Halloween has just passed and I have to say overall I had a great time. I mean, Halloween is so much fun. You get to dress up however you want, participate in fun activities, go to parties, trick or treat and eat loads of candy. Sounds like a great time, right?  It is a great time but there are things I have to worry about that people might not know. Ever since I can remember, my Halloween consists of trick or treating but knowing I can never eat the candy that’s in my bag. Going to parties and knowing, I can’t eat any of the goodies there. Excited to participate in fun school activities but then realizing I can’t be included because they usually involve some sort of food. And even if I can participate, the reward or prize for winning is usually candy and it’s always candy I can’t have. The reason for this is because I have a life-threatening allergy to dairy. If I eat or come in contact with any food that has dairy in it or has touched dairy, I will go into anaphylaxis and will need to go to the hospital. Anaphylaxis can be fatal. As I get older, it sometimes becomes more difficult and frustrating to deal with my allergy and so I really want to know, when did food become the center of all fun things? Like birthday parties, they are so much fun except the part where we have pizza and cake, two foods I can’t have. When I was little, I couldn’t wait to be handed that goody bag only to find out that it was filled with candy. My little self was always disappointed. 

Holidays. I truly love the holidays. So fun, spending time with friends and family. Lots of traditions and themed activities. All things I love!  Once Halloween comes along, I feel like it’s a day after day, month after month journey of FOOD. The only way I can describe it to people who don’t have a life-threatening food allergy is this.  Imagine watching that movie. You know that type of movie I’m talking about? The psychological thrillers that keep you on the edge of your seat. You totally love it, you are convinced you have figured out how it’s going to end, and then…. PLOT TWIST. That’s my life in a nutshell. Being excited about a party, having loads of fun, and then surprise, the pizza and ice cream have arrived. Ugh, plot twist. Then the questions come. Why aren’t you eating? Are you ok? Don’t you like anything here? Aren’t you hungry? Should I get something else for you? Oh, you have a dairy allergy? I understand, I’m lactose intolerant too. Don’t worry, these cupcakes are gluten-free. I just want to say,  “I’m ok, I’m fine”. “No, I’m not hungry because I ate before I came”. “No, you can’t get anything special for me because even your best intentions are not safe for me”. “I am not lactose intolerant”. “I have an allergy to milk and it’s a medical condition”. And it’s so great that the cupcakes are gluten-free but I am not allergic to gluten.  I have to say it in the politest way I can because I truly appreciate how much my friends and family care about me. I would never want to come across as rude or ungrateful especially to people who care about me and love me. I come from an Italian family who loves food and show their love by cooking and baking for others. And I love food too!  It just has to be dairy-free. It has to be made with clean hands and safe utensils, in a sanitized kitchen where there is no dairy at all and no risk for cross-contact with dairy. I know that’s a lot to ask and I would never expect it from anyone so I guess, for now, I continue to carry my own food along, have loads of fun, enjoy being with my friends and family and live my best life until maybe one day, food is no longer the center of all fun things.

Shae Averaimo is a 14-year-old living in Connecticut with her parents, her sister who is 17 months younger than her (just saying), and her adorable golden retriever, Oakley. She lives in a beautiful coastal town and spends most of her summers at the beach and swimming in the ocean. She is an 8th grader who loves science, acting, art, and cooking. Her favorite foods are eggplant parmesan (minus the parmesan) and pasta fagiole (her dad’s recipe is amazing!). When she is not spending time with her family, she can be found riding her bike in her neighborhood, hanging out with her friends, and learning the latest TikTok dances with her sister. She has a life-threatening allergy to dairy and is very involved in the food allergy community. She has a website and an Instagram account dedicated to food allergy awareness. She especially loves taste-testing new dairy-free and allergy-friendly snacks and she reviews them on her Instagram. She is very excited to be joining The Daily Feels and she can’t wait to share her stories. Check out her website nowheyshae.com and follow her on Instagram @shaeallergy_07

Leave A Comment!
Share This