My Family's Support
I have had my food allergies my whole life. When I was a baby, I was constantly crying because I was indirectly getting milk from my mom who was nursing me. The doctors didn’t know I was constantly reacting to milk, and it wasn’t until I was 9 months old that I was officially diagnosed with my milk food allergy. My parents learned everything there is to know about how to keep me safe with my food allergies from reading labels to using an Epi-Pen. But, they didn’t know that this was not the only allergy I had. When I was 3 years old, I vividly remember sitting on the couch in our family room and my dad was feeding me eggs. It was my first time having them and they tasted horrible to me. I don’t remember anything after this, but my parents tell me that they rushed me to the hospital and I was given the Epi-Pen for the first and only time in my whole life. When I got a little older, I was diagnosed with my last allergy- kiwi.
Since I have lived with food allergies my entire life, my family and I don’t know how to live any other way. My sisters wipe their spots at the table when they are finished having something I am allergic to and everyone scrubs their hands when they touch an allergen of mine. We decided when I was young that I wasn’t going to eat at restaurants unless it was specifically an allergen-friendly one. My family rarely goes out to eat and, when they do, they make sure that I am able to bring the same food they are going to have but in the allergen-free form.
There has never been a jug of dairy milk or a carton of eggs in my house. My family members gave up having those in our home to keep me safe. There are even little things we do without realizing like when we come home from school, my sisters know that their lunch bags are dirty and the first thing they do is go straight to the sink to empty their trash and then put their bags away in their designated spot.
I remember a couple of months ago when my milk and egg allergens went down just the slightest bit for the first time in years and my whole family celebrated with me. Even my grandparents were excited to hear this small news.
To sum it all up, my food allergies affect my whole family and I do not know what I would do without their support and willingness to give up things like going out to eat all the time or having eggs in the house. What I have written in this article is only a very, very small portion of everything my family does to keep me safe and I am so thankful for them!