When you have food allergies the most simplistic event can get scary and uneasy very fast. There are many situations that pop up and come as a complete surprise for endangering your food allergies, and the worst part is they can happen anywhere at anytime. But this doesn't mean you have put your life on hold. Having a few tricks up your sleeve and taking certain precautions can make a nightmare situation end quicker then a fight with Batman.
I recently came across a tough situation at a bar. It was my friends birthday, and they choose to go out to a bar to drink. If you didn't know, some alcoholic beverages contain almonds (something I am very allergic to) such as Amaretto and Bombay Sapphire. At a bar or a social setting where it can a little loud, it is hard to convey to bartenders, servers, and friends that you have to be careful what you drink. If you are of legal drinking age and go out it may be helpful to tell your friends what you can and can't drink before going out. Make sure you know what is exactly in the cocktail you're drinking. Never accept a drink that you are unaware of regardless of your allergies and if you are still not sure don't take the chance. I know it is easy to get distracted when you're having a good time out at a bar, but you can't afford to let your guard down. Now this doesn't mean you can't fun! It just means you have to be responsible which you should be while drinking.
Another situation I've come across far to often is having potlucks in my home and having allergens brought in. Usually I feel as if my home is a controlled environment that I control. Before I have people over for dinner or a large potluck I always urge people to make sure they know what they're cooking with both utensil wise for cross contamination and ingredient. I also make sure they are aware of all the allergies in the home. Sometimes, items slip through and accidents happen. The best way to handle it is with kindness. If a dish does contain an allergen, tell the person who brought it the issue, and explain that it can't be opened for your safety. If it has been opened make sure to clean the utensils and disinfect the area.
Any situation where you feel like you don't have control can seem stressful. But you can take steps to make sure you're safe. If you have your Epi-Pen, inform those around you about your allergies, and never be shy about voicing your insecurities and worries, you are on the right path to making sure you are comfortable in every situation.
We all deal with these issues, and unfortunately they may never go away. But, with education and understanding we can all make life a little easier for everyone with food allergies.
If you're having issues with social situations, or feel uneasy about going out to eat,drink, or socialize. Feel free to contact me for consultation and mentoring. I have dealt with these situations before and through life experience, education, and training I feel very confident in helping others out on the road.
If you're interested in mentoring check out the page above and leave your name, and what you're interested in!
Can you think of any other situations you feel uncomfortable with? How did you deal with it? Let us know in the comments!