The textbook chapter this week is "Using Health Services" or something to that effect. The chapter mentions "food allergies" (in quotes!) under hypochondriasis. Yeah, I talked about that a bit. We had a good class discussion about the mis-fit between the Western bio-medical system and people whose symptoms don't "fit" a disorder or disease criteria...good discussion. It's a place for me to come back and discuss "allergy" vs "intolerance."
I put the 8 foods, plus corn, and syndromes and "multiple allergies - draw 2 cards" and "anaphylactic reaction! EpiPen prescription" on slips of paper, in ratios that I thought might be close to population levels. The first student drew (in this order):
1. multiple allergies - draw until you have 2 food cards.
3. Anaphylactic reaction, epipen (he has to carry one of my practice pens with him all week)
4. wheat and all wheat derivatives.
What fun he drew!!
The other epi pen was also drawn, as was the second sals option (only 2 of 30 slips of paper, so the odds were quite low). All three of my OAS slips were drawn , each with a different cross-reactant (birch, ragweed, and grass). The students have to research these for Friday's class. At least 2 others drew "multiple allergies," The woman who drew corn thankfully has only that to deal with. ("What will I eat all week?") No one drew fish, which is good, because there aren't a lot of opportunities to even eat fish around here.
They all took it really well. Turns out that several of them know 2 celiacs on campus; they know people who can't eat dairy, wheat, apples...And one of them gave up wheat over the summer, and just tried to add it back in last week and felt AWFUL. She drew the dairy card and has a very dairy-intensive diet (leans toward vegetarian/pescatarin), so that will be a challenge for her. They all seem up to the challenge, though.
Someone from dining services is supposed to come to class on Friday, so students can do consults if they need to.
On a side note, Friday is the start of parents' weekend, and one of the students' parents is getting certified in functional medicine, from http://www.functionalmedicine.org/
, I think. She might speak to the class for a few minutes. (Parents come to classes on Friday. It's traditional. Threw me off the first year I taught here. I was teaching birth
in child development - about which I had NO experience, as I was having a miscarriage at the time. I felt like such a fraud, "here is what the research says,..." (not that I would necessarily tell them my personal experience, but I felt like it was all, "here's what the books say...") All these parents showed up that day - THEY were the ones with experience. I was a little nerve-wracked at first, because I didn't even know they came to class, but they confirmed what I was teaching, that pitocin contractions are stronger and more intense than non-pit ones, etc. It was neat having all these mothers contribute their experiences - and comparing their births between siblings, "The one with pit was awful -I had to have an epi...")