W4 Activity Post: “I’m Allergic to Everything” True Life

“I’m Allergic to Everything” True Life

Many people have one allergy or another. Some people can not consume dairy without metabolic difficulties while others` lives are endangered by any nut containing foods or items. There are some though whose lives are curtailed by their allergies. Raelyn and Zeke in this episode of True Life are teenagers that must deal with their numerous food allergies on a daily basis.

Raelyn is diagnosed with idiopathic anaphylaxis (IA), “a rare, frightening and poorly understood disease” (IA information center). Anaphylaxis is a life threatening hypersensitive reaction; those that are defined as idiopathic have no known allergenic cause (IA information center). Raelyn must be careful with anything and everything she ingests or even exposes herself to. She must arm herself with epi-pens and bottles of benadryl to combat her condition. When IA gets the best of her she experiences seizures and often requires a trip to the hospital’s emergency room. She was satisfied with biomedical treatments and consulted a homeopathic physician who was able to provide satisfying results.

Zeke, has many known food allergies and many, many more that he is yet unaware of. His diet is so limited that he must take nutritional supplements in the form 42oz [~5.25 cups] of a liquid formula every single day to nourish himself. With the assistance of physicians and allergists he constantly runs food/allergy tests. He does this in efforts to decrease his dependence on the nutriteinal forumula and to enjoy more whole foods.

Both of these teens face a lot of inconvenience due to their conditions and must act with a discipline and responsibility difficult for even adults to go through. In my opinion this episode qualifies as a quest narrative. I decided this because Raelyn and Zeke are facing a long term struggle where they are doing everything they can to learn to cope with a confounding and severe condition; all they’re aiming for is a normal life. Narratives like such as this one, provided by popular media are helpful in spreading awareness and knowledge.

IA information Center

1 thought on “W4 Activity Post: “I’m Allergic to Everything” True Life

  1. The illness narrative I found on idiopathic anaphylaxis came from a blog written by a sufferer of the disease named Evelyn. The blog is called “The Right to be Alive” and her first post, which acts the most as an illness narrative can be found here: http://therighttobealive.blogspot.com/2011/09/day-i-met-death.html . This narrative is most similar to the story of Raelyn in the rule life episode but this particular entry focused on her discover of her disease rather than her everyday experiences. Both of them mentioned the constant medication to avoid an attack as well as the constant vigil they must be under in order to avoid any triggers they may encounter. They both end up taking many trips to the hospital due to the severity of their attacks. Being that this blog was centered around the discovery of the illness, Evelyn spends much more time discussing the psychological and social implications of her illness, particularly falling into a bout of depression due to feelings of inadequacy in all of her social roles, including her role as a mother. Raelyn experience seems to be influence by culture, particularly our biomedical model of illness. This has led her to seek out homeopathic remedies for better treatment. Evelyn’s experience also seemed to be influenced by culture, but in a different way. She needs to learn how to live in a world filled with her allergy trigger-a compound found in aspirin, soaps, spices, and even some fruits and vegetables. Her story is also influenced by her feeling of inadequacy in perform the social roles and actions expected of her ahs a mother, daughter, and spouse.
    Chua, Evelyn. The Day I Met Death. The Right to be Alive. 17 September, 2011. Web. 29 July 2012. http://therighttobealive.blogspot.com/2011/09/day-i-met-death.html

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