As it is National Food Allergy Awareness Week, I am pleased to have Natalie Honodel back as my guest blogger. As a young woman managing food allergies in the social scene, she has come prepared with some great common sense tip for for her peers!
Welcome Back, Natalie!
It was all about how grateful I was that I had been raised to take control over my allergies and still live a productive life. This year I want to do a follow up about what I do to make sure I am as safe as possible during the plethora of social events that take place during teenage years and beyond.
MY TIPS AND TRICKS TO HANDLE SOCIAL EVENTS:
- Plan, plan, plan- Always make sure you know where you are going and plan ahead. Whenever my friends and I are going out somewhere I look it up beforehand and do my research. My friends and I go to the same places that are safe for me, and I always know what I will be getting.
- Keep your emergency kit with you! Trust me, I realize there are times where it seems so much easier to just not have your emergency kit with you, but those are the times that you let your guard down and things happen! It is much less embarrassing to carry your kit with you than to have to call 911 during prom or some other event. I cannot emphasize this enough! Last fall I had a reaction and had left my kit at home. I could have died! CARRY YOUR KIT WITH YOU!!!
- Keep your friends informed-make sure they know where you keep your Epi-Pens and emergency medicine. Have a plan in place so if anything were to happen, they know what to do. I keep my emergency kit and my full action plan with me that details what hospital to go to, what medicines to do, and all other important information. Also, if you are now using an Auvi-Q, add that to your plan and train your friends how to use it. While it is a fabulous product that I love, not many people know what it is yet and during my last reaction the firemen and paramedics even told me they had not seen it before.
- This one may be the hardest, but try to stay calm and not let the anxiety that can creep in with allergies overwhelm you or hold you back. I promise that if you are careful and plan, having fun and going on social events is very possible. Take a deep breath, know that you have prepared, and enjoy your time.