Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Summer Ramblings - The Unsafe Ordinary

For some, the most ordinary things are deadly.

As I write this, a preteen girl from our community is on life support, all because she ate a brownie at a celebration that should have been the happiest moment in a couple's life.

Not just any brownie.


It was made with....peanut butter.

Peanut butter.

The girl had a peanut allergy.  She had an epi-pen, I'm told, but she couldn't get to it in time.
Last weekend, my spouse and I were grocery shopping, and we passed a display of "school safe snacks".  We turned to each other.

There are so many children with allergies.  Nut allergies and peanut allergies can kill.  They are not jokes.

Our son is grown, and, thankfully, he has no food allergies.  But I know people who do.  I even know people who developed them as adults.  Their first inkling was eating out (usually in a restaurant) and having to be rushed to the ER because their throats had closed up and they couldn't breathe. It seems the most common of those older-adult allergies (at least, for people I know) involve seafood of some sort.

Meanwhile, in my youth, so many of us enjoyed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  They were a staple in my youthful diet.  We are all wondering: what happened?  Why these food allergies?  What is causing them?

What I read online is disturbing.  One of every 13 children have a food allergy, according to NPR (National Public Radio).  The most common:  nuts, soy, milk, wheat, egg, shellfish.  Some 30% of individuals with one allergy have more than one.  Doctors are working on treatments to try to desensitize individuals.  But why do they happen in the first place?

I can still enjoy a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  For now I do not have any food allergies that I am aware of.

But tonight (I am writing this Tuesday night), all I can think of is a family who must make the ultimate decision on behalf of their little girl.

It's a decision none of us should ever have to face.

17 comments:

  1. I certainly agree that researchers need to find out why food allergies are so prevalent. My grandson LOVES peanut butter, but our schools here are 'peanut free'. My massage therapist developed a nut allergy at the age of 40. I love nuts and hope that never happens to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So do I. I know people with these allergies, but never one who died (sadly, the girl passed away this morning). I don't know her, but I do know a member of her family.

      Delete
  2. So, the data indicates that since we are now divorced from farm living, from truly rural life, where developing children get exposed to a variety of microbes and environmental factors- and the fact that parents deliberately withhold foods from young children (thinking they are doing good)- means that our young lack the immune system to withstand minor attacks. So, our food allergies become more vast and more widespread...
    That doesn't help this little girl now- but it can help a newer generation...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think your comment has a lot of truth. Years ago, a man from India was my manager at work, and he warned me about this very thing. I think he and you are right.

      Delete
  3. I am infact surprised by this sudden rise in allergies. While growing up I didn't even know these exist. But these allergies are so severe that it's scary sometimes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We never heard of food allergies in my youth. This whole situation is tragic.

      Delete
  4. This makes me sad. I hope she gets well somehow. I hope it happens for her and her parents. Such a sad, sad thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am sorry to report that, sadly, the girl died this morning. Thank you for thinking of her and her parents.

      Delete
  5. What a devastating situation. It's impossible not to feel deep empathy for that family.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is so sad and I am sorry. Prayers for family and yes hope no one ever has to make such a decision.
    Of late, I have also been hearing of food allergies and it scares me. Wonder why the immune system is so weak?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does make you wonder what we humans have done to our world.

      Delete
  7. Considering food allergies, people should label when they use foods that many people are allergic to. And those with allergies should never consume something unless they know the ingredients. Not that that always helps.

    My SIL is allergic to raw tomatoes (among other things). We were out to eat. She specifically asked if something had raw tomatoes in it. Was told not. But felt the allergic reaction coming on. Yup, there were raw tomatoes. That was "fun". (Luckily it was a minor reaction.)

    I am very careful when someone who I know has allergies is eating with me. But not everyone knows all the allergies that acquaintances have.

    ReplyDelete
  8. It's really sad to hear what food can do to us in a negative manner. Hope and pray that the little girl is healed. Life can be cruel, at times.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Really sad to read this.But is peanut butter that allergic a stuff?.In India,we use peanuts commonly and haven't heard of anyone getting allergic to it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. It does make you wonder why allergies are becoming so prevalent, could it be due to modern day production standards?

    ReplyDelete
  11. How sad for that family! :-( I do wonder why there's such an increase in food allergies, as well as disorders such as those on the autism spectrum. In spite of all our technology, it seems like our world is becoming more unsafe.

    ReplyDelete

Hello! I welcome comments, as long as they are civil, are on topic, and do not contain profanity, advertising of any kind or spam. Any messages not meeting these criteria will immediately be composted, and my flowers will enjoy their contents.