There comes a time where you have to Walk on the Anaphylaxis Side, whether it’s a nickel allergy or another allergy. We all know this treacherous road we have to cross, and I had to cross it for the first time in March 2011. I always seem to be haunted by that missions trip in many ways, it dictates how I live my life. So, after my diagnoses of this nickel allergy in the summer of 2010, my allergy spiraled out of control. I do believe even though I am grateful for knowing I had a nickel allergy, but I do think the patch test was counterproductive. Because a nickel allergy gets worse after you come in contact with it for a long time, and I had to do the patch test for 3 days straight with nickel on my back, I couldn’t wash it off, but that’s neither here nor there.
In 2011 spring break, I didn’t have anything to do. So I choose a missions trip that my church was offering, since it would have been close to where my sister and her friends were. Before, I committed to go, I checked if they could accommodate my health. I stated that, I wanted a break during the day to take a nap, I couldn’t eat out so they needed to cook my foods in a special pot and pan, and I wanted a non-stressful environment. As I looked at the itinerary and talked to the coordinator, she seemed understanding and accommodating to my situation. So, I ended up paying and committing my self to a week worth of stress free, God-worthy, helpful missions trip. Well, so I thought.
In the itinerary there was no mention of having to stand in the rain, butt cold, silent with tape on our mouths protesting abortion. Well, that is what I had to do, which didn’t correlate with what we discussed in my agreement with the coordinator.
Side note: I do not oppose this type protest but having a weak immune system. I do not think this was ideal.
To top it off, after two hours of torture, we went to sleep and I woke up to talks about food being served soon. Which was very upsetting and weird since I didn’t even give them my pots and pans. I soon realized that the coordinator didn’t tell the person handling the food I had an allergy. So, as I made it known, it angered me that the coordinator didn’t care if I got sick.
So, I do think it was understandable that I was “in my feeling.” I had an attitude the whole night because of my frustrations, and also because we couldn’t do anything fun after the torture we endured that morning. Long story, short the pastor and his wife got called because the coordinator couldn’t handle us, even though were stating that we just wanted to go watch a movie. When the pastor and his wife came, they proceeded on taking a poll with everyone to see if everyone agreed that I was being “bad.” Which my mom later told her was bulling, cause no parent takes a poll with the other children about one child’s behavior.
To make it short, the pastor’s wife started to view me as the “bad” child and proceeded to pick on me. Making my life more stressful than it needed to be. She made it known, I couldn’t be alone to talk on the phone, and needed constant supervision. They also, didn’t get on board on cooking meal for me in the special pots and pans, so I would go hungry for long periods of time because I knew the stressful environment and cheating would make me sick.
For Example: I had to volunteer in a soup kitchen and couldn’t eat there. So after we got back, I entered the house and was struck with the aroma of food that I could not eat. I was so upset and hungry that I was overcome with tears. They took this as rebellion and started an argument between the pastor, his wife and I. The pastors wife concluded that “I had the spirit of infirmity.” And my response was, “Yes I already know that, that is why you need to stop stressing me out.” She added,"God spite on a blind man to make him see.” Well, that is when I knew they didn’t understand me and called my mother, who told them about my allergy. Which made no sense, that I wouldn’t know about my own allergy, but I think it was an age thing.
Even though they took my allergy into consideration they didn’t make may life any easier. They gave the same amount of food to everyone else but didn’t add any more even though I couldn’t eat most things. Since all of these things took a toll on me. My body was rebelling. I had constant fatigue, and shivers. So, in the middle of the missions trip, after eating dinner my body felt so different, when I woke up, I got a tingling feeling shoot up my spine and I had to seat back down. The pastor and his wife thought I was faking or making a seen, so they prayed a half ass prayer and made me go to the praise and worship, when I clearly couldn’t even get up. I made it into the van but was so upset on the ride there. After, getting off the phone with my then boyfriend, I lost all energy and a girl next to me had to hold my body up since we didn’t have any seat belts. When we reached our destination, I gathered enough energy to get out of the car, but when someone asked if I was okay. I used the only energy I had left to say, “I‘m Fi…,” and dropped to the floor convulsing. The pastor and his wife still thought I was faking and they lifted my body up to see if I could hold myself and I dropped to the floor. All, I could say was, “Why did you make me come.“
When I thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did. They got me to the car and as we were driving to the house. The coordinator wouldn’t give me my phone because I would call my parents. I was beyond furious. I stayed in the car till they gave the phone to me, because I knew I needed to get out of that place. I soon realized that my roommate grabbed my phone when I was on the floor and called my parents, so they knew something was wrong. I took the next flight home, that morning. I wrote a note to the children I was mentoring and the other people in the missions trip. But the pastor and his wife won’t let my friend read it.
It said: I am sorry you had to witness what happened yesterday. I am deeply sorry that I cannot finish the missions trip because of my health, but I hope this trip helps you to be closer to god. I know some people we didn’t get alone with and other we did. But in all it was nice meeting you. And to the kids I mentored hope you love God with all your heart and do your best in all you do. Love Barbara