Roy and I met while he was in town visiting his cousin for his birthday. There was something about him I couldn’t shake. He went back to New Jersey and I went about life in Orlando. We started talking long distance and developed an amazing friendship, but all the while I had fallen in love with him. We talked every single day about every single thing imaginable. Around Christmas time (about a month after talking) he told me he was allergic to nuts, not just peanuts but tree nuts as well. Never in my life had I met anyone allergic to nuts so I truly thought he was kidding. He then told me his mom was also allergic but more severe than he was. After that conversation I honestly never thought about it again.
Fast forward to February and he was back in Orlando, but this time with a visit for his cousin’s birthday. He invited me to meet up with them his first night in town at a diner that was really popular late at night and supposedly had amazing milkshakes. I’m not a huge fan of milkshakes but EVERYONE kept talking about them so I did one of those numbers where I just picked a milkshake and ordered it. I never really looked at the ingredients. The milkshakes came to the table, everyone started to drink theirs and next thing I know Roy is asking me what kind of milkshake I ordered as he clears his throat a couple of times. I answered with ” I’m not really sure, this one I think (as I pointed to the menu)”. There it was…one of the first ingredients…PEANUT BUTTER. He looked at me and calmly and said, “I think I got your milkshake.” It was like a movie and everything happened in slow motion. I silently panicked, he immediately started drinking tons of water and I thought I was going to cry. I had forgotten about his allergy and I thought I had killed him.
Thankfully, he still chose to date and then marry me. Roy’s allergy is not nearly as severe as others. However, we still take precautions everywhere we go, and in our home as well. We never have anything peanut in the house and don’t allow others to bring it in as well. I would like to point out this was VERY hard for me as I am obsessed with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but my love for my husband is greater. I will occasionally eat something with peanuts when I know I will not see him for HOURS or if I am out of town for the weekend or vice versa.
Now that I am pregnant I fear that my child will have a similar allergy. I am aware it is not genetic, but that does not mean it can’t happen. I hear people all the time talk about kids who have a nut allergy in their child’s classroom and how it seems to be an inconvenience to them because they cannot pack certain items for their own children or bring certain foods to school functions. I understand their frustrations but I wish they would take a minute to think of the parents of those children and how hard it is to make sure your child is safe when they’re not around.
This year I learned of something called the Teal Pumpkin Project. I brought it to Roy’s attention and he agreed that it was a great idea that we will participate from here on. We will strictly have nut free candy as well as non food items for those who have other allergies besides nut.
I don’t know what the future holds for our child, but I do know that I will do my best to make their life as normal as possible should they have a severe allergy.
Does anyone else have a severe allergy or know someone who does? We love to hear tips from other people as well!