this is a bit of a rant…ok more than a bit, but be forewarned, this is something that had me quite peeved this week. if you have read this blog before, you know i have allergies – big ones – own more than one epipen and am never without benedryl type allergies. there are things i cannot eat or there is a good chance i will die. plan. simple. fact. i will die.
so last week i was at the grocery store, and i was in the “special section” you know the one that has mostly organic and health food things – not because everything i eat is healthy or organic, but because it is a lot easier to read an ingredient list that has 4-5 items than one that has 10-15, plus very rarely is the wonderful most likely going to kill me ingredient of “natural flavour” or “food starch” listed. But anyways, i was there picking up some cereal (yes i know, ironic) and this guy beside me was looking at molasses. he put the molasses back and started ranting about how he couldn’t find one that didn’t say “may contain sulphites” me being slightly naive said, “oh you have a sulphite allergy?” but apparently that wasn’t true, apparently even the small chance that something could have a sulphite in it meant that the world was coming to an end and he didn’t care about his health. fine, he’s entitled to his opinion, and he can choose to go without something he really wants on the off chance that it may contain a trace of something he deems “bad”, but he didn’t stop there. instead he then starts to pick appart the cereal i had in my hand telling me that it has corn in it, and that corn is “bad” for me and if i cared about my health i would choose a product that had potato or tapioca in it instead. i politely told him i was allergic to both of those, but not corn so i would choose the corn product. he went off on me – literally turning red and getting all worked up, telling me that people like me buying “crap” in the health section was the reason that he had trouble finding products that weren’t going to “ruin” his health.
i was taken back, figured he didn’t understand, so i said “it’s not that i am making a choice, i don’t have a choice – tapioca and potato make me have anaphylaxis, i could die” and he actually said, “your choice if you don’t care about your health, but i would still eat the tapioca product”. i probably got a little more angry than i should have, and said “so do i use my epipen before, during or after i eat the product that will kill me? i guess i call the ambulance before, since i won’t be able to speak after, huh?”
he called me something i will not repeat here, and walked away.
i don’t get it. i really don’t. why be that uptight about eating something? i’m not saying that everything is something people should be eating – but really, if it literally isn’t going to kill you the second it hits your lips – why be that angry about it?
i hear this from my friends who have celiacs as well – people who choose not to eat gluten but really don’t have to. i’ve heard my celiac friends mention how if they could eat that really crusty piece of bread and not get super sick they would in a heart beat. but they, like i, know better and stay away, forever jealous of people who can eat without having to ask a million questions, get eyes rolled at them like they are a pain, and still hope and pray that what comes to the table doesn’t have a hidden danger in it.
we do not have a choice, most of you do, and fine, it’s your choice, but know next time you judge someone, know that not all of us have the luxury of that choice and will never understand your judgement of those of us who can not choose.