Stepping away from blogs about writing today.
Many of my friends know I have multiple food hypersensitivities. What does that mean? It means, if I eat one of the foods on my “don’t touch that” list, I get sick. Except for one food, they’re not “allergies” – my body doesn’t produce antihistamines, I just get sick. Really sick.
For instance, yesterday afternoon, I was heat up some pasta sauce for my husband. I dipped the tip of my little finger in to see if it was warm enough (it wasn’t). Without thinking, I licked my finger off. That’s all it took. The dip of my little finger and a moment of not-thinking. For that, I spent the rest of the night running to the bathroom with horrible gut cramps or trying desperately not to puke.
For the lick of the tip of my little finger.
And no, there are no medications I can take for this. It’s not an allergy (besides, I’m hypersensitive to the allergy meds too – can’t take them).
And it’s not something I “will grow out of” as a doctor once told me – it’s actually getting worse as I get older. I’m down to a handful of fruits and vegetables that are “safe” for me. I can’t go to a grocery store and pick up a box or bottle of something that has the word “spices” listed on the label because I have no idea what those “spice” are. Is it what sent me to the ER and landed me in the hospital in January? I don’t go out to eat except for a very few places and even then, I’m extremely careful what I order. I know the wait staff gets frustrated with me asking what’s in something, but I can’t just order anything I want. When I’m at your home for a meal, I’m not being rude when I ask what’s in something. And I don’t want your grandmother’s secret family recipe. I need to know the ingredients – not the recipe. Because I need to know if it’s safe for me to eat.
But the worst is people who think “just a little bit won’t hurt you”. You don’t get it. Just a little bit WILL hurt me. (Remember – little finger, dipped) People like me who have food allergies/hypersensitivities aren’t faking it. Trust me. I wish I could eat like a regular person. Yes, there are things we don’t like, just like everyone else. But a food allergy/insensitivity is not a dislike. If we eat it, our bodies react in a bad way to that food. A really bad way.
So please, be aware of friends or relatives who have these food issues. When they ask what’s in something, tell them – and don’t leave anything out. And don’t be insulted. We can’t help what’s going on with us. It’s an illness – but one that cannot be cured. So please…understand.