Monday, February 23, 2009

A Bad Night Last Night

I think that every writer goes through dry periods, sometimes called writer’s block. I guess I qualify as a writer now since I’ve had difficulty thinking of something to write lately. But I have a few backup ideas in my mind and now is the time to use one of them. QoE of Yarn and Chocolate tagged me a long time ago for the 6 things about me meme. I know all about the facebook controversy about the 25 things and narcissism and all that and really I’m not sure what I’d tell you about anyway but I’ve been meaning to tell you about one thing about me for a while.

I have a lot of allergies. They all showed up, the nasty things, when I became middle-aged. And they keep showing up. I’m allergic to a whole bunch of foods and some hay fever inducing things too. Oh, and some medications also. The family joke is that some day all I’m going to be able to eat is white rice. Most of the food allergies but not all of them are related to the latex allergy I have. So, let me tell you what it’s like to be me.

Last evening I must have eaten something that I was allergic to. I’ve gone over in my mind everything that I ate last night and nothing was on the known allergy list. That means probably another food is heading for the do not eat list. The prime suspect is chocolate. I might cry if that’s true. Some people who just don’t understand, think when a person who is allergic to a food tells them they can’t eat such and such “oh, they just don’t like that food and don’t want to eat it”. I like to eat cherries, cranberries, kiwi, bananas, avocado, pineapple, salmon, broccoli, artichokes. And I love chocolate. In fact sometimes I crave one of the foods on my do not eat list, but I don’t want to spend a night like I did last night for the short period of enjoyment I would have if I ate one of them. So, last night, it started with stomach cramps, like you normal people would get with the worst flu you’ve ever had and then it worked its way down to abdominal cramps. Basically I can feel the offending food working its way through my system. Sometimes I can sleep it off but it took a long time of tossing and turning and sweating and getting the chills last night for it to get through me. Not pleasant. I hope it’s not the chocolate.

And then there is the latex allergy. Food service workers and nurses are the most likely to have this one due to the latex gloves that we wore until we were sensitized to them. In my case it causes a red rash sort of like a bad sunburn but it itches and then hurts like the dickens if I scratch it. So, latex is a natural rubber product and is found in all kinds of things. Like elastic in your underwear or socks. This is one of my “justifications” for having a sock machine and knitting all my socks. I went on a tour of a sock factory in Indiana during the sock machine conference and noticed that the label on all their socks said that latex might be in the product. I mentioned that to the manager who was leading our group that maybe they could use a non latex elastic in their socks since there were many who were allergic to latex and his attitude was “that’s your problem, not mine”. Most medical establishments understand and take measures to make sure that latex is not a problem – in fact some have banned latex completely. Kudos for them! By the way balloons are made with latex. One popped balloon spreads powdered latex into the whole room. And elastic, I have a hard time finding underwear – most labels don’t even tell what the elastic is made out of. I found a brand I could wear and then they changed the way they’re made. So I’ll have to do some more searching and find another one. Or I could always make my underwear!! Not. And did you know that most condoms are made with latex. Heh. That’s all I’ll say about that one.

Some people actually could die if they eat the food their allergic to – my Aunt Ann is one of them. She’s got the type of allergy to nuts that closes up her throat and she can’t breathe. Some of the kids in school who have peanut allergies are that allergic – I pity their mothers. Can you imagine fearing for your child’s life every day when you send them to school?

I’ve met my share of people who are intolerant towards people who are allergic. Allergic people don’t choose to be that way, it’s not like we’re trying to make life difficult for you – it’s just that it’s difficult for us and we would like you to be understanding and helpful. Yes, you might not be able to have your favorite food when we’re a guest in your home in deference to the person that is allergic to it or you might not be able to wear your favorite perfume to some public places. And if you’re a manufacturer it sure would be nice if you would put accurate labels on things, not just generic labels that say the product might contain the allergen in order to cover your butt. But keep in mind that what you might be called on to do to defer to the allergic person is just for a short time – we live every day like this.

And just because what's a post without a picture - here's another picture of Abigail.


Miss T said...

I hope chocolate isn't the culprit! Fingers crossed for you.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm sorry to hear this! One of my worst fears is developing allergies to something I love to eat.

Anita said...

If it is chocolate that you're allergic to, you'll understand why I get upset every time I go somewhere and ALL the deserts are chocolate... Can't they (resaurants, etc) understand that some people don't eat chocolate. I know - different for me because I don't like chocolate, but still upsetting. I hope for your sake that you're not allergic to it. Love you Mom.