After many quite frankly stupid comments about allergies being shared across social media in the past few weeks, it's time to address them!
It’s been a time of pondering over the past few weeks, and this article was originally written for Foods Matter.
So much has happened in the past year, and it’s only now, when things quieten down after the mad rush of the new school term and the festive season that you get to reflect on everything.
There are few things that rile me in life, I’m fairly easy going, and I don’t let things annoy me, although if you listen to the hubby, he’ll most likely say there’s quite a lot at the moment as
I’ve been juggling working with the summer holidays which is never easy!
I thought I’d ask friends and family what riles them, and they confirmed the fairly obvious things can wind them up to the point of absolute irritation:
- Not being able to find your favourite outfit for work, then remembering too late that you stuck it in the wash last night so it would be dry and ready for today….. if you’d remembered to get it out of the washing machine and hang it up – epic fail!!
- Going to make the packed lunch for your daughter because she ‘can’t’ eat the school lunch that day due to not liking what is on offer, then with a sinking feeling, realising that your hubby who is on earlies has pilfered the last of the bread and there’s bugger all else in the house that you can use as a substitute!
- Trying to print off ‘urgent’ paperwork for the meeting you’re trying to get to, and realising too late that the broadband is down in the village and you’d have more luck with a chocolate teapot than being able to download the info you need!
- Inconsiderate drivers – you know the ones I mean! The lane hoggers who steadfastly refuse to move out the way, no matter how much you yell at them, when you’re already running late for an appointment, and the kids have wound you up beyond belief, and it’s not even 9am yet!
I can totally see what they mean, and even found myself nodding along to some of them, the universe can be totally against you some mornings. Who am I kidding, that’s most mornings in most households, right?!
So, imagine, with all that going on, you then have to deal with quite frankly, occasional utter stupidity when it comes to allergies.
Let’s see what you think after this!
I asked a whole load of my allergy friends what riles them the most when it comes to dealing with allergies.
Take any allergy, any one you like, dairy, nut, tomato, strawberry, gluten, wheat…..any of those will do, or even all of them (if you’re Callum):
- ‘It’s only a little bit, it won’t hurt’ – enough to make any allergy parents blood boil! I’ll just go sprinkle some arsenic on your cupcake, it won’t hurt, right? Rage!!
- ‘They won’t mind if the others eat do they?’ – ok, I’ll give everyone else a fat chunk of cake, and not offer you any – does that sound fair?
- ‘Isn’t your mummy being mean, not letting you have a bit’ – yep, because we’d much rather watch our child stop breathing. Physical behaviour is not acceptable, but are there certain circumstances (such as this) where it wouldn’t be so frowned upon to slap them round the face with a kipper?
- Giving said child ‘a little bit anyway, because it doesn’t really hurt, does it!’ – said child then spends the entire night puking, screaming, writhing in agony, itchy, sore, breaking out in hives, and you’re sat there analysing the day in such a way you’d put the FBI to shame. They’d hire us on the spot when they realise how good our skills are!
- Any/ all ‘freefrom’ stuff costing so much more than ‘normal’ stuff and those without allergies raiding the cupboard and eating the safe supplies, even though they have a full stock of non safe supplies
- ‘Free-from’ bread – some of the stuff on the market just disintegrates the second you introduce any form of anything to it. It’s like it sees a knife and totally freaks out! Crumbs don’t make a bloody sandwich do they!
- Wine, the one saviour in an allergy parent’s world, can contain milk and egg! How is this even possible?! Trust me, when you’re breastfeeding, and you’ve been looking forward to a glass of wine after a long hard day dealing with allergies, the worst possible thing that can happen is to pour yourself a glass, idly start scanning the label because you’re now conditioned to do this to everything, and then feel the sense of horror come over you when you realise you’ve consumed contraband! Wine and milk/egg…. It doesn’t even sound right does it!
- Having a shower with your favourite shower gel/ soap/ shampoo, and realising it contains at least 2 ingredients that are now unsafe – ah bugger!
- How about makeup?! Yep, there’s a growing trend of using allergens in makeup, thus making allergy mums even more vigilant than normal
- Getting used to certain foods being safe, and then finding out that production methods have changed and the foods are no longer safe. Then comes the problem of explaining to a distraught child that their favourite food can’t be eaten any more and feeling like the worst parent in the world in the process.
Then, you read back through the list you’ve just typed and wonder how the hell you get through each day!
This is how I used to feel on a daily basis – totally overwhelmed!
Thankfully, the allergy world is constantly evolving, slowly improving each year and more and more businesses are being created to offer as much support as possible to those dealing with allergies.
The past 5 years alone have shown how much of a transformation there has been, with new products beginning to dominate the supermarkets, legislation coming into force to protect allergy sufferers when eating out, and the Free From Food Awards celebrating 10 years in business!
Things are definitely easier in terms of living with allergies, but there is still a long way to go!
So I ask you, would you agree with the list? Would you add anything? How do you think the allergy world could still improve?