“They thought I was joking when I said: I can’t breathe until I lost consciousness and collapsed. I was taken to the hospital when I was 3 years old and was diagnosed with Anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. It can occur within seconds or minutes of exposure to something you're allergic to, such as peanuts or bee stings. It causes your immune system to release a flood of chemicals that can cause you to go into shock — your blood pressure drops suddenly and your airways narrow, blocking breathing.
When I was in primary school, I was never allowed to buy food or drinks at the canteen and had to be supervised by my helper at all my meal times. Students will stare at me and call me names such as; King, Big Boss and I try to ignore them but at the same time it’s an awful feeling watching my friends eat and drink whatever they wanted. I bought a dairy free drink from Starbucks once but the order was mess up and the next thing I knew, I had an allergy reaction and was taken to the hospital immediately as I was gasping for air. Everyday, I carry with me 2 epi pens and inhaler in my bag and another set is kept in school. Occasionally, I do feel that my life “sucks”, with my condition, the tension and arguments at home, I feel helpless and I keep to myself a lot and do not talk.
As time goes by, I often remind myself not to let my condition hold me back from what I am capable of achieving. The friends I have now are like family to me, they look out for me and often prepare diary free food for me when I am at their house and I love being at school with them. I trust them and know that they will always have my back. My mum has been supportive and tries her best to source for vegan and diary free products for me. I’ve started oral immunotherapy and have been gradually exposed to milk and eggs. When I first started my treatment, I was so fearful of the reactions because that gasping for air feeling makes me feel that I am dying.
Now I can consume up to 2 eggs and 180 ml of milk everyday and I am very grateful for all the support from my friends. I live one day at a time and take whatever life gives or not gives me and I do not complain about it anymore. I am proud of myself for being brave and pushing through with my treatment although deep inside I was terrified. My condition and setbacks in life do not define
where I am heading in life and, they have helped shaped me into a better person. I hope people can find courage to live their life beyond their conditions and flaws because life is worth living.