Food Allergy Counseling

Food Allergy Counseling
Sloane Miller, MFA, MSW, LMSW, Psychotherapist; Specialist in Food Allergy Management, Speaking At Mylan Specialty / EpiPen Event (© Noel Malcolm 2013)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Food Allergy Counseling: A Letter to my Musical Improv Teammates



Request re: Sloane's tree nut & fish allergies

Dearest Teammates and Coach,

This hasn't come up yet but eventually someone's going to eat a Kind bar or some raw cashews before a practice or show and then wonder why I don't want to touch them during a scene.

Trust me, it's not you; it's the nuts.

I'm severely allergic to tree nuts (cashews, brazil nuts, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, etc.) and salmon.

If you wouldn't mind refraining from eating food items containing these ingredients before or during our practices or shows, I'd deeply appreciate it.

Any questions or concerns, I'm here!

Thanks!

***

Back in September, I auditioned for and was cast in a musical improv house team; "house" means we are regular players at a particular place. There are eight of us on a team, plus a coach and a pianist. We practice weekly and perform twice monthly. It's so fun I can’t even contain my joy in being able to do this regularly.

I have been in classes learning this new skill for the past two years and over that time have watched many of my classmates snacking on raw, roasted, candied nuts in various forms during practices and before shows. Nothing ever happened, a severe anaphylactic reaction from casual contact would be highly unlikely (read more about that in my interview with Dr Dave Stukus), and it hasn’t happened yet in my life and I go out socially at least 5 nights a week.  However, it didn’t make me feel super comfy about rolling around with everyone especially when their nutty hands reach out to touch my face.

Since I’m on a team now, with regular performers, performing weekly I thought I should mention something, mainly because I want to be able to be close to them and not fear spitty talker or nutty hands. *Again, nothing serious nor life threatening has ever happened with casual contact with me, maybe a hive or two or an itchy cheek but nothing near systemic nor anaphylactic. This is more about mental comfort than a physical reality.*

So, I sent the above note. I saw everyone two days later for rehearsal and there was one collective thought from my team: “Cool, no problem. We don’t want to hurt you.”

What a wonderful feeling to put out a clear direct request and receive a clear direct reply.

And I’m back to rolling around with my team!


1 comment:

Gratefulfoodie said...

After reading this post, my Sloane Miller fandom has jumped up even more!

I love it. It's not you. It's the nuts. That is is exactly. You are saying no to the item, not the person!