Why My Difference Can be Scary By Dylan Goldfarb (Age 10)

Dylan2014 copyI am allergic to peanuts, tree nuts and fresh soy, such as soybeans, soy milk, edamame, soy sauce and tofu.  My difference is scary because if I eat one of these foods, I could go into analphylactic shock, which means my throat closes up and I stop breathing. The only way to start breathing again is to use something called an Epipen that is a sharp needle injected in the outside of my thigh. The Epipen contains a drug called epinephrine.

One time when I was in the Bahamas, I went to a Japanese restaurant called Nobu. I used to go there all the time when I was little because they didn’t use any peanuts or tree nuts.  But, one night when I went there in the Bahamas last year, I ordered two bowls of edamame. After eating it I threw up three times and they rushed me to the bathroom where I got sick again. There, a lady in high heels even slipped on it! My family and hotel security then rushed me to the nurse, and after that they just told me to take it easy.  When I got back to the U.S. I went to see my allergist and that is when I discovered I was allergic to fresh soy also, in addition to nuts.  I was then scared because I had even more things to worry about now.

I am still working on how to accept my difference. One way I am overcoming my difference is I have gotten better at reading labels for the food packaging.  Another way I have gotten better with my difference is I talk to the chefs at a restaurant to tell them what food allergies I have, such as what I am allowed to eat and what I am not allowed to eat. That is a good example of something I do to help me overcome and handle my food allergies.

So, if you put three of my paragraphs together, you get the words ‘danger,’ ‘trouble’ and ‘scary.’ That’s the way I have been living my life for the past ten years and who knows what will happen to me next? Will something I eat have nuts? Will I throw-up the next time, or will everything be fine? Those are the questions I ask myself every day.  Most of my life I am scared and nobody can do anything about it.  Just like a scar it is painful to know it’s there even if it doesn’t actually hurt to have every day. Maybe someday they will find a cure for food allergies and I won’t have to worry anymore.

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