Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Children of the world, EAT MORE DIRT!

Happy New Year, allergic and non-allergic readers. It is 2009 (thank goodness).

Starting off this posting with a link to Sunday's article in TIME magazine, "Have Americans Gone Nuts Over Nut Allergies?"

In short, yes, we have. I'm sure that some of my readers will give me crap for this, but we have. I hold out hope that any children NAH and I might have one day will eat dirt, dig for worms, and behave, well, as CHILDREN. I will not be there squirting anti-bacterial onto their hands the moment they walk through the door, or frantically looking up the chemical component of said dirt to ensure their health and safety. You see, it isn't that I will be a lax parent, I won't. The article above confirms/suggests what a lot of people believe, that over-conscious hygiene has caused somewhat of an allergy surge. It might. My parents never met me at the door and yelled at me to immediately wash my hands (just before dinner), and my allergies have developed and changed (gotten worse or gone none-existent - again, how good is pineapple?) over time. Say what you will, but I think my tomboy childhood worked for me. In my case, I believe (as does my allergist) that it was just unfortunate genes (and I've saved years on therapy bills simply by knowing I can blame my parents). It happens.

I believe that allergies have become so over-hyped that people have stopped listening and started rolling their eyes. That's a serious problem. You hear waiters and columnists say time and again to PLEASE, do not tell a server you don't want a food b/c you're allergic if you're really not (people do this all the time-damn them!). I worry that people will go on autopilot after simply hearing too much information, and that's the worst thing that could happen to true allergy sufferers.

A family who has a child with an allergy, especially when it isn't an anaphylactic one, who becomes a champion of the cause, educating those around them ad nauseum, becomes part of the problem. To whom? To their child! You see, a child with an allergy already has a limitation. The bigger deal made of that allergy (especially when it isn't a life-or-death allergy, and YES, there are differences in allergies and allergic reactions, you skeptics) the harder it will be for that child. What you don't want is a kid who can't eat raw carrots b/c they make his throat itch equating himself with a peanut-allergic child who carries an epi-pen and wears a med-alert bracelet. Now, nobody wants to be the parent of the kid who taunts the peanut-allergic child, either. But there is a MASSIVE difference between educating and understanding and hysteria.

The other problem, that no one talks about? Part of the over-hyped allergy madness is directly correlated to the fear of lawsuits. I have friends who believe that whatever the reason for the allergy madness, it's a good thing people are finally listening. That may be. But to the woman who's school insists on a 504 and a special allergy lunch table for her child because he has a minor allergy to fish? Even after the doctor told mom that it was ok for him to sit with the other children? It's irrational, and it's unfair to the child. It's unfair to the parents.

Yes, I say this as a highly-allergic person. BRING IT ON, my friends!

Moving on...
We had a very fuzzy (and by fuzzy I do mean fuzzy lined shoes) and lovely Hanukkah, and a very warm and thoughtful Christmas (Non Allergic Mom found me allergy cookbooks!, about which I will be writing in the future). NAH and I have been able to watch some football recently (GO EAGLES!). I am happy to report that the month of December, though incredibly busy, was allergy-free. I'm back....
Your Allergic Diner

1 comment:

heather said...

Hello,

My son is allergic to soy, peanuts, eggs,wheat and dairy. I started a website www.spewdfree.com to help others who suffer from food allergies. All of the recipes on SPEWD Free are free of soy, peanuts, eggs, wheat and dairy.
Thanks,
Heather