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Author Topic: Washington Post XX Files Essay: Scary, disappointing article  (Read 1895 times)


Offline AdminCM

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Washington Post XX Files Essay: Scary, disappointing article
« on: September 09, 2011, 02:22:05 PM »
Washington Post XX Files Essay: Scary, disappointing article

maeve Posted: 03/15/09 at 11:06 pm     

This first-person essay appeared in the Washington Post magazine this weekend. I have to say that I would be very disappointed if DD grew up to be so cavalier about her allergies--and really her well-being. I'd also hope that she'd find a love who would not have her allergens in their house.

Even though she's almost 8, I plan to have DD read the article. I handed it to her today and told her I want her to read it and not do what the woman in article does. (DD didn't finish the article because she wanted to return to watching iCarly.  ) 


Horrifying! "I don't want to be Allergy Girl" - how about being who you are and demonstrating that it doesn't, in fact, change who you ARE! 

  Posted: 03/16/09 at 01:24 pm       


THIS is why those of us that have our own food allergies simply must model good behavior for our kids....

Doesn't she know the risk she is running by trying to tough it out?


The people who really matter in your life 'get it' so that you don't NEED to hide.

Who else could ever be important enough to risk your life over??  I truly don't get that. 

Posted: 03/16/09 at 03:19 pm       


For those of us who've grown up without food allergies (or diagnosis, anyway), had mild allergies turn life-threatening, or gone from one to multiple food allergies, this is a hard habit to break.

I grew up hearing the adults around me dismiss severe allergic reactions--and flat-out refusal to touch or eat peanuts after I was six--as nothing but pickiness, and another couple years dismissing what happened to me when I came into contact with peanuts as "no big deal." I first saw an allergist when I was twenty, at the urging of my partner, who had looked up some of the symptoms I experienced after taking (and promptly spitting out) a swig of what turned out to be a peanut butter shake, drawn the connection to anaphylaxis, and kept at me until I had made an appointment. That allergist essentially handed me an epipen and sent me on my way.

For four more years, I never made the connection between LTFA and disability. Never saw self-advocacy as an option. Avoided the ER at all costs, even when I was gasping for breath. Was thoroughly and completely conditioned to see my allergies as *my* problem. Ate may-contains and took way, way more benadryl than I should have. Assumed when my I ate hummus and my throat started to close up that it must be from peanut cross-contamination, because I had no idea that it was possible to develop new allergies. Moved cross-country and didn't bother finding a new allergist.

And then I got a mouthful of peanut again, this time in candy form. Went to the ER. Had a nasty biphasic reaction. Found a new allergist. Learned that I was seriously allergic to garbanzos, and sunflower, and sesame. Got scared enough to do a lot of research on my own; lurked on a lot of forums (including this one). Found a great GP who helped me come up with a list of questions for my allergist, with whom I'm still not entirely comfortable asking questions or bringing things up on my own.

And I still fight the impulse to downplay and brush off reactions. I still take benadryl for things that should probably send me to the ER. And every reaction still involves sitting down and trying to calculate the severity of the reaction against that recently-quadrupled ER copay.

I don't think any of this is GOOD. I recognize that a lot of it is dangerously irresponsible, and the fact that I survived long enough to get an official diagnosis was about 90% luck. But it's really hard to shake that conditioning, and I think it's worth acknowledging that it's the reality a lot of LTFA adults live with. 
03/16/09 at 01:24 pm, CMdeux wrote:

The people who really matter in your life 'get it' so that you don't NEED to hide.