Dear Amy: I am currently grappling with several serious food allergies. A laboratory blood test recently revealed an autoimmune disorder. I’m scheduled to see a rheumatologist in two months.
My body was thrown into a vicious circle for weeks after consuming allergy-inducing foods.
So, what should I do when I’m hanging out with friends or family for dinner and they’re trying to make a special meal for me? I don’t want to risk even trying this food because of past experiences with bad reactions.
Recently, a host assured me that all the ingredients were safe for me, only to find out later that they had greased the pan with margarine, which triggered my allergy.
They just don’t understand how I have to pay for even a small meal for the next three weeks, but they feel bad because I can’t eat what they eat, and they love food so much they want to share it with me.
What I prefer to do is bring my own food, but of course people are so offended or feel so sorry for me that they will try to make something just for me.
I try to avoid dinner parties at all costs with certain people because of this.
What can I say to people who insist I try their food because they make it just for me and they make sure they don’t put anything in it that I can’t have?
I am tired of being sick and tired of offending people.
Sick and tired
Dear Sick and Tired: It’s hard to imagine someone with an unspecified autoimmune disorder hanging out with others for dinner parties during a pandemic, but, if there isn’t that concern, you just need to know this: you are responsible for your health and well-being. Don’t leave something so important to other people.
Your questions are filled with anticipation and speculation about how others will (or may) respond to your self-advocacy. Don’t concentrate too much on how other people might pressure you, and keep your focus on your own health.
The answer is that you should bring your own food provisions to food gatherings, because you can only safely eat something that you have prepared. Communicating with host beforehand: “I am on a very restricted medical diet due to my allergies, so I have to bring my own food. Does it bother you? I really don’t want to push it or make a fuss, but until my diagnosis is finalized, it is very important that I eat only the food that I have prepared myself. “
If you’re feeling depressed, respond, “Sorry, no. I know it’s sad and I appreciate your efforts, but I have to be very strict about it. “
If your friends and family don’t or won’t adjust to your needs, then yes, you should avoid situations where you can’t safely endure this pressure.
Dear Amy: “Conflict” wrote to you, describing her as an adoptive woman hesitate to share the news his biological family relationship with his sister.
You are right. Born family relationships affect everyone in the family.
Our two children are adopted, fully open with three of their four biological families. Knowing their individual birth family has been a tremendous benefit to both children.
At first, it was scary, but today every biological family looks like another in-laws relationship. Everyone likes ordinary kids, so we love each other. More love is not a bad thing.
We have a “family garden” and not a family tree: one tree each for my husband’s family, my family, and each extended family of their biological parents.
Our children are the root, related to their biological family, us, and one another.
Foster Mother Fully Open
Dear Fully Open: A “family garden” also describes my own family – and many others.
Thank you for the beautiful image. It’s the perfect way to describe the experience of being in a loving, complex and modern family.
Dear Amy: “Scared Grandma” was very worried about her grandchildren being associated with pen pals, thinking that they might be endangered
Surely he was old enough to remember when each year most people received a huge directory of everyone’s names, phone numbers and addresses? Also known as: phonebook ?!
Dear, I Remember: Touch!
I think it’s wise to be careful about any correspondence – physical or virtual – but these kids have close parents, so Grandma needs to let them be parents to their children.
You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or write to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.