This year, I want to offer more hope to everyone that doesn't involve being afraid of food allergies. I want to offer all of you helpful tips and include some from people that I admire to give you a well-rounded perspective on it all. Does having food allergies make life challenging and upsetting and just down right depressing sometimes? Yes. But there are ways to understand how food allergies may have become a part of your life for a positive reason. With so much pressure and frustration, I lean toward as many of the positives as I can. Let me show you why a food allergy diagnosis is an important part of your life.
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Think about it- think back to how you felt with the initial food allergy diagnosis. Did your world suddenly come to a halt? Did you hear the doctor giving you information but it all became kind of blurred together? Did you leave the office and feel as if you couldn't walk or breathe or talk? That is all normal. That is your body trying to process and it's also your brain trying to put everything into perspective at warp speed only to be followed by feeling as if your world was changing but you don't want it too. You don't want to be afraid of food or parties or just going out to the movies with your friends. You don't want to have to read every single label twice. You don't want to carry medications with you everywhere..how will you go swimming? How will you go to the beach when those medications can't be in the sun and still stay safe? And how will you visit those beaches knowing that most of that delicious smelling food is something you will never, ever eat safely?
That was the before panic. That was the not knowing panic. But then you found your missing family members. They were there, waiting for you, the entire time. They live next door to you, in a different school district, in Asia and even in places that you cannot pronounce.The important thing is- they are there. They support you even though you have never spoken before and never met. They would hand you endless tissues if they could pass them through the screen. Now sit back and think about all of these new people, these new family members who answer your plea at whatever time of day that you ask them; would you have ever imagined that your life could be so full of such support and love? In your darkest days, can you ask for a better cheering squad? Some people become afraid but others use that fear to build knowledge. With so much knowledge, the fear begins to become less and less and your way of life becomes full again, slowly. It doesn't matter that you can't eat that food because you can eat all of these foods; the foods that your extended family told you about. The foods that many people who do not have food allergies may never even realize are there for them too. Most importantly, you will understand that the very same foods that pulled you apart from some people are the same foods that pulled you closer to others. Keep this in your head and in your heart. You have been blessed with a new way of life. You have been given knowledge and power to keep yourself safe as well as countless others when many do not have that power. How awesome is that?!
Still Need More? This is where more sharing comes in. I share because I realize that not everyone wants to listen to just what I say and that's ok. I want everyone to listen to as many people as they can. That's why I'm sharing even more thoughts from these wonderful people that I also consider to be my family members. Hopefully, they will become yours too ~
|- Allergy Superheroes Read ALL of their tips here|
|- Sharon Wong, Nut Free Wok Read ALL of her tips here|
|- Amanda Kanashiro, My Gluten Free Miami |
Read ALL of her tips here
"When you are managing a serious medical condition, this could be the most important thing you do. I share one tip I wished someone had shared with me when I first became a food allergy mom." - Gina Mennett Lee, Food Allergy Consultant and Educator.
|Gina Mennett Lee, Food Allergy Consulting|
Read ALL of her tips HERE