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The Child who Hides an Allergic Reaction

The Child who Hides an Allergic Reaction

When I was seven years old, I went Christmas Caroling with my Brownie Girl Scout Troop. And as is customary when cute little girls sings Christmas songs at your door, most members of our audience raided their pantries for baked goods to offer us when we were done.

Baked goods, especially at Christmas time, are particularly dangerous to me. It’s the time of year when everybody seems to break out the nuts. A lot of food allergy parents these days would probably tell their allergic children not to accept any sweets while out caroling, and that they’d make it up with a favorite treat when the child gets home. This was a different era, though. EpiPens were not promoted as a first response, but only to be used if the situation escalated. Fewer food allergy deaths reached our ears because there was no internet (not to mention there were fewer people with allergies to die), and we’d only just begun to recognize the dangers of cross-contamination.

Which is not to say that I hadn’t been trained in my own safety, and we thought we had it covered. I dutifully asked whether each proffered treat contained any nuts, and I happily scarfed down cookies with the rest of my troop every time I was told “no, they don’t.”

Then, one of the cookies I ate had nuts after all, and as we walked away from that house and to the next, I began to have a reaction.

However, I . . .

See how I handled it in the full article here!

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