My son, now three, was diagnosed early in his life with a severe peanut allergy. "What's a peanut allergy?" I asked the physicians at Johns Hopkins. Not only was I clueless about what a food allergy was but I had never even known someone with a food allergy. For better or worse, I now know more than I ever dreamed of knowing about food allergies.
Turns out my son has a "score" of 95 out of 100. If he was in math class, I would be thrilled. Unfortunately when it comes to peanut allergies, a 95 is bad, very bad. The higher the score, the worse the allergy.
We've come to cope with this and he is a genuine trooper. It could be worse and we realize this but I've come to see allergies in a new light.
As allergy season is here, I came across Laura Stack's excellent post on how allergies affect us. Her research included such items as the following:
- 71% of health professionals agree that allergies can dramatically impact the quality of one's life on a regular basis
- Allergies impact ALL areas of one's life, including sex drive, workplace productivity and attitude
What can you do if allergies are getting you down?
- See an allergist to pinpoint the problem. I know, I know, most of us don't like to go to the doctor but go for it and get it done sooner than later.
- Don't ignore your situation. Medications and the simple avoidance of certain areas and foods can really improve quality of life.
- Be thankful. This sounds crazy but any affliction we have is an opportunity to see context. I'd rather have a food allergy than cancer, etc. I've traveled to Peru, Jamaica and Dominican Republic and my guess is that many of the poor and destitute would take an allergy any day over the severe conditions in which they live.
Quote for the Road
The greatest wealth is health. ~Virgil