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If you, child or adult, have just learned that you have an allergy - don’t worry, you’re not alone. Allergies affect an estimated
20% of Australians, with food allergies specifically affecting 4-8% of children under the age of five. This might be a mild allergy which causes skin irritation, vomiting or upset bowels, and there is a good chance that this allergy will disappear in a couple of years.
Or it might be severe, which is every parent’s nightmare. A piece of food as small as a single piece of sand could trigger a huge response causing anaphylaxis and threatening your life.
Your life may not ever be the same again.

How do you stay safe? What can you do? Untitled Story (Adolescent Voicings) - Second Draft

1. Birth

an · a · phy · lax · is

1. Hypersensitivity especially in animals to a substance, such as foreign protein or a drug, that that is caused by exposure to a foreign substance after a preliminary exposure.
2. See anaphylactic shock

Age 0. Baby. Cute. That's what all babies are like, right? Apparently so. Picture this for me then. Picture a child who wasn't expected, and wasn't exactly wanted either. Picture a typical family, gathered around the telephone at home in the early hours of the morning, waiting for the news of the arrival of a new family member. Picture yourself lying on your back, with half a dozen family members standing over you, all staring down in disgust at, well, at you - the hairless, puffy cheeked bundle that doesn't seem to have an off switch for the crying mode. If you have somehow managed to conjure up the aforementioned images in your mind, may I both congratulate you and offer my deepest condolences. See, you just met me, met the world I found myself entering into - or so I was to...

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Age: 17. Teenager. Average. That's what all teenagers are like, yes? Average? Well, not me. Far from average. I'm probably unlike anybody you've ever known. A walking talking medical disaster, my monthly (if not more frequent) hospital trips keep my mother busy and on her toes. All but allergic to the world around me, my allergies stretch near and far, from one corner of the world to the other. Including peanuts, tree nuts, bees, wasps, ants, loratadine and penicillin from the very beginning, the list of substances my body has grown to love to reject include things such as soy, sesame and honey, spiders and mosquitoes, as well as mould and certain grasses. And whilst the consequences for coming into contact with these allergens can prove to be deadly, if not fatal, they make me into something that nobody else can profess to being:

They make me, well, me.

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