Sunday, September 22, 2013

You Know You Have a Severe Corn Allergy When (list in progress)

1. You burst into tears of joy when a friend working on an organic farm offers to work with their butcher to get you safely processed food. 

2. Your CSA (weekly box of safe food) packs a separate box of food for you during corn season. And transports it in the front of the truck. 

3. You've heard of the new restaurants but they don't make up part of your mental map. There are zones that are just blank (food for other people here) blocks in your mind. 

4. You think of movie theaters and Mexican restaurants, with all the airborne corn proteins, as the Death Zone. 

5. You know the places where you can get a safe sparkling water in a bottle when you go out with friends. 

6. You have colleagues that you think of as poisonous, not for the quality of their work or their content of their character -- because of their cologne or perfume or soap or shampoo or dryer sheets or makeup or all of the above that is fragrantly off-gassing corn all day long. 

7. Your decision to attend an event includes figuring in both the likelyhood of a severe reaction and how long you will be sick afterward from exposure to "environmental" corn. 

8. You love people but hate their chemical-flowers-in-a-can smell. 

9. You have two first aid-kits in your car, one corn-free one for you and one for other people. 

10.  Your friends have created rules and earn point for not killing you. (My game is called DNKC -- Do NOT Kill Christine (tm). Yes, there are prizes. It used to be called Try Not to Kill Christine, but it was pointed out that the title was a bit pessimistic and Yoda would not approve.)

11. You have flinched when hugging/kissing an adored relative  because you touched your cheek to their face powder or got their lipstick on you. As the hives start popping out, you just keep smiling and ignore it for as long as possible. 

12. You know how long you can go without scratching in public once the itching has gotten to the "like a monkey" stage. 

13. You wonder if it would be appropriate to send holiday cards to your compounding pharmacy and your great doctor's office. Valentines Day might see a bit odd, but you do <3 them for helping you stay alive.  

14.  The day that Organic Valley started adding corn to their whole milk (aka. Vitamins A & D) was a day of mourning for you. 

15. You are still holding a grudge against Enjoy Life for not taking your report of a severe allergic reaction seriously in 2007, and ignoring/denying the continuing reports of many, many other corn allergy folks in the ensuing years. Nope, now that their chocolate is listed as "May contain traces of corn" in 2013 after they publicly denied it for 5 years --their  credibility far from restored. Can't believe they spend so much $ on marketing their product as allergy food and have such horrible protocol for dealing with reported reactions. 

16. You love Annie's Organics because of how wonderfully they dealt with a reaction report. (I'm still impressed years later wih how they dealt w mine -- they were concerned, researched the issue, made a correction with a new supplier, reported back. And 6 years later I recommend their products that I can't eat to people who can. Kudos to Annie's Organic's.) 

17. You know that if a product says "Corn Free" on the label, it's probably not. 

18. Recipes that are promoted as allergy safe including "Corn Free" make you laugh. 

19. You play "find the corn" on food labels for fun, not because you actually thought you could eat it. 

20.  You have learned how to cook/can/dry/grow/distill your own food. 

21.  You know more about our food system than you ever wanted to know about any industrial process. 

22. You don't think of yourself as a foodie or a control freak, but if: you don't know where it came from; how it was grown; what happened to it post harvest; and you didn't prepare it -- you surely are not going to eat it. 

23. You have a beauty regimen that consists of a soap, shampoo/conditioner,  food grade oil for moisturizer, deoderant  and safe toothpaste. (The oil may be the only item you can buy easily in your local grocery store). 

24.  Your lunch looks and tastes better than the leftovers everyone else brings to the office. You don't share. 

25. You would rather be hungry for a few hours than eat somehow that will make you sick. It probably won't kill you to miss a meal, but an anaphylactic reaction just might. 


Dramamama said...

Number 24 is my favorite!

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George Puzo said...

My goodness that sounds exactly with what i am dealing with. I had better find a allergy specialist in Naperville, IL, do you guys know of any good ones?

Marty said...

Love this list! It really is my life, especially the parts about people smelling of chemical laundry products, not eating at a gathering and eating later at home, and how my lunches are so much better than other's. I made safe for me cupcakes in a mass quantity Saturday and the family went nuts for them. Are you a member of the Facebook corn allergy page? I hope you don't mind but I want to share this with them.