Do you choose life or death? Something so simple can take it away in just seconds.
After avoiding something for most of your life, you start to inherit this inevitable fear of it. When it comes down to life or death it becomes even more scarier. Being young and my parents telling me that this one thing can take my life in a second, is frightening. I just want to know, why me? Why can my friends eat it and I can’t go near it. Why am I the only one that can’t enjoy the peanut butter and jelly sandwich at lunch time? Why do I have to sit at a peanut free table while everyone else sits with their friends? Why me?
Being young with an allergy is a different lifestyle. Having to read food labels, having to separate myself at lunch, and always being on edge everywhere I go. My friends didn’t have a problem because they can freely enjoy Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, peanuts at a baseball game, and they can eat whatever ice cream flavor they want. Well, for me it was not that easy. Going to ice cream places, telling the workers to make sure they clean the scoop before scooping my ice cream. When eating new snacks, always having to read the nutrition facts and making sure there are no peanuts or even traces of it. You can never be too sure. Always having to make sure my EpiPen is in my purse, in my backpack, and even in my school nurses office. At any second my life could’ve been taken away from me if I wasn’t too careful.
Eventually I didn’t have to decide between life and death. Allergies are very rare to grow out of. They are hard to handle and most of the time inevitable to live with. Luckily for me, peanut allergies are one of the most common allergies to outgrow. I never really understood the percentages or numbers the doctors would talk about. They would say how something is decreasing and I could grow out of it. It took years of scratch tests, blood being drawn, and many food labels to read. Eventually the numbers were low enough, and I was able to test it out.
Life or death was staring me in the face as I sat in the doctor’s office chair holding a jar of peanut butter. There’s this special test where the number is so low, the allergy is barely there. Well, my numbers, fortunately, got that low, so I was able to face life or death. Going to the doctors and eating peanut butter was never on my agenda. It was a very scary day, but it did end happily. I started the day with an empty stomach and ended the day with the thing I avoided for my whole life. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I ate 3 that day. I never knew what they tasted like, and I didn’t even know if I would like peanut butter. After eating those I felt like a new person! I could eat anything I wanted without having to have the thought of life or death.
Now that I am no longer allergic to peanuts, food is my best friend. I can eat anything I wanted without any hesitation. Living with an allergy was hard, but manageable. You learn a lot about yourself and the foods around you. Living allergy free, I am still learning about myself and all the foods I can eat with no hesitation.