Monday, May 10, 2010
It's Food Allergy Awareness Week all over again! It's particularly poignant for us that FAAW is in May, beginning with Mother's Day, since Ryan's Big Peanut Kaboom Anniversary is the 16th. But part of me wishes FAAW fell in September, because I see all of the activities listed on the website and think that there is such an opportunity to do these in a classroom setting at the beginning of the school year. But that's what they get for not asking me my opinion.
You may recall that last year I interviewed Ryan and Morgan about food allergies for FAAW. I recently interviewed them again, and I plan to do this each year. As you'll see, their answers are interesting and revealing in their understanding of what food allergies are and how to manage them.
Today I'll post Ryan's interview and in the next couple of days I'll post Morgan's. (Sean declined to be interviewed on account of the fact that he is not yet two years old.) My additional comments are in italics.
What are you allergic to?
Peanuts. Nothing else.
Tell me what your life is like having a peanut allergy.
Well it's very tempting and I go to the grocery store and I want to get prizes (out of the machine) and try M&Ms that are peanut. But I know they're not safe. But it's still really tempting
[Tempting! I was alarmed to hear him say this. I can't really blame him for being curious about peanuts. But wow. See the things you learn when you interview people?]
Do you think you'll take that risk?
Personally, I'd say no.
[Well that's something. And btw, that was a direct quote. That's how he really speaks.]
Well because I'm allergic enough that if I do it again, I might die and I don't want that to happen.
[Okay. Felt much calmer after hearing that. But still.]
What might happen in a reaction?
My mom said what would happen in a reaction would be red hives coming all over me, sometimes my skin would turn blue, sometimes I would be sneezing but mostly I would be coughing. and it's so serious I'd have to go to the doctor's.
[Note: he hasn't had a reaction of any kind in several years. He really doesn't know what would happen, so I like to remind him what the symptoms are.]
What else would have to happen?
I'd have an Epi-pen and I like them because they can save my life, but I don't like shots. Seriously, dude, and Epi-pen is a kind of a shot.
[Again, a direct quote.]
Do you know how to use an Epi-pen?
Yeah, you take it out and stab it into your hip and wait for 10 seconds and then take it out.
[It's the outer thigh, not the hip, and I took the opportunity to correct him on that small detail.]
When should you use an Epi-pen?
The only time I should use an Epi-pen is if I accidentally ate peanuts. I'd never eat them on purpose because my mom would say I couldn't and we'd look online to see if things are processed with peanuts. So pretty much I'm safe, so if I ever need an Epi-pen that would be if I accidentally ate peanuts.
[I was going for a list of the symptoms, but that was an acceptable answer too.]
What is something you'd like friends and family to know about food allergies?
Some people don't think food allergies are dangerous at all. I want my family and friends and my family's friends that I don't know [think he means my blog readers here] to know that you can actually die from food allergies and I want them to tell their friends so more people know that.
[Got that, Dear Readers? Good. :) ]
Thanks for reading Ryan's interview. And thank you to everyone who has helped keep him safe over the past six years, and to everyone who has helped educate others about food allergies by commenting on my blog posts and linking to them. It means so much.