"Crunch, crunch, crunch," I heard as I walked into the stadium towards our seats. Peanut shells were everywhere! On the seats. On the ground. In the hands of the other fans sitting around me. All I saw were peanuts! I didn't notice the excitement of the game or any of the players on the field. I sat there in a state of paralysis, afraid if I moved in any direction I would be in contact with a peanut.
The first major league baseball game that I remember going to, was my freshman year of college. It was a floor bonding activity, so I didn't want to miss it. My mom had warned me on the phone the night before that there would be a lot of peanuts. I hadn't realized how serious she was though. I had been to sports games before, and seen a few minor league games when I was a camper during the summer in Maine. I never remembered being uncomfortable, or even concerned in any way about peanuts.
The experience was eye-opening to me though! I couldn't relax or enjoy myself. I couldn't touch anything. If I did touch anything then I used a wipe. I couldn't touch my face all night! I didn't eat anything, drink anything, or enjoy the experience in any way. It feels debilitating to go somewhere surrounded by something I am anaphylactic to. It is nearly impossible to enjoy myself when I am thinking the entire time about not having a reaction. I was also with people I had just met a few days earlier and barely knew. My roommate and a few others on my floor were aware of my allergies, but I am sure they didn't understand the severity, or why I sat there on the edge of my seat counting the innings until the game would be over.
Now they have baseball games on certain dates, that have either peanut free sections or peanut free games. Go to: http://foodallergies.about.com/od/nutallergies/a/peanutbaseball.htm
There is a listing and links to find baseball games that are peanut free. I think this is a great option, instead of risking the other games, while also feeling uneasy the entire time! I would imagine that these games are a lot more enjoyable to us allergic reactors!
Last night Mr. Comprehender asked me to go to a baseball game with him this week. He didn't understand my immediate reaction of "No, I can't. Sorry. You should definitely find a friend to go with you though." I felt bad because of his excitement at being given free tickets and his enthusiasm to take me, but there was no way I could legitimize putting myself in a position I knew I felt uncomfortable in. "I won't be fun," I told him. "But I don't understand why you don't want to go. You don't have any other plans. It would be fun," he countered. "I don't think you understand," I said. "There are peanuts everywhere! I know I don't usually let my allergies stop me, but I have done this before, and I know how it is. I know I will sit there uncomfortably the entire time. You would be much better off finding a friend to enjoy it with." Mr. Comprehender was still dubious of my certainty. Maybe he'll understand tomorrow night...