After informing me how she’d forgotten about my peanut allergy and had almost brought peanuts to class (despite the fact that DSS has plastered the door and front of the classroom with peanut-free signs on my behalf), the student next to me proceeded to tell me a terrifying story. A teenage girl she’d known of had died at prom as a result of a peanut allergy.
The story came to a jarringly conclusion with something to the effect of: “Her family looked frantically for her Epi-Pen and, when they couldn’t find it, decided to take her to the ER. But she was already dead.”
Holy crap! How does someone forget about their classmate’s life-threatening airborne peanut allergy when they know of someone who has died from one? Ugh.
And before you worry, yes, I always carry my Epi-Pen. My sister Shannon, who will be the maid of honor at my August wedding, has been given the extremely important task of carrying my Benadryl and Epi-Pen on her person. The only thing that’d be scarier than having to use my Epi-Pen at my wedding would be not having my Epi-Pen if I needed it.
I still can’t believe someone felt the need to tell me a death-by-peanuts story. I spend my life running in fear of peanuts, not because they’ll make me feel yucky (although they certainly do a great job of that) but because I could die. I could be anywhere—strolling through a local park, enjoying the ballet, or studying in the university library—when I hear the frightening hushed crinkle of a wrapper opening. If it’s peanuts, I go into crisis mode and get out of there ASAP. If my throat starts to close up and I start gagging, which almost always happens if I’m that close to peanuts, I remind myself to be calm and handle things careful and quickly because, otherwise, I could die. Dying from peanuts is a regular, realistic nightmare; I don’t need to be reminded of it.
After the traumatic story was over, I made my way outside only to run into three separate students chowing down on a PB & J. I almost cried.
Please, for the sake of those of us with life-threatening allergies, don’t eat peanuts in public.
Other Articles of Interest:
- Crunchy Sunbutter Snacks
- Food Allergies: When College Isn’t Safe
- Disneyland: the Happiest (Gluten-Free) Place on Earth