The flight attendant shuffles through the isles, “excuse me, watch your feet.” Her cart stops at every person. “Could I interest you in a beverage? Animal crackers?” Some people graciously grab a bag and others wave their hand “no” and smile as if they were in the mall and someone asked them if they wanted a free sample. I was young, very young, 2 or 3. It was my first time going to Disneyland. I was sitting next to my sister and my mom on the plane ride. My dad was sitting in back of us. The flight attendant unlocked the wheels on the cart and scooted it closer to us. “Animal crackers?” My dad reaches his hand out and the flight attendant hands him a bag. They both exchange friendly smiles. My dad hands my sister one and he hands me one. My sister nibbles on hers while I scarfed mine down. A few minutes pass. I am holding my throat motioning that I was choking. My eyes start to water and turn red. Everytime I itch or even touch my eyes they get more red. My mom frantically panics. She calls my dad over to inspect me as if I were getting a checkup with my doctor. All I could imagine going through my mom’s head is what could go worse? 10,000 something feet in the air and my child is having an allergic reaction. My mom calls the flight attendant over and she asks for a cup of water. After done drinking the water, she tells me to go to sleep. To this day, she still says that was the worst mistake of her life. I could have died in my sleep. I’m lucky I didn’t. After I wake up, everyone was glad I was okay. I had a great time at Disneyland and my parents made sure to keep me away from nuts.
I had to go to my allergen and he diagnosed me with a peanut allergy. When I was in Preschool, Kindergarten, and 1st grade I would always wear a bracelet saying my name, mom and dad’s phone number, and doctor’s phone number. I’ve trained myself to always ask if something had nuts in it. Not only am I allergic to peanuts but a variety of them as well. If I ever go to my friends house I always ask, they always turn the food package over and read the ingredients for about 1 to 2 minutes, once their done they hand it to me to double check. I’ve done it so many times that I only read the “may contain” ingredients on the back. Usually it’s only tree nuts, peanuts, eggs, milk, or soy. My close friends are the best with my nut allergy. If someone is eating an obvious food with nuts in it, they tell them they have to leave or stay away from me. I’ve ingrained in my brain to always ask if a food product has nuts in it. I have something called an epi pen. If I have a allergic reaction I have to jab it in my thigh (not a lot of bones). There is a needle at the end that puts the medicine in my body. I have never had to use it before and hope not to need to ever use it. My family and friends helped me make sure to stay away from nuts. Last year I got a blood test to see if I were still allergic. It said there was a highly chance I wasn’t.
After a couple of weeks of taking the blood test, we got a call from my allergen. He said I could come in to taste some peanut butter. My mom and my grandma went with me. We walked in and my mom saw some familiar faces and smiled and said hello. We went to the very end of the hallway. Asthma and Allergy. I go to him for asthma as well. My mom checks me in. It felt like we were waiting for an hour, but in reality it was about 15 minutes. We get up and walk around. I walk past the fish tank and tell my mom how pretty the fish are. We walk back to the waiting area just in time. “Lucy! Peanut allergy testing?” My mom replies, “yes!” The secretary escorts us to the office. She smiles and me and slides the door shut. We wait for what seems like a lifetime. 2 knocks on the door. Before my mom can say come in he is already in the office. “Nice seeing you all again.” He looks at my grandma and shoots her a smile because he doesn’t recognize her. My doctor tries to make some jokes to loosen up how tense I am. It’s not helping. “Okay, so what I am going to do today, is we are going to start off with not even a spoonful of peanut butter and not even half. Small enough to fit on your pinky nail. Does that sound good?” I nod my head in relief. “Once we do that, I will come back every 10 to 15 minutes to see if anything happened to you. I will keep increasing the amount of peanut butter every time. Alright?” I nod my head in sort of a mix between yes and no. “So how is it going with taking those allergy pills everyday?” He says as he is scooping the peanut butter out of the jar. My mom smirks, “if she even does it everyday.” I snap at her, “I do so!” I lied, it’s become a habit that I don’t do them. Some days do, some days don’t feel like it, and most days forget. “Alright, alright.” He says as he hands me the spoon. I weakly take it from him. It’s stuck to the spoon so I make a spoon with my younger and scoop it out. It sticks to my teeth. When I swallow it, I can still feel the peanut butter on my tongue. I hate the taste. I hate the taste of plain straight peanuts. The taste is horrible. I signal to spit it out. He shakes his head. He hand me a cup of water. I drink it as fast as I can. He gradually made the porations bigger and bigger. I had to eat half a teaspoon everyday. Once I did that for a month, I moved on to a full teaspoon. I’ve been trying to not be as cautious about my allergy but still not be carefree about it.