Dealing with Food Allergies, Other Allergies, and People who don't "get it"

For the last number of weeks, I've been writing a weekly "journal-style" post and I must say, I'm loving it. It's cathartic and that's one of the best feelings for me. I get especially wound up with stress when things like having to prepare for an up-coming business trip arise. Last week, I signed off with:

Now, I’m going to go relax a little and then get ready for a night I’ll share with you next week! 

My super-awesome hunny took me out to one of my faaavorite restaurants - he's really been spoiling me lately! I'm a lucky lady :-)

So, I relaxed for a little bit a.k.a. watched as many Desperate Housewives episodes on Netflix as I could before having to get ready for dinner and risking being late.

Which reminds me of this graphic I "liked" on Pinterest:


After my Desperate Housewives binge, I got myself ready. I spruced up. I washed, blow-dried and straightened my hair and, of course, did my make-up.

I even took a photo to show you!


It's easy to take an acceptable photo when you cover half your face with hair and use an Instagram filter, lol. I would have taken a photo of my outfit, but to be truthful, I don't have that many awesome winter outfits. I've got the basics, but that's it.

Then, we drove to dinner and each had ourselves a drink:


And theeen I had the BEST salmon dinner I've ever tasted in my life:


It had avocado, balsamic vinaigrette, onions and extra virgin olive oil.  I shouldn't have had the vinegar because of the gallic acid, but that was my ONLY slip-up. The asparagus was cooked just right - not too crunchy, not too soft. And the salmon was perfect. I have no other words for it. Perfection. And I felt fine afterward - this was definitely a great 99% allergen approved meal for me :-)

This past week was pretty good as well. Just a normal week, pretty much.

One allergy related incident that came up was one at work. I got a phone call in the middle of the day on my cell. It was the person who does my taxes. I made sure to pick up because it was an important call, obviously. Everyone knows you don't mess with the tax-man.

I stepped away from my desk with it and into my boss's empty office because I have to put my cell phone on speaker. You see, the little bit of metal on the ear piece turns my ear and part of the side of my face fire engine red. Like really, really red. And it's hot and itches but usually goes away after about 40 minutes.

So after I finished my phone call, I open the door to my boss's office and see another guy from the office standing at my co-worker's cubicle. Said "other guy" smirks at me and says:

Oh, I was just making fun of you!

Fairly sure that he'd taken the easy shot of me talking on speaker-phone, I said:

Yeah, why?

Other Guy:

Well, you were walking around talking on speaker phone.

He's referring to the people who WANT everyone else to hear their conversations. The people who are desperate to "prove" that they're important. I also realize that he's ignorantly not thinking about why I may be doing things a little differently than him. He knows that I have really weird allergies. But I get it. There was a point where I didn't think about someone not being able to touch certain objects, surfaces or who knows what else. I knew a lot less back then.


Do you know why I was talking on speaker?

Other Guy:



Because the nickel on the ear-piece turns my ear and part of my face bright red and it gets really hot and uncomfortable.

Other Guy:

 Whaaat? (Looking at me skeptically) Your ear actually touches that little piece of metal in there?

This is my phone:



Uh, yeah. It really does.

Other Guy:

Let me see - do it!


No! (giving him a weird look) You can look at my CURRENT skin irritations (showing him my hands) but I'm not creating new ones for you.

So yeah - that happened. It was a weird situation to manuever through at work while still being semi-"professional". As I said before, he must be COMPLETELY unaware of what allergic contact dermatitis/eczema can do to someone. And that combined with the fact that we were at work is the only reason I didn't say:

Wow, you're kind of being a dick.

;-) And besides, it's mean to call people names.

Moving on, I've really been making a huge effort to avoid the foods that are high in nickel. Avoiding wheat, chocolate and shellfish are the most difficult for me. I love love love all of them. The skin irritations I had last week are on the mend, which is great. I haven't been avoiding nickel in food long enough to tell if this is just a cycle or because of the food avoidance, so we shall see how it goes over time. Right now, I have two little raised bumps that are itching a bunch - one on my left ring finger and one on my right forearm.

In other news, I got a great phone call about my upcoming business trip.... For all breakfasts, lunches, snacks and the required dinner, I was told I can have whatever I want! There are going to be actual chefs there, so they said if I want "plain chicken breast cooking in whatever oil and a baked potato, that's fine". So, I've been working on what I want. I'll share with you what I came up with when I thought I was going to possibly be bringing all of my own food:


hard boiled eggs, celery sticks and carrots

Brown Bag Lunch:

bosc pear, carrots, rice cakes and kettle cooked Lays chips

Snack Items:

popcorn or  hummus with rice crackers and carrots

And for dinner, I was planning on working something out with the restaurant in the hotel since they DO work around people's allergies.

Now, I only need to bring are snacks and drinks! Much better. Less stuff to carry into the hotel. I'm already going to be carrying around my bedding, jackets, etc.

I'll be giving you more updates soon about the planning I'm having to do for my trip. Until then, *Ciao!

Posted on March 16, 2013 and filed under Allergies.