Thursday, August 11, 2011

Revisiting a nightmare...

In part of my saying yes adventures of 2011, I was given an invite to see an old friend. However, calling her an old friend doesn't really do her justice. She's the kind of person that I'd like my children to grow up like. She's strong, smart, sweet, pretty, funny, and incredibly compassionate. It is that last quality that was a saving grace during one of my more difficult life moments.

Years ago, said friend an I were on a girls' trip, just the two of us. This is before I saw the stomach doctors, and the allergist, etc. Pretty much, it was back when eating was somewhat of a terrible game of Russian Roulette for reasons that were unkown to me (and GRRR to every doctor in that process who suggested I simply was under stress. Would this have been said to me if I were a man? I digress...).

Nonetheless, we went away on vacation, and out for a nice dinner. That lovely dinner ended with a hospital visit that was seven hours long (not joking), and this wonderful friend stood at my exhausted side through everything, including the bathroom visits, the injections, and the subsequent sleep-it-off day following a massive allergic reaction. I could never thank her properly for what certainly ruined her vacation, and lovely woman that she is, she never said a word.

All these years later, I know it was the tomato, and the cheese, etc. However, that night, all I knew was that I had ruined what was supposed to be a peaceful retreat. I've seen her since in the past years, though not often, as we don't live near each other.

This weekend, NAH leaves for his vacation of golfing, hiking, and beer with the guys. With her sixth sense intact, this friend called and asked me to come out for a visit. So, I did what I swore on this site that I would do. I SAID YES. Am I scared? Certainly. Seeing her brings back reminders of that fateful evening and the unreasonable anxiety that it could happen again. The truth is, it always can happen again, and has little to with her and everything to do with knowledge and vigilance. Unfortunately, when i see her, it's all those years ago, and she's holding my hand while I'm getting a shot and praying to God with all my might just to get me through. However, onward and upward. Fingers crossed for a lovely, incident-free weekend. I hope to post pictures and restaurant reviews upon my return.

Saying yes,
Allergic Diner

Monday, August 01, 2011

Never say never...

I was done, over it. I used this blog as stress relief from a difficult job (seriously, you try nannying a bunch of grown men. Editor, shmeditor...) and it worked for a while. Family, friends, fellow allergy sufferers and even the occasional medical professional would read, lurk, and sometimes comment. Then, the strangest thing happened.

I found myself in a new job, with far less stress, and it was like the allergy embargo had been lifted. For the first time in years, I felt like a new person internally, and as a result, I grew tired of being identified as the allergic chick. I grew tired of having a dear friend grasp the waiter's arm every time we went to lunch to say, "You don't understand, if you pick that tomato off her salad, and serve it to her without telling her, SHE WILL DIE. And that's on you, my friend," (I kid you not). Sweet, sure, but slightly more forceful than I care to be with anyone handling my food.

I didn't want to be the Allergic Diner anymore. I yearned to be a normal person who just could go out to a restaurant without having to review the menu beforehand, and who could trust in the truthfulness of the chef and/or the waiter. Additionally, the more I grew to love my new job, and the freedom it affords me, I found that I especially loved the joy of not having to engage in petty office melodrama. I didn't exactly have stress to release. I found (and continue to find) myself in the rather odd position of just being happy and content. My zest for life is back, my friends, and it is a beautiful thing.

I recently read a blog about the idea behind trying to say "yes" to everything in life. Obviously, it's not something you can do all the time, but it is something I've tried diligently to put into practice in everyday life this year. Fly all the way to San Diego by myself? Yes. Submit a ghostwriting proposal? Yes. Market my freelance business? YES. Food test things that terrify me? Yes. It is this last one that brings me back to this blog, and to all of you.

I will be blogging again, not just about allergies, but about life and my attempts to be fearless, and I hope that you understand that by saying yes to life, and specifically to new foods and places, that I have broken out of my fearful allergic shell. It truly is a beautiful life. Say yes (and forgive me occasionally if I wander off the allergic path I started).

Until next time,
Your Allergic Diner :)