Embarassed of PA?

Posted on: Sat, 05/26/2007 - 4:17am
pateach's picture
Joined: 05/16/2007 - 09:00

I'm a young adult living with PA. I just wondered if I'm the only one who gets embarassed of their allergy? I'm a teacher, and my students and coworkers are great about my allergy. I just feel bad and embarassed when they go to extreme measures to make accomodations for my allergy. I'm not embarassed around family/friends, as most of them are very understanding. It's just when accomodations are made in my workplace, I feel unable to take care of myself and handle the "real world". Anyone else feel like this ever?

Posted on: Sat, 05/26/2007 - 6:47am
Going Nuts's picture
Joined: 10/04/2001 - 09:00

I'm not the one who is PA, but I can tell you that my 13 y.o. son feels the same way. He doesn't like to talk about it, call attention to it or read about it in any way.
That said, he handles it beautifully, and that's what counts.
I guess none of us likes to call attention to things that make us different - I have GI woes and will go to great lengths to avoid having to address it with others.
BTW, welcome aboard!
[This message has been edited by Going Nuts (edited May 26, 2007).]

Posted on: Sat, 05/26/2007 - 9:49am
ajgauthier's picture
Joined: 04/13/2005 - 09:00

hi pateach, and welcome to the boards! We have an "adult w/ PA roll call" in the Adults area...I'll reraise it for you and you can introduce yourself. We have a small community of adults with PA on pa.com.
I've grown up with PA since age 2 (gosh, 30 years ago now!) and I definitely went through 'embarrassment' times...mostly in my late teens and early 20's. It was somewhere in my mid-20's when I stopped being embarrassed about my friends/colleagues accomodating me or making a fuss (a good and well appreciated fuss though) about finding places for me to eat safely, etc.
I'm not sure what did it for me, I think it was just time. I'm extremely appreciative (but try not to be overly sugary) when friends are considerate of my allergy. A nice big smile and a warm 'thank you SO much' usually satisfies. I'm a baker, so I'll bake as a thank you if it was something big (like at a workplace) or you could send a Hallmark e-card thankyou, or individual cards. That could help you get 'closure' on the being appreciative? It's not overly gushy, and you aren't saying 'thankyou' ten-thousand times for the same act of kindness and consideration.
I guess the embarrassment you are describing is more like how someone is embarrassed when they are given a compliment. It's an embarrassment that folks are being so kind, it is like a compliment...and you so incredibly appreciative...you just don't know how to react so you get embarrassed that folks care so much. I think that is normal [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Welcome to the boards. A great place to start is to go through the Adults w/ PA area and just reading threads and threads going back in time. There are some good ones. Post questions when you have them [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
30-something survivor of severe peanut/tree nut allergy

Posted on: Mon, 05/28/2007 - 4:52pm
Pebbles Mommy's picture
Joined: 04/19/2007 - 09:00

Hi there... I have had chemical allergies, and outdoor allergies most of my life, and over the years they have gotten progressively worse. I have always been able to deal with them in private at home, and never really cared to share the information with others. BUT, then a few years ago I had an allergic reaction to mushrooms, then several more reactions from then on. Last 4th of July, I had an anaphalactic reation to peanuts. Since then I have had many more reactions to all nuts, and now shell fish too.
I am embarrassed by my MFA. I hate talking about it, because my experience has been that people just don't care, and if they do, they just don't get it. My mom has been wonderful, but other than that.... I just try to do what I have to so that I can avoid a reaction. I hate hearing my mom say is this safe? I hate explaining why I can't have something, or why I can't eat somewhere. I usually just say something along the lines of "Today is just to nice of a day to die, maybe another day". Or, I say nothing at all. I am a teacher too, and unfortunately my fellow staff members don't get it or don't care to get it. I am beyond frustrated, and don't know what to do.
If I am going out to eat, I try to control where I am going to eat out at, and usually check online prior to visiting. I also am extremely cautious about what I have ordered. I have only asked a few times about what kind of oils are used.
After being first diagnosed I had gone to a local Polly's restaraunt. I ordered the chicken salad, (at this point no sesame allergy). I asked about peanut oil. The waitress said none, she supposedly had checked, said no nut oils where there, and that they never use nut oils. SO I ordered the salad and had a reaction. Apparently they mix their dressing with an already prepared bottled dressing which contained nut oils.
I had thought that I was doing the right thing by asking, but that didn't even help me. SO now, I either don't ask, or don't eat. And I ALWAYS take a Benadryl before eating. The Benadryl strips have become my best friend because they disolve so fast.
[This message has been edited by Pebbles Mommy (edited May 29, 2007).]

Posted on: Mon, 05/28/2007 - 9:43pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Over the past few years, my allergies have become more pronounced. However, it was not until last year that I actually moved from sensitive to allergic with PA, SA, & TNA. It has taken some time for me to get used to recognizing symptoms and learning what I can and cannot eat or use. I have come to accept my allergy, and my friends are very good at helping out. Yet, I still feel like I am being silly for saying "No" to eating at certain restaurants, or like I am paranoid for itching when in an enclosed area with Reece's Peanut Butter Cups or bought Rice Crispy's. At times, I feel like I am imposing on everyone else, because not only do I have to be careful about what I do, but they have to restrict their lives by proxy. Other times, I feel like such a drag when I have to excuse myself from a party or go home because I am having a reaction.
Even though it is difficult to feel normal with allergies at times, it is getting better.

Posted on: Sun, 06/03/2007 - 12:26pm
fuzzyfurball's picture
Joined: 06/27/2002 - 09:00

I have had PA for 34 years and I've never ever been embarrassed about it. I let people know early on about the allergy. My first anaphylactic reaction scared me so much that I feel I have to protect myself and make sure people understand the seriousness of my allergy.
Be lucky that your workplace is so vigilant about your safety. My friend won't eat nuts around me either. Dh won't (and I won't allow it) peanut butter in my house. My mom never made a big deal about it so I don't either. I mean she stressed me not eating certain things, but she never made an issue out of it.

Posted on: Sat, 07/14/2007 - 5:16am
Rach's picture
Joined: 05/01/2001 - 09:00

I'm a young adult too (22) and I feel really embarrassed about it. I am about to start a new job and they are unaware of it yet as I have to still receive all the forms from them. But I know I will get embarrassed about it. I feel so guilty when people go out of their way to make me safe.
Take care

Posted on: Mon, 07/16/2007 - 1:46pm
Moni's picture
Joined: 06/06/2007 - 09:00

I can understand where you are coming from. At your age I think I was still a little embarassed by my allergy and that stemmed mainly from when I was a child. I was about 10 and a friends mum gave me a biscuit and I had a bite and it was filled with peanut butter. When that peanut product hits my mouth I instantly know and I kind of shudder and my shake my head a little, can't really describe it, but when that happened my friends were all calling me spasitic and she was having a fit and it is something that I have never forgotten. They did eventually stop after a few days as they moved on to some other drama but it became something that I avoided talking about while just quietly avoiding peanuts on my own.
It wasn't really until my mid 20's I suppose, after two very bad anaphylactic reactions, that really scared the daylights out of me, that I really started to speak up about it and not quite care what others thought and hence I have not had a reaction in maybe 13 years.
The embarassement will ease, as you go through life, your circumstances change, you change and grow. I think I have become the most proactive with my allergy since I became a mother. I lost my husband in an accident shortly after my son was born, so if I don't look after my allergy he could be left on his own and that thought is very scary.
Hang in there, I was only saying to friends on Saturday night (at a completely nut free, because of me, party), that I know it is a little annoying being nut free, but hey, you have me, and wouldn't life be boring for all of you if I were not here!
Moni (sorry it's a little long, I do ramble on a little sometimes)

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