Allergies and Family Gatherings

Have you had allergies your whole life? Do you feel like people who have known you since you were born should understand your allergies by now? I have learned that no matter how old you are and how responsible you are with your allergies it can still scare your relatives into sometimes treating you like a child.

I have lived being at risk for anaphylaxis to dairy, eggs, nuts and latex my whole life. Since the age of three I knew exactly what I could and could not eat. I have always been very conscious and responsible of what I was putting in my mouth. I often taught my family and friends the true importance of allergies and how severe anaphylaxis can be.

It has been a lifelong tradition that every Sunday my Nan and Pup have dinner for the whole family. This includes cousins, aunts, uncles and frankly whoever wants to come. I am lucky to be very close with my family.

I am now 19 but sometimes get treated as if I were still 5 when it comes to family dinners. My nan often makes every food safe for me to eat, but if there happens to be something I can’t eat, she will go out of her way to tell me and I obviously won’t go near it. My parents however do not treat me like a child when it comes to my allergies. They know how responsible I am and that I won’t eat something without being 100% sure of what is in the food.

At Sunday dinner or other family gatherings I often hear things like “are you sure you can eat that?”, “maybe you should check the ingredients a few times”, “Nan are you sure Jazmin can have that?”, “Maybe you shouldn’t try that”, and “Have you had that before?” I completely understand why my family tends to be nervous and cautious with my allergies as they have witnessed anaphylaxis before. However I live independently a few hours away from home for the majority of the time, cook for myself and am managing fine on my own. When I get home I feel so much pressure and almost become nervous about even eating an apple. At the end of the day, I am lucky to have a family that cares so much about me!three generations

Do you have trouble with family treating you differently because of your allergies? Have you ever heard the same things I hear at Sunday dinners?