Warning: session_start() [function.session-start]: Cannot send session cookie - headers already sent by (output started at /home/chris/public_html/wp-includes/version.php:10) in /home/chris/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-automatic-upgrade/wordpress-automatic-upgrade.php on line 119

Warning: session_start() [function.session-start]: Cannot send session cache limiter - headers already sent (output started at /home/chris/public_html/wp-includes/version.php:10) in /home/chris/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-automatic-upgrade/wordpress-automatic-upgrade.php on line 119
Living with Allergies

Living with Allergies

November 20, 2007

It hides everywhere

I have been asked via email how the whole new diet thing is going. And for the most part it is okay. It is easy to cook at my own house. I feel comfortable because I read labels and trust myself not to cook something that will kill me.

But going out to eat at a restaurant causes me untold amounts of stress. And even eating at the houses of other people who do not deal with food allergies is hard.

For example these cans of broth. How many people who have no allergies would think that they needed to look for eggs or wheat on a can of broth? I never would have. I had sent my husband to the store to buy broth for a recipe and even he did not think to read the labels.

Death in a Can

Death in a can.

This Thanksgiving we are going to my sister-in-law’s house. And while I love her and her dried out turkey, she is not the type to be vigilant. And so I will probably only eat the salad that I have been asked to bring. And honestly that is completely fine with me. I don’t expect people to cater to my allergen free diet at all. I am into the holiday for the family togetherness and visiting. But everyone else makes a big deal over it.

And people will insist that whatever they brought is safe for me to eat. Until pressed for exact ingredients when it will become clear that they did use something I can’t eat. Or they will say that just a little bit won’t hurt. Um, yes actually it will.

This past weekend I ate out at a restaurant. I took two bites of my steak and had an allergic reaction. I had told them about my allergies. They insisted that it would be fine. And since it was a large chain restaurant I believed them.

Obviously I didn’t die since I am here typing this now, but I had to take Benadryl, my blood pressure went through the roof, my chest tightened up, I had stomach cramps, and I felt really awful for two days.

So if you invite me over and I bring food or don’t want to eat yours, don’t be offended. It’s nothing personal.

Posted by Chris @ 10:58 am  

RSS feed for comments on this post.

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:
http://www.notesfromthetrenches.com/2007/11/20/living-with-allergies/trackback/


Comments

  1. Wendy says:

    You can’t even have turkey? That would suck. I live for meat.

    Sorry you have to be so viligant, but at least you are here and educating the masses.

    Have a happy wheat, egg, soy, milk free Thanksgiving.

  2. xenia kathryn says:

    My SIL has severe celiac’s, and has been diagnosed for over a year. Since she cleared out all of her gluten-containing food items when she was diagnosed, and consequently gave all of these food items to me, I have much clearer idea of what she really cannot eat. It made me more sympathetic to see that yes, she really can’t have store-bought garlic salt or chili powder (among MANY other things)
    My MIL made a “rice dish” for her to eat, and it contained canned tomatoes with “natural flavorings”, which is an instant no-go for my SIL. MIL was a bit miffed that she wouldn’t eat it.
    Having severe food allergies or diet restrictions is hard enough. I don’t know why people always feel the need to push their food on others. The one time I cooked for my SIL, I had her over to inspect all of the ingredients first and I double-washed my dishes and food-prep items to keep remnants of gluten out of it. It was work, but it was worth it to make her feel accommodated for.
    Good luck with Thanksgiving and sorry about that steak incident!

  3. Chris says:

    Wendy, I can have turkey if I am the one to cook it or know for a fact that the person didn’t rub butter or some kind of dressing that contains gluten and eggs on it.

  4. jm says:

    You would think, since they can make all kinds of swipe tests for explosive powder and lead, that someone would develop an easy, disposable test for wheat, gluten, dairy, egg, etc. Something that looks like a toothpick that you can jab into the food and, if it turns red or blue or whatever, yep. Don’t eat it.

    It would take some of the anxiety out of eating at other peoples’ houses. Especially people who take it personally if you won’t try their cheese rolled in egg and bread crumbs and fried in gluten. Even after you have told them that you cannot eat those things. Just jab your little testing toothpick in it, it turns green, hold it up in front of you and say, “Pure poison. According to this test, anyway.”

    When I was on MAOIs, there were lots of things that I couldn’t eat. I actually had to give out a list to my family of what I COULD eat because they could never remember what I couldn’t eat. I ended up getting a medical ID bracelet (a pretty one, from Lauren’s Hope) with my meds info on it just so I could shake it at people who pressed me to eat something that I said that I couldn’t. I didn’t officially need a med ID, but it seemed to shut everyone up very quickly.

  5. Ashley says:

    Im so sorry that you have to deal with all that. I couldn’t even imagine.

  6. jm says:

    Yup, here was the medical ID bracelet that I had. Seemed to really drive it home that what I was experiencing was OFFICIAL enough to get them to stop pestering me. It had the names of the meds on the back and the words “Food Restrictions due to MAOI”.

    http://www.laurenshope.com/product.aspx?id=466&cat_id=7

  7. Sarah L. says:

    I think you hit on a broader issue, the “oh, just have a little bite” people. They constantly hound people who are known dieters, or vegetarians, or on low salt diets, or are just plain picky. I figure that one of the perks of being an adult is that, no, I don’t have to try that. Not even one bite!

  8. Sarah says:

    I know what you mean. I have Crohn’s disease and while my diet isn’t ALWAYS as restricted as yours is now, it is regularly pretty difficult to cater to. So, I always bring food to other peoples’ homes when we go for dinner. I find out what they’re having and make something similar for myself so that it doesn’t stand out as much and for the most part people seem to appreciate that I’ve taken the load off their back and at least made something that should be about the equivalent of what they’re having. The only times I don’t have to worry about my food is when I have a meal with my sisters, my parents, or my sister-in-law. My brothers-in-law seem determined to kill me so I don’t trust their selections anymore, but my sister-in-law calls to verify the ingredients of EVERYTHING and runs through the preparation with me so that I know the food is going to be alright.

    As for eating out? I just don’t do it. A little bit will kill me and I learned long ago that it just isn’t worth the strife. Even when there are no adverse side effects, I practically die of worry.

    Good luck. I know it’s a difficult adjustment to make and it never gets any easier, but you seem to be doing a great job!

  9. Crisanne says:

    Come on over and bring your own food any time you want! It’s a bit of a drive, though. I hope your extended family is understanding this year.

  10. fidget says:

    I hear take that other then the blackout it causes, phergyn (sp?) is very effective for dealing with accidental death for dinner. I also chug lemon lime gatorade and gas X which seems to get the stomach cramping to pass sooner then later.

    I rarely eat at others homes. Even if they are vigilant about what ingredients they use, most of their utensils and pans are cross contaminated. Flour goes EVERYWHERE. When I first went gluten free i scrubbed my kitchen from ceiling to floor b/c there was wheat dust EVERYWHERE.

    BAH!

    Did you get glutened ” down under”? Cause it really varies from location to location. One nearly killed me but the one that is just steps from my home JUST opened and is hyper vigilant about cross contamination. I have not had an issue there.

  11. robiewankenobie says:

    i sure hope you called that restaurant. asshats.

    i’m a vegetarian, so although i have nothing near the situation that you have, i do end up reading labels with a vengeance. totally sucks. and the people who offer me food that has chicken/seafood because “it doesn’t have meat” can suck my…well… this year, though, things are looking up! my parents are buying something other than turkey for me and the peeps, and my brother emailed to see if he should bring something special for us. huzzah!

    hope that your thanksgiving goes better than you think. if not? know that we’ve got your back out here on the internets.

  12. kris says:

    Ugh - after the Great Hive Debacle of Summer 2007 I take every word of this seriously. Nothing like an epi pen being your most stylish accessory.

    I wish you a gluten/egg/pressure-free holiday, my dear.

  13. Stacy says:

    I so hear you….We only suffer from dairy allergies here but I feel some of your pain no less. Me and both my little ones are on the look out this holiday season to hidden dairy items…some type of stuffings people buy have milk, mashed potatoes (nightmare) I love when people ask me to bring this or that because I know I can make it with soy milk and cheese…

    Hope you enjoy your meal…
    Good thing though…If you eat something that you were assured was *safe* and you puff up and get sick then the guilt will eat them alive and next year they just might be more careful! Ha ha!
    Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!

  14. Adrienne says:

    My son has multiple anapylactic food allergies, and I so know what you mean about restaurants. D. is so great about taking what we jokingly refer to as “the doggy bag TO the restaurant”, and he’s learning how to order his own food and explain the crucial issues to the server.

    We’ve only had one really bad restaurant experience, thankfully. But the med bag is always in my purse when we eat out.

  15. Nicole Gepson says:

    I have understanding for you too. I really getted peeved by the “a little bit won’t hurt” atiitude. I find that to be more common among the older generation. Therefore I would never trust my grandparents with my peanut allergic son. Reading labels gets old after a while. I’m sorry for your recent reaction and am glad to know you’re okay now. Here’s to a safe and happy holiday season.

  16. Maddy says:

    I don’t normally like to comment when all I have to say is a bitch or a moan, but I’m with you on this. My son is lactose intolerant so milk chocolate is out, sadly for him, as he loves chocolate. Very, very annoyingly family still buy it for him and then say “it’s just a little bit” “that won’t hurt him”. Oh no I say “he will just have violent diarrhia tomorrow” “But thanks anyway”. The hardest part is to then taking the chocolate off my 10 year and then I look mean. Ahhhhhhrrrrrrr!

  17. Alison Byrne Fields says:

    Back when I was a vegan, my family thought that I was just trying to be difficult when I quizzed them about what was in the food they were serving me.

    “Of course, the spaghetti is vegetarian!! What? The sauce? Yeah, there’s meat in the sauce. Stop being such a pain in the ass. A little meat won’t hurt you.”

    Happy Thanksgiving, Chris.

  18. jenB says:

    I would totally prefer you NOT die. And not just because you are cute as a REALLY cute button.

  19. Carola says:

    I don’t understand how you developed this food allergy as an adult, but that is because I don’t understand allergies. I am sorry you have to be so vigilant, but happy to hear you are dealing well with it.

  20. josy says:

    come eat at our house, your allergies are nothing compared to my son’s. the two of you can have rice & chickpea pancakes together. it will be like a party, but with weird food!

  21. Esme says:

    I feel your pain… we have celiac issues, gluten and casein intolerances, a wheat allergy, and, for a while, soy and egg allergies, too. We even had to watch out for things like turkey and ham, because of the “salt-solution” injected into them to keep them plump (and often had wheat protien in it).

    Hope you have a happy, allergy-free Thanksgiving…

  22. She Likes Purple says:

    I imagine my cooking would be unsafe to your health for MANY reasons. People who get offended by things such as that annoy me. There I said it.

  23. Melissa says:

    My fish allergy is deadly as my throat swells. If I have a steak cooked on the same grill as fish I am in trouble. It is hard for others to understand the tight chest and loss of air until I start to turn blue! My thoughts are with you, Chris.

  24. Z says:

    I have pretty bad allergies, just not to food (medications of any kind? Those, yes. All of them) - and even coming from a background full of bad experiences with allergic reactions, I can’t imagine what this must be like for you… (Not that it is at all the same, I just came back from a doctors appointment where they diagnosed a new allergy, though they don’t know what to yet - just that it is causing my eyes to swell shut for days at a time) Just wanted to wish you a happy Thanksgiving, whatever you end up eating!!!

  25. Jessica says:

    I’m so sorry Chris! Our son has a pretty bad peanut allergy, so I understand some of your pain. I know I’m going to be so nervous when we send him to school. Lots of hugs and I hope you have a fun allergy free Thanksgiving.

  26. Woman with Kids says:

    I sympathize. I’m allergic to garlic, which is in just about everything. Except water and the chicken broth you have. Eating out is always a challenge, and they ask my favorite question, “So what happens to you when eat it?”

    Because at the dinner table is where I really want to describe severe intestinal distress. I had one restaurant manager tell me, seriously, “Don’t worry, I have an epi-pen.”

    Um? Thanks?

  27. FishyGirl says:

    I SO feel your pain. I am allergic to green beans, rice, and peas, and you would not believe how many things have rice or brown rice flour or whathaveyou as an ingredient, and my MIL just does NOT get it. She NEVER reads labels, and will do things like bring us an apple pie, then say “Oh, I made it with a new recipe from Sarah Snapple (or something) and it uses XYZ Multigrain Cereal - it’s delicious!” and then she acts all incredulous when I get online and find out that XYZ Multigrain Cereal’s second ingredient is rice.

    Here’s to a healthy holiday of stuff we fix ourselves.

  28. Andi says:

    I can sympathise on my mother’s behalf. She can have wheat/gluten etc. but she cannot have coconut, oats, grapes, peanuts, sulphites and MSG, or else her throat closes in. People are more aware about peanuts now, but MSG and sulphites are in freaking EVERYTHING. Our family does try to ask about ingredients beforehand, and Mum is always very subtle about passing dishes along down the table, but my grandmother can get a little exasperated when something slips past and suddenly Mum can’t eat an entire dish (she’s more exasperated with herself than Mum, though; Gram is very meticulous).

    My favourite memory (because it didn’t end in one of many frequent trips to the emergency room) has to be when Mum put a candy in her mouth, realised it had coconut in it, and spat it all over the sweet shop. It was pure reflex on her part . . . one poor lady at the next table very timidly held out an itty bitty napkin, because Mum had coconut all over her chin, and all of us just burst out laughing.

    My one anaphylactic reaction is, irony of ironies, to antihistamines; my throat closes in when I take Benadryl. It makes pre-surgery interviews delightfully memorable, to say the least!

  29. Heidi says:

    Totally agree!! I have been on the Zone diet and whenever I go to my in-lkaws they have invariably made another dish I can not eat. When I don’t eat they go on and on about how they could make me something else, which I really don’t want them to go to the touble. When I bring something I get the guilt looks. Ugh, no win situation.

    Not to be forward, but can I tag you? Things you are supicious of . . . I love your blog, especially your sense of humor. Keeps me laughing. Wondering how you would answer it. http://eramblings.wordpress.com/2007/11/20/tagged-by-supicious-things/

  30. Denise says:

    Daarling!!! seriously check out that turkey!!!! There are many that have flour on the line to keep the turkey from sticking to the processing belts! It’s crazy!! I hate to panic.. but hey I like you around!!

  31. Stephanie in AR says:

    I sympathise with you entirely. My 3 month old was born with what amounts to no thyroid and is on synthroid. Soy inhibits the absorption of synthroid. If there is not thyroid hormone the result on a growing brain is mental retardation. So the choice is should be easy–no soy. But we have already run into the ‘little bit won’t hurt’ crowd. Yes, maybe a bit wouldn’t hurt but is the risk worth it? Not in this house. All I want to do is scream “how much mental retardation is acceptable in your world?” or “It isn’t about YOU.” Life is hard why do others have to make it harder?

  32. kkjayne says:

    I used to think I was allergic to things but I’m really only mildly intolerant… thank goodness! If I had to avoid all the things I’m intolerant to I would go barmy. (I would probably feel better if I didn’t but it won’t kill me so I’m slack :D)

  33. jody says:

    Wow. Glad you are okay now!

    When Cory was about 10 months old, I left him at a mothers day out thing, and left strict instructions for them to not feed him anything that was not in his lunch box. I stressed how important it was, and educated them about his severe milk allergies.

    When I went to pick him up, he was holding a chocolate easter rabbit. He was covered in hives and wheezing. I freaked, and they said “But it is not milk!” Um, they don’t call it MILK chocolate for nothing, people!

  34. Jaime says:

    I don’t know if this has been mentioned yet. Outback Steakhouse. Two words that have saved my marriage. It’s a place my hubby (who is also allergic to gluten) and I can eat out and not worry. . .

  35. dcrmom says:

    Good lord, I can’t imagine. My son has sesame and nut allergies, and it’s inconvenient, but NOTHING like egg and wheat.

  36. Jennifer says:

    I hear ya! Between my two kids we deal with anaphylactic allergies to: latex, peanuts, tree nuts and maple syrup. Closely followed by cross reactions to: oranges, lemons, lime, kiwi, strawberries, pineapple and grapefruit.

    Today was the day to call the hotel where a huge family Christmas party is being held to confirm that neither the facilty or the room would be safe. I just love the relatives (including my mom) who get offended that we won’t be coming. I have held my kids through 18 anaphylactic reactions breathing is a non-negotiable in my books.

    Jennifer

  37. Christie says:

    I do feel your pain, at least through my son. Mason has anaphlactic dairy allergies so I am a great label reader (which has been made much easier with the new labelling laws). He always takes his own food everywhere we go…I know, easier for a child to show up with their lunch box than an adult. At family gatherings, my well meaning family will say, “Well, there is no milk in it” but when you ask, there is a little butter, etc. So, I just make the bulk of all family meals so that I know he can eat. Best of luck, and I hope you are feeling better!

  38. Barb Cooper says:

    My daughter was born with dairy intolerance. I am still shocked at the things that have dairy in them–like taco seasoning! She outgrew her intolerance but I have kept a certain sweet spot for people with food allergies in their lives. Be well and eat candy!

    Barb

  39. pickel says:

    My son is gluten/casein/corn/salt and more…free. My parents just don’t get it (like all the other commenters…there is no milk but there is butter, well, duh?) but he is lactose intolerant and can’t handle any form of gluten, yeast, sugar, salt, etc. We take his food to restaurants when we go out and we do find things to make for him.

    We got a fresh turkey from the local deli and he did great last thanksgiving. No butter or seasoning at all. Just threw it in the oven and it was the best turkey ever.

  40. Jen @ amazingtrips says:

    This really hit you hard, didn’t it?? It seems that you were chowing along just fine - and then - WHAM! A year ago at this time, you were eating things that now would knock you out cold. I still have visions of Miles cracking all those eggs for dinner one night and wondering why a year later, I still can’t muster the courage to let my 3-year olds crack a single egg in a bowl.

    I’m very lucky that I’m not allergic to anything - but it appears that once you have a reaction, you become hypersensitive. I’m sad for you. Eggs and wheat make me so happy.

    Happy T-Day. I hope you really enjoy your salad.

  41. Kim says:

    I completely understand where you are coming from. I have a child with severe allergies (anaphylaxis) to dairy, soy, wheat, eggs, strawberries, beef and peanuts. You don’t realize where these little killers are hiding out until you have a need to read the labels. We rarely eat out because of it. No matter how helpful a restaurant thinks they may be it’s near impossible to make sure that her food isn’t contaminated. I feel for you Chris.

  42. Chris says:

    Jaime,

    I hate to tell you this, but it was the Outback.

  43. JENinMICH says:

    I Am currently investigating a wheat intolerance and have been off wheat for 5 months. Your post is so right on! “You can just have a bite then” is what I hear all the time. People are never forthcoming about what is in something, because it is just outside their realm of awareness, and thus, they don’t really care. The best are people that suprise you and make something just for you, bring all the packaging, discuss it with you. It’s really thoughtful.

    Hopefully you are feeling better.

    My newest quote - “but there is no wheat in it…. it just has flour”.

  44. kate says:

    I understand. I’m super allergic to cats and people insist that I’ll be fine if they put the cat outside or because it’s “mostly an outside cat and he rarelly sits on the sofa.” My SIL has a cat and brings it to my MIL’s house. I keep asking my MIL to just shut the door to the room we sleep in. She doesn’t. Last time we were there, she told us how just a few days before she had walked into our room to find the cat curled up sleeping on our pillows… the same pillows I sleep on. And then she accuses me of being allergic to everything and I want to scream, “I’m not. Just the effing cat you let sleep on our bed!”

  45. kate says:

    I understand. I’m super allergic to cats and people insist that I’ll be fine if they put the cat outside or because it’s “mostly an outside cat and he rarelly sits on the sofa.” My SIL has a cat and brings it to my MIL’s house. I keep asking my MIL to just shut the door to the room we sleep in. She doesn’t. Last time we were there, she told us how just a few days before she had walked into our room to find the cat curled up sleeping on our pillows… the same pillows I sleep on. And then she accuses me of being allergic to everything and I want to scream, “I’m not. Just the effing cat you let sleep on our bed!”

  46. Fina says:

    Allergies suck. I have them and I hate them. Especially every 3 months when I have to order new meds to the tune of$150. My food allergies are limited to seafood which is fine with me because I have no urge to touch any of that stuff given my very strong opinions of ocean contanimation.
    **Chris**
    In an effort to feed my family better, I’ve been reading lots of labels and it amazes me all of the various ingredients that are in products that don’t seem to belong there.
    Eggs, wheat in chicken broth?!?! Might be time to consider some hens and roosters in your backyard!
    Happy Thanksgiving. On that note, we have sooooo much to be thanful for.
    Fina/Sayville/Long Island

  47. Lucy says:

    Hi, I’ve been a lacto-ovo vegetarian for about 30 years now. It isn’t a ‘phase’ I’ll give up to try your roast and while eating out and grocery shopping are much, much easier now it still mystifies me what ingredients are in grocery products. One example is generic ‘all vegetable’ shortening for pastry - contains beef fat!

    Stand by your diet requirements - some people really just aren’t thinking. If they get offended it’s really their problem not yours - in my case I would never have dinner at someone’s or even out with people (veggie dish for me - no dish sharing with the carnivores) unless I’d clearly told them beforehand.

  48. Aubri says:

    Amen. My whole family has “weird” allergies, and I swear… there are times I want to strangle people who say things like, “You can’t possibly be allergic to that, that’s ridiculous. Here, have some anyway, you’ll be just fine.” Dill (the seasoning) will literally kill my father, onions put my mom away for at least a full day, and red food dye (all of them, not just red #40) will land me in the ER. People just don’t get it do they?

  49. Jamie says:

    My mom is a nurse practitioner and I don’t trust her to feed my peanut allergic son. We’ll go to her house and all of the things that she proudly bought for him to eat (because they don’t say ‘peanut butter cookies’ or whatever on the front of the label) are unsafe- and it clearly states so in the ingredients. The woman can’t tell the difference between Diet Coke and Coke labels, either, so I’m not too surprised.

  50. Annette says:

    I was recently diagnosed as egg, corn, dust (!!!!) and mold allergic. My youngest is egg and wheat allergic. I get the hives and constricted throat and IBS and she has severe abdominal reactions. She was my carb-o-holic, and it has been challenging, to say the least. Here’s the sugar cookie recipe I just developed for her, egg and wheat free. Sorry to you lacto-intolerant people…
    Sugar Cookies
    1/2 cup butter
    1/2 cup sugar1/2 tsp vanilla: cream together these three
    1 cup oat flour
    1/4 cup rice flour
    1/4-1/2 tsp baking soda
    dash salt: mix in dry ingredients with creamed butter mix.
    drop by teaspoonful on baking sheet, press with glass dipped in sugar, bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes or till browned on edges.
    Enjoy!
    Oh, and my MIL made us chicken soup yesterday for lunch, with corn and the same chicken broth you had. My kids *loved* it that I was using my inhaler as I was driving them home, and dd had stomach ache all night. sigh.

  51. Annette says:

    I was recently diagnosed as egg, corn, dust (!!!!) and mold allergic. My youngest is egg and wheat allergic. I get the hives and constricted throat and IBS and she has severe abdominal reactions. She was my carb-o-holic, and it has been challenging, to say the least. Here’s the sugar cookie recipe I just developed for her, egg and wheat free. Sorry to you lacto-intolerant people…
    Sugar Cookies
    1/2 cup butter
    1/2 cup sugar1/2 tsp vanilla: cream together these three
    1 cup oat flour
    1/4 cup rice flour
    1/4-1/2 tsp baking soda
    dash salt: mix in dry ingredients with creamed butter mix.
    drop by teaspoonful on baking sheet, press with glass dipped in sugar, bake at 350 for 15 minutes or till browned on edges. Let sit on pan for a few minutes before removing–they’re a bit delicate.
    Enjoy!
    Oh, and my MIL made us chicken soup yesterday for lunch, with the same chicken broth you had. She reads the nutritional info–not ingredients. My kids *loved* it that I was using my inhaler as I was driving them home, and dd had stomach ache all night. sigh.

  52. Eleanor says:

    *delurking* I have celiac disease, which is totally not as bad as allergies, but in my experience the “big chain restaurants” are the worst. They NEVER know what goes into their food, and it ALWAYS came shipped frozen from the big plant, and it usually has gluten in it to make sure it’s still crispy when it’s defrosted. Gah!

  53. Annette says:

    Yikes, whoever is able, feel free to delete that first post…I don’t know how…and then this one!

  54. Angie says:

    Wow. You poor thing. Did these allergies come out of nowhere, or has it been building for awhile? I understand it’s kinda dumb to ask a question in a comment, but that’s what came to mind.

  55. Jackie @ Family Daze says:

    Chris, I would like to commend you on how well you’re adjusting to such severe allergies! I’ve been reading your blog for almost a year, and I didn’t even realize that you had this difficulty! You’ve got a great attitude!

  56. rebecca says:

    I feel for you, Chris. I’m allergic to celery — yes, the stupid vegetable with no taste. I have gone into anaphylactic shock three times because of it, before it was diagnosed. It’s been amazing to learn all of the things that it’s in… and to have servers at restaurants be so nonchalant about it when I’ve inquired about the ingredients in, say, a soup. Hang in there, and keep trusting and standing up for yourself.

  57. rebecca says:

    P.S. In response to Carola’s comment above, I developed mine as an adult, and from what I’ve read, Chris developed hers as an adult, too. Not sure why that happens, but it’s not uncommon.

  58. rebecca says:

    P.S. In response to Carola’s comment above, I developed my allergy as an adult, and from what I’ve read, Chris developed hers as an adult, too. Not sure why that happens, but it’s not uncommon.

  59. Kelly says:

    My youngest (20months) is allergic to milk and soy (among other non food items). Do you know how blessed hard it is to find stuff that doesn’t have either Milk OR Soy?! It’s practically impossible.. Right now he exists on chicken, fruit & veggies and very few other things.. lol! I dont blame you one bit for not eating other ppl’s cooking.

  60. Tricia says:

    My 8 year old daughter has an anaphylactic allergy to ALL dairy. She was born with this allergy.

    Feeding her can be scary and I never let her go eat anywhere! We always bring her own food wherever we go.

    The holidays can be very scary for a family with an allergic child. Thanksgiving I understand, the feast of the pilgrims and all that, but can’t Christmas just be about Christ birth? Does it really have to be all about the food?

    I pray she outgrows this allergy or I may have to go to college with her! :o)

    Praying your holidays are safe and tasty despite your allergies!

  61. min says:

    My 18 month daughter is allergic to wheat, eggs, dairy, peanuts, melons, barley, oatmeal, etc. Even though we went to the allergist for testing, most of them we had to find out the hard way. I’ve learned so much about allergies through this experience. I think it’s about time we figure out what’s causing this increase in allergies everywhere!

  62. kate says:

    sadly I feel your pain and know it too well. My mom had a whole slew of us with allergens just like yours and she was the same way when we would go anywhere. Still I am careful about what I eat and where.

  63. Lovebabz says:

    YIKES! I too have a debilating allergy…milk proteins (cheese, butter, milk, caseine etc) I am always challenged by any meal that isn’t prepared by my own hands. However I have found solace in a orthodox jewish diet. Anything parve is safe for me…(Sigh) So I am happy to say that ther are a great many prosucts that are safe for me—I jst have to be prepared to spend a small fortune for that safety. The alternative is comma and or death! Yeah, you can guess what I choose by virtue of me posting on this blog.

  64. Cara says:

    You know - we have several people with significant food allergies in our family, and we DO plan our meal around that. Not that the whole meal is allergen-free, but we pay close attention to (1) which dishes to warn who off and (2) that there are plenty of dishes for each person so noone is left feeling they missed the feast. You are a bigger person than me; it would tick me off royally if my family didn’t take in to account the food allergies. (And I’m not even the one with them.)

  65. Melissa says:

    Have any of you who have egg allergies tried this Ener-G Egg Replacer?
    http://www.ener-g.com/store/detail.aspx?section=8&cat=8&id=97

    I saw it at the store and was trying to tell a guy at work who is deathly allergic to eggs about it. I wanted to see how well it worked for baking.


    Chris says:

    Yup! That is what I use.

  66. Liz says:

    We made a vegan roulade this year which was pretty good. I’ll ask my mom to e-mail me the recipe so I can send it on.

    It had no wheat either, so it may be a winner for Chris. Unfortunately, it did have garlic so not so great for some of you here and it does contain lentils so it’s not safe for legume allergies.