Bubble Nora

27 Aug

My friends joke that I should live in a bubble, you know, like Jake G. did in Bubble Boy?

Reasons for Nora living in a bubble: I’m allergic to fruit, tree-nuts, soy products and now certain vegetables. I used to put away a canteloupe a day. I can’t eat touch it anymore. Almonds, pecans, walnuts, pine nuts, coconuts all cause me to bloat and swell while turning a lovely shade of bright red, during which time my eyes, ears, nose and throat close up. I’m also allergic to every tree, grass, mold, mildew, weed and plant that we have in Missouri, which isn’t a problem 9 months of the year.

According to my doc, my outdoor allergies have translated into oral allergies, so when I eat anything that grows on a tree or potentially in the ground, it is as though I’m shoving fistfuls of the deadly pollen in my body at intoxicating levels. It makes total sense.

What is annoying, however, is how my life has changed since I was diagnosed with these darn food/oral allergies a year ago.

If I’m going to a dinner party I have to be the pain in the butt guest who asks what is in each dish. More than once I have had to politely pass on the entree and settle for salad and sides as my dinner.

When people notice my lack of eating they of course want to know why, so I begin to explain, as succinctly as possible, my rationale. Conversation goes like this:

Friend: “Why aren’t you eating the chicken with almond sauce?”
Nora: “Ah, well, I’m allergic to tree nuts.”
Friend: “Really? What happens?”
Nora: “I swell up and can’t breathe.”
Friend: “Are you sure your allergic to all tree nuts?”
Nora: “Yes.”
Friend: “Interesting. So, how do you avoid eating them? Don’t you crave them?”
Nora: “Oddly enough you don’t crave something that might kill you.”
Friend: blank stare and silence.
Nora (to herself): That always works.

In all honesty it’s a much safer world if I stick to meat, cheese, bread and dairy, all products I know I can eat. I carry massive amounts of Benadryl with me and whoever I’m out with is alerted to the location of my EpiPen, just in case. I’m learning to deal with the fact that asking what’s in my food isn’t rude or picky, just being a lifeguard for myself. It’s not hard to avoid the poison foods, most especially when one false move or unnecessary bite could your life. I’m Italian and I love food, but not that much.

The running joke, however? Is that as my allergies get worse, as they are, that I’ll only be able to order a glass of water when I go out to eat with my friends. I’m sure a whole new onslaught of questions about my eating habits would arise, but at least I’d be in the best shape of my life.


3 Responses to “Bubble Nora”

  1. Kyla Bea August 28, 2008 at 9:48 am #

    Aw this is so familiar….I’m vegetarian and lactose intolerant (luckily I can take pills for lactose) and my fiancé is allergic to tree nuts, seafood, corn, soy, and most seeds. We have no trouble cooking for ourselves….however trying to eat at dinner parties is a bit of a nightmare at times when people want to have us over. I feel your pain!!

  2. She She August 29, 2008 at 10:28 am #

    I’m glad you’re able to keep your sense of humor about this. It’s tough sometimes. Sounds like you know how to take care of yourself. I hope my kids are as vigilent when they’re 25.


  1. Bubble Nora « Walking through the Rain | www.nutallergies.ca - March 24, 2009

    […] here to read the rest:  Bubble Nora « Walking through the Rain Share and […]

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