reactions, epipens, ambulance rides and everything else that comes with allergies, I think I’ve done a pretty good job at staying positive. Trust me, allergy awareness is still a big passion of mine. I’ve just lost my drive in the past week. I’m frustrated, tired and overwhelmed. It all began during the national anthem on Monday in my chemistry class when I began to feel the familiar symptoms of anaphylaxis. I’ve felt it all before so I knew when my lips were tingling, my heart was racing and my throat closing; an epipen was needed. I’m trying so hard to not be negative, but I guess not everyone can be positive 24/7. Eventually over time, giving yourself needles and being on the edge of life becomes both physically and mentally exhausting. I’m mad and angry and feeling sorry for myself. This is my senior year and when I should be focused on grades, prom and getting into university, I have the added stress of feeling sick daily and dodging allergens. With my schools new rule of food being allowed in hallways and other common areas, I have really struggled. Imagine everywhere you look, students eat on the floor, the benches, everywhere! Food on all surfaces! After my reaction Monday, I really did not want to return to school. During the days I took off to rest and heal, I contemplated whether to switch to online schooling… But I decided that this is my last year and I need to graduate with my friends and go to prom! I can’t let my allergies hold me back and I can’t hide from my fear. Switching to online schooling would be giving up on what I believe in. I am feeling better and starting to feel like myself again, but of course I have my ups and down. Allergies can be painful and frustrating but I just need to take them as a blessing to share my experiences and help others. (Now if I will just take my own advice)

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10 thoughts on “The Honest Truth

  1. Being allergic can be exhausting, so it’s okay to get fed up sometimes. Especially when you don’t have control over the situation. For me, it’s one thing if I’m out at a restaurant and the kitchen makes a mistake – if I get sick, it’s annoying, but I recognize that I chose to eat in a restaurant. But with airborne allergies, it’s a totally different story. It’s like, all I did was be somewhere — and in your case, that’s school, a place you’re perfectly entitled to be — and I got sick. That’s hard, and you’re stronger than you know for not breaking down every time it happens. Some moments you just feel the weight of this condition, that your life is in jeopardy all the time to a degree you can’t control. That’s a big thing to handle, and you’re brave for even trying to be positive about it. Remember that in the moments you’re feeling sad. Usually, you’re happy, and that’s a win. This strength is amazing, and it’s translatable to so many other avenues. It’s like, nothing can really phase you if you have airborne allergies, because you’re constantly happy to be alive, and you are triumphant in that feat — and it is a feat — more often than not.

    I know it’s not really my business at all, but I’d recommend against online schooling. Outside of school, there are still allergens, still people eating, and unless you want to live in a bubble, it’s something that you unfortunately have to get used to. At least at school there’s an accountability to someone for your safety. I often have issues at work because my coworkers eat lunch at their desks or we have lunch meetings, and I get sick. We started keeping the doors open, and I’ll usually leave if they order things I’m allergic to (salad, of all things, the staple of the American diet), and they take the trash out and soap up. It took about a year to get that “policy” in place, and even so, I get sick sometimes. Just today, I had to eat lunch outside. I took the opportunity to have a meeting with a coworker, but I’m not going to pretend it wasn’t annoying. Better than getting sick, though. I’m constantly nervous about touching surfaces at work, eating my own food, and attending meetings where they’ve been eating. But I can’t control other people’s habits or diets. I want to live a full life, have the career of my dreams, and not settle. And I am able to do it. Just with caution and antihistamines and an epi-pen, and I make do. And I try to stay positive, but I do cry sometimes. I do get pissy sometimes. And that’s ok. Because all the other times, I brush the dirt off my shoulder and carry on.

    The more you get used to people eating anywhere and everywhere, the easier it will be to know your own body, your own limits, and your own coping mechanisms. It took me a while to figure out the “leave the room when you see leafy greens coming and open all the doors for a while after and don’t eat within an hour of that scenario, if not more” trick. I’m sure there are elements I still need to add. But letting ME define me, and not my allergies define me is an accomplishment I can go to bed with at peace every night. And from reading your blog — your road trip, Disneyland, all the positive work you do — I know that you’re more than your allergies, and you should let them be annoyingly present while you shine and do your thing.

    • Thank you so much for this comment! I love reading that someone can relate to what I am going through and understand. I love what you said about airborne allergies and it being a feat. Having airborne allergies, I am amazed and happy to be alive. Thanks again for this beautiful comment, it definitely inspired me and made my day brighter! Keep in touch!

  2. Oh you poor thing!😔 I know exactly how you feel! Working within the school system myself, I know what you are dealing with. My allergy list has been growing😞. It use to be bananas, passion fruit, all melons were at top of list , the ones that hit immediately , both physical and airborne . But over the summer I can now add citrus , peaches and two weeks ago added tomatoes, then last week added fish an shellfish! Two weeks ago I ate some imitation crab which is made of cod- tongue tingled and swelled up, as did throat , face and eyes, nose running, dark circles under eyes and was really itchy all over. Coughed and gaged a few times. This was first reaction so I took two Benadryl and had pens ready! Since I was told fin fish and shell fish are different family’s therefore different proteins I should be ok!!!!! Well Sunday night a fixed shrimp an pasta…… Yep you guessed it… Full blown reaction, also a first reaction, much worse than the imitation crab, but was lucky I did not have to use pens…. Was a close call… Probably should have used pens on shrimp but didn’t ! I’m positive the next time I will have to use pens! Working with special needs kids has been my life goal, now….. I’m wondering if I need to quit my job????? In six weeks of school I’ve had a reaction just about every day …. All but 3!!!!! I have never been so exhausted in my life . Working in elementary there is fruit punch everywhere as well as bananas. Last week also was doing good till two kids came in late… Just a few minutes and I felt reaction set in, I immediately. Took two Benadryl …. Both kids had had banana muffins for breakfast at the daycare over an hour before !!!!!! Bananas is by far the worst….. Reaction is immediately and is get almost all symptoms😔. I have just finished all my classes for dual degree for teaching and have been making payments on the last classes as financial aide ran out😔 I have to pay them in full before doing internship! Now I don’t know if I can even finish that!!!! Having a reaction everyday is exhausting!!!! Sending prayers an long distance hugs… I know it’s hard but stay positive😄❤ Donnalou

    Sent from my iPhone

  3. It is exhausting to try to be positive all the time. I hope things look up for the rest of the year and you get to enjoy the experience of your last year in high school safely! Hang in there!

  4. I admire your honesty. Life is a roller coaster for all of us…add in food allergies and you have yourself one scary ride. I can only speak as a mother with two boys with multiple food allergies…who is riding her own food allergy roller coaster. There will be highs and lows…finding a balance, as cindk indicated in her comment, is key. It will help you keep sane in this crazy world of food allergies.

    I am inspired by your courage. You represent the next generation of food allergies…your mother must be so proud of you! Keep up the great work! 🙂

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