Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Out to Eat, but NOT Eating

The scenario: Phone rings, "Hey, we are going out to eat at (some restaurant I can't eat at), do you want to come?"  

When this happens there are a few different options I have.  I can:  a.) decide not to go b.) decide to go, but not eat anything and listen to my stomach growl c.) decide to go, but eat ahead of time d.) suggest another restaurant e.) if the restaurant allows, bring my own food to eat.

Countless times I have chosen each of these different options.  The worst one is watching everyone else eat, while also being hungry and not eating.  Sometimes there is no way to even plan ahead.  Last summer I went with my aunt to her friend's beach house.  We spent the day at the beach, then went into the town to get some food.  We opted for an Italian restaurant because that is usually the safest with my allergies.  We sat down, looked at the menu, then decided to split a pizza.  When I showed the server my card, she said that they used nut oils, and that I wasn't safe eating anything, including both the pizza and pasta.  I felt bad because they would have chosen a different restaurant, if it wasn't for my food allergies.  They offered to try somewhere else, but there weren't many other restaurants that even had the possibility of being safe, so we stayed there.  Yet again, I watched as another meal was eaten in front of my very hungry, growly stomach!  

I never want people to feel bad though!  I have learned to live with it.  It happens all the time, and I know that at some point I will find something to eat.  I just have to remind myself of that sometimes.  It can be incredibly frustrating for the allergic reactor to sit and watch everyone else eat, but often there is no choice.  I know that eventually I will eat.  This is easier to remember as I get older.

When I was a child, I always handled my allergies very well.  When I was a baby through toddler and up to age five, I would have temper tantrums though.  It would seem like everything was fine, then all of a sudden I would be crying and screaming for no reason that my parents could figure out.  I have read a few different journal articles, while doing research, and I think the cause of these tantrums may have been due to the frustration of my allergies.  Of course I have no proof of this, but from what I have read it would make sense that my allergies could have been a trigger.  When children are little, they can't express their frustration like they can as they get older.  I'm curious to know if other parents with food allergic children have also experienced temper tantrums that seem to occur out of nowhere?    

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