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In a message dated 11/12/2009 2:37:57 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
Sandra@... writes:

<<<A friend of mine told me one day that her son was not allergic to
milk, but she told people he was because she didn't want him to have it.
One day she asked me to watch him, and as she was leaving, she said
"He's allergic to milk." He was like eight years old; not deaf, not
out of earshot. So he knew his mom was lying. *I* knew his mom was

When we first found out that Wyl had trouble with High Fructose Corn Syrup
(HFCS), we had a hard time at restaurants finding out ingredients in
things so he could chose things without it. We'd ask the waiter or manager very
nicely, tell them we didn't need to know *all* of the ingredients (I know
how places are about their secret recipes, sometimes), but a HFCS
*sensitivity* didn't seem to warrant much attention and they usually told us they
didn't have any ingredients list to look at-even for things that I knew (from
working in restaurants) had lists on them.

Some places, like McDonald's, have websites with *all* the ingredients in
their core menu items, so we can go there and check what he can have-we
have a good deal of what he can have at McDonald's memorized because our local
homeschool groups meet there quite often in the cooler months. I wish all
restaurants did that.

Once, when Wyl was off looking at aquariums or going to the restroom when
the waiter came over, an idea occurred to me and I asked about ingredients
because of an *allergy*. The difference was amazingly different. The waiter
was very helpful and attentive and even brought me one particular label to
read myself. Since then, I haven't had disinterest and only once or twice
was there no label on a particular item we inquired about, but all the
others had them on that particular day.

After the second time I tried "allergy", I explained to Wyl and said that
by medical definitions, he doesn't have an allergy, but using that word
really helps us get what we need to make an informed choice. He is confident
enough to ask for himself, now, and he uses "allergy", though he or Dave or
I often assure the waiter or manager that it isn't an anaphylactic-type
allergy and not life-threatening.

One local branch of a national chain has been *so* friendly and helpful
that they have ordered a special pancake syrup that hasn't got aspartame (we
like to avoid, but in avoiding HFCS, sometimes that's our only alternative)
or HFCS. The manager keeps it in a special place in his office and when we
come in, we just have to remind the waiter where it is and they'll bring
it out to us. We didn't even think to ask that, he offered to do this for
us, in the name of customer service, I guess. Or just because he's nice. :~)

Occasionally, we talk about him not being "medical definition allergic",
and that his sensitivity may ease or go away some day (though Dave still has
reactions to it). He sometimes *does* choose to eat or drink something
with HFCS in it, and it's usually a *long* time between those times, because
he *doesn't* like how he feels when he's had it.

His brother doesn't yet show any signs of being bothered by it and
sometimes people look at us funny when one kid doesn't have HFCS and the other
does. It's such a trigger-item in some circles that I think people assume
that we're keeping it from our kids because of the natural-political statement
it makes or the "group" it puts us in.

Though we've never actually discussed that part, Wyl knows I'm lying (and
I suppose he knows he's lying as well) when we tell staff at a restaurant
that he's allergic, but I'm not lying *to him*-I'm being honest with him.
It's kind of weird to think of being dishonest to help my kid, but until I
find something better that works across the board, I guess I'll stick with
what works.


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