Life with a nut allergy

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“I have a nut allergy so can you check there are no nuts in this dish please.”

“There are no nuts.”

“Please can you check with the chef.”

“Of course.”

This is how a standard conversation with me and anyone ever that has served me food in a public place.

I can deal with that. In fact I don’t mind asking someone to check because it can make the difference between life or death.

My issue is with the response I usually get.

“I have checked with the chef and there are definitely no peanuts in the dish.”

So to an average person they may not be anything wrong with this. But for me there’s so much.

PEANUTS.

PEANUTS.

So when I say nuts, people hear peanuts. I wasn’t aware they were the only nut around.

Before you say “oh but I was thinking peanuts” my fault isn’t with the person who assumed I was talking at peanuts but with the educators.

Peanuts aren’t actually nuts. The word ‘nut’ in them is deceiving.

I may seem like I am going on a rant, and I am, but to reiterate this is life and death.

I’ve spent my whole life saying I am allergic to nuts and I have no idea how many times people assumed peanuts.

I’ve never thought to add that it was tree nuts that I was referring to, mainly because many people don’t know what they are.

What’s the difference between tree nuts and other nuts? What counts as a nut.

They’re all nuts to some people but again when it’s life or death it does matter.

When I got diagnosed with a nut allergy I was never told about the distinction. I learnt over time that it was tree nuts.

I may have even learnt through a google search.

But I have always wondered how many of the reactions I’ve had were due to this misunderstand and me eating something that I shouldn’t have done as a result.

For me, it’s constantly on my mind nowadays. I find myself repeating my allergy regularly, I feel bad about it but I am just so scared of misinterpretation.

Something needs to be done from either doctors or schools to educate both allergy sufferers and the rest of the population on how to deal with such situations.

You never know, one day it could save a life.

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