It’s a balancing act of knowledge, preparation, open conversation, some frustration and an extra dose of empathy. In other words, it takes a village.
Good thing there’s nothing contagious; however food allergies are a serious threat if not handled with caution. There are many tools and steps that can be used to make allergies and asthma part of your life routine. They are not a problem, they just create a new normal.
THE ALLERGIST. It all begins with the assistance of the allergist and its team. Seek test, diagnosis, and treatment from specialized professionals only.
READ AND DO YOUR RESEARCH. Make yourself familiar with terms such as anaphylaxis, epinephrine, allergy and intolerance, anti-histamine, 504 plan. Two professional entities provide the correct information, the AAAAI, and ACAAI. Our website has a glossary that will help you navigate safely.
TALK WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS. After you have made yourself acquainted with the dos and don’t’s it’s time to make all who surround you aware of the changes that will ensue. It doesn’t have to be intimidating, overwhelming or judgmental, take it as a walk in the park, invite them to your new life. You will not have to feel discouraged when facing hostility or lack of comprehension, everybody has its own rhythms. Remember the holidays can be tricky too, old habits and traditions that interfere with the newly diagnosed conditions can cause friction if not properly addressed.
MEET WITH TEACHERS AND CARE-TAKERS. Present asthma or allergy plan signed by the allergist to all adults in charge of your children’s life when they are not under your supervision, inform them of the condition and the protocols. Remember, knowing how to recognize the symptoms can be overwhelming for any adult who is not familiar.
GADGETS T-shirts, bracelets, temporary tattoos, stickers, movies, books, phone apps are some of the new ways of learning, keeping things under watch and maintain a discreet level of control over the many occasions of exposure to allergens and asthma triggers.
TRAVEL WITH PEACE OF MIND contact the airline, provide information the crew has to be given regarding your condition, whether you are asthmatic or have food allergies, ask to be seated first and proceed to wipe as much as you can. Before reaching the destination, search online for allergy free restaurants, hotels, laws and regulations if visiting a different country.
INCLUSION is the word that will make you step into a balanced life, find the alternative solutions, adopt a positive disposition.