Just nine months ago, I began visiting the hospital every single day it seemed because the pain spiked over the summer to the point of it being unbearable. After allergy tests, it was discovered that I was allergic to gluten, dairy, and artificial food coloring. I was and am still a vegetarian because of other beliefs that I have, so adding that in was a huge sumersault of difficulty.
But my family and I figured it out. We bought books, we learned how I could avoid those foods, we developed our own recipes, and now I am absolutely, perfectly fine.
I lived 15 and a half years in chronic pain. I had never lived a day where I didn't have a headache for the whole day, where I didn't feel like I was going to throw up 24/7, where I didn't have to focus on continuing to breath in class, where I was able to walk down the stairs without feeling as if I was about to pass out and where I was able to sleep the whole night. It was literal hell.
Now, I feel better than ever. I am able to run and sleep and breath and study and everything a normal person should be able to do without pain. Yet for some reason, every single person around me seems to think that my life sucks even more than it did before I found out about my allergies because I can't eat America's beloved fast food, greasy pizza, Kraft mac and cheese, hamburgers, Hy Vee cupcakes, etc. etc.. Apparently, not being able to eat junk food is much worse than chronic pain.
And everyone in my life doesn't seem to let me forget how unfortunate I am because of my allergies.
Every single day, I wake up. I have a nice breakfast at home with the two people who know me best- my parents. But even then, I am faced with them apologizing to me for eating cheese in front of me, or, god forbid, toast. Next, I'm off to school, where things get really bad. Students and teachers alike look at me with a sad sort of look in their eyes and say to me 'Poor you, your life must suck, you must be upset all the time, your life is the worst, I could never be you, I'm glad I'm not you, how do you live like that?, and I feel so bad for you.'
Seriously?? How can you people be so ignorant? How is the idea of me not being able to eat pizza this life shattering for you?
I have heard these comments from my fellow classmates, my teachers, my friends, my parents, my grandparents, other extended family, and even community members. Every single person I meet has something to say about how my life is the worst.
I mean, how do you expect me to feel after you make a comment like that? Of course, I just say 'Oh, it's okay. I like it this way,' but come on people . . . would you want someone telling you that your life was awful each and every second of your day? That being in chronic pain was a better alternative to . . . wait for it . . . NO PIZZA?
To end this blog post, I would like to inform each and every person I have ever met that my life does not suck. I am happier than ever, healthier than ever, stronger than ever, and more free than ever. My life is the most wonderful thing in the whole world, and I am the luckiest person to know what caused my pain and be able to fix it. Please stop making comments, apologizing for eating in front of me, and telling me than pain is better. I really don't like it. Instead, try to understand my situation, and others like me, but also know that I can manage everything on my own and don't need your help.
And also, gluten, dairy free food isn't so bad- maybe you should try it!