I’ve flown airlines long ago where they handed out little bags of peanuts and I I’ve never gone into anaphylaxis. I’m grateful my allergy is not that severe. However, when United Airlines declared themselves to be peanut free about 20 years age they became my preferred airline. Why? It’s because I am airborne sensitive to peanut protein or peanut ‘dust’ and any allergic reaction makes you feel like crap in one way or another and causes bodily fatigue that can last many hours afterwards.
As I’ve gotten older I’ve become more aware of the how my body responds to allergens and also to the decongestants or anti-histamines that counteract them. It seems like every anti-histamine has SOME negative side effect; some of them immediate, some have effects that show up after days of use and some have potential long lasting implications. For this reason I’m looking into Immunotherapy for my seasonal allergies.
Delta to Detroit
But in addition I have hope to change my life and free myself from the LTFA prison, so one of the things I’m doing is flying on Delta Airlines. Delta serves peanuts on some of their flights but has become very responsive to peanut allergy sufferers. If you inform them of your allergy they won’t serve peanuts on your flight. Normally I would never fly Delta, but the majority of my family lives in the Detroit area and Delta has a hub there, so they are the only airline with direct flights from California. A direct flight saves me 90 minutes and the hassle of a connecting flight every time I visit. Not to mention I can fly a red-eye and get uninterrupted sleep the whole way. What’s not to like about that? But in the end I can’t go on being afraid to fly. I need to find a way to not let this get in the way of living.
Most people* are good and they want to help. They want to keep you safe. You need to help them help you. You don’t need to ask them lots of questions, but rather ask them the right questions. There is, however, one question you should never ask anyone, except your angels. That question is “Is this safe?” Let me tell you why.
I think it’s a great idea. The expiration of a medication depends significantly on the temperature, in addition to time elapsed. This will help identify if it’s gone bad* before expiration and if used properly will extend the life expectancy of meds stored at a more benign temperature. It also warns you if your cell phone and your meds become separated.
The cost of this device is paid for if the ‘expiration’ of the epi is extended by just a few months. I started carrying epi in 1986, and the expiration time back then was definitely longer than 1 year. I’m sure they brought it down to reduce their liability in a lawsuit, but also … to get everyone to throw away perfectly good meds and buy new. Here’s the journal article.
(*-Gone bad caused by leaving a new epi in a hot car. At the time the liquid was clear, but turned brown months later and well within the expiration date.)
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I was invited to lunch by a fellow who is a vegetarian. It was his turn to choose the restaurant, a place I had never eaten before.. It took 3 email exchanges to get to the answer I was looking for. This information could have easily been on their website along with their menu, they actually have allergy info on their webpage, but nothing specific to peanut. This is an email exchange I had with the restaurant:
I have dealt with commercial flights a lot over the years and things have certainly evolved, but even today no airline will make any guarantee about or controlling the actions of other passengers. Because I am airborne sensitive I only fly airlines that do not SERVE peanuts themselves.
“You can’t let your allergy get in the way of your life.” I hear that a lot. Sort of like, it would suck if you die, of course, but being overly cautious can ‘inhibit’ you.
Rather than defending my position based on an ‘it could kill me’, where people look at you funny I started explaining the major inconvenience that would be caused for myself and everyone I was with if I took an unnecessary risk. This was actually more effective in diffusing the skepticism over the avoidance protocol. Quite simply:
When outside your safe bubble (peanut example):
1) have an angel with you if at all possible, it makes it so much easier
If you don’t have an angel, but have a friend or someone sympathetic to your situation it 10x more stressful. Even So, if you screw up their meal experience, they aren’t going to want to eat with you again. Trust me, it’s true, it’s happened to me. This is when you learn who your real friends are.
If you are at a business dinner it is 100x more stressful.
If you have a business dinner in a foreign country it is 1000x more stressful.
If you have a business dinner in a foreign country where english is not the primary language it is 10000x more stressful.