Life When a Kiss can Kill


This post offers a glimpse into the life of a young adult with food allergies. It’s a worthwhile and important read.

Originally posted on Madeline's Musings:

For those of us with food allergies, especially severe ones, poison lurks in the most innocuous of things. That granola bar your friend just ate? It probably has nuts in it. Your favorite ice cream? One day it’s safe, the next they’ve changed manufacturing and now it’s cross-contaminated. The oatmeal you eat every morning? You can’t have any other breakfast products by that company. Your new boyfriend or girlfriend? If they aren’t thinking about what they eat as carefully as you are, that next kiss might send you to the emergency room.

I have found that there are four things that happen frequently that make food allergies just that much more difficult to live with. 1. Discovering one of your favorite foods is cross-contaminated while grocery shopping. 2. You go to an unfamiliar restaurant and have to check ingredients on seemingly everything. 3. No one brought a list of ingredients…

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{Eldercare} In Life and Caregiving, Don’t Be Surprised by Suffering


An essay about eldercare by Pamela Price

My mother, the glamour girl

Like many of my friends, I’m at that point in life where things keep happening.

Parents are sick. Kids are struggling to become adults. Jobs are lost and sought. Hormones shift and we vacillate between moods.  Our outrage against social injustice rises and falls with the news cycle, leaving us emotionally spent. Deals fall through at the eleventh hour.  Our friends and family begin to die off. Administrative errors lead to unnecessary paperwork. We get sick.

Some weeks it feels like we’re opening door after door after door only to have the contents inside tumble out and crush us. It’s oppressive, soul-stripping, and mind-numbing.

When I feel that sense of overwhelm, I’ve learned to turn back to words that I encountered in my early forties, five words that have resonated within my heart again and again, given comfort in a most curious way.

I’d like to share those words today through a story, all in hopes that you can derive some benefit from those words, too.

Note that this is a lengthy essay. Prepare to settle in.

* * *

Over three years ago we persuaded my 70-something-year-old mother to leave her home in Northeast Texas. Disfigured and crippled by severe Rheumatoid Arthritis, she’d exceeded her ability to care for herself and my childhood home years before but, like me, she’s stubborn.

As luck would have it, an assisted living facility just five minutes from my house had space. They were willing to accept her until the money ran out and she qualified for Medicaid.

All summer and fall I worked on the logistics and coached her through the anxiety of what felt to her like “giving up” on her life. Transportation was ordered for her. Items were selected for her new room. Meanwhile, I let a fantasy develop in my head: a sweet tableau that included me biking to her house every day with the kid in tow, our sitting and reading with her, and me writing while she and her only grandchild visited.

That dream died while I was en route to her house on December 31.


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