You wake up feeling groggy and walk to the kitchen. You make a coffee but wait, you can’t have milk it makes you sick. Never mind so you go to the fridge for breakfast and you’re about to pull out the milk for your cereal but nope you can’t even touch the carton it makes you sick. So you go without your coffee and your cereal and are feeling a bit out of sorts but you think that toast might be ok. So you make the toast and go to butter it only to find that butter actually contains milk. By now you are starting to get really frustrated but push on through. After all this is a life-threatening allergy not just a sick in the belly type thing. So you must avoid the food completely, even traces.
The morning is long and you’re feeling confused about your food options and not feeling satisfied with dry toast you wonder what you can actually eat? You watch your other family members handle the butter, the milk. They even eat it but you’re not concerned about that so much as them washing their hands over and over so they don’t contaminate you or other surfaces in the house. You don’t understand but everything has changed around you. They are all so clean now. No one eats anywhere but the dining table. Your family is different.
It’s time to go out and you have to wear shoes because you cannot risk walking on spilled milk. If you do you might even cry over said milk! You get to the shops and are suddenly worried about people touching you. Just the slightest trace of milk on someone’s hands could cause you harm. In the fresh section you are relatively safe, in the aisles you have to read everything. It is tiring but you learn that a lot of packaged products contain milk or milk derivatives. You wonder whether you will leave with anything at all. You avoid the fridges all together as almost everything is milk or a milk product. If you consume them it will make you very sick. Not the kind of sick where you need rest and lemonade but the kind of sick that requires adrenalin, oxygen and paramedics.
Feeling a little frazzled from the outing you return home with a bonanza of fresh produce. You go to cook in the kitchen but someone has been cooking before you. You don’t know what has been on all of the surfaces so you request someone to clean it all up for you so you can cook safely. When they are finished you wipe everything down again and rewash the pots and pans just to be safe. With a little research and thinking outside the square you find that there are lots of things you can make with your new-found ingredients. Instead of feeling overwhelmed you start to understand that sometimes there are limitations but there are also new possibilities awaiting you.
When your family sits down to eat the food you have prepared they can all relax. No one has to wash their hands repeatedly and it is ok if someone drops something because it is all safe food for you. You are still anxious about what the next meal may look like but you are confident that you can live with your milk allergy.