“It may not be life threatening, but it is life altering.”

While connecting with other who have eczema at a patient conference, I heard someone make the profound statement:

“It may not be life threatening,

but it is life altering.”

Many of us diagnosed with atopic dermatitis or severe eczema and or a nickel food allergy can probably relate to this statement, especially since so many of us were diagnosed as adults. My nickel food allergy doesn’t cause anaphylaxis for me, though it does for some individuals. Regardless, living with any sort of food allergy certainly changes your own and your family’s life.

What I also appreciate about this statement is that it doesn’t minimize the difficult adjustment involved. As I’ve written before, it took me a awhile to adjust to the low nickel diet and figure out what I could eat. After you’re told you are allergic to foods high in nickel, it can take time to figure out what that means. You receive this random list of foods to avoid. With little explanation you’re left to decipher what it means and learn how to creatively make recipes without those ingredients. Immediately, I had to begin evaluating not only my eating and cooking habits, but also planning meals sometimes days prior, enhancing my self awareness.

My nickel food allergy requires me to ask questions of everyone and anyone that came in contact with my food. Emotionally I dealt with aspects of sadness, anger, frustration, confusion and empathy. I still experience frustrating moments or days where I find myself asking “why me” and “why now?”

Despite the frustration of living with a unique food allergy, my nickel food allergy has also allowed me to gain perspective about so many things I never considered prior. Today I am full of gratitude. I am also armed with knowledge that enables me to tackle my food allergy head on and I believe you can too!

What about you? How has your perspective impacted your life, your systemic nickel allergy or something else? Let me know in the comment section below!

  1. I revisit this post about perspective often since becoming aware of my nickel allergy and think of it on hard days like one recently when I went to visit a friend and she had kind heartedly made a “healthy” soup for my enjoyment. It had kale & white beans, among other things. I ate some anyway and very much regretted it as my stomach and chest felt inflamed immediately. I appreciated her gesture and next time I will speak up eloquently, but on the way home I cried a couple crocodile tears because it would be nice to just live normally and I think I can and do, just in a different way than most. I can not say it enough- this blog has been such a comfort. Thank you.

    1. Hi Nicole,

      Thanks for your comment and appreciation for my website. I’m glad my post about perspective has helped you multiple times. I completely understand how you feel, in that sometimes in the moment it can feel easier to say nothing and eat foods higher in nickel, especially made my family or friends. And I understand how difficult and tiring it can be to stand up for yourself and say something or go hungry or unintentionally make someone feel bad by rejecting their food. Every day is a new day!

      Warm regards,

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