I do stress over it still. But I found that allowing myself to say no to events helps. It sucks to miss out sometimes though. I also take a sandwich that is safe in my purse for events where people don't know about my allergy or don't know proper handling for food that I can eat. But big events with food and weddings are still super stressful for me.
I try to remind myself that my allergy isn't my fault and I didn't ask for it. And that if people are mean to me it's their problem not mine. I've gotten more blunt about that in recent times and it seems to help because I feel less stress to conform to something I literally can't. I can't just "go pick any place to eat". I can't just show up and try something. I have also let friends know to still invite me but not to be offended if I eat nothing. I have gone to birthday dinners and only ordered wine. I won't do this with people that make me feel bad about it though.
I totally agree that preplanning is key to having a great time. I actually just launched a site called www.allergytravels.com where people with food allergies can rate and review countries and airlines on how allergy friendly they are. This is going to be an amazing resource for those preplanning trips! :D
I am an adult with allergies that just happened within the last 10 years. Iam allergic to the top 10 allergens plus multiple others. I found the only way to be truly safe is to prepare my food in advance and Carry my own food with me for multiple meals if necessary. On weekends I freeze entrées in advance. I also have found safe seeds and oats I buy in large quantities to avoid cross-contamination. I purchased a freezer and I freeze up organic vegetables from my own garden in the summer when they're available and I can a lot of foods with ingredients that I can eat. It takes a lot of effort but I know my food is safe.
I found because so much of our food is contaminated with hidden allergens and chemicals that I now only buy grass fed beef from my local farmer. I drive about an hour and a half away to buy soy free eggs and recently found a farmer who has soy free turkey they raise.
Most of the hives that I was suffering from was a result of having soy, legumes, peanut or tree nut. Plus it was in my shampoos, hair conditioners and hand lotions, soaps and every day items. I had to learn all the different names for soy and nuts etc.
It's been a stressful journey with a lot of trial and error. I'm still learning but it's getting better!
Family and friends and coworkers don't really understand unless they have a food allergy. A lot of people think that just because it's the last ingredient it's safe for you. They don't think about cross-contamination or read labels and especially family gatherings when they have been drinking I noticed that a lot of careless mistakes happen then. I find it less stressful to carry my own food in my own cooler. And I always carry my EpiPen's!
I have a positive outlook on life. So, I try to use humor. Laughter releases all sorts of good chems in the brain, it helps to bring breathing back to a more normal rythem, and it releases a bunch of muscles.
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