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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Having A Peanut Allergy Part 1: As A Homeless Person

So, I have two vastly different (and very similar) experiences with my peanut allergy. Today I am gonna write two posts about this thing in my life. One will be published today and one will be up in the morning. Today's part is going to cover what having a serious peanut allergy is like when you are homeless and unemployed.

When you have a peanut allergy everything you buy or consume has to be vetted before eating it. The big problem is that you can't even eat anything that was produced in a facility that also makes peanut products because of the risk of cross-contamination. Literally, any peanut residue can cause a reaction - which could mean death.

The problem here is that 90% of what you eat when you are homeless is donated to you from other humans, or at soup kitchens. Getting a "kick down" of a meal can be really, really exciting when it's from a restaurant or favorite grocer, but you have to ask that horrid question "does it have peanuts or peanut product in it?" You can get a lot of cross responses because too many, who do not have a food allergy, think you are being picky. If you get food from a grocer, then you have to check every single ingredient slip and make certain that there aren't any risks involved when you eat.

When I was homeless, my allergy caused me to forego a lot of meals that were given to me. One time, I had a retarded right-winger tell me that if I wouldn't eat what was donated to me, then I didn't deserve food handed out to me - even after I explained that my food allergy could kill me. The fact of the matter is - being homeless - the paramedic responses are less than quality when in an emergency - and I would have a better chance of being dead before getting genuine help.

Many times I have watched my friends eat and enjoy a dank looking meal, while I went without because it had peanuts or peanut products in it. Later on, I would end up with something I could eat - we made sure no one ever went without for too long.

Still, imagine having to turn away what could be the only meal offered to you that day because of the risk of an allergic reaction.

That is life for homeless people with food allergies.

Mandey T

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