Teens in the Real World
  Food Allergies in the Real World  

The Back-Up Plan

By Jenny, age 18, allergic to peanuts

Growing up always requires more responsibilities, especially when you have a food allergy. My parents have always raised me emphasizing the point that though they are always there to help, it is my responsibility to take care of myself to the best of my ability. Therefore, even though I have been carrying my epinephrine auto-injector since I was 10, my mom continues to carry an epinephrine auto-injector in her purse, just in case. I also think by carrying my epinephrine auto-injector, I feel safer. Though a reaction can happen at any time, I at least know that I have epinephrine, and that I control my own situation.

Since I always carry not only my epinephrine auto-injector, but also an antihistamine, I have a little bag that fits both. During the school year, I carry them in my backpack, where both are easily accessible. During the summer, I usually carry a purse, so that is where I stick my epinephrine auto-injector bag. On vacation, I carry my epinephrine auto-injector with me in a purse, and my parents carry an epinephrine auto-injector with them as well. The point is, I always have my epinephrine auto-injector with me. Though it may not be fun to carry around, it is worth having in case I do have a reaction, and it is not that big of an inconvenience.

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