A question posed to me yesterday asked how I deal with going on field trips by myself.
Now at the age of fifteen, I like to believe that I am independent and can take care of myself. On the other hand, I'm sure every teenage girl says the same thing. However, with food allergies, independence becomes much more necessary with my own safety on the line. So, when it comes to going on field trips, I've learned the best way to stay safe. What is it you ask? I simply bring all my own food and medicine. Last year, as a trumpeter in my school's wind ensemble, I went on a trip to Williamsburg, Virginia for three days. Before the trip, I planned and packed three meals per day that I could easily heat up, along with plenty of snacks. By talking to my trip's coordinator, I made sure that I would have access to a microwave. Coincidentally, the microwave that I had access to ended up being conveniently in my own room! Every morning when getting ready for the day, I heated and placed my meals in containers to bring along with me in my backpack. Also in my backpack, I kept my inhaler, Benadryl, and Epipens easily accessible.
Even though the question that was brought to my attention asked me how I handle going on field trips by myself, in reality I am never alone. My independence and understanding are key to my success on field trips, but my support team- made up of my teachers, friends, and family- is even more important. On this trip, another set of my medicine was kept with one of my teachers who volunteered to be my administer if it became necessary and I was unable to do so myself. I showed my friends where my medicine was being kept and asked them to help me if I needed it and the teacher was inaccessible. My friends easily agreed to this and were even "fighting" over who was the most responsible and therefore most trustworthy with my Epipen. I also had both of my sisters on the trip, as they were in the band as well.
So even though I was figuratively alone on this trip without my parents to guide me, I was never truly alone. With these people as my support team, I was able to feel safe and stay safe during my trip. Whether the field trip is for 3 days or 3 hours, someone is always there to support you and help you with your food allergies. You are never alone in this fight.