Living with Food Allergies

If you’re a regular reader, you know my middle child has severe food allergies. It has been an exhausting effort, at times, to keep up a positive outlook on this. I often think if she had been diagnosed with a medical condition that sounded more impressive, it would be easier for people to feel compassion.

Don’t get me wrong. Most people are kind and do understand. It’s just those times, when I hear grumblings from parents who are ticked off their child can’t eat their favorite snack in school or bring in birthday cupcakes to the classroom because of those kids with food allergies. Or when I see the flash of annoyance streak across a person’s face when I ask about the ingredients in a food or inquire about cross-contamination. Or when people who know about my child’s severe food allergies get upset with me because I don’t go to their homes. What they don’t get, even though I explain it to them, is I don’t go to their homes because they always have every dangerous food allergen in every possible form cooking, baking, frying all around my child. My child ends up needing medication to relieve the itchiness, hives and asthma.

All these little actions, even though I know aren’t meant to be malicious in anyway, render me weak and anxious, hopeless of a normal life for my child. And when I think about a post I read back in April, I am sickened. I weep for the difficulty and bullying my child may experience as she grows older. To think this is all because of FOOD!

You know I’m all about self-confidence, and right now, my incredible child is a tower of strength. There is no doubt in my mind that she will be tested over the years and need all her courage and strength to overcome negative attitudes.

I urge you to take five minutes to watch these sweet children talk about their food allergies. Watch their beautiful faces. Look in their eyes. Listen to what they have to say. Please. It would mean the world to me. Thank you.

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Vivian Lee Mahoney

Consider yourself warned: I write books about rebels. I'm also a postergirlz for readergirlz, a literary advisory group for teens. Who knew going back to the teenage years would be so rewarding?

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