Often when I (am attempting to) eat out and start getting doubts about what I can eat, or say I don't want to go somewhere because it will be hard finding something I can eat in the menu, people tell me "Eh, don't worry, just tell the waiter what you cannot eat and they will make you something." I have never gone with that approach because it is so horribly complicated and because I am terrified of dealing with people like waiters and so on, I feel so foolish.
I took a peek at the menus of the suggested places we go out with work in advance, and I started to feel extremely anxious already then - as I could not find a single thing that would not have to be turned into Very Special Order for me to not get sick.
When there I was reading the menu over and over again and feeling so desolate, there really was not a single thing I could order without a complicated conversation with the staff. It is a long time since I have had an all-out anxiety attack over food and it was not welcome in that company. Enough to send me back into the land of eating disorders.
In the end I tried explaining. I asked very specifically what was in the sallad and was informed it was just a green sallad. I told him what green leaves I cannot eat. I told him to verify all vegetables with me in advance both for the starter and main course.
I was then served a starter with tomatoes finely chopped and hidden under the toast. I tried picking them away but there was probably juice all over and soaked into the bread. I immediately told the waiter to make sure there were no hint of anything except approved green leaves that in my main course, but the adrenaline was coarsing through me - close call, I almost ate it without noticing! Later I realised I probably had done so at first, as well as getting that belated realisation that the bread would have soaked up the tomato juice...
I am very glad I had taken a day off friday, the day after. Originally it was because I was worried about getting home late and not getting enough sleep, but as it turned out I was knocked out with allergies all day. Hooray.
I doubt I will ever try the explain-your-allergies approach ever again. Worthless, took too much energy and didn't work. Next time I will simply not eat anything if there is nothing I can eat on the menu.