-Mobile continuation from Xanga blog PinkyGuerrero
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-Personal blog for Janika Banks.
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Sunday, December 13, 2015

holidays and allergies- do they mix?

That tweet got more impressions and engagements than anything else I tweeted in the last 12 hours. This next one came in second.

If I'm going to keep ranking by impressions and engagements, this one was third.

These next two are currently tied for fourth...

And I'm pretty sure this guy was more tanked than I was, because he's trying his dangedest to get a marijuana law passed.

So you can imagine how the company dinner went. Thankfully we had The Walking Dead and several other hot shows to talk about, probably the funnest company dinner I've been to since Scott and I met over 2 decades ago.

So in case I walk off and don't get this posted right away, it's 4:23 a.m., to make the last 12 hours thing an honest statement, because impressions are always updating and changing.

click for more cute
And in case anyone feels sorry for me not being able to eat or even touch anything in a restaurant, my fasting blood sugar this morning was 84. I'm going to outlive all of you, so I'm ok with it.

I'm sure some of you can't even imagine what it's like to have a citrus allergy, sitting in a room filled with citrus in drinks, lemon in water, grilled lemon on plates, and everyone touching everything... I was doing fabulous through nearly the whole thing just keeping my hands to my own spot, but once the hand shaking near the end started, there it went. I stringently keep my hands away from my face when I'm running around town, but 2 1/2 hours in a restaurant and my long sleeves have already been all over the table and stuff, all it took was one absent-minded back of the hand wiping a drop of water off my lip after I took a sip from my own water bottle and my top lip started puffing up.

click for more holiday pets
I didn't dare even walk into the bathroom there to wash my hands. Y'all are afraid of flu and ebola, I'm terrified of a molecule of lemon in a building so saturated with lemon that an entire bathroom could be invisibly smeared from lemony hands. But my lip was just starting, so we got to a Walgreens and I washed my hands real good and took some benadryl, all good.

Imagine me walking into a bar, citrus AND nuts. I've written in other places about why I'm so leery. Here are some examples so you can be more aware of the people around you quietly not participating in food festivities this holiday season-

= Asked for water with NO lemon in one place, actually saw the waitress come through the door across the room, stop and set the tray down, fish lemon out of a glass with her fingers in the water and put it into her pocket, then set that glass in front of me when she reached our table. Yes, it was a nice restaurant.

= Asked for coffee in another place, waitress who'd just been slicing lemons on the counter actually put her fingers into the cups carrying the empty cups in one hand and the coffee pot in the other without giving it a second thought after I told her I'm allergic to lemons. If I hadn't seen her do that, I could have wound up in the ER.

= Asked for tap water in a sandwich shop because they didn't sell bottled water, and they told me they couldn't give me any because there was a water spigot on the self service pop machine, and they couldn't understand the problem with that spigot also being the main line for a clearly labeled lemon-lime drink. Bottled water is my only go-to everywhere I go now. Any establishment that tries to tell me I can't bring my own water in quickly gives way when I show them my allergy bracelet.

= Asked a master chef in a Japanese steak house if any of the ingredients he used had lemon because none of the squeezy bottles with magical flavors were labeled, and he assured me he never cooked with lemon. After making it through my meal with two trips to the bathroom to keep taking benadryl (where there was citrus scented hand soap), I watched him clean the grill with lemon, technically making every single bite I ate a lemon hazard. 'Cleaning' a grill with lemon doesn't clean the high heat bonded lemon off the grill, does it? Since I was a head chef in a big restaurant years ago, I find this level of shrugging something off inexcusable. You wouldn't believe how much benadryl I wound up taking that day, for hours. That was before I started carrying prednisone in an epi purse. Fortunately, just being aware of an allergy reaction starting up helps me get all over the meds fast enough to stay ahead of it, so I've never had to use an epipen, and if I even think I might have to use one, I don't hesitate getting to a clinic asap for a phenergan push and a big steroid shot.

click for "Psych Experts: There’s Nothing Crazy About Giving Christmas Presents to Pets"
I talk about allergies more on my spaz blog in common misconceptions about cross contaminated food allergens, and it's my fourth most seen post there.

Simply paying attention to other people around you through the holiday season could be life-saving. Simply being aware of other people's challenges could make all the difference in how their holiday plays out. It's very common during holidays for ERs and walk in clinics to get jam-packed with problems arising from people swerving away from their normal, safe routines. Imagine taking your life into your hands just to sit with a group of people in merriment for a couple of hours. Yeah, that.

Now imagine that your child is the one with the food allergies and a relative sneaks a secret ingredient in or keeps insisting your child try something yummy. Parents of children with food allergies are already stressed out just sending their kids to school every day, never knowing if and when that call will come that emergency response has been initiated. Imagine a well-meaning relative dismissing that and thinking one little cookie or bite of something couldn't hurt. It's unbelievably difficult to train people to think ahead to avoid emergency situations when they don't have the experience to help them understand it, and you can see how this would create some very tense conflict during holiday season when people travel away from their safety zones in their own homes. Incidentally, I've had to stop visiting ALL relatives, thanks to a dog allergy and everyone has dogs. Kinda sucks, especially since I love dogs. Oh, yeah, I love my relatives, too, lol.

click to buy a Santa hat for your dog
The nicest thing you can do this holiday season is respect other people's spaces, pay attention to their concerns, and be aware of the dangers around them. You'll get brownie points and gold stars galore just being the person that gets it, and you may even become a family favorite. That's a sweet spot well worth the little bit of effort it takes learning something new.

I love this ad.

This post was brought to you without a single picture of a lemon. You're welcome.

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