I’m not going to link to it. You can look it up if you like.
But I feel compelled to share my story.
To be the one people are shouting at to simply stay at home.
Forever, I guess.
So that maybe you can understand a little better what we go through.
This is about to get gruesome, folks, so consider this your Trigger Warning.
But I’m going to share these personal stories anyway.
So that maybe you, whoever you are, can have a little more compassion the next time you encounter someone like me.
I was first diagnosed with I was about three years old, after my first reaction.
I am allergic to all tree nuts and a bunch of other things, too, but nuts are the most serious.
The terror you feel as they vomit uncontrollably and claw at their face, gasping for air.
It is awful.
In order to help you understand what it's like, I’m going to explain my personal experience with anaphylaxis.
Other people will have had different experiences. This is only my own.
(My heart is racing as I type and I’m on the verge of tears here, folks, so please keep that in mind as you type comments to me. I don’t like to talk about myself this personally, intimately to strangers. Or even to friends.)
It feels like stinging insects are crawling down my throat and into my ears, biting all the way down, crawling deeper with every second that passes.
My heart starts racing and my breath comes in gasps. Like if I can take more breaths, maybe that will make up for the reduced oxygen making it into my body.
But that’s not how it works, really.
But also, there’s pain. So much pain, in every part of my body.
Like the stinging bugs are burrowing under my skin and into my belly. Digging in deeper.
I feel my blood moving through my veins and it’s like fire.
The heartbeats hurt so much and I’m so happy for every single one because that means my heart hasn’t stopped. Yet.
Is this the last time my heart is going to beat? Will my throat swell enough that there’s no more room for the breath to squeeze into my lungs?
Is this the last reaction I'll ever have because I'm dying?
I can feel it welling up deep inside me. Clutching at my heart.
And I’m just so afraid that the pain will get so powerful that I’ll start to want to die. Because it’s close.
Because maybe dying would make the pain stop.
Take the proper medications.
Call for emergency medical care.
Stay conscious long enough to enlist people to help.
If some well-meaning friend assures us the food is safe and we make the wrong calculation.
Instead of whining about how someone else’s life threatening medical condition is an inconvenience to you.
Instead of suggesting we all just stay home.
Choose to be kind and considerate instead.
Particularly the issue of air travel. The food which might kill me, may the the only one the another passenger can safely eat.
For a wonderful, nuanced treatment of this very topic, I’ll refer you to the book Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl, by @SandraBeasley
Please repay my kindness by spreading this thread, so that the sacrifice of my personal privacy won’t be in vain. So that someone can learn from my experiences.