What to Never Say to Someone with Allergies

PeanutsAfter 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:


4 thoughts on “What to Never Say to Someone with Allergies

  1. This breaks my heart for you, I hate that you are forced to live your life in crisis mode so often! I kind of wish peanuts could be outlawed in the US or something crazy like that. With so many people DEATHLY allergic to them, it doesn’t seem that outrageous. If it were a perfume or something that happened to be killing people by scent, it would be outlawed immediately. And there aren’t many allergies that can cause anaphylaxis by inhalation, right? At least from what I’ve heard peanuts is the main one. Soooo lets just go ahead and get rid of peanuts. And this is coming from someone who doesn’t die when she smells them or is around them 🙂

  2. Courtney, you are a great allergy ally! Those of us with airborne peanut allergies (and, yes, peanuts is the most common one) need people like you to help keep us safe. 😀

    I completely agree. I wish something drastic like outlawing peanuts could happen! I know that it won’t, but I hope that at least more people will slowly become aware of how serious food allergies can be and of the dangers of eating peanuts in public.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s