I talk about my allergy a lot a work, to educate my coworkers and to protect myself incase of an emergency. Unfortunately, I don't have the type of reaction where I can just mention that I have a food allergy and hope for the best. If things go badly wrong, I will need someone to advocate for me with the EMTs to keep me safe from all the great corn containing goodies they carry to save lives -- alcohol swabs and glucose and any IV solution except plain old saline.
So I talk and I talk and I talk, talk, talk. Frankly I bore myself. But it has to be done. I wish that Grace, the wonderful allergy aware 4 year old was here to jump in front of me, throw her arms wide and announce to the world "SHE'S ALLERGIC TO CORN" and "THERE'S CORN IN THAT!" with all that preschool attitude and scorn. But instead I keep up my mini seminars and after several months people are getting over the "corn can't be in all of that" or the "she must be nuts" internal reactions to my tidbits.
I have to say EVERYONE I work with is nice and no matter how crazy they may think this allergy is, no one has said it to my face. I think the fact that I don't even hesitate to say "no thanks" when the candy and the Ben & Jerry's comes around is what may have tipped the scales in my favor. I'd have some if I could, but none of it is worth a reaction.
Nice is far too weak a term to describe my office-mates. I have problems with the ethanol fumes when I pump gas, I mentioned this one day so people take turns putting gas in my car. I never have to worry about an empty tank or taking my chances at the gas station. How great are they? Do you work with people like this? I'm amazed at their kindness. (If I have to pump gas I have a vapor barrier mask that was given to me by my favorite physicist, but I haven't had to use it and now that the warm weather is here I think it would cause a bit of a stir at the gas station.)
While chatting with a coworker over coffee, I offhandedly mentioned that I hadn't had my hair cut in about 2 1/2 years since I had a nasty reaction in an Aveda salon. Even at the earth-friendly Aveda there are just too many corn-derived things in the air -- gels, sprays, alcohols. She has gorgeous hair and this state of affairs was completely unacceptable. It didn't take long before she had organized 2 other women with beautiful hair to give their opinions on what needed to be done with mine. Scissors and a trash bag materialized...et volia...Haircut! Split ends (several inches worth) in the trash, not a hair on the floor and my hair looks great.
It takes an office.