I’d tell you my whole bio and how it got to be that on a Wednesday night I decided to sit down and write a blog after 25 years of living with severe food allergies (and environmental, what what!). But the thing is, I’m a TV writer (aspiring, fine.), and one of the first rules of writing for television is that you get in to the scene quickly, say what’s relevant to move the story along, and get out as quickly as you got in. Leave exposition and backstory to subtext, and if you create the story correctly, it’ll be obvious on it’s own. And while I recognize that this isn’t a script, I do believe the same rules apply. You’ll come to know me pretty well as you continue to read this blog, so I figure I’d just say hey, give you some handy dandy bullet points of what the point of this whole endeavor is, and mosey along to the good stuff.
1. I’ve always had allergies. To a lot of different foods at different times. I finally found a good allergist in my city who can help me. Yeah, I’m 25 and first started going to an allergist now – my allergies had always been so obvious there seemed to be no point. But they got less obvious. So I got tested, and tested positive (and severely so, on a scale of 1-4, I was mostly 3s, and on A-D, I was pretty evenly B/C with some Ds) to 48 out of the 75 testable foods. And in a different test, 37 out of the 40 testable environmental allergens (bring it on, mold and dogs).
2. I am allergic to (in order of severity according to test results, this is all subject to change as I embark on food challenges in the coming months):
- Lettuce (though in real life, this is a pretty severe one, goes to show you test results aren’t perfect)
- Cacao Bean aka Chocolate
- Green Peppers
- Cow’s Milk
- Baker’s Yeast
- Cabbage (this one, tests aside, is usually airborne for me. Makes grocery shopping hella fun).
- Egg Yolk
- Codfish (welcome to the 4D fatal territory).
- Things I’m allergic to that they don’t have tests for, but after a while of reactions, you kinda know…Artichokes, Hearts of palm, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, papaya, dates, figs, bouillon cubes, spinach, xanthan gum, guar gum, horseradish/wasabi (can’t even be in the same floor of my house when this is being freshly grated)
3. I keep strictly kosher, so if/when I post recipes, feel free to modify them with non kosher ingredients. And yes, it does add to the complexity of living with allergies, and also allergies add to the ease of keeping kosher, because staying away from food is not really a big deal at all and never has been.
4. I’m terrified of using my epipen, and I’m not sure why. So I haven’t used it. Ever. And there have been times I maybe should have. But we’ll get to those.