Got an interesting email today from Allergic Living Magazine, calling for submissions of stories for people with families who just don’t comprehend the severity of some food allergies, down to simple stubborn refusal to cater to the needs of food-allergic relatives.
From: Allergic Living magazine <Allergic_Living_magazine@mail.vresp.com>
Sent: Fri, September 24, 2010 8:33:04 AM
Subject: Allergies and family feuds
When Family Doesn’t “Get” Food Allergies
Dear Allergic Living reader,
Do you dread visiting your parents because they don’t take the allergy precautions you or your child require? Maybe you have a sister who knows you have a shellfish allergy but insists on serving shrimp? Perhaps your mother-in-law refuses to stop putting out bowls of nuts, even though her grandchild is allergic?
Or have you finally figured out a way to get through to a close relative, and now it’s all smooth sailing?
Allergic Living magazine is researching a feature article for its coming Winter issue on dealing with relatives who fail to grasp the seriousness of allergies or celiac disease. Writer Carolyn Black will be speaking to experts about solutions to help open the lines of communication.
But first, she wants to hear the stories of people’s experiences with family. We commonly hear of allergy feuding, but we want to try to understand why it occurs. If you have such a story, please e-mail Carolyn directly with a brief summary of it at firstname.lastname@example.org. If she can use your story, Carolyn will contact you.
Since this can be a delicate subject, Allergic Living can protect people’s identities where necessary. Thanks in advance for helping us with an important article.
The Editors at Allergic Living
I’ll have to think about my own stories. I generally don’t expect family picnics to be shellfish free, but I’m very picky about what I eat at any informal (or formal) gathering. For my own internal mental issues, I have to be able to visually identify all the ingredients before I put it on my plate. I also generally use the wife as my official taste-tester. Do those mini wraps contain crab? Does that salad have shrimp? Ha ha.
I’m interested to see the follow-up to this, as dealing with people in general in regards to a severe allergy is difficult enough. I can’t imagine not having familial support.
I have run into people thought that insist you just need to “eat it a little bit at a time”, suffer the reactions, and “build a tolerance”. While this may work for some less severe reactions… it’s certainly not advisable in all cases. I’m thankful that I’m not related to these people.