I had planned on writing another post today, but events of the past few days have been playing on my mind, to such an extent that I thought I should share and see what others think.
It all started with a blog post from my lovely friend @ChubbaNia on Sunday, written as a direct result of a particularly unpleasant tweet she received. Nia suffers with a similar amount of food allergies to Callum. She struggles on a daily basis to overcome them and live life as ‘normally’ as possible. This particular post essentially told her to man up and deal with it and that it was ‘her fault’ she wasn’t well and to ‘just go find a solution’.
Yup, it didn’t make for pleasant reading.
Then yesterday afternoon, I got pulled into a discussion over a tweet by the infamous Katie Hopkins, stating that children with allergies were merely ‘fussy eaters’ and flippantly saying it was all a load of rubbish.
The world of twitter and facebook went bonkers with responses from people of all fields of the allergy world.
I was asked for my take on it, and initially my response was to go in, all guns blazing, to explain how serious allergies are, and that they’re not to be taken lightly. Nor should flippant comments be made from someone so prominent in the public eye as it makes the fight against allergies much harder than it already is.
But then, I took a step back, and really thought about it.
Yes, the harsh reality of allergies, means that when you read provocative posts, it literally makes your blood boil. You pretty much seethe inside due to the volume of anger you feel.
It may seem like a flippant comment to someone who wants to create a sensation on the internet to snatch 5 minutes more of fame.
Reality is very different.
Reality is watching your precious child try to fight a reaction so severe, you’re not really sure if they’re going to make it (and daren’t voice your fears because it’s too frightening to comprehend if you give them a voice).
Anyone in the allergy world knows that trying to teach the uneducated and misinformed is a daily uphill struggle.
If only life were as simple as ‘manning up’ and ‘finding a solution’.
I long for the day when I can go to sleep at night, not having to worry about when Callum will wake up in pain/ discomfort in the night.
I yearn for a time when we can go out for the day and not have to worry about cross-contamination if we eat out.
I live in hope of the day I can do a food shop without the need to check the ingredients of every single item, just in case manufacturing methods have changed or they’ve added a new ‘unsafe’ ingredient.
Nia has to put up with this on a daily basis, as does Callum, and anyone else afflicted with allergies.
Nia fights every day, as does Callum.
I dread the day Callum becomes aware of all this, and has to start fighting for himself. No-one should be put in that position, when they certainly didn’t ask to suffer with allergies, particularly to such an extreme.
So, there’s really 2 angles to this argument:
- Pure rage and anger at such thoughtless comments
- Pure calm in the knowledge that feeding their ego will only serve to make them continue in this behaviour
Each person will react differently. What I think and feel about this, will be the complete opposite to someone else.
And that’s ok!
People are allowed to have their own individual opinions.
That’s what makes us human.
Maybe, the only additional point I will add to this….. We’re all human, so maybe it might be better to show some human kindness!
Life is too short!