Monday, May 13, 2013

Pet Peeves of Illnesses

Tonight I saw a post by Huffington Post about the 'Pet Peeves' of Gluten Sensitivity/Allergy.  In fact it became a trending topic on Twitter!  When I responded on Twitter tonight, many of the same 'pet peeves' that were answered were the same as I had which got me to thinking - everyone with healthcare issues has to have 'Pet Peeves' about their illnesses, what are yours?  I'll start by listing a few of mine.

I have not only severe food allergies including wheat but also Hereditary Angioedema; a rare and potentially life-threatening genetic immune disorder (HAE Day is May 16th by the way!).  As far as my allergies go, it annoys me to no end to be in a restaurant and treated as though I'm 'making it up' to be 'difficult' for the server or chef.  If I could eat what they put in their food, I would prefer to order it that way!  Please don't just 'remove' what the allergen is, I can still have a reaction!

Another issue is people making comments such as 'Oh, I couldn't give up bread.'  Well, I hate to tell you but you COULD if your life depended on it!  You can give up any food, any substance, anything if your life depended on it!  Trust me, I've given up far more than the average person!!  Try living without the following foods just for one week: wheat, rice, chicken, pork, turkey, olives, cinnamon, lemon, grapefruit, millet, barley, honey, bay leaves, bananas, buck wheat, rice, garlic, onion (all alliums including green onions and leeks as well), all melons (watermelon, honeydew, cantelope, etc.) paprika, turmeric, kiwi, tuna, avocados, raw tomatoes, raw potatoes (when peeling them), pitted fruits (peach, plums, cherry, etc), pumpkin, cucumber, hops, soy (including soya lecithin), lentils, walnut, pecans, celery, squash (all including zucchini, spaghetti, etc.), spelt, apples, and all the artificial food dyes.  I think that about sums it up.  Yep, those are the things I am allergic to.  Makes it near impossible to eat!  Also, many, many, many of these items are HIDDEN in other things!!  Things such as the 'spices' (garlic, onions, turmeric, etc.) or even lemon, soya lecitthen, soy sauce, etc.

I hear all the time as well 'Oh my God, what do you eat?'  Not exactly a 'nice' thing to say to a person.  It's hard enough!  Or when I DO tell them we eat 'other things' like gator or frog legs, I hear 'Oh, you're just disgusting'.  Gee thanks.  So, you would rather I eat these other things that will outright make me ill?  I don't think so!

Another question I often get asked is 'So, if you eat it, what happens?'  What difference does it make!'  I can't eat it!  Period!!  Just be understanding and move on.  Or better yet, "So, we can't make you anything to eat anymore, I guess you'll have to bring your own."  Have a little understanding and ask for a recipe of something!!  It's hard enough for us with these kinds of illnesses every day, do you have to make it harder on us?  We enjoy going out just like everyone else.  If you KNOW we have this going on, communicate with us to ensure we can be there and enjoy ourselves like everyone else.  It's really not that hard.

So, on to you all - what is YOUR pet peeve with your health conditions?  I know there are many!  Feel free to post them but be polite and clean!  Thanks for opening up the conversation Huffington Post!  One thing I have learned from all of this - read labels, plain and simple.  It sure saves a headache!!  It doesn't mention what we do from here though..... Ideas anyone?

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