Yep, just this morning I started breaking out due to my usual breakfast cereal apparently being contaminated with wheat. Yay. *sarcasm hand* Anyway, this has reminded me of the impact (good and bad) that my food allergies have had in the sixteen years of my life. Most of you don't know this, but I'm severly allergic (anaphylatic) to milk, wheat, eggs, tree nuts, and peanuts, and semi-allergic to peas, strawberries, corn, and sometimes oranges (depending if the oranges are fresh or not. Yeah, I know it's weird). And, since I'm on winter break and I actually have time to write for fun for once, I decided to type this list up. Maybe some of you Sparklers can relate. The Bad Being known as “that girl who’s allergic to everything” throughout most of elementary school and junior high. Yes, I have a lot of food allergies. No, they do not define me, and I don’t want to be known only because of them. And I’m sorry that you can’t remember what I’m allergic to, but just because it’s not just peanuts, you can call it“everything”, apparently? I see. Having to sit all by myself at the “Food Allergy Table” in elementary school. Yeah, no one else at my school had food allergies, so it was just me, at the front of the cafeteria, by myself. Explaining to everyone that yes, people CAN be allergic to food other than peanuts. It is possible. I would know. Home Ec in 6th grade. Sitting through a class about cooking food I couldn’t eat wasn’t all that great. And my whole group got mad at me because I got out of doing the dishes. Trying to explain to my school librarian that no, I do not have "a pizza allergy." It was this end-of-the-year pizza party, and the poor librarian (who was about a hundred years old) just did not understand that pizza was not its own entity, but made out of wheat and milk and actual INGREDIENTS. Sigh. Finding out that the new Advil tablets I took for cramps made me break out ALL OVER MY FACE. The ingredient list (of inactive ingredients, even!) had "starch" in it, which must have contained wheat. Of course, when did this have to happen? The week before the start of my junior year. Yep, first day of school, my face was *not* at all pretty. Past the help of even concealor. I decided I'd rather take the cramps. The Good That being said, I've also had some awesome people in my life who've made dealing with my food allergies much easier. I didn't want to make this just one long rant, don't worry. When my best friend became vegan, just so she had an excuse to bring her own food everywhere, just like me. Suddenly I wasn't the only one bringing a lunch from home to parties or wherever. One of the nicest things anyone's ever done for me. When I was freaking out that I ate my brother's cookies at lunch by accident (ones that had milk and wheat in them) my lunch table just immediately told me, "Come on, let's get you to the nurse." And when it turned out the cookies were actually safe, they all looked just as relieved as I felt. And okay, this one isn't a super big deal, but I do tend to eat healthier than most people, since I don't really eat out at restaurants at all. My mom and I have had to write our own recipes for ordinary stuff like cookies and cake. Because of my food allergies, I've become a much better cook than I think I would be otherwise. And I've gotten bonus bonding time with my dear mother in the kitchen . So, Sparklers, do any of you have stories to share, good or bad? Leave them in the comments!