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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:39 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:00 am
Posts: 1119
At a work party with a dozen people talking, a staff who has nut allergies heard me mention Chapman's ice cream and asked where I got it. I told him that I buy it at Giant Tiger because they have so many varieties but to be careful as not all are nut-free.

Someone else then joked saying ya, wouldn't want the big puffy face. His spouse (my co-worker) then said then you could have the epi-pen dangling from your leg.

My husband looked at me and I just couldn't stay quiet. I calmly (shocked myself by staying calm) said "having used an epi-pen on my daughter it's not fun and the paramedics take the epipen" or something like that.

The room went silent. I then joked and said well, that was a conversation stopper and got the conversation restarted.

Would you have said anything? Or would you have left it?

At a staff meeting two years ago I nearly fainted when we had the epi-pen demo video as it was only weeks after I had used the epi-pen on my daughter. Most people know my daughter has food allergies (I'm not quiet...) although to me, regardless, their comments were distasteful in a mixed group with people they do not know.

Would appreciate your thoughts.

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me: allergic to crustaceans plus environmental
teenager: allergic to hazelnuts, some other foods and environmental


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 4:26 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2948
Location: Toronto
I say good for you - you did the right thing.

I did similar at a big Xmas luncheon two years ago, and then also had to find another topic fast to 'leaven' the situation. But the woman making the peanut allergy jokes just wouldn't desist.

But if you don't, you never make them stop and think about it.
Would they crack diabetes or asthma jokes? No.

Not the easiest in a party situation, but you gotta do, what you gotta do.

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:51 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:00 am
Posts: 1119
Thanks Gwen. My husband thinks I should have left it as 'it wasn't the place'. We are very different that way though...

I was pleased that I made my point without being harsh and then got the conversation going. Hopefully the couple thinks twice about joking about that next time.

hmmm since this is a public forum wouldn't it be interesting if they read this note??

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me: allergic to crustaceans plus environmental
teenager: allergic to hazelnuts, some other foods and environmental


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:34 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 4:27 pm
Posts: 300
Location: Montreal
I would have done the same thing. It also "wasnt the place" for jokes to be made so good for you for sticking up for yourself. For some reason, allergies are funny to a lot of people although, as Gwen mentioned, no one makes jokes about diabetes or asthma and other conditions.

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Associate Editor at Allergic Living.
Allergies to all nuts and legumes except soy and green beans.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:39 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6490
Location: Ottawa
You did great! I love your responce to the sudden silence. :thumbsup

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:25 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:40 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: ottawa
Walooet, I would have done the same thing. I think that sometimes it's ok to just roll eyes and walk away but in this circumstance I would have also spoken up. As long as the retort is spoken calmly and politely (then as you did re-direct the conversation) I see nothing wrong with that.
We'd never let someone make racist comments or as Gwen said comments about other health issues without intervening so why others think it is ok to make jokes and inappropriate comments about allergies - which could kill- I'll never understand.

I did the same at a playgroup where a mom was making comments like how she felt sorry for the other kids who would be in DS's class at school, had I ever 'thought' to actually feed him all these foods I 'said' he was allergic to, had DS ever actually been tested. I finally responded. I tried so hard to bite my tongue but it was just enough. I mean, would someone think it was ok to make comments about 'having' to have a child with a learning disability in their child's class...no...so why it's ok to say thank goodness DS wouldn't be in her kids class baffles me.

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DD 12 yrs -no allergies
4 yr old DS - asthma/eczema Anaphylactic to Peanuts, all tree nuts, sesame , all pea/lentil legumes, gelatin.
Allergic to trees, grass,ragweed, feathers, dander, mold and dust.
Outgrew eggs, fish, shellfish


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:37 am
Posts: 1523
Location: Alberta
I definitly would have said something...but I bet you could have guessed that. :lol: Good for you to help get the conversation restarted. I may not have had the good sense to do that but rather turned on my heel and walked away. I also probably would have gotten a "well, this is uncomfortable now isn't it?" in there before I walked. I read this thread to my DD and she said there are jokes made in high school all the time about health issues. Says something, doesn't it?
Thanks for educating. Do you notice it's people that speak up that make change? It'll go one way or the other. We need to speak out when others are....especially when they are misinformed and make light of a serious medical issue.

Michele

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Myself - Seasonal, cats
dd-asthma (trigger - flu) anaphylactic to eggs, severe allergies to bugspray and penicilin,pulmicort
ds-Seasonal, cats and OAS
dh-allergy cats, bugspray and guava, outgrew egg allergy


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 7:22 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:00 am
Posts: 1119
Thank you for the support!

It was one of those tough situations where we were sitting around a family room and I was on the opposite side from the stairs so I couldn't easily get out even if I had wanted to. Oh, and our boss was sitting on the stairs :)

And alberta advocate, it was a teacher who made the comment about the epipen dangling from the leg :dungetit

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me: allergic to crustaceans plus environmental
teenager: allergic to hazelnuts, some other foods and environmental


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