I often wonder what my daughter’s life will be like if she continues to have food allergies as she grows. I’ve expressed my wonderings and fears about her kissing boys, getting married, and raising kids with allergies. I’ve met adults who live with allergies; I actually have a cousin in his twenties with life-threatening allergies to nuts and other foods. But I haven’t met many pre-teen and teenage girls with good allergies. Those years scare the crap out of me anyway – the food allergies just magnify those fears!
You can imagine my delight when I received this guest post from a teenage girl. Her name is Rave’n-Dajon and she so graciously shares her experiences being a teenager with food allergies. I hope to take her advice and relax a bit as my daughter grows into her teen year!
My Allergy Challenge
Can you imagine being allergic to something you really love? Let me tell you about it. My mother describes the first time I suffered an allergic reaction. I was three years old and eating breakfast at daycare. I don’t know exactly what I ate but my mother later learned it contained egg products. After eating a small amount, my throat began to close, I couldn’t breathe, and I developed hives on my face. An ambulance was called and they injected me with medicine to stop the allergy attack.
As I got older I developed other allergies. I was not only allergic to egg products but peanut butter, walnuts, orange juice, oranges, strawberries, hotdogs, sausages, fish, bananas, grass, dust, cats, dogs, and not to mention soy, which is in everything you can think of.
I’m tired of hearing these words all the time, “Raven you can’t have that you’re allergic to it.” I especially hate when my mom gets worried when I try new foods. She stares at me making sure I won’t have a reaction. This makes it harder for me to enjoy discovering new flavors.
The hardest part about having millions of allergies is when you’re around family and friends and they don’t have to worry about being careful of what they eat. It’s so hard when ordering out with family. While they can order anything on the menu, I am limited to one or two items that I know won’t give me an allergic reaction. It’s tough to see everyone else eat everything while you are left out, but I have learned to live with it.
I have outgrown some of my allergies. I am no longer allergic to eggs, strawberries, orange juice, and I can now eat some foods that contain soy.
If you have a teenager in the house with allergies, you understand how challenging and frustrating it can be for both the parent and the teenager. However, it takes a lot of courage as a parent to allow the teenager the freedom to try new foods and not over-react.
This post was written by Rave’n-Dajon Coleman, a student at Greater Hope Christian Academy and mentee of Philly Social Media Moms member, Dawn Warden-Reeder. Rave’n has been dealing with food allergies for as long as she can remember, but only recently discovered the power of writing as a way to alleviate at least a little bit of frustration.
Please encourage Rave’n with your comments!