Returning from an allergy infested week away I wish that at my ripe old age I could be strong enough and vigilant enough to remain healthy when eating in someone elses house. It isn’t just their fault, it’s also mine.
I’ve been there loads of times, and they are truly amazing and accommodating. There is always Rice Dream milk and Pure sunflower spread in the fridge and often homemade flapjacks – a particular weakness of mine. Lovely, delicious home cooked food, vegetables from the garden and all cooked for us. What more could a girl ask for right?
But there was also gravy… There is always the gravy. We have had the gravy conversation SOOOOOOOOO many times, and I know that my ‘special’ gravy isn’t that popular with everyone. I THOUGHT it would be OK. So the comment, “this is one that you’ve had before…” should have set the alarm bells ringing, but I didn’t check, and I have been less vigilant lately, having gravy and stock cubes with wheat/gluten sometimes as long as there was no celery or dairy. So if I get confused and lax how can I expect others to always know what I am and am not eating?
I should have taken my own stock cubes, gravy granules and quietly made my own, but, well, I forgot.
I shouldn’t have had the Swedish Glace dairy free ice cream because I know I’ve begun to have reactions to that too.
The problem is that I won’t keel over if I eat celery or monosodium glutamate (MSG) laced gravy, but I will definitely wake up looking like I’ve spent too long in the sun. It burns the skin on my face. I look, quite frankly, ridiculous and I feel miserable. There is a constant itch and pain from the swollen skin and it takes a good three to four days for the effects to die down.
I knew I’d eaten something bad. My husband noticed and caught the sharp end of my tongue, which was not fair. But he was there and trying to be kind and so I’m afraid he caught the worst of my temper. If I’m honest though, I should have been more insistent. I should have checked. I should have taken more supplies of the REAL gravy as I usually do.
But it’s those questions, can you eat this, can you eat these? Sometimes you just want to go along with things. To forget, to avoid the questions and having to say, No, NO, NO NO NO NONONONONO.
On the journey home I lick my wounds, thankful it is only a mild reaction, and don’t think mild isn’t painful. Mild means I can see out of my eyes and am not crying with the pain. I am just a little annoyed I let it happen. Because ultimately this episode was my fault.
We stopped at Burger King for a snack on the way home. I know that I can have the fries and onion rings (somewhat of a treat since onion rings are usually off the menu) but I wanted to check to make sure. I asked to see the allergen menu, in the queue, which is always a bit embarassing. They don’t have one and they have no idea what’s in the onion rings. There is no apology and no eye contact.
I probably was muttering under my breath like a mad woman. “Brilliant! No allergen information, I shall be reporting this…” I say probably, I was definitely muttering. Husband kindly and quietly whispered, “are you sure you want to risk having this without checking?”
To which I respond, directly to the young guy serving us, who is still looking down at his feet and avoiding any eye contact with the crazy lady, “I’ll have to risk it, I’m sure they are OK, they were last time. I’ll have fries and onion rings please”.
Whilst waiting I managed to check online to confirm, and yes, the onion rings are still dairy and celery free.
I am ashamed to say that I was a bit rude. I was even more cross when our food arrived minus onion rings or fries for me! By now husband is decidedly embarrassed on my behalf, but I’m on a roll.
I look for my fries in the bag, is seems the onion rings AND fries are missing! Now I’m really cross.
When the poor man arrives with our food I ask him, “Can you please check our order?” In a voice just slightly too loud. People were looking over. “I did actually order some chips and onion rings but they aren’t in the bag …” to which the man skuttles off and returns with the missing food, without a word.
I now feel very mean. Perhaps he was just shy. Perhaps it was just a genuine mistake and not an effort to ignore and annoy the allergy freek. The steam pouring out of my ears slowly begins to recede.
Sorry to the man at Long Crendon Burger King. I got a bit cross. I’m not normally like that.
I just hate having allergies. Why do I deserve this?
Today I am still cross. Cross with the cards life has given me, cross with myself for not being organised and alert and cross with EVERYTHING!
Tea in bed this morning did help but if someone asks me one more time,
“Can you eat these chocolates?”
“Can you eat these mini cheddars?”
“Can I put a bit of butter in to start this off?”
“Would you like milk in your coffee?” (after I’ve just explained my dairy allergy…)
Just watch out today…
Oh I dream of being able to just walk out of the house without a bag and just go and eat anywhere, order anything from the menu, and wake up EVERY day with just normal skin. I don’t want perfect skin, just some skin that isn’t raised, raw, swollen and itchy when I inadvertently eat the wrong stuff.
This is just a gentle warning to everyone. Steer well clear. The usual smiling, happy, kind, patient Ruth has left the building.