Monday, March 18, 2013

Trust Yourself!

Growing up as a kid with food allergies, I've had to learn how to take care of myself. My mom, dad, and sibblings know how to handle my food allergies, and live with it in their daily lives because of my brother and me. But despite the great knowledge and allergy-awareness they've gained from living with me, they are still human, and can still forget how I have to live.

Sometimes my dad buys pretzels that I can't eat without realizing it.
Sometimes my mom uses the same spatula for beef hamburgers to flip my turkey burgers.
Sometimes my sisters will bake something with the intent of making it allergy friendly, but forgets to use soy milk, or the egg substitute instead.

Do these instances mean that my family doesn't care or understand? Of course not! They love me very much and never intentionally do these things! However, because it is not them living with the food allergies, and their mistakes are not going to directly affect their health, they slip up sometimes.
Because I know they don't mean to do these things, I don't blame them in any way, and try not to get frustrated with them. Instead what I've learned to do is to look out for myself, and my brother. If someone is cooking dinner that involves my allergens, I ask the "chef" if they are being safe with my food. I sometimes even like to watch them cook, even if they don't notice, just to be sure they aren't going to get me sick accidentally.

In essence, I've learned to trust myself above all others. Even if someone close to me tells me its safe, I want to double check in any way possible. Of course, when I was younger this was not possible, but as I've grown up, I've learned to trust myself and my actions to keep me safe. I hope many of you can learn to do the same. For sometimes it is in trusting yourself that you discover your own judgement is better than that of others, even those close to  you.

Please believe me when I say I am not writing this to tell you that you can't trust those around you, those trying to help you, but to make sure that those you trust know what they are doing!

Best of Luck!


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