Food allergies suck. Whether you suffer from a severe allergy or a mild one, the fact of the matter is that they're really frustrating and often times scary. It's stressful to constantly have to double-check ingredients and to make sure you don't ingest something that could be harmful to your body. It's scary when you break out in hives or your throat closes up or you feel nauseated.
But one woman's story of a horrific allergic reaction has left the internet feeling shaken this week ...
Peanut allergies are also getting more and more common in America.A recent study suggested that there has been a 21 percent increase in peanut allergies since 2010.
And the effects of an allergic reaction can vary wildly.
Making sufferers' lives very frightening.
So why exactly is a peanut allergy so stressful?Well, for one, it's not just that you have to worry about eating peanuts. You have to be careful with products like soap, makeup, and deodorant.
You also have to diligently read every single label.Who wants to spend their time reading labels? Besides being afraid for your life, you have to read everything before ingesting it.
Having to ask your waiter about ingredients is also tiresome.It's hard to not feel bad about it, either. It's easy to feel like you're annoying them, even though you have to be diligent.
Packaging can make a huge difference.
@mmschocolate changing the color on your packaging for Halloween candy is dangerous! My son has a peanut allergy a… https://t.co/KgnbArtzeY— Nicolas Bellenbaum (@Nicolas Bellenbaum)1541896004.0
Targeted advertising isn't always the most accurate...
Um, either one will kill me @bing. #peanutallergy https://t.co/7mvGRi3ilj— Maggie Skittles 🏳️🌈 She/Her (@Maggie Skittles 🏳️🌈 She/Her)1542547741.0
The most random things can contain peanuts.
Having a severe allergy makes you hyper-aware of what you're putting into your body.
I've noticed most people eat stuff and have no clue what's in it. Being the allergy kid, I always have to ask for… https://t.co/BDpPa0zwJm— Ri. (@Ri.)1517314558.0
It's important to be really careful when reading ingredient lists as well.
@AldiUK URGENT nut allergy risk - Specially Selected Pesto incorrectly labelled - nuts not in BOLD on ingredients… https://t.co/zuVgcOOYLt— Craig F (@Craig F)1518871074.0
It's also super hard to be vegan or vegetarian with a nut allergy.For those with meatless diets, nuts are an excellent source of protein. Nuts are used in tons of vegan and vegetarian recipes.
It's also so annoying for people to look at you and say, "Can I eat this near you?"Nobody wants to have that question constantly asked. It puts you on the spot and makes you feel like you're being a total inconvenience.
Living with a peanut allergy requires constant vigilance.
It can feel impossible to know where one can go to safely eat.
There's nothing fun about a peanut allergy.
It can be really stressful and scary - as today's story proves.
Back in 2013, Chantel Giacalone was an aspiring actress.
She'd had roles in "The Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations" and "Hollow Walls."
She was attending a convention at the Mandalay Bay South Convention Center in Vegas when tragedy struck.
She accidentally ate a peanut butter pretzel and fell into anaphylactic shock.
Paramedics from MedicWest Ambulance were on-site, but did not have the IV epinephrine, an adrenaline treatment required by law.
This meant Giacalone was without oxygen for a long period of time which eventually left her quadriplegic.
She now required round-the-clock care, must be fed through a tube and can communicate only with her eyes.
This week, the family received a $29.5 million verdict, after it was found that she didn't get proper care from paramedics.
Chantel's mom said: "at least my daughter will be taken care of. I'm happy about that."
Her dad added, "All the anguish that we've been through for the last eight years, I'm not happy about. I just hope MedicWest changes their ways."